The "Historical" Spartacus - Gladiators
by Jeffrey Stevens, Historical Consultant, Spartacus: Blood and Sand
Spartacus: Blood and Sand represents a deliberate and entertaining mixture of gladiatorial types drawn from the Late Republican period, in which Spartacus lived, as well as the later Imperial period that contained a wider variety of fighters. While some imperial gladiatorial types, like the net and trident wielding retiarius, and certain equipment representations, involving shield shapes along with helmet and weapon styles, are not always completely historically accurate with respect the time period of Spartacus, one of the strengths in the first season is that it shows the diverse backgrounds and fighting styles that defined the evolution of gladiatorial culture throughout all phases of Roman history.
Throughout the first season, Spartacus will evolve and employ a variety of weapons, armor, shields, and fighting styles that are not simply representative of a typical thraex of the Late Republican period. In some ways, as the heroic catalyst of this story, he becomes an embodiment of many different gladiatorial types during his ongoing transformation throughout the first season.