Series Spartacus Blood And Sand Discussion

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10:47:46 AM Sep 27th 2013
While I like Sura's character in the show, the real-life prophet/lover of Spartacus was arguably more interesting. Rather than being murdered before the revolt, she was part of the escape, and rallied the troops with her prophecies, supposedly granted by Dionysos/Bacchus, who had a huge following among slaves. Although I didn't find the show to be at all sexist (despite the sexist setting, it's chock-full of strong, complicated female characters), it would have been interesting to see a woman as the spiritual center of the revolt. Historian Barry Strauss devotes a chapter of The Spartacus War to her influence, and also makes clear that women likely played a significant role in Spartacus's army. If anyone wants to compare info on historical accuracy (which isn't a rap on the show; it's not like it's pretending to be pure history, just a rollicking good time), I'd love to see that thread.
10:23:51 AM Sep 27th 2013
Someone's listed Barca as But Not Too Black. I disagree— I don't think he's meant to be black at all. As a Carthaginian, he comes from the northern coast of Africa, where most people have/had "Mediterranean"- or Middle Eastern-type features. Of course, a minority black population may have lived in Carthage, and Barca may have come from this group, but there's no reason, historical or canonical, to assume he did. Given that race tends to be a hot-button issue for us (perhaps more so than for the Romans), I'm concerned about an edit war if I alter the Barca entry to reflect these facts, but it seems worth a mention.
05:09:17 PM Nov 25th 2013
A lot of people seem to have gotten a Race Lift, based mostly on where the show was filmed and the pool of actors available. For example, Mira, supposedly from Spain, has a dark Latin look. But back in those days most inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula were Celts, and would have been much fairer. Likewise, Crixus and many of the Gauls are awfully dark for that ethnic group. By the same token, a lot of the Roman characters are blond and quite pale. But this was actually not very common among Latin/Etruscan people and Romans generally had darker hair and complexions than the ones we see on the show. About the only group that looks about right for their ethnicity are the Germans. Gannicus is also believable as a Celt.
07:01:33 PM Nov 25th 2013
True. I do wonder why the series went with the idea of Gannicus resisting a leadership role, though, given that the real Gannicus lead a major Celtic faction within the rebellion (and died in a different battle than the one Spartacus fell in). Also of note regarding the Race Lift issue: while most Romans were somewhat darker than the ones we see in the show, they did admire the pale look (as in the Aeneid), and not only wore wigs but painted themselves to look paler. In fact, if you're going to have your Romans looking like they were wearing makeup at all, you might as well go all out, but shows don't tend to. Even Rome, which really prided itself on historical accuracy, only showed full-on Roman makeup in one episode, where (if you haven't seen it) Atia dresses up Octavia to attract Pompey. Of course, Spartacus is a little more fantastical, but I actually think the stylized maquillage of the Romans would have fit quite well with the show's overall appearance, as well as being more accurate.
08:00:29 PM Nov 26th 2013
Probably had written themselves into a corner with Gannicus, making such a show of how reluctant he was about being a serious rebel leader and playing him up as the bad boy hedonist of the four main male heroes.

Class-conscious Romans associated dark suntans with laborers and slaves, people who had to spend their lives working outside. A "proper" Roman lived and worked indoors as much as possible, especially the wealthy, who rarely left the domus or villa if they could avoid it except for social events. Even so, the number of natural blonds is unrealistically high among the Romans on the show. Seppius and Seppia were probably among the most convincing looking Romans, although the makeup use (and in some cases its absence) is indeed not quite up to Roman spec. But neither were the womens' wardrobes. Respectable Roman women wore much more conservative outfits than the sexy gowns we see on the show. The traditional stola provided a lot more coverage, and they often wore additional layers besides.

But of course the show was going for sexy, not for historical accuracy. The same reason the heroes often fight wearing little more than loincloths. Ironically, Gannicus probably had the most coverage out of the male leads. Spartacus, Crixus and Agron were often showing more skin.
07:52:11 PM Dec 5th 2013
Well, not all respectable women wore the stola. It was a way for a woman to affiliate herself with matronly virtues, but it wasn't a sign of prostitution or penury to go without it. Where the rich women's costumes generally go wrong is in the shape— Roman clothing, as a rule, wasn't that tightly fitted to the body's curves (and some Romans wore underwear, including bandeau-style bras and loincloths). Of course, I think the silliest change is another one you mentioned: why are the rebels dressed in bare loincloths and tiny halter dresses after they've already sacked rich villas? That's fine for scenes set in summer, but when snow's blowing on them, it seems a little more dubious. I'd expect them to be loading on the wool overtunics and cloaks, and maybe even boots.
09:53:06 AM Dec 9th 2013
No, where they go wrong are married Roman women wearing dresses that low-cut (and often with open backs) in any kind of social setting, which in real life would have been very scandalous. In private they could pull it off. But showcasing one's boobs in public was seen as very lower class, and would have been associated with prostitution. One would have expected Illythia's husband and father to be critical of her fashion choices (especially since both were in politics).

On the escaped slaves front, it was funny though. Especially when issues like having to hide out on mountains and/or being prepared for winter come up. I assume we're meant to be impressed by how tough they are, running around with so much bare skin in the cold.
08:31:05 PM Jan 13th 2014
One of the things that would have been interesting, that the show really didn't delve into very deeply, would have been the change between what Illithyia and Lucretia could "get away" with socially. Some respectable Roman women "dressed sexy": for example, Julia, daughter of Octavian Caesar "Augustus", annoyed him by wearing immodest clothing. (He did ultimately exile her, but for outright adultery, not skimpy dresses.) So it happened, but the traditional-values crowd frowned on it. By contrast, lanistae held the status of "infamia", along with gladiators, actors, pimps, and prostitutes. Basically, they were halfway between Hollywood celebrities and trailer trash, at least in the opinions of respectable citizens. Not only would nobody startle at Lucretia's dresses, they probably wouldn't even be surprised by her affair with Crixus, or for that matter with anyone else: what more could you expect from such a lanista's wife?
09:57:31 AM Jan 14th 2014
Well, Julia was an example of a girl/woman acting out against her father on purpose. After all, Augustus did divorce her mother Scribonia literally on the day she was born, having stuck it out that long only because he would have lost some paternal rights to the child if he divorced her before the birth, and he was hoping for a male heir. Once his daughter, a disappointment in and of itself, was born he ditched Scribonia and ran off to marry Livia. He was also a very controlling father. So Julia made it her lifelong mission to antagonize him, especially since she probably found his "traditional family values" moralizing disgustingly hypocritical.

However, here we have Ilythia, Licinia and other upper-class married women, and in the earlier Republic era, who dress in a pretty racy manner by period standards. Which on some levels made it very modern "Beverly Hills". They disdain Lucretia because her inferior social status. But in the real ancient Rome this would have likely been reflected in more conservative dress, showing that they were proper upper class matrons (albeit childless ones) whereas Lucretia was more middle class. I think that a lot of people have such a sexed-up mental image of ancient Rome that they do not realize that the upper class was rocking more of a "Downton Abbey" kind of attitude, at least in terms of public class relations, regardless of whatever misbehavior they were getting into behind the scenes.
07:34:08 PM Jan 24th 2014
You're right that Illithyia and Licinia are definitely pushing the boundaries, unless they have unusually tolerant husbands and fathers. I would describe Lucretia as more "middle-income" than "middle-class," though, because in terms of respectability she, Batiatus, and the other lanistae/lanistae's families are all near the bottom of the barrel, no matter how much money they make. Thus Albinius's remark about Batiatus's "mad quest to become aedile": participating in the entertainment industry was an indignity unimaginable for a public official. For a prosperous grain merchant, it might have been possible, but for even the finest lanista, the idea was ludicrous.
03:57:41 PM Jan 30th 2014
edited by
Well, obviously the show takes liberties. It is true that Batiatus would not have been able to pursue positions on the Cursus Honorum, even on a provincial level (and certainly not in Rome itself). Being Vince McMahon didn't get you as much respect back then as it does now. But dropping the title aedile indicates this little slipup, since he had no military background (something he blamed his father for) and had never been military tribune (like Glaber's sidekick/Heterosexual Life Partner Marcus, much less a quaestor. Glaber could have gotten in a lot of trouble for trying to help somebody like Batatius jump the line like that.

This is kind of like how Batatius bought Agron and Duro for, what was it? Like 80 denarii? Later on Albinus's sheep were listed as being worth several thousand!

The writers obviously didn't keep close track of historical details.

It would have been interesting to see the elite women in conservative attire at least in public, to contrast their rather more revealing outfits worn in private. But of course it would have been less sexy.
04:30:18 PM Jul 5th 2013
The name of the series is Spartacus, not Spartacus: Blood and Sand. That's the name of the first season only. The trope page should be renamed.
06:58:04 AM Mar 11th 2013
edited by juanllama
I think this season of Spartacus: the war of the damned includes at least 3 tropes not listed yet

THE DRAGON: Caesar for Crassus

Villainous Friendship: between Caesar and Cressus.

and Darker and Edgier: While the series were never sunny the episode DECIMATION include characters we used to see as Heroes killing unarmed chained people who were not show as necesarilly evil... but rather neutral and even symphatetic... .
07:59:51 PM Dec 11th 2012
I'm a bit confused as to when Tropes are filed under General Tropes or under the specific Arc headers. Do we add/move tropes to General Tropes from the moment they appear in more than one Arc? Or only if they appear in all? For instance, the Battle Couples will feature in multiple arcs, as does the Unholy Matrimony and Condemned Contestant I'd like to add.

12:26:12 PM Jun 22nd 2013
It's a dumb way to organize the tropes. They should all be together in one list, since it's all one show.
02:41:25 PM Jun 22nd 2013
The problem is that the General tropes list will thus become VERY long. For example, the three Battle Couple pairs mentioned under the Vengeance entry do not become Battle Couples until that series. Spartacus is a little unusual by U.S. TV standards in that each "season" is a separate sub-series, especially Gods of the Arena, in which Spartacus does not appear at all due to Andy's illness and death.

So this partly reflects the unusual nature of this show relative to most programs. Consolidation could be done. But it would not clean things up much. We would end up having to split the tropes into alphabetical sub-folders anyway due to the number of them. The current layout almost makes more sense because it is more closely aligned to the changes in the story type in the different series.
04:29:02 PM Jul 5th 2013
It's not that different. The prequel half-season is the only thing unusual. Otherwise it's just got different names for each season. There's no reason that the tropes should be split up between seasons and "general tropes." It's messy and confusing.
05:39:33 PM Feb 17th 2012
The recap page is mostly empty; the only recap we have is huge. For the rest of the show, single paragraph recaps are probably a'ight. Just in case anyone was thinking of helping out with the recaps.
10:42:51 AM Feb 12th 2012
Anyone against the idea of putting up a blanket spoiler warning for Vengeance? Since a lot of it calls back heavily to characters/events in Blood and Sand it might be easier just to put up the "This contains spoilers of Blood and Sand" rather than having the trope section look like swiss cheese.
09:53:44 PM Feb 11th 2012
Since every season of the show is gonna have it's own title, wouldn't it make more sense to simply have a Series/Spartacus page and folders from every season?
10:37:41 AM Feb 12th 2012
If someone can do it, I'd be fine.