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Factual error: The weaponry of the Romans and their use is wrong (as they are in all Hollywood movies playing in the Ancient Mediterranean that I know): Instead of one spear, each legionary would carry two weighted javelins, called Pila (singular: Pilum), which had a long narrow iron head. The purpose of these were to throw them at the enemy before melee; if they did not kill their targets, the pila would get stuck in their shields. The head shaft would bend, making the pila useless for 'return' to their original owners, and with the added weight of the javelin, the enemies' shields were rendered useless as well. Following this, the Romans attacked with short swords (the Gladii; singular Gladius).

Continuity mistake: The man holding the parasol at the start: In the close up shots,he is right behind Batiatus, and in an overhead one he is further back.

Continuity mistake: just before Crassus has Spartacus crucified,he tells him the fate of his wife and son. A camera closeup shows a change in Kirk Douglas's hairstyle.

Factual error: Julius Caesar could not have commanded the Garrison of Rome, since it did not exist at the time the film is set.

Continuity mistake: Spartacus and Antoninus are kept to the very end as the slave army are being crucified. They both somehow manage to remain clean shaven despite walking for days on end.

Revealing mistake: During the initial breakout of the Gladiatorial training school an armed guard is stabbed on a balcony and falls to the arena below. He gets up and walks into the doorway adjacent to where he had fallen, apparently satisfied that his part was completed.

Visible crew/equipment: When the slaves roll the flaming ball down the hill, we see it strike several Roman soldiers. Look closely, they are actually stuntmen dressed in asbestos suits.

Factual error: When Draba fights Spartacus, his shoulder protector is on the wrong arm. It should be on his left, but it's on his right.

Factual error: The armor and shields of the legionaries are of a type not used until over 100 years later, and there are no transverse crests identifying centurions.

Plot hole: How did Glabrus know about Silesian pirates aiding the slave army's escape? He informed the senate of this and yet was not made aware of it at the time of his capture.

Factual error: Several things are wrong in the gladiatorial fight between Spartacus and Draba. Spartacus fights as a Thracian (thraex), but his sword is wrong (it should be the curved sica), his shield is much too small and his helmet and shin protectors are missing. Draba fights as a retiarius, but that type of gladiator was only introduced under emperor Augustus, some 60 years after the slave revolt.


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