Trivia: Marcus Publius Glabrus is accused of neglecting to erect moats and stockades for his camp - a fatal mistake no Roman commander would have normally committed. The standard procedure was to build a camp with these defense measures at any stop, even if no enemy contact was expected. In order to forestall lack of wood for the stockade, each legionary carried two stockade poles with him.
Trivia: The infamous "seduction" scene between Crassus and his servant Antoninus was deleted in original prints because of objections by censors who felt it showed a homosexual scene. It was finally restored in 1991, but Anthony Hopkins had to dub Crassus' lines (the soundtrack was lost) because Laurence Olivier (Crassus) died in 1989.
Trivia: A crucial point occurs quite early on in the fight between Draba and Spartacus, being staged for the entertainment of Crassus. Spartacus is defeated, and lies at Draba's mercy. Crassus smugly points to Draba with a downturned thumb. In the film the gesture is meant to signal 'kill him'. Classical historians are generally agreed that the Romans used the gesture called, in Latin 'pollice verso' (which translates as 'turned thumb') as a signal to gladiators, but nobody is sure which gestures applied. Some argue that a downturned thumb meant 'drive your sword into him' (kill him), which is the case here: had Crassus felt merciful he would have displayed an upturned up thumb, meaning 'raise your weapon' (spare him). However, many experts argue that an upturned thumb meant 'raise your weapon to kill him', while a downturned thumb meant 'drop your weapon and spare him'. It has also been suggested that both schools of thought were wrong: instead Romans who wanted a gladiator to dispatch a defeated foe pointed sideways, meaning 'run your sword into him', but if they wanted to spare a fallen gladiator they displayed a fist with the thumb tucked inside, meaning 'sheath your sword' (or put your sword back into the scabbard). Unfortunately since the greatest classical historians and archaeologists have been debating this for over a century, and never resolved the point, any film director wishing to stage a classical epic film will probably have to use his or her discretion and chose whichever version they think best.
Add timeRob Halliday
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