Something for the weekend. The battle of the Siler River sequence from the movie Spartacus (1960). I have always marveled at the skillful use of music as we see the Romans marching in their checkerboard formations.
The culminating battle of the Third Servile War, Crassus and ten legions, about 32,000 men, confronted the remnants of the slave army under Spartacus, approximately 50,000 men.
Our sources for the battle of the Siler River, like most of the Third Servile War, are poor and contradictory. That the battle was bloody and that the Romans won are two of the three facts that we can be sure of. The remaining fact that we can be certain of is that Crassus took the 6,000 survivors and crucified them from the site of the battlefield, up the Via Appia, to the gates of Rome. Crassus probably viewed this as a publicity stunt to gain the consulship and it worked, Pompey, home victorious from a long war against revolting Roman settlers in Spain, being the other consul. However, perhaps even some members of the Senate viewed Crassus’ cruelty to the survivors as excessive. Crassus was denied a Triumph in Rome and had to settle for an Ovatio, very much a second class military honor.