The Roman Empire

This important series by Alan Woods, provides a Marxist explanation of the processes that led to the collapse of the Roman Republic. Here the method of historical materialism is used to shed light on an important turning-point in world history. For Marxists the study of history is not just a form of harmless entertainment. It is essential that we do study history for the lessons we can learn from it. To paraphrase the words of the American philosopher George Santayana: “He who does not


In the first century BC, a slave named Spartacus threatened the might of Rome. Spartacus (c. 109 BC-71 BC) was the leader (or possibly one of several leaders) of the massive slave uprising known as the Third Servile War. Under his leadership, a tiny band of rebel gladiators grew into a huge revolutionary army, numbering about 100,000. In the end the full force of the Roman army was needed to crush the revolt.