The Romans were a pretty cool lot, and if you don’t believe me you only have to have a look at the movie ‘Spartacus’ to see what I mean.
First off, in Spartacus, all the men wear these stylish leather skirts, which look pretty schick, and are something I wouldn’t mind see making a come-back for men today. Tantalisingly, in the movie you never get to really see whether they’re wearing underwear or not, something which I can tell you drove both women and the gay community to distraction.
The film is pretty much based on fact, except for the scene where all the rebel slaves have been captured and the head Centurion, who’s particularly angry about the whole slave rebellion thing because it’s been an absolute nightmare, comes along and says to them, ‘Alright, which of you is the one they call Spartacus?’ In the movie, to protect the real Spartacus, everyone gets up and claims that he’s Spartacus, which wasn’t exactly the way chroniclers at the time noted it. It seems the way it really went was like this. The Centurion comes along and goes, ‘Which one of you is Spartacus?’ and a guy up the back gets up and says, ‘I’m Spartacus,’ and then this other guy who’s drunk staggers to his feet and says, ‘You’re never Spartacus,’ and the first guy says, ‘I fucking am,’ and the second guy says, ‘Come over here and say that,’ and the first guy says, ‘I fucking will and all,’ and it turns into a big fight with everyone punching and jumping on everyone else, and the Centurion gives up and goes back to his tent to get pissed.
As a sidenote to the movie, my mother-in-law at the time used to get most of her information on things over the fence from Mrs Wilson. Everything she knew about Spartacus she got from Mrs Wilson, including the idea the movie was actually called ‘Spider Kiss,’ something from which she extrapolated an entirely different plot altogether, leaving her bitterly disappointed and more than a little confused when she finally saw the film.
Of course the Romans today are called Italians and if you go to Italy now, expecting them to be anything like the guys in Spartacus, you’re unfortunately going to be in for a bit of a let-down. So, if you’re planning a holiday and you want to keep your appreciation of Spartacus intact, I’d suggest somewhere like Melbourne, or maybe a caravan park down the south coast somewhere.