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The quote “I am Spartacus” is dervied from the 1960 movie “Spartacus” directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Kirk Douglas as the titular role. Near the end of the film, a Roman general announces to a group of former slaves that unsuccesfully fought againsts their rulers that unless Spartacus is turned over to them, all of the slaves will be crucified. Spartacus is then willing to turn himself in to protect his friends by standing up and proclaiming “I am Spartacus!”, but then the rest of the slaves show their loyalty to him by also proclaming that himself is Spartacus in great numbers. Since the general still doesn’t know who the real Spartacus is, all of the slaves are led to crucifixion.
According to Google Insights, the quote has been popular on the internet ever since 2004, but it showed a major peak in November of 2010 when it was used worldwide by Twitter users in the protest of a conviction of Paul Chambers. Chambers, a citizen of the U.K. though he missed his flight and so he tweeted that the airport was closed and said that if he doesn’t make his flight he’ll blow the airport up. Thousands of Twitter users then backed him up after hid conviction by tweeting the famous quote.
Aside from the Twitter phenomenon, the quote has been used widely in various fan art, videos, and macros.
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