Khachaturian wrote this ballet in three acts. The ballet is recognised for its energy and lively rhythms. It was first presented by the Kirov Ballet in St. Petersburg in 1956. It was revised again in 1968 and presented by Bolshoi Ballet. The libretto was written by Yuri Grigorovich. It was based on a book by Rafaello Giovagnolli about a Thracian warrior who becomes a Roman slave in the first century and how he led a revolt against the Roman Empire. The high point of the rebellion was Spartacus' conquest of Mount Vesuvius and how he makes it the stronghold for his band of rebels. Marcus Crassus breaks down this rebellion and crucifies Spartacus. This ballet became very popular in Russia and England. Khachaturian has composed a gem of an Adagio for this ballet.