How did the biggest slave revolt in history begin under the leadership of Spartacus?
73 year BC.
The Roman consul Lucius Licinius Lucullus cuts himself with King Mithridates VI in the north of modern Turkey, the last emperor of the Shunga state in India becomes a victim of a conspiracy, Xuan-di comes to power in China, King Herod is born in Judea (yes, the same one).
And in the city of Capua, in southern Italy, gloomy gladiator guys are discussing their hard lives.
The wonderful tradition of gladiatorial battles came from the harsh Etruscan guys, who thus decided to diversify the banal and already boring human sacrifices. Fortunately, the Etruscans did not think of the Aztec delights dear to the heart and soul, but decided that during funeral rituals it would be much more fun not to cut the young people selected for this business, but to give them weapons and force them to fight near the grave. The weak die, the strong win, those present rejoice, the ancestors are happy - beauty and grandeur.
About 30 years before the events described, gladiator games were included in the list of public entertainments and began to gain popularity very quickly - well, like football in the twentieth century. The fighters were monitored, cared for, provided them with the best nutrition and treatment by those standards, and generally cared for and cherished as best they could - after all, the elite of slaves, expensive property!
However, everywhere there are nuances. In this case, the guys from Capua were absolutely embarrassed by one fact - at least two of them, Spartacus and Crixus, were chosen as victims for the upcoming "cleansing games" in order to propitiate the gods for the entire Roman people. This meant that the above-mentioned personalities would soon be varied and fun to kill in the arena, and it was unlikely to survive.
Choosing between guaranteed death and other options, the gladiators chose the obvious - to fool around before death. Some bastard, however, managed to convey the plan to the authorities, but this did not bother the main backbone of the conspirators. There was nothing to lose.
So one fine Capuan day 78 hefty foreheads broke into the kitchen of a gladiatorial school, grabbed knives, cleaver and other skewers, after which they poked guards who did not expect such pressure and carried out into the city.
In the process of a wellness race along city streets with the extradition of useful and valuable citizens to the taken aback citizens, the brigade came across a gift of fate - several wagons that sent their native and familiar gladiator equipment to another city. Having noticed the familiar murder weapons, the carts immediately braked, wrecked and armed themselves with whatever they could. The evening abruptly ceased to be languid, there was no chance to keep the fugitives from entering the operational space.
Realizing that in the city they were very quickly localized and subjected to complete extremism, the escaped slaves gave the tear away from Kapuya, demolishing the guards.
In order not to end, like ordinary gopniks from the high road, the gladiators should quickly find a place for a more or less permanent base. Of course, it was possible to overcome someone’s latifundia and for some (very short) time to rejoice in masterly luxury, but how then to protect this farm when they come from Kapui to ask for a mess and bad behavior?
It is not known who invented to climb higher, but in a fairly short time, the fugitives settled not somewhere else, but on top of Vesuvius. Yes yes exactly. 150 years were left before high-speed concreting of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and the last time at the described moment the volcano erupted a long time ago, so Spartak and his comrades were most likely not aware that with a certain amount of bad luck they have every chance of becoming the first slaves in stratosphere.
Having estimated that they simply couldn’t climb onto Vesuvius and quickly decided on their immediate plans, the gladiators began sorties to visit their neighbors - the owners of rich estates and farms located near the city. In the province of Campania, the "all-union health resort" of Rome, criminal hell began. As the famous song says: "I began life in the slums of the city and I have not heard kind words." Now they didn’t hear anything good, they didn’t see and didn’t feel the local wealthy people and holidaymakers. The material redistribution team worked quickly, efficiently and painfully, and at the same time acquired additional weapons, freed up by slaves as a fighting force and women, so that it would not be boring to sit on a volcano.
Given that the surrounding regions were not some kind of cūlus mundi such as Transalpine Gaul, which Gaius Julius Caesar had not even begun to conquer, the authorities did not wait long - the flow of complaints about the fierce gop-stop exceeded all possible limits, and respected worthy complained people.
Therefore, in a short time, a praetor named Claudius was instructed to solve the problem with completely unbelted slaves, and he went to fulfill the order.
How hard is it to storm Vesuvius? How will Spartacus and Crixus solve the problem with Claudius? How long will the gladiators nightmare the campaign?
We will tell in the next issue.
Based on materials from History Fun.