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Consequences of Spartacus’ uprising

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

A painting by Fyodor Bronnikov showing the crucified insurgents along the Appian road from Rome to Capua
A painting by Fyodor Bronnikov showing the crucified insurgents along the Appian road from Rome to Capua

The slave revolt under Spartacus, in the years 73-71 BCE, was finally suppressed by Marcus Crassus and partly by Pompey Magnus. It was the largest slave uprising in ancient Rome. Most of the insurgents were killed in direct fighting. However, six thousand prisoners captured by Crassus’ legions were crucified on the Appian road from Rome to Capua, where the rebellion began.

It was supposed to be a lesson and a warning against a possible outbreak of another insurgent rebellion. The uprising destroyed large areas of Italy, slave owners suffered heavy losses, and the poor also took part in the uprising. Terrified by danger, Roman authorities imposed discipline on future generations of gladiators, while reducing the role of slavery in the economy.

  • Appian, Roman history, I.120
  • Nowaczyk Bernard, Powstanie Spartakusa 73-71 p.n.e., Warszawa 2008

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