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Roman traitor to Spartacus

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Roman mosaic showing ships
Roman mosaic showing ships | Author: JoJan | Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

When in 71 BCE Spartacus, together with the army of slaves, found himself at the very end of the Apennine Peninsula, he tried at all costs to organize transport and transport his army to Sicily to continue the resistance against Rome.

First, he sought an agreement with the pirates, who promised him ships and passage through the Strait of Messina in exchange for remuneration. However, after receiving payment, the pirates tricked Spartacus and sailed away.

Spartacus was still looking for a way to transport his troops. A Roman merchant from Etruria named Publius Gavius ​​could have tried to help him. According to ancient sources, Roman often moved from Rhegium to Messina and back, additionally doing so in the least friendly time of the year – winter.

Gavius ​​was finally captured and put in prison. After the interrogation, the governor of the province of Verres had him tortured and sentenced to death by crucifixion. It should be mentioned that this type of punishment and torture could not be applied to a Roman citizen. It seems, therefore, that the man could indeed have betrayed his homeland on his conscience and supported slaves for a fee.

Finally, the slaves were forced to stay on the Peninsula and fight for survival.

  • Paweł Rochala, Powstanie Spartakusa 73-71 p.n.e., Kocewia Mała 2022

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