10 Interesting Facts About Slavery In Ancient Rome

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9. Slave Revolts

There are many slave uprisings recorded in Roman history. A Syrian slave named Eunus was the leader of one of these revolts during the 135–132 BC period, which took place in Sicily. It is said that Eunus presented himself as a prophet and claimed to have a number of mystical visions.

According to Diodorus Siculus [The Library: 35.2], Eunus managed to persuade his followers with a trick that made sparks and flames come out of his mouth. The Romans defeated Eunus and crushed the revolt, but this example might have inspired another slave rebellion in Sicily in 104–103 BC.

The most famous slave uprising in ancient Rome is the one led by Spartacus. The Roman army fought Spartacus’s force for two years (73–71 BC) before they could put the rebellion down.

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