War of Spartacus
Background History to Spartacus - The Servile Wars (Slave Uprisings)
Spartacus and the band of gladiators were soon joined by large numbers of slaves. Spartacus was soon at the head of a formidable army. The desolation of the Social and Civil Wars had depopulated Italy, while the service of slave labor furnished Spartacus with an endless supply of soldiers. The runaway slaves included old people, women and children who camped with the gladiators in the crater of Mount Vesuvius. The small group of gladiators plunders and pillage around the area and are quickly joined by large numbers of runaway slaves. This triggers the Third Servile War.
At Picenum in central Italy Spartacus defeated the consular armies, then pushed north and defeated the proconsul of Cisalpine Gaul at Mutina. The Alps were now open to the rebels, but again the Gauls and Germans refused to go, so Spartacus returned to southern Italy, perhaps intending to ship to Sicily.
Crassus was given six new legions plus the four consular legions. When one of Crassus' legates attacked Spartacus with two legions, against orders, Spartacus roundly defeated them. Crassus decimated the most cowardly cohort, and then used his combined forces to defeat Spartacus, who retreated to Rhegium, in the toe of Italy. Spartacus tried to cross the straits into Sicily, but the Cilician pirates betrayed him.