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The second slave revolt was a consequence of
Marius' need for soldiers

Strange love affair
Of course there weren't just three slave revolts. Diodorus Siculus speaks of many revolts.
First Diodurus tells us a story about a strange kind of revolt:
In Capua young noble Titus Minucius Vettius with a rich father, fell in love with a beautiful slave girl. But the girl was not his property. He bought her from her reluctant owner for the outrages sum of seven attic talents When he, after several delays, couldn't pay the money, he bought arms and shields. Again he bargained a delayed payment. He armed his slaves and started raiding the neighboring farmsteads.

Titus Vettius betrayed
The Roman senate sent Lucius Lucullus with an army of about 4000 men. Titus now had about 3500 men and Apollonius was his general. The slave army at first had the upper hand but Lucullus promised Apollonius immunity for punishment  if he betrayed Titus, which he did and the boy took his own life.

The next slave revolt took place on Sicily again and was a consequence of Marius' need for soldiers.
Diodorus Siculus 36.3

In the course of Marius' campaign against the Cimbri the senate granted Marius permission to summon military aid from the nations situated beyond the seas. Accordingly Marius sent to Nicomedes, the king of Bithynia, requesting assistance. The king replied that the majority of the Bithynians had been seized by tax farmers and were now in slavery in the Roman provinces. The senate then issued a decree that no citizen of an allied state should be held in slavery in a Roman province, and that the praetors should provide for their liberation. In compliance with the decree Licinius Nerva, who was at this time governor of Sicily, appointed hearings and set free a number of slaves, with the result that in a few days more than eight hundred persons obtained their freedom. And all who were in slavery throughout the island were agog with hopes of freedom. The notables, however, assembled in haste and entreated the praetor to desist from this course.

    Gaius Marius    

Gaius Marius
Glyptothek München


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