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The first slave revolt was led by Eunus

Spartacus was not the first
Well known is the name of Spartacus, leader of the slave revolt in 73 BC. But he was not the only one and certainly not the first, not even the first in Capua. The first slave revolt was from 135 to 132 bc

The full story of the first slave revolt is written by Diodorus Siculus 

Too many slaves
After the third punic war started a stream of slaves coming to Roman territory. As the prosperity increased  more and more people begun to buy more and more slaves. In Sicily the slaves were very ill-treated . This caused slaves to start talking about freeing themselves.

A magician takes over
One of those slaves was Eunus, property of Antigenes of Enna. Eunus who knew a few magical tricks presented himself as a magician and his master made him perform his tricks whenever he had guests.

  Enna the stronghold for the first slave revolt


The performance ended always in the same way: Eunus would made known that he was foretold by a Syrian god that he were to be the future king of Sicily. This was treated like a joke and made the guests laugh and some of them would give him some of the food on the table, asking him to spare their lives. when he had become a king. Which he would actually do in the time of the revolt.

When the uprising started he was made leader of the revolt. Not because he was such a great leader or strategist,but just because he was know as a magician. He was smart enough to know this and appointed Achaeus, who was a capable strategist as his general. With about 10,000 now armed slaves they won several battles with the Romans.

Cleon brings more escaped slaves
About the same time another slave started a rebellion near Tauromenium (Taormina). His name was Cleon. The two leaders joint their forces and Cleon let the leadership to Eunus. Diodorus Siculus claims they brought together about one hundred thousand men and won numerous battles with the Romans.

At last Roman counter measures
In the end the Romans sent Rupilius who besieged Tauromenium and conquered the city after betrayal. After this he did the same with Enna, where Cleon died in a counterattack with a few men and Eunus was taken alive after he had tried to flee. He died in prison.

Three decades later the second serious attempt was made by a slave called Varius.

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