The First Servile War was the first unsuccessful slave rebellion against the Romans. It lasted from 135 BC to 132 BC, resulting in victory for the Romans. the rebel leaders: Eunus and Cleon, led a force of around 40,000 rebels around Sicily before being defeated by Publius Rupilius and his legions.
Following the final defeat of the Carthaginian army during the Second Punic War, there were great changes made in land ownership in Sicily. Speculators from the Italian mainland rushed towards Sicily, purchasing large areas of land at low prices or occupied estates that had previously been owned by Cilician supporters of the Carthaginians. The Sicilian supporters of the Romans became wealthy out of the distress of their countryman. Politically influential slave owners were not supporting enough clothing and food to their own slaves, eventually leading the slaves to banditry to survive. The poorer Sicilians were the main casualties of this banditry. Several decades of increasing tensions between the two parties led to the slaves revolting.
Beginning of the rebellionEdit
The leader of this rebellion was Eunus, and was claimed to be a prophet and conjurer among the slaves, and had been employed as a entertainer, performing magic tricks such as breathing fire. He told his listeners that Sicily would change forever, with them being the dead or enslaved, and himself being their new king, and promised to spare any who gave him more coin during his performance.
An estimated 70,000 slaves joined the rebellion.