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Rome's Sicilian Slave Wars (Hardback)

The Revolts of Eunus and Salvius, 136-132 and 105-100 BC

Ancient History Rome Military

By Natale Barca
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 272
Illustrations: 6 black and white maps
ISBN: 9781526767462
Published: 6th July 2020

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In 136 BC, in Sicily (which was then a Roman province), some four hundred slaves of Syrian origin rebelled against their masters and seized the city of Henna with much bloodshed. Their leader, a fortune-teller named Eunus, was declared king (taking the Syrian royal name Antiochus), and tens of thousands of runaway slaves as well as poor native Sicilians soon flocked to join his fledgling kingdom. Antiochus’ ambition was to drive the Romans from the whole of Sicily. The Romans responded with characteristic intransigence and relentlessness, leading to years of brutal warfare and suppression. Antiochus’ ‘Kingdom of the Western Syrians’ was extinguished by 132 but his agenda was revived in 105 BC when rebelling slaves proclaimed Salvius as King Tryphon, with similarly bitter and bloody results.

Natale Barca narrates and analyses these events in unprecedented detail, with thorough research into the surviving ancient sources. The author also reveals the long-term legacy of the slaves’ defiance, contributing to the crises that led to the seismic Social War and setting a precedent for the more-famous rebellion of Spartacus in 73-71 BC.

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About Natale Barca

Natale Barca has a degree in Political Science. He was a Visiting Research Scholar at the prestigious University of California Department of Classics in Berkley and an Academic Visitor at the Institute of Classical Studies (ICS), School of Advanced Studies, University of London. He has previously published eight books in Italian and one e-book in English on Egyptology, Ancient Near East History and Archaeology, and Roman History. He lives in Trieste, Italy.

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