In the last issue, the scythe did find on the stone - Rome opposed the insolence and numerical superiority of the runaway slaves with cold calculation and the iron legions of Crassus. Having solved the problems with the fighting spirit of his troops, Mark Licinius unceasingly drove the enemy back to the south, now and then entering into small skirmishes with the Thracian troops lagging behind or vigilant.
However, the proconsul was not in a hurry to get in touch with the main forces - well, what for such a “Russian roulette”, anything can happen, it’s a cunning invention. By the summer of 71 BC, the bloody pursuit reached the main slave bases near the city of Furies, where Spartak tried to pretend to be a Belarusian partisan and spread throughout the area without engaging in decisive battles and relying on some support from those locals whom they did not cut during the robberies, but rather enriched.
However, it did not work out. Still, the south of Italy is not particularly rich in forests and swamps, there is nowhere to hide for a long time from punitive detachments, especially with such a crowd, although it is thinning out under the watchful supervision of Crassus. Yes, and with the trains downhill, too, somehow it did not work out. After Mark came across a separate detachment of slaves of 10 thousand people and multiplied it by zero, and then reached the main forces of the former gladiator, Spartak stopped cosplaying the Belarusians and again turned to his favorite role as a leader of a gypsy camp.
The retreat began to resemble a flight, and all its participants ran to the city of Regius, located right next to the strait separating Italy from Sicily. By the way, the first two large-scale revolts of slaves took place precisely on the blessed island of Trinacria, so Spartak possessed not only tactical calculation, but also a good historical memory. Again, in Sicily there is a very good volcano Etna, there is where to sit out ...
But even in very difficult circumstances, the Thracian understood well that even on the map this spillway between the island and Italy takes a couple of millimeters - you can add it, in life it will be almost impossible to overcome it without improvised means. Especially the whole horde, to which, as it always happens, many non-combatants, including the female sex, have beaten.
Still spitting from Crassus near the Furies, Spartacus made contact with the Cilician pirates, who at that time burned napalm across the Mediterranean Sea, laying a huge bolt on Rome’s attempts to somehow fence them. The plan of the leader of the slaves was simple - to quickly tear off to Sicily, fortunately the local prophet categorically got the entire population exorbitant exactions, justified by the "struggle against the possible invasion of slaves", and raising an uprising on the island was as easy as shelling pears. Sit out there, replenish the army, and then already figure out further options.
But it did not grow together. The pirates somehow did not rush to the rescue, despite all the agreements, either from receiving money from Rome, or from Mithridates, who was very happy to receive news of Italian messes, or simply from inborn harm. Crassus, quite rubbing his hands, used the method of praetor Claudius, but at a higher technical level.
Instead of blocking individual roads leading to the “toe of the boot”, Mark stupidly ordered to dig a long (55 km) and wide moat, further strengthening it with a wall. If the slaves have some objections - they will try to interfere with the engineering work, that is, they themselves will run on only legions waiting for this. If the Romans allow them to dig, they will remain locked up on the peninsula, where there is nothing special to eat. In addition, with the help of fortifications of such proportions, another important army task is carried out - "Tire the soldier". And then to decimate all - you will not stockpile fighters.
After a short therapeutic fasting according to all the precepts of alternatively gifted medicine, not wanting to proceed with the methods of Dr. Malakhov, the slaves were forced to storm - which, in fact, Crassus sought. Somehow throwing a ditch with all the rubbish specially collected for this case, Spartak was able to lead his fighters from the disastrous cape, but at the same time lost very, very many - they write that only a third of the original forces were able to get out of the encirclement.
Meanwhile, news spread throughout Italy that was equally unpleasant for both warring parties: sms got to Lucullus and Pompey and moreover, they themselves are now pulling themselves onto the dance floor. How did this news upset Spartak, understandably, why Crassus twisted? The answer is also simple - Mark, you see, drives these slaves in the tail and mane, and now the infamous Pompey will come and take away all the glory ?! Well, I do not!
Discarding his usual phlegm, the proconsul rushed after the slaves, wanting to overtake the enemy as quickly as possible and hang him on the crosses beautifully according to all the canons of Roman feng shui.
Spartak, not wanting the fate of a geomancy accessory, ran to the city of Brundisy on the “heel of the boot”, wishing to cross at least to the Balkans, where they would then be tortured to look for it. But, looking at the city walls and listening to the local analogue of the program "Time", he realized:
- There is no way to take the city quickly, and Crassus is on its way.
- Lucullus (or rather his namesake, that things change little) is about to land here with fresh strength.
Trying to bring this regrettable news to the personnel, the Thracian did not really cope with the task of restoring morale - a separate detachment came out of his army, who decided to show the suddenly dumbfounded Spartak how to take the city and throw all kinds of lukululls over the sea with their caps. Still, dizziness from success is a dangerous thing.
As Crassus demonstrated by rolling out the brave separatist slaves to the smallest extent. Only the sudden arrival of the rescue cavalry in the person of the main forces of Spartak saved the presumptuous fugitives from complete and total destruction. But despite this, the slaves still had to hurry back.
The next skirmish occurred already at the city of Petelia (as an inquisitive reader can notice, looking at the map, in an attempt to somehow break away from the rushing Crassus of slaves in the south of Italy, he began to prettyly shake). Suddenly stopping the retreat, Spartacus snapped very painfully towards the advanced detachments of the Romans, seriously injuring one of the commander's consuls and greatly pleased his own troops.
This last one was probably in vain. A hedgehog it’s clear that under such conditions, the fugitives can’t hold out for a long time - not Crassus, so Lucullus or the brilliant Pompey will still find and destroy them, Italy is small, everyone can’t hide. Therefore, Spartak also wanted to take the enemy to starvation, simultaneously urgently trying to find more options for emergency evacuation from the peninsula. But his fighters, after the victory, rejoiced differently - it’s good, they say, to change, go out with Crassus into a clean field and let him loose, such rot, that's all for a short time.
Spartak, although he was the military leader of slaves, did not have absolute power in his army — not the level of organization and discipline. All his management rested solely on personal authority, and it was just the moment when the guys who did not possess strategic thinking even of the level of an average cockroach, not like a hedgehog, would not have understood their main point if he refused to become as clear and sharp like before.
Spartacus was forced to submit. Gathering all his strength, he gave Crassus the decisive battle.
The bodies of the gladiator leader were never found.
6,000 slaves who thought of surrendering after the defeat were hanged on crosses along the road from Capua, where it all began, to Rome.
Crassus, happily going to the capital with good news, sullen pretty much, learning that he was not the first guy in the village, not him.
Lucky Pompey, who managed to intercept some small, several thousand heads, a detachment of slaves, draping north from the place of defeat, cut them clean, after which he told everyone that while Crassus was engaged in a showdown with simple meat, he, Gnei, eliminated the root all the troubles, the most dangerous rebels and fugitives.
Mark Licinius was also honored, but the triumph that he wanted so much could be forgotten - he went to Pompey, and for the most part for victories in Spain. Slaves, even if they were so cool, could not be pulled to a great triumph.
For several months, direct competitors for power, not having disbanded troops under various pretexts, stood near Rome, causing considerable concern to citizens and the Senate. Finally, after long dances with a tambourine, Crassus and Pompey agreed not to arrange the massacre and accepted the titles of consuls.
After the defeat, southern Italy will continue to be in a fever for a long time. In 62 BC, the remnants of those same slaves will even be able to capture the city of Furies, but they will not be kept for long.
Crassus, despite all the attempts, subsequently will become famous only as the winner of Spartacus, and few who know the name of the Thracian will know the name of Mark Licinius. He will manage to become the third in the triumvirate of Caesar-Pompey-Crassus, but under his control he will get only Syria, where then it was restless. In 53 BC, Crassus will be fed the Parthians with molten gold.
But it will be a completely different story.
Based on History Fun