Third Servile War: Spartacus, a Thracian gladiator, escapes with around 70 slave-gladiators from a gladiator school at Capua. They defeat a small Roman force and equip themselves with captured military equipment as well with gladiatorial weapons. Spartacus and his band of gladiators plunders the region surrounding Capua and retires to a defensible position on Mount Vesuvius.
Summer – Spartacus and his followers defeats the Roman forces under Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Clodianus and Gellius, forcing the Roman legions to retreat in disarray. Both consuls are recalled to Rome in disgrace and relieved of their duties.
Autumn – Spartacus and his followers withdraws to the Bruttium peninsula. At one juncture he contemplates attacking Rome - but moves south. The Senate sends Marcus Licinius Crassus against Spartacus.
Winter – Spartacus decides to camp near Thurii. Marcus Licinius Crassus with 10 Roman legions tries to trap the rebels in the toe of Italy. He builds a trench and a low earth rampart (with a fortified palisade).
^Appian, Civil Wars, 1:116; Florus, Epitome, 2.8; - Florus and Appian make the claim that the slaves withdrew to Mount Vesuvius, while Plutarch only mentions "a hill" in the account of Glaber's siege of the slave's encampment.
^Appian, Civil Wars, 1.117; Plutarch, Crassus9:7; Livy, Periochae96. Livy reports that troops under the (former) praetor Quintus Arrius killed Crixus and 20,000 of his followers.
^Nic Fields (2009). Spartacus and the Slave War 73-71 BC: A gladiator rebels against Rome, p. 62. ISBN978-1-84603-353-7.
^Shaw, Brent D (2001). Spartacus and the Slave Wars. New York: Bedford/St. Martins, pp 178-79.