Funeral Games of Crixus
Location Southern Italy
Date Late 72 BC

Around 150 Roman legionaries killed

  • 300 Roman prisoners (150 gladiatorial matches)

Around 150 Romans killed

previous event
following event Crucifixion of Lucius Olidus

The Funeral Games of Crixus was an event that took place after Spartacus' victories over Gellius Publicola and Cornelius Clodianus during 72 BC. They involved gladiatorial fights between 300 pairs of Roman soldiers the rebels took prisoner.


Spartacus took more than 600 Roman prisoners from the battlefield after defeating Gellius Publicola.

The rebels searched for Crixus' body near the Garganus mountains where he was killed, and retrieved it along with most of the 20,000 rebels who died with him, and later cremated them. Spartacus had Crixus' body cremated last for every rebel to witness. Sources say he took the death of Crixus as an example of what could happen to him if hubris overtook him.

His death caused Spartacus to become more cautious, and more hostile towards the Romans, less forgiving.

Around 500 of these soldiers were put into match pairs and forced to fight as gladiators. The others were forced to fight Spartacus, Gannicus, Castus and other professional gladiators. Spartacus sacrificed them “to the shade of Crixus”.

The sole survivor; Lucius Olidius, was later crucified as an attempt to humiliate the Romans as well as send a message to the rebels of what their fate would be if they were defeated.

Known Romans killed from these games

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