There are several stories given about Spartacus' fate during the Battle at the Silarus River in 71 BC.

From historical sources

During the Battle at the Silarus River against Marcus Licinius Crassus, the historical sources say that Spartacus came close to Crassus' position, and managed to kill two of his centurions. He was then wounded in the thigh and forced down onto one knee. He fought off many of the Romans that he could, and how or if he was killed in the battle remains unknown.

History sources give us several stories for Spartacus after the final battle

  • He was killed, but some of the remaining rebels took his body from the battlefield
  • His body was taken off the battlefield by Crassus' soldiers
  • His body was so mutilated that it was unrecognisable, and so his body was never found
  • He escaped from the battle with a group of his remaining rebels, and over the mountains
  • He undistinguished himself from the other rebels and fell among them in battle. His body was then buried with the other dead rebels in pits dug by Crassus' men.
  • He had suffered fatal injury in the final battle, but was taken with the remaining rebels to the nearby mountain ranges. Spartacus spoke his final words, and appointed Publipor the new leader, with no previous leaders still living. Too weakened to continue, Spartacus succumbed to his wounds and died. His body could not be cremated, as his position would be spotted by Crassus' troops nearby. His body was instead buried beneath cloak and the rubble that could be found.

In movie and television adaptations

1960 film

Spartacus is taken prisoner without the Romans knowing. As Spartacus and the other prisoners are taken along with Appian Way to be crucified, Crassus recognises one of his slaves named Antoninus (and Spartacus friend and general), Crassus orders his former slave and the rebel leader to be taken to Rome while the others are Crucified. Spartacus and Antoninus are forced to fight each other as gladiators, and the winner would be crucified. Spartacus killed Antoninus to spare him that pain and is then crucified. As his wife Varinia, and their newborn son leave Rome forever, she speaks her last words to him before being escorted from the city by Lentulus Batiatus. Spartacus then dies on the cross.

2004 miniseires

Spartacus fights off many soldiers during the final battle. He rushes towards Crassus shouting his name. Crassus shouts the latters name but they are both blocked from each other by Crassus' troops. Spartacus is cut down by Roman spears and the soldiers proceed to stab the rebel leader to death.

2010-2013 Starz original

During the final battle, after besting Crassus the first time and knocking the commander off of his horse, his commander Rufus and a small group of soldiers help Crassus to a hill away from the battlefield. Suddenly Spartacus appears and kills the men around him. Crassus and Spartacus then fight again, both with duel swords. Spartacus gains the upper hand and knocks him down. Before Spartacus could deliver a final blow, he is struck from behind with spears. After pulling one out of his leg, he stumbles down. Before Crassus could deliver a final blow, Agron and a small group of rebels appear, and take him away before Crassus returned with reinforcements. Spartacus later succumbs to his wounds, and dies.