), the leader of the Sicilian slaves in the servile war which broke out in 130 B. C.
He was a native of Apamea in Syria, and had become the slave of Antigenes, a wealthy citizen of Enna in Sicily.
He first attracted attention by pretending to the gift of prophecy, and by interpreting dreams; to the effect of which lie added by appearing to breathe flames from his mouth, and other similar juggleries. (Diod. Exc. Photii.
xxxiv. p. 526.)
He had by these means obtained a great reputation among the ignorant population, when he was consulted by the slaves of one Damophilus (a citizen of Enna, of immense wealth, but who had treated his unfortunate slaves with excessi e cruelty) concerning a plot they had formed against their master. Eunus not only in promised them success, but himself joined in their enterprise. Having assembled in all to the number of about 400 men, they suddenly attacked Enna, and being joined by their fellow-slaves within the town, quickly made themselves masters of it. Great excesses were committed, and almost all the freemen put to death; but Eunus interfered to save some who had previously shewn him kindness ; and the daughter of Damophilus, who had always shewn much gentleness of disposition and opposed the cruelties of her father and mother, was kindly treated by the slaves, and escorted in safety to Catana. (Diodor. l.c. Exc. Vales.
xxxiv. p. 60)0.) Eunus had, while yet a slave, prophesied that he should become a king; and after the capture of Enna, being chosen by his fellow-slaves as their leader, he hastened to assume the royal diadem and the title of king Antiochus. Sicily was at this time swarming with numbers of slaves, a great proportion of them Syrians, who flocked to the standard of their countryman and fellow-bondsman.
A separate insurrection broke out in the south of the island, headed by Cleon, a Cilician, who assembled a band of 5000 armed slaves, with which lie ravaged the whole territory of Agrigentum ; but he soon joined Eunus, and, to the surprise of all men, submitted to act under him as his lieutenant. (Diodor. l.c.
; Liv. Epit.
The revolt now became general, and the Romans were forced to adopt vigorous measures against the insurgents; but the praetors who first led armies against them were totally defeated. Several others successively met with the same fate; and in the year 134 B. C. it was thought necessary to send the consul C. Fulvius Flaccus to subdue the insurrection. What he effected we know not, but it is evident that he did not succeed in his object, as the next year Calpurnius Piso was employed on the same service, who defeated the servile army in a great battle near Messana.
This success was followed up the next year by the consul P. Rupilius, who successively reduced Tauromenium and Enna, the two great strongholds of the insurgents. On the surrender of Enna, Eunus fled with a few followers, and took refuge in rocky and inaccessible places, but was soon discovered in a cave and carried before Rupilius. His life was spared by the consul, probably with the intention of carrying him to Rome; but he died in prison at Morgantia, of the disease called morbus pedicularis.
; Orosius, 5.6
; Diod. Exc. Photii,
lib. xxxiv., Exc. Vales. ib. ; Plut. Sull. 36
; Strab. vi. p.272
.) If we may believe Diodorus, Eunus was a man of no talents or energy, not possessing even personal courage, and owed his elevation solely to the arts by which lie worked on the superstition of the multitude; but when we consider how long he maintained his influence over them, and the great successes they obtained under his rule, this appears most improbable. Some anecdotes are also related of him, which display a generosity and elevation of character wholly at variance with such a supposition. (Diod. Exc. Photii,
p. 528, Exc. Vaticana,
lxxxiv. p. 113, ed. Dindorf.)