one of the leaders of the revolted slaves in Sicily, had been accustomed to play on the flute in the orgies of the women, and was supposed to have a knowledge of divination, for which reason he was elected king by the slaves in B. C. 103.
He displayed considerable abilities, and in a short time collected an army of 20,000 foot and 2000 horse, with which he laid siege to Morgantina, a strong city in Sicily.
The propraetor P. Licinius Nerva obtained possession of the camp of the slaves by surprise, but was afterwards defeated by Salvius.
After this victory Salvius assumed all the pomp of royalty.
He administered justice in the toga praetexta, surrounded himself with lictors, and took the surname of Tryphon. probably because it had been borne by Diodotus, the usurper of the Syrian throne.
He chose the strong fortress of Triocala as the seat of his new kingdom; and his power was still further strengthened by the submission of Athenion. who had been elected leader of the slaves in the western part of the island.
The insurrection had now assumed such a formidable aspect, that the senate sent the propraetor L. Licinius Lucullus into Sicily in the following year (B. C. 102) with a force of 17,000 men, the greater part of which were regular Roman or Italian troops. Tryphon, however, did not hesitate to meet this force in the open field. Athenion, whom he had first thrown into prison through jealousy, but had afterwards released, fought under him with the greatest bravery, and was severely wounded in the battle.
The slaves were defeated with great slaughter, and Tryphon was obliged to take refuge in Triocala. But Lucullus, whether from incapacity or treachery. failed in taking the place, and returned to Rome without effecting any thing more. Lucullus was succeeded by C. Servilius; and on the death of Tryphon, about the same time, the kingdom of the slaves devolved upon Athenion, who was not subdued till B. C. 101. (Diod. Eclog. ex lib. XXXVI.
p. 533, foll. ed. Wess.; Flor. 3.19