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The same summer, the germs of a slave war in Italy were crushed by a fortunate accident. The originator of the movement was Titus Curtisius, once a soldier of the prætorian guard. First, by secret meetings at Brundisium and the neighbouring towns, then by placards publicly exhibited, he incited the rural and savage slave-population of the remote forests to assert their freedom. By divine providence, three vessels came to land for the use of those who traversed that sea. In the same part of the country too was Curtius Lupus, the quæstor, who, according to ancient precedent, had had the charge of the "woodland pastures" assigned to him. Putting in motion a force of marines, he broke up the seditious combination in its very first beginnings. The emperor at once sent Staius, a tribune, with a strong detachment, by whom the ringleader himself, with his most daring followers, were brought prisoners to Rome, where men already trembled at the vast scale of the slave-establishments, in which there was an immense growth, while the freeborn populace daily decreased.