Rome Must Fall

Chapter 51: Absorbing the Leaders

Chapter 51: Absorbing the Leaders

“Oenomaus is right,” said Crixus. “These dock workers and sailors make good soldiers. Besides, there are many port towns in Campania, and there are far more laborers and sailors than just a few hundred. If we don’t let them join, other sailors and laborers who want to join will hesitate…” Crixus looked around and whispered, “We can promise them to join first, and then slowly figure out a way to disperse them and assign them to different units.”

“I don’t think that’s appropriate,” objected Hamilcar. “If we’ve made a promise, we should keep it. Otherwise, they will feel dissatisfied, and if the soldiers are not united, it will be troublesome in battle.”

“So, you disagree with them joining?” Crixus asked impatiently.

Hamilcar replied in a deep voice, “We can allow them to join and form their own team. I believe that Artemus will be their leader. We can also allow him to participate in our Military Commanders Assembly. That way, through assembly, we can make Artemus enforce every resolution passed in the meeting. That’s how we can control them!”

Crixus, Oenomaus, and Artorix were taken aback.

Crixus exclaimed indignantly, “This man named Artemus didn’t incite a rebellion at the gladiator school, nor did he fight alongside us and defeat the Roman army. What qualifications does he have to participate in our Military Commanders Assembly? If a person like him can easily participate in our assembly, what will the soldiers think?”

Crixus’ words were met with agreement from Oenomaus and Artorix.

“Maximus, do you have any suggestions?” Spartacus timely asked, shifting everyone’s attention to Maximus, who had been silent all along.

Maximus cleared his throat and said loudly, “If all we wanted to be was a band of bandits, occasionally plundering and harassing the Romans, then it wouldn’t matter if we didn’t accept these laborers and sailors. But now we are fighting against the most powerful force in the Mediterranean, the Romans. Only by uniting everyone we can unite and strengthening our forces do we have a chance to defeat the Romans and gain freedom. Otherwise, we will only be defeated and perish.”

“We are not afraid of death,” Crixus retorted coldly.

“We are indeed not afraid of death, but if there is hope of victory, why don’t we try our best?” Maximus countered without showing any weakness.

“I think we should indeed give it a try,” Spartacus interjected in a timely manner. He looked serious and said, “Think about it, ever since we defeated the Roman army, the number of people joining our ranks has been increasing these past few days. Today, someone like Artemus appeared, leading his own group and wanting to join us. As long as we can still defeat the Roman army, such situations will not only continue to arise but will also become more and more frequent with a larger number of people. So, what should we do? Reject them for fear of disorder? Italy is vast, and there are many capable people who hate Rome. If they come to us with their people, we should not refuse to accept them. Instead, we should actively absorb them. Not only will our ranks quickly grow, but when our force exceeds 10,000, reaches 20,000, 30,000, 40,000, or even 50,000, can just a few of us manage it all?!”

“50,000 people! Is it really possible?!” Oenomaus exclaimed, wearing an expression of disbelief.

“Why wouldn’t it be possible?!” Hamilcar reminded them. “It has only been a few days since we defeated the Roman army, and our numbers have already exceeded 3,000. If we add these sailors and laborers, it will be comparable to our number before the last battle. At this rate, our army will surpass 10,000 within a month.”

Spartacus seized the opportunity to continue, saying: “With more people, if we cannot manage them well, once chaos arises, the Romans won’t even need to attack—we’ll fall apart on our own. Therefore, we need to absorb these capable people and have them participate in our meetings, so they can control the people they brought based on our collective will. Only this way, the larger our forces grow, the stronger our combat power will be, and only then can we work together to defeat the Romans!”

Crixus, Oenomaus, and Artorix pondered over his words.

Spartacus continued, “Of course, your concerns are not unfounded. Here’s what I propose: Artemus can become a commander, commanding the people he brings with him. He can also participate in our Military Commanders Assembly, but for now, he will only have the right to make suggestions and not to vote, just like Maximus before. After he proves his abilities over time, we can discuss granting him voting rights. Additionally, these dock laborers and sailors likely have no combat experience. We can select some individuals from our main force to serve as their unit officers to quickly enhance their combat capabilities.”

As Maximus listened to these words, he couldn’t help but glance at Spartacus a few more times: The leader of the rebellion is not just someone who prioritizes the overall situation and unity among his comrades; he also knows how to cleverly employ certain tactics to achieve his goals… While Maximus was lost in thought, he suddenly noticed Spartacus looking towards him. He thought his thoughts had been discovered, but to his surprise, Spartacus wore an apologetic expression and said, “Maximus, since you took over the leadership of the logistics camp, it has become increasingly important for our entire army. Our brothers acknowledge your abilities, and originally, I planned to hold a meeting in a few days to grant you voting rights, just like us. I believe no one would object. But now, if Artemus joins and knows that you and he are in the same situation, I believe he’ll be more accepting of our conditions. So, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a bit longer.”

Maximus intentionally remained silent for a moment before unwillingly asking, “How much longer do I have to wait?”

“We will discuss your matter as soon as Artemus understands the importance of the logistics camp to our army. I believe it won’t take long,” responded Spartacus.

“Okay, I’ll wait…a little longer.”

Spartacus looked at the other four individuals and said, “Let’s start voting. Should we agree to Artemus’ request, allow him to participate in our Military Commanders Assembly, and grant him the right to make suggestions?”

“I agree,” Hamilcar quickly spoke up. Since it was his suggestion in the first place, it was only natural for him to express his agreement.

Surprisingly, it was not Artorix but Crixus who agreed next. He was easily convinced. On one hand, Spartacus did make sense, and on the other hand, the Second Cohort had just suffered a setback due to the medical team’s incident. So, he would rather let Artemus in than see Maximus gain equal rights as him at this moment.

In the end, Hamilcar’s proposal easily received approval.


Artemus led his team to join the uprising and became a commander, establishing the Fifth Cohort.

This move by the rebellion triggered a chain reaction. Over the next two days, dock laborers and sailors kept joining, and the rebel army’s numbers exceeded 5,000. As a result, the leaders decided to send three cohorts to Campania to rescue more gladiators.

Under the leadership of Spartacus, Crixus, and Oenomaus, the First, Second, and Third Cohorts swiftly marched north along Via Annia early in the morning. It only took them a day to reach Capua.

After escaping from Capua, the gladiators had gone straight to Vesuvius and had been causing trouble in the south for over two months. The people of Capua never expected the rebel army to suddenly come back. Without enough time to bring all the residents and supplies from outside the city walls into the city, they hastily closed the city gates.

The panicked Capuans could only stand on top of the city wall, helplessly watching as the rebel soldiers swept through the surrounding areas of Capua, breaking through one gladiator school after another. They recruited nearly 1,000 gladiators and seized a large amount of supplies before smoothly returning to their camp.

With the strengthened power of the rebel army, their activities were no longer confined to the northern region of Vesuvius. They began expanding into the entire Vesuvius area, even threatening nearby towns and occasionally blocking Via Annia.

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