Crixus (died 72 BC) was a Gallic gladiator, who was a leader of the slave rebellion in the Third Servile War, along with the Thracian Spartacus, and the Gauls Oenomaus, Castus and Gannicus.

He was a Gaul (his name means "one with curly hair" in Gaulish), and had been a slave for several years before the revolt. Crixus had fought for the Allobroges against the Romans and had been captured. Like his companions, Crixus had trained as a gladiator in Capua. In several early engagements, his company of Celtic gladiators changed the tide of battle by attacking weak points exposed by the slave army.

Initially the slave army proved very successful, defeating the forces the Roman Senate sent to put down the insurrection; however, Crixus separated from Spartacus towards the end of the year. Spartacus wanted to return to the slaves' homelands in Gaul and the Balkans, but Crixus is said to have set his heart on plunder, and stayed on in southern Italy. Some sources say that the break off from Spartacus may have also been a military strategy conducted by both Crixus and Spartacus to throw off the Romans as a decoy. This would allow Spartacus an escape to the far north with the main body of the army as Roman armies were starting to return home from overseas campaigns to the west and the east; this would be a dangerous position for Spartacus. If the decoy worked, Crixus would then meet up with Spartacus by another route; but there is no real data that proves that this was so.

In the spring of 72 BC one of the two Roman consuls sent to quash the rebellion, Lucius Gellius Publicola, caught up with Crixus and his forces, composed of Celts and Germanic tribesmen, in the region of Apulia. In the ensuing battle at Mount Garganus, Crixus used his Germanic infantry to soften up the Romans before committing his elite Celtic gladiators; however his Germanic fighters were routed and Crixus was forced to fight a losing defensive action. Crixus was killed and his 30,000 strong army defeated.

In the manner of Roman aristocrats, Spartacus honored the memory of the ex-gladiator Crixus with funeral games at which 300 Roman prisoners-of-war were forced to fight to the death like gladiators.

Read more about CrixusIn Popular Culture

Other articles related to "crixus":

Crixus - In Popular Culture
... Crixus was portrayed by Jon Ireland in the 1960 film Spartacus ... Crixus appears as a character in Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of Spartacus ... Crixus is portrayed by Paul Kynman in the 2004 TV movie Spartacus ...
Third Servile War - Defeat of The Consular Armies (72 BC) - Appian's History
... to Appian, the battle between Gellius' legions and Crixus' men near Mount Garganus was the beginning of a long and complex series of military maneuvers that almost resulted in the Spartacan ... After his victory over Crixus, Gellius moved northwards, following the main group of slaves under Spartacus who were heading for Cisalpine Gaul ... executed some 300 captured Roman soldiers to avenge the death of Crixus, forcing them to fight each other to the death as gladiators ...
Manu Bennett - Filmography
... Host 2008 The Strip Brandon Bell Episode "Episode Thirteen" 2010 Spartacus Blood and Sand Crixus Main Role 13 episodes 2011 Spartacus Gods of the Arena Crixus Main Role 6 episodes ...
Third Servile War - Motivation and Leadership of The Escaped Slaves
... By the end of 73 BC, Spartacus and Crixus were in command of a large group of armed men with a proven ability to withstand Roman armies ... over the Alps to freedom, and those under Crixus, who wished to stay in southern Italy to continue raiding and plundering ... Lucius Gellius Publicola eventually attacked Crixus and a group of some 30,000 followers who are described as being separate from the main group under Spartacus ...