But nowhere did the impotence and perversity of the Roman provincial
administration come to light so conspicuously as in the insurrections
of the slave proletariate, which seemed to have revived on their
former footing simultaneously with the restoration of the aristocracy.
These insurrections of the slaves swelling from revolts into wars--
which had emerged just about 620 as one, and that perhaps the proximate,
cause of the Gracchan revolution--were renewed and repeated with dreary
uniformity. Again, as thirty years before, a ferment pervaded the body
of slaves throughout the Roman empire. We have already mentioned
the Italian conspiracies.
The miners in the Attic silver-mines rose
in revolt, occupied the promontory of Sunium, and issuing thence
pillaged for a length of time the surrounding country. Similar
movements appeared at other places.