The Battle of Vesuvius was a battle between the Romans, first led by Praetor Publius Varinius and then by Praetor Gaius Claudius Glaber, and the Rebels, led by Spartacus. The battle started in Monsters and ended in Wrath of the Gods.
Following the release of Ilithyia from the rebel base, she returns to Capua and is questioned by her husband as to where the Rebel base was located. He only gets little information from this that doesn't really help. As Glaber plans with Ashur, they both agree it would take a while to cover the forest region where Spartacus is possibly located. Glaber reveals what Ilithyia told him and after conferring with one of his mercenaries with the head of Lucius Caelius, Ashur deduces the location, they are at a temple at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. Now with the location known, Glaber tries to prepare their army of an assault but Ashur quickly cautions him on the temple being protected by a wall, which doesn't deter Glaber who states they will bring forth the "fiery fury" of Rome.
However, Glaber is met with fellow Praetor and rival, Publius Varinius, who has been formally dispatched by the Senate to crush Spartacus in his place as Glaber's efforts have proven in vain. Glaber unintentionally mentions the location of Spartacus in their ensuing argument with Varinius catching on and stating that he will go crush the villain himself while Glaber should return to Rome.
Seppia, Glaber's lover, discovered Glaber is really the one who killed her brother, Seppius and strikes at him, with him only to be saved by Ilithyia. The two reaffirm their love for another and Ilithyia manages to convince Glaber to forget what the Senate has ordered and go crush Spartacus himself.
Rebels vs. Army of Publius Varinius
After a day of celebration at the Vesuvius Temple, the Rebels are alerted by their signalman that an approaching Roman force is upon them.
Spartacus gathers the Rebels together in preparation of their impending battle. Spartacus believed that the Roman army was led by Gaius Claudius Glaber and tells them of how Roman tactics work before announcing that they will show them their tactics and claim victory.
A large host of Roman soldiers move silently in the woods before they are then ambushed by a group of Rebel archers, led by Mira, before being attacked directly by Crixus, Agron, Donar and Fulco. This ambush sees many Romans killed, but their numbers are still far greater, leading Crixus to announce to the archers of a fallback to the Temple. In giving Mira and the archers time to escape, Fulco is cut down by one of the Romans. Crixus, Agron and Donar then make their way back to the Temple with the roman soldiers following after them.
Elsewhere, the Roman command is being met with a messenger from the force that was ambushed by the Rebels, claiming that the Rebels are retreating. Before any command is given, they too are ambushed by the efforts of Spartacus and Gannicus. Spartacus and Gannicus are quick in dispatching the Romans and Spartacus takes hold of their commander, who, is not actually Glaber, but another Praetor, Publius Varinius. Spartacus knocks him out as he wasn't the roman he sought.
The other Roman soldiers regroup and arrive at the Temple. As they invade the rebel sanctuary, they are attacked once again by the combined efforts of Crixus, Agron and Donar whilst also being from the Temple's rooftop by Mira and The Veteran. After enough Romans have swarmed into the temple, Crixus gives the command for Naevia, Lugo and Nemetes to appear and rain arrows upon them. The other Rebels then appear and begin to strike down the Romans.
Spartacus and Gannicus soon arrive at the Temple, with a captured Varinius in their custody. As the Romans lose numbers, Spartacus has Varinius order them to surrender forcing the Romans to drop their arms. The Rebels cheer in their first victory over the roman army as Spartacus orders them to take their weapons as proof.
Crixus then grabs hold of Varinius, wanting to claim vengeance on him for the deaths of his fallen comrades. Spartacus stops him by saying Crixus will have it, but he first demands to know where Glaber is as Varinius smiles as in the distance a catapult launches a devastating strike upon the temple.
The army of Gaius Claudius Glaber has arrived, raining down fire from their siege weapons causing much death and destruction at the Temple.
In the fray Varinius attempts to overpower Crixus, however, Crixus notices an incoming fireball and throws his enemy into the line of fire of one of the catapults fire, killing him and leaving half of his face incinerated.
Rebels vs. Army of Gaius Claudius Glaber
The walls of the Temple are soon broken down and Glaber's army, led by The Egyptian, makes its entry into the Temple. The Rebels are forced into battle once more. Gannicus and Ashur clash, Oenomaus takes on The Egyptian, and the Rebels fight valiantly in defence.
The Roman numbers, however, are too much for the Rebels to bare. Oenomaus becomes gravely injured by The Egyptian, his right-eye removed, but his life is saved by Gannicus. Giving command for the Rebels to flee into the Temple to escape through their underground tunnels, Spartacus, Crixus and Agron block off the path into the Temple with fire. Glaber and Spartacus lock eyes as the Rebels make their escape.
Following the Rebels escape from the Temple, they are ambushed by more Romans. Camila, the Rebels' medicus, is killed by a Roman spear. The Rebels are forced to flee up to the top of Vesuvius, despite their being no other way off.
Salvius, Glaber's officer, arrives back at the Temple explaining the Rebels have escaped to the mountain and that many of their soldiers were killed attempting to chase them. Glaber then remarks that the battle will have an intermission, his intention to let the Rebels spend weeks upon the mountaintop starving and being ravaged by madness, before launching his attack to "kill them all".
Skirmish at the Mountain Path
Trapped on the mountain with supplies dwindling, Spartacus thinks of his next move as he is comforted by Mira. Spartacus soon gets word that some of the rebels have attempted to ambush several Roman soldiers guarding the mountain, including Ashur and the Egyptian mercenary.The ambush fails but some of the rebels, led by Spartacus, arrive to save their companions and a battle breaks out before more romans approach the mountain causing a retreat. During the fallback, Mira is killed by Salvius who throws an axe meant for Spartacus.
As the rebels escape, Harudes is knocked out and brought to Glaber for questioning but the German instead insults the Praetor in the German tongue, angering Glaber and ultimately causing his death. Glaber sees this event as chaos stirring in Spartacus' rank as the rebels will soon leave their safe zone.
Glaber's statement proves somewhat true as Spartacus and Nemetes get into a fight where Spartacus expresses blame of Mira's death on Nemetes. The German, however, counters by saying Spartacus led them to this and at least Mira died a warrior while the rest of them are left to die more ignobly.At the temple, Ashur expresses greater desire to be a lanista and become the greatest in all the Republic. His loyalty is brought into question to Glaber when a visit from Ilithyia and Lucretia reveals the bracelet that Ashur stole from Seppius' corpse. They string together a story to show that Ashur had hoped Seppia to have killed Glaber.
When confronted, Ashur denies this and prepares to defend himself though Glaber also gains the mercenaries on his side, leaving Ashur defenseless. Enraged he begins cursing out at the mercenaries for betraying him. Ashur then turns and makes an attempt to strike down The Egyptian for betrayal but fails, as The Egyptian has the skills to overcome and evade Ashur's attack, leaving him at a completely disadvantage to defend himself. As an act to "test his loyalty", Glaber sends Ashur to the Rebels with a list of demands in order to ensure terms of surrender.
Ashur climbs the mountain and tells the rebels if they give up Spartacus they will be spared but go back to being slaves. This causes distress until Nemetes speaks up and states "I, for one do not wish to die this day. Yet, if it is to be so. Then I shall do it as a free man!!" This causes the rebels to roar in agreement as Ashur tries to leave but is halted by Crixus who is eager for revenge.
The Rebels eventually decide to kill Ashur and use his severed head as means to answer Glaber. Crixus steps up to fight Ashur head on, but Naevia steps in, wanting to kill the man who brought her into such despair resulting in Ashur and Naevia clashing. Ashur barely tries and easily overpowers Naevia, despite her training by Crixus. Ashur prepares to kill Naevia, but his arrogance overcomes him and he begins to speak out to all the others. Naevia takes advantage of this and fatally injures him. In his last breath, he claims his death will not undo what he has done to each and every one of them and laughs at how their imminent defeat is because of him, before being decapitated by Naevia.
His head is then delivered to Glaber who smiles as this was the decision he had desired.
Spartacus then binds Mira's body in vines and comes up with a plan to ambush the Roman encampment. They weave rappelling vines and Spartacus, Agron, Crixus, and Gannicus descend down the mountain behind the Roman guards.
Battle in the Forest
The rebel generals scale the mountains and kill the guards before the other soldiers are alerted. Finding the catapults, they quickly slay the soldiers stationed there as Spartacus tells the others they will destroy their enemies numbers.
At the temple, an isonomic Glaber converses with Salvius before he notices the torches where the catapults are and realizes what's happening as he tells Salvius to gather the men. Its too late, as Spartacus and his lieutenants launch the catapults and burned down the roman camp killing several soldiers and putting the rest in chaos. On the mountains, the rebels see the destruction as the signal and scale down the mountain to join their comrades.
Glaber then travels to the roman camp, which was in complete chaos because of the sudden attack. He orders the surviving soldiers to gather their wits and get into formation. The roman army and Ashur's Group gather themselves and march through the forest where they confront Spartacus' group who stand ready for battle. Staring down at his nemesis, Glaber orders his men to kill them as the army marches at them before the remaining rebels led by Oenomaus flank them. Spartacus' group join in as the battle truly starts with both sides fighting intensely.
As the battle goes on, it sees the deaths of many rebels and romans before Glaber realizes they are fighting a losing battle and has the remaining Romans retreat to the temple. Seeing this opportunity, Spartacus shouts "Press advantage and see victory ours!!!" as a majority of the rebels chase the army while the rest battle the ones in the forest.
The battle in forest as Gannicus kills Danus and several roman soldiers before he spots The Egyptian. The two clash, although Gannicus is quickly overwhelmed and knocked to the ground. Before the Egyptian can deliver a killing blow, Oenomaus intervenes and parries his strike proceeding to knock the man down angrily remarking "I owe you pain". He then fights the Egyptian alongside Gannicus but The Egyptian, after receiving a flurry of blows, knocks Gannicus aside and catches Oenomaus by surprise driving his blade through his abdomen (a wound which he later dies from).
Enraged, Gannicus calls out to the Egyptian and attacks him, disarming him after a few parried attacks and knocking him to the ground. The wounded Egyptian attempts to roll away, but a powerful overhead strike to the head from Gannicus destroys his skull, finally killing the mercenary instantly.
Retaking the Temple
Returning to the temple, Glaber tries to have them hold their position, but to no avail as the rebels quickly climb the walls and start to kill the romans. Glaber then watches as his army are slaughtered by the rebels before Spartacus sets his sights on him.
Making his move on his archenemy, Spartacus easily kills several roman soldiers as well as Fimbria who were all guarding him.
As he closes in on Glaber, Spartacus fights and kills Salvius until he finally reaches Glaber, resulting in a fierce swordfight.
They continue to battle and reach a deadlock as Glaber announces that he will not die at the hands of a slave and nearly succeeds in killing his foe out of rage but Spartacus catches his arm and proclaims that he is a free man as he stabs Glaber in the abdomen. The rebels kill the remaining soldiers and bear witness to Spartacus forcing Glaber on his knees after stating "The Roman finally learns his place before us..on his knees."
Defeated by his archenemy, Glaber sneers that Spartacus has won nothing and states Rome will send legions in his wake stating Spartacus will fall at their hands very soon. In response, Spartacus retorts "Perhaps, yet it is not this day" and, with memories of his wife going through his head, he thrusts his sword through Glaber's mouth and down his throat. The dying Glaber falls to the ground and drowns in his own blood as he finally dies.
Spartacus looks upon his fallen enemy's corpse, satisfied at obtaining his long awaited vengeance. He turns to his followers, who were left speechless after Glaber's proclamation. Spartacus telling them: "Let Rome send their legions, we will face them and see all follow Glaber in death." The surviving rebels proceed to celebrate their victory in the destruction of Glaber's legion. Spartacus grasps hands with Agron and then with Crixus. He tells them that it is time for them to become an army.
Excited the Gaul joins the celebration, as the rebels proceed to cheer Spartacus on.
Glaber gathered a force of 3,000 men, not as but as a [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militia "picked up in haste and at random, for the Romans did not consider this a war yet, but a raid, something like an attack of robbery."  Glaber's forces besieged the slaves on , blocking the only known way down the mountain. With the slaves thus contained, Glaber was content to wait until starvation forced the slaves to surrender.
While the slaves lacked military training, Spartacus' forces displayed ingenuity in their use of available local materials, and in their use of clever, unorthodox tactics when facing the disciplined Roman armies. In response to Glaber's siege, Spartacus' men made ropes and ladders from vines and trees growing on the slopes of Vesuvius and used them to  down the cliffs on the side of the mountain opposite Glaber's forces. They moved around the base of Vesuvius, outflanked the army, and annihilated Glaber's men. Glaber is not recorded in the sources after that battle.
Following, Glaber's defeat, Publius Varinius another Roman praetor in 73 BC who suffered several defeats against Spartacus and his rebellion during the Third Servile War. Although the historical records are filled with gaps, what is recorded is that Varinius led an army of at least 2,000 men, who were eventually defeated by Spartacus. He also lead another army, this time with at least 4,000 men, that was also defeated. The rebels (an estimated 10,000 men, women and children) later sacked Varinius' camp.
Historically, Varinius was said to be a keen horseman. Varinius had in fact survived the rebellion, as there is evidence he later served as governor of the province of Asia in 65 BC.