"Forge your own path, or join with us, and together we shall see Rome tremble!"
Spartacus (real name unknown) is a Thracian warrior who becomes a famous gladiator in the arena, later to build a legend upon himself during the Third Servile War. For the first season, he served as a gladiator in Batiatus' Ludus under the direction of Doctore and rivaled the then-Champion of Capua, Crixus. Later, he and many of the gladiators broke free from captivity and began an armed rebellion against Rome.
Celibate Hero: After Mira's death, he seems to have taken up Oenomaus' practice of refraining from drink and women. Then Subverted, when he and Laeta become Friends with Benefits for the last three episodes and also with a little wine for the final pep rally/tribute in "The Dead and the Dying" remarking that he himself can be inconsistent from time to time.
Glass Cannon -> Lightning Bruiser: At first, he has poor defensive and counter-attacking skills and mainly focused on the offensive. After Oenomaus' training and his own battle experiences (both in the pit and the arena), his defense and counter-attacks dramatically improved, making him an almost invincible fighter.
Named After Somebody Famous/No Name Given/That Man Is Dead: His Thracian name is never revealed. Batiatus labels him Spartacus, after a legendary Thracian king, because Glaber never bothered to learn his name. Afterwards they make a point of never letting him utter his original name in order to separate him from his past life.
Revenge Before Reason: He has a problem with this when it comes to avenging Sura, as both Mira and Crixus point out. First by trying to kill Batiatus, despite Mira telling him will result in every single slave being killed for it. In Vengeance he has apparently learned his lesson by moving against Glaber alone, so no one else will die. Mira calls him out for not thinking of how the rebellion would suffer with him dead; and Crixus points out that Spartacus has again not thought of the Roman reprisal. Killing a praetor would result in Rome sending an entire army, which they cannot fight.
Super Mode/Unstoppable Rage: Spartacus sometimes goes into a sort of battle trance where he is nigh unbeatable. Batiatus and Lucretia describe it as him fighting "like a man possessed by the gods themselves", and Ashur echoes it in season two, stating that calling in a second squad of soldiers would be pointless as "Spartacus is possessed by the gods". Given the series has a bit of Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane going on, they could be right about that. Or he could be just that much of a badass.
Worthy Opponent: After Spartacus' final battle, Marcus Fucking Crassus pretty much calls him this. Spartacus seems to return the feeling, but emphasis on the "opponent" part; whatever respect he may have for the Roman General's intelligence and capabilities, he ultimately despises what Crassus stands for; Rome, and the oppression it represents.
"It is never an easy thing to see a friend once loved, now absent breath."
Oenomaus is the gladiator trainer in Batiatus' Ludus, traditionally referred to only by the title of "Doctore". At a young age, he was recruited into the ludus by former lanista Titus Batiatus, whom he came to see as a father figure. After the downfall of the House of Batiatus, Oenomaus believed he had lost his purpose in the world and retired himself to die in The Pit. However, with the help of Spartacus and the other Rebels, he eventually finds a new purpose and joins the Rebels' cause, quickly being recognized as a mentor. He was married to Melitta before her death.
Bruiser with a Soft Center: Just watch him with his wife, Mira, and his best friend Gannicus in Gods of the Arena, and even in Blood and Sand he's a much more compassionate and honorable man than he lets on.
Snark Bait: In universe example. If you're a new recruit, do not answer sand in his "What is/lies beneath your feet?" question. He expects that to so you will be lambasted by the veterans. He will then proceed to ask the top gladiator to give the correct answer ("Sacred ground. Watered with tears of blood!").
"I will not die a faceless slave forgotten by history."
Crixus is the former Champion of Capua, introduced into Batiatus' Ludus as a slave desiring the life of a gladiator, whom eventually fights his way up to become one of the top gladiators of the ludus. During the arrival of Spartacus in Blood and Sand, Crixus is seen as champion and becomes the lover of Naevia.
Chick Magnet: Lucretia uses him as a lover, Naevia falls in love with him, and Ilithyia desires him. He loves Naevia, eventually loses interest in Lucretia, and doesn't seem to care about Ilithyia. The prequel also added Gaia and Diona to the list of women lusting over him.
Death by Irony: "I will not die with a Roman sword in my back". Will a spear suffice?.
Dropped a Bridge on Him: Everybody familiar with history (or just The Other Wiki) knew that this was coming, but the development that lead to his death (him breaking away from Spartacus' host, his army ravaging the countryside of Italy and finally dying in battle against the Romans) was pretty rushed and squeezed into just one episode (s3e8). The fact that his death was at the hand of Tiberius just made it even more anticlimatic.
Crixus is a downplayed Mighty Glacier at best, but his tendency to have his back unguarded somehow makes him a textbook Glass Cannon.
His thirst for revenge has him recklessly lead an army to Rome.
Arguably his biggest flaw is that he's never able to let go of his gladiator mentality and think like a soldier. All of his combat training is for arena combat; unlike Spartacus, who was a warrior in his tribe before joining the Roman auxillery, Crixus was taken as a slave before he would have been trained even among his own people. This is the direct cause of his recklessness; despite the fact that he's an excellent warrior and an extremely charismatic leader, he's a terrible strategist.
Hypocrite: Chastises Spartacus for attempting to assassinate Glaber, as he claims that such an act will provoke greater reprisals from the Romans than their group can handle. He then proceeds to drag the rebels around raiding the villas of the Roman aristocracy, which just makes them into a more obvious threat which Glaber (ironically) is under intense pressure from Rome to stamp out. Crixus also leads most of his own supporters on a Suicide Mission to rescue his beloved Naevia that gets nearly all of them killed.
Near Death Experience: Numerous times. Good thing Spartacus is usually there to watch his back. He probably learned this the hard way when he parted ways with him.
Not So Different: With Spartacus in the Season 1 finale. He even laments that had things been different, they would have been as brothers; and even though they stand in each others way, both of them are fighting for a just cause.
Number Two: The official second in command of the rebel forces.
"Live...and see my family provided for...And know I would have done the same."
Varro is a gladiator in the house of Batiatus. He was once a free Roman man, but voluntarily became a gladiator in Batiatus' ludus to pay off his momentous gambling debts. He rose from being a common recruit to becoming one of the more formidable gladiators in the ludus. Varro is the husband of Aurelia, father of Janus, and a friend to Spartacus.
Retirony: The episode where he dies spends about 45 minutes making a point of Varro establishing a happy future for him with his wife and children once he leaves the ludus. It's so conspicuous it would have been more surprising had he not died at the end.
Sura is Spartacus' Thracian wife and inspiration, tragically taken from him after he deserts from the Roman auxiliary by his most hated enemy, Gaius Claudius Glaber.
Action Girl: She can handle a sword and does a good job holding off four or five armed attackers before Spartacus shows up to help. When plotting his escape, Spartacus considers her combat ability an asset to get by the guards.
"You were right. It is no easy thing, to cleave a man's head from his shoulders in one blow."
Naevia is a former slave in the House of Batiatus, owned by Lucretia, who later becomes Crixus' love interest. She is banished from the Ludus after their love affair is discovered. She is eventually found by the Rebels, and joins their cause alongside her lover.
Braids of Action: Naevia's hair evolves with her story. When she was still a body-slave she had long, loose hair. When she got cast away her hair was cut as punishment. By Spartacus: War of the Damned her braided hair shows her development into a Dark Action Girl.
Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Believing that Crixus died so that she could escape, and knowing how many others died in the attempt, she angrily chastises the rebels for throwing away so much to rescue her. Notably, she chastises Agron, who was the one opposed to the rescue from the start. When he tells her this, she says he should have tried harder to talk them out of it.
Fag Hag: Especially after her rescue, and she was suffering severe PTSD from having been repeatedly abused and raped, when she was not with Crixus she was usually with Nasir and sometimes Agron.
Freudian Excuse: She's very clearly suffering from PTSD after being repeatedly raped and tortured between the first and second seasons. She starts getting better by the end of Vengeance, but never really gets over it.
She Who Fights Monsters: In War of the Damned, she's been consumed by her hatred of the Romans, to the point that she considers even innocent civilians to be as evil and deserving of death as the soldiers.
Token Evil Teammate: Ultimately subverted. She does some very harsh, very brutal things, and kills several people who didn't deserve it. But in the end, she chooses to forego personal vengeance against Tiberius to save the lives of five hundred captured rebels, showing she still has some good in her.
Took a Level in Badass: Learning sword fighting with Crixus and castrating and killing Ashur who started her descent into hell. She becomes a full-pledged Dark Action Girl in War of the Damned.
Woman in White: In Gods of the Arena until her promotion as body slave.
Mira (Katrina Law)
"I am not the past. I stand beside you now."
Mira is a former house slave serving Lucretia in the House of Batiatus. She helps Spartacus during his uprising, becomes a fighter, and later becomes his love interest during the beginning stages of the Third Servile War.
Beautiful Slave Girl: Was most likely used as one by the ludus, and is repeatedly sent to Spartacus to act as one. To his credit, he turns her down as she is not there willingly; and it's implied this what made her fall in love with him, and eventually become his willing lover.
Mythology Gag: The scene introducing her to Spartacus bears striking similarity to the introduction of Spartacus and Varinia in Spartacus, possibly Foreshadowing their future relationship.
Only Sane Man: In Vengeance. Spartacus wants revenge, Agron wants to fight, and Crixus wants to find Naevia. She seems to be the only main character who simply wants to get out of dodge and start a new life while they still can. She's one of the few people that can sway Spartacus.
Replacement Love Interest: To Spartacus for Sura, though Word Of God is that Sura will always be his one true love. Katrina Law believes that Mira loves Spartacus because he still loves his wife deeply. Given how Season 2 ends, Spartacus now has the unenviable privilege of possessing not one but two Lost Lenores.
Second Love: Subverted. Spartacus tries to love her as much as he can, but it's not enough for her and it finally leads to their breakup in Vengeance.
"It is a heavy thing, to rob a man of life. Less so that of a Roman shit."
One of the later recruits to Batiatus' Ludus, Agron is a skilled fighter and one of Spartacus' chief lieutenants during the rebellion. Never having been fond of the Romans in the first place, Agron harbors a visceral hatred towards the Romans ever since he lost his brother Duro during the upheaval at Batiatus' ludus. Agron is fond of and loyal to Spartacus. After the death of his brother, he goes on to become the lover of Nasir.
Aloof Big Brother: Averted in that he doesn't seem to be aloof at all; if anything, his temper is worse than his brother's, and his major story in Blood and Sand deals with him learning to stop being so overprotective of Duro.
Badass Normal: Of all the Rebel Leaders, he is the only one who didn't became a Champion of the ludus or in the arena. And he outlived those who did.
Handicapped Badass: After being crucified, he can no longer grip a sword. Nasir fashions a shield with a sword and spike sticking out of it that can be strapped to his arm, allowing him to fight, regardless.
Bash Brothers: In Blood and Sand with his brother. With Spartacus for the rest of the series.
Berserk Button: He's got quite a few of them, but the biggest ones seem to be messing with his brother and touching or flirting with Nasir.
Big Brother Instinct: He is always looking out for Duro. In fact, Batiatus' plan to split them up so that Agron, the more talented and valuable gladiator, would stop risking himself to protect Duro in the arena was a major motivator in convincing Agron to join with Spartacus in rebelling.
Hot-Blooded: Big time. Mira, rather accurately, describes him as "an angry boy who can barely piss without spraying everyone about him". He cools off and matures considerably by the time of War of the Damned.
Number Two: Subverted. He seems to be Spartacus' second-in-command in Vengeance, but it is stated that Crixus is officially Spartacus' successor should he falls in battle. He does, however, share The Lancer role with the former along with Gannicus.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After Duro's death. Stephen DeKnight has stated that his favorite cut scene from the finale involves Agron killing "everyone." His first scene in the second season involves him stabbing a Roman soldier several times, then smashing his head over and over against a rock; apparently, he never got over the "anger" stage of grief.
Sole Survivor: Of all the original gladiators that went with Spartacus, he is the only one who survives the series.
Condemned Contestant: Became a gladiator after almost his entire clan was taken prisoner and the men were forced to fight each other until only one remained. The last person he killed was his father. This earned him the nickname The Beast of Carthage.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Is pretty much a Jerk to everyone except the people he loves. He was affectionate with Auctus and kept caring for his pigeons after he died. He is very tender in his relationship with Pietros, and his desire for freedom is based mostly on his wish to better Pietros circumstances.
"He was not a perfect man; but he was mine! He was mine!"
Aurelia is a Roman woman and wife to Varro. She becomes a slave in order to pay off her late husband's debts, but is later freed during the revolt. Spartacus then sends her away, although with unexpected consequences.
Well, sort of. She loves him, but he's a gambling addict who sells himself into slavery to pay off his debts, then rejects her when he finds out she's pregnant by a rapist. Not Prince Charming Stuff, although the eventually make up, not long before his death.
Lesser Star: In universe. Batiatus is aware of Agron's superior skill as a gladiator and planned to separate him from Duro lest he risk himself to protect his less talented younger brother in the arena.
"There are many things given to us in this life for the wrong reasons. What we do with such blessings, that is the true test of a man."
Gannicus serves as champion in Batiatus' Ludus throughout the events of the prequel, Gods of the Arena, until his departure upon earning his freedom in the aftermath of the Games of the New Arena. He later returns in Vengeance initially as an acquaintance to the rebels, criticizing their cause against the Roman Republic, though he ironically becomes a rebel himself for the sake of his closest friend, Oenomaus.
The Ace: Gradually deconstructed into a Broken Ace in the prequel, though it starts getting reconstructed during the final season.
Almighty Janitor: Inverted. Spartacus actually wants him to be an official Rebel Leader, but Gannicus insists on just being another sword. He finally complies in the finale.
Aloof Ally: At first, towards Spartacus and his rebels in Vengeance. Even in War of the Damned, he is fully fighting for them but does not embrace their cause. He finally does in the finale, where they fight to let the noncombatants escape.
Break the Cutie: He starts out as a devil-may-care gladiator who loves the arena and enjoys all the perks of victory. The rest of Gods of the Arena sees all his joy destroyed, as he receives no credit or standing for seemingly impossible victories, is forced to withstand various humiliations just because he's the best, is used as a pawn in the brutal chess game between Batiatus and Tullius, and his relationship with his only true friends is poisoned. He eventually loses his faith in the house of Batiatus, noting that he no longer fights for it or considers it worth dying for. Even the finale, where he receives much-deserved freedom, leaves him adrift, with no idea where he should go or what he should do.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Deconstructed in Gods of the Arena. His antics doesn't sit well with Titus despite his skills and adoration from both the crowd and his Dominus' heir. Reconstructed in the end of the prequel, however, when he ultimately brought the honor to their house. In War of the Damned, Spartacus tolerates his antics simply because of how charismatic and skillful he is.
I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Haunted by inadvertently causing the death of Melitta, the only woman he ever truly loved.
In Vengeance, it's the death of a Hooker with a Heart of Gold he had grown fond of that drives him to side with Spartacus. He had tried to convince her to leave with him, while she had spoke too loudly about joining Spartacus' rebellion, and ended up crucified by Glaber's men.
Indy Ploy: Is particularly fond of this, most noticibly in episode six War of the Damned.
Gannicus: I will cause distraction and gain needed time.
Rebel Leader: Zig Zagged. He refused Spartacus' initial offer to become one of his generals, but is still regarded as one of the rebel's best fighters thus giving him some authority. Finally played straight in the Grand Finale.
Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Zig Zagged in Vengeance. He kidnapped Ilithyia and delivered her to Spartacus so he can kill the wife of his Arch-Enemy, just like he did to his, for the sake of "stopping Spartacus' madness". Spartacus refused for the exact same reason, much to Gannicus' dismay. However, Gannicus joined the rebellion nonetheless, mainly due to what the Romans did to the slaves in Capua and to mend his friendship with Oenomaus.
Screw Your Ultimatum!: Overlaps with the above. Glaber tried persuading him to join his men and ordered Ashur to make sure he (Gannicus) will. He responded by kidnapping Ilithyia and stabbing one of Ashur's men with his Rudus.
Beautiful Slave Girl: Subverted initially. Lucretia, however, attempted to object when she was forced by Varus, Gaia and Batiatus to have sex with Gannicus and was visibly disgusted once outvoted by the majority.
Took a Level in Badass: Despite admitting that he's not a natural warrior, Nasir doesn't hesitate to learn how to fight or protect himself. By War of the Damned, he's become quite the capable fighter and strategist.
Embarrassing Nickname: Due to his slight stature, Nasir is nicknamed "little man" by many of the other rebels and gladiators. He is not amused.
Nasir: You suffer no wound?
Agron: The gods favor me, little man.
Nasir: Call me that again, and they shall turn from you.
Expy: To Pietros. He's basically a characterization of what the latter could have been if he had learned to fight.
Fragile Speedster: Nasir is much slighter than the other rebels, both in height and weight. As a direct result of this, he's been trained by Lugo to rely on quick reflexes and natural speed to fight effectively alongside the gladiators.
Gay Best Friend: To Chadara. Later to Naevia as well. Despite her PTSD after enduring repeated rape and her initial discomfort with being touched even by her beloved Crixus, Naevia is frequently shown hanging around with Nasir.
"The Gods finally fuck me to the afterlife... care to join me?"
Lucius Caelius of the Caelian clan. His family was struck down through the proscription program implemented by Lucius Cornelius Sulla, a prominent Roman politician who achieved consulship in 88 BCE and ruled as Rome's dictator for three years until he retired.
You Shall Not Pass: Holds off the Egyptian and the other Romans. Then the Egyptian just cuts his head off.
Chadara (Bonnie Sveen)
"Freedom is not without cost. I pay with the only coin I have. As do you."
Chadara is one of the many slaves that Spartacus and his men have freed. She is unsure of her place among the freed men and women, and attempts to secure a higher position (and protection) by using her body.
Anything That Moves/Bi the Way: She certainly likes men, but gives Mira a kiss (on the lips) in victory. In War of the Damned, she has a foursome with Gannicus and two other women at the start of season. At the end of the season, Belesa (the woman she gropes and kisses in "Decimation") is implied to be her lover.
Right in Front of Me: He openly tells Spartacus that living conditions among the rebels were horrible. He didn't know he was talking to Spartacus and the latter taught he was just speaking with Brutal Honesty.
Team Dad: It's suggested by Sibyl that he was one to both her and Laurus' other slaves.
Attius (Cohen Holloway)
"I drained six cups and found myself in a heated argument with an imaginary cat!"
Attius is a Roman and a blacksmith in Sinuessa en Valle. He is a friend of Gannicus, whom he met when the latter gained his freedom.
Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: All the slaves warn Spartacus against trusting him citing his profession of a pirate. Turns out that he can be trusted after all as he helps Spartacus beat the Romans in a skirmish. But then he betrays the Rebels after the Romans offer more coin.
"I saw it with my own fucking eyes in the heat of battle blood and brains, thick to the knee and Gannicus in the middle of it all strips to his fucking cock! Bellowing to the Romans to kneel before him and receive golden tribute!"
Sanus is a Cilician rebel who is both a friend and admirer of Gannicus.
Shameless Fanservice Girl: When first commanded to show her slave mark, she exposes her breasts to Saxa and Gannicus. Prompting him to quip they were "the most fearsome weapons yet exposed."
Introduced in Blood and Sand
Quintus Lentulus Batiatus (John Hannah)
"I see things in men that they themselves have lost, small spark, an ember, I give it breath, tender, until it ignites in the arena."
Batiatus is a Lanista, a trainer and trader of gladiators. He is head of his family's ludus in Capua, and is Dominus to Spartacus and most of the other gladiators that appear throughout the series. Batiatus is the son of Titus Lentulus Batiatus, and the husband of Lucretia.
Tragic Villain: While Batiatus by our modern standards is not the most moral of people, one can't help thinking that he would have been less evil if it wasn't for Lucretia either filling his ears with poison or pushing him to elevate his status. His father may have even unintentionally contributed to his increased ruthlessness.
Unholy Matrimony: With Lucretia. The two have a great marriage and relationship, but despite the love they have for one another they are pretty villainous elsewhere. It can be argued that together they are darker than apart.
Villain Protagonist: In Gods of the Arena, though one could make a pretty convincing case that he's a Nominal Hero until the end. His rivals in the gladiator business are much worse than he is, he's a generous friend to Solonius (until their falling out) and despite planning it for a while, he can't bring himself to murder his own father to secure his status.
"Quintus always wanted a son. Because of you, we shall have one."
Lucretia is a Roman woman of moderate standing in the land of Capua and lives with her husband, Batiatus, in the villa above his ludus. Through her husband's (and to an extent her own) schemes, the couple manage to climb quite high on the social scale, only to fall after Spartacus seeks revenge and rebels.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Genuinely loves her husband and would do anything for him, however her attempts to help Batiatus elevate his status makes him more darker. She also clearly liked Gaia and Melitta, grieving when both are killed even though the latter was a slave.
Hollywood Healing: Her recovery from being stabbed in the womb with a sword by Crixus in an attempt to kill her and their unborn child is nothing short of miraculous. Especially since the care she received amounted to some crude stitching performed by Ashur and she was living in the abandoned ludus under less than sanitary conditions.
I'm a Humanitarian: After the first Season Finale, [[there were numerous dead bodies in the house of Batiatus. By the season two premiere, they were all gone. Lucretia never left the house even after she was healed. Do the math.]]
This doesn't really work out, since the dead Romans' families would have retrieved the bodies ASAP (traditionalists even believed proper funerary rites were required for the dead to find rest) and Ashur mentions bringing her food, which she doesn't dispute. Lucretia probably escaped notice because she had no family, and therefore no one was looking for her.
Tragic Keepsake: Her wigs turn out to be this. In Gods of the Arena, we learn that the colored wigs Lucretia rotates between originally belonged to her friend Gaia, who died a violent death in Lucretia's home. She wears them in honor of her memory. In Vengeance she doesn't wear them anymore because she lost her memory, but is later forced to wear the red wig by Ashur, as a sign of his command over her. When Lucretia liberates herself from Ashur's influence, she throws the wig over the same cliff Gaia's body was thrown.
Your Cheating Heart: It should be noted though that Batiatus doesn't care, because her dalliance with Crixus makes her happy, and that's all he cares about.
Ashur (Nick E. Tarabay)
"Whatever you need, Ashur provides."
Ashur is an ex-gladiator in Batiatus' ludus and due to a conflict with Crixus prior to Blood and Sand, he was crippled and forced to wear a brace on his right leg. Since then, he became Batiatus' errand boy, accompanying him into the city to aid in transactions or sometimes going alone for more private business. When Batiatus is killed, Ashur seeks out Glaber as a new patron to further his own desires. Using his years in the ludus, Ashur seeks to become a link between Spartacus and the Romans who are hunting him.
Ambiguously Jewish: Ashur uses the biblical metaphor "forbidden fruit" in regards to Naevia. He also fulfills many stereotypes of the Greedy Jew, being a duplicitous money-grubber who is physically inferior to the other gladiators. Ashur comes from Syria, and some Syrians were Jews.
Arch-Enemy: To Crixus. Well, he considers Crixus his archenemy. Crixus, while contemptuous of him, doesn't share the feeling.
Combat Pragmatist: He's just not skilled enough to win fighting honorably. So he doesn't. He will throw dirt in your eyes, remove your eye, use surprise attacks, concealed weapons, and any other dirty trick he can to walk away from a fight alive.
Subverted minorly in Vengeance, outside of a single dirty tactic, he managed to more than hold his own against Glaber's men.
Gods of the Arena shows that while he desired to be a gladiator, he was not a very good one. He eventually won matches in the arena, but was usually outclassed and had to resort to trickery to win. The other gladiators apparently remembered that he wasn't a good fighter, and forgot that he was very good at killing people with deception.
Though even as a cripple, he managed to hold his own in a fist fight with Varro.
Overshadowed by Awesome: Driven home in Vengeance. While he's outmatched by other gladiators in previous series, he's still much tougher than your average soldier. He takes on a squad of Glaber's men to prove a point and ends up beating four of them to near-death.
"They are like something out of a fever dream. I mean, what if they went insane all at once, clamoring for blood?!"
Ilithyia is a wealthy Roman woman, the daughter of Senator Albinius, and the wife of Praetor Gaius Claudius Glaber. She is close friends with Lucretia, however, their lively relationship is more than meets the eye.
Unholy Matrimony: While their relationship is rocky during Vengeance, in the episode "Monster" they are definitely back to this.
Glaber: We cannot be what we were.
Ilithyia: Then let us be what we are. We have done terrible things to each other. I would see such venom turned outward, to those truly deserving of it- Seppia. The Senate. And the man they dispatch to steal your glory.
Glaber: You would move against Varinius?
Ilithyia: We are both monsters, Gaius. Let us be so together- and seize the fucking heavens!
After which, to stress the point, they have sex covered in the blood of Seppia, whose corpse is still floating in the pool next to them.
The Vamp: In a scheme to rob Spartacus of his best friend.
Your Cheating Heart: She wanted to sleep with Crixus and ended up with Spartacus, and probably slept with both Numerius and Segovax as well. Also made a play to have her father dissolve her marriage to Glaber and remarry her to Varinius. She made it very clear to Varinius what was in it for him.
Gaius Claudius Glaber (Craig Parker)
"The shadow of Rome is vast, and you, Thracian, will die under it."
Glaber is a Roman commander awarded the title of Legatus, and later Praetor. He is married to Senator Albinius's favored daughter, Ilithyia, who both supports her husband's actions politically and emotionally, by personally seeing to it that Glaber's greatest enemy, Spartacus, suffers as much pain as possible. Glaber serves as the main antagonist for the second season of Spartacus, and in the first season is a personal antagonist for Spartacus himself as Glaber enslaved both him and his wife Sura.
Badass: For all his shortcomings, and they are many, he's proven that he has some serious chops when it comes to combat, holding his own in a brief sword fight with Spartacus and dodging a spear that would have gone straight through his skull.
Dude, Where's My Respect?: In Vengeance he learns that despite his rank and armies, he is not respected or liked by the Senate. Ilithyia's father in particular doesn't like him.
Thing is, whereas with Batiatus and Ashur we see they are cunning and resourceful enough to be deserving some of the respect they're denied, with Glaber, it really comes as no surprise he's thought of as a joke.
Small Name, Big Ego: Aside from his involvement in the Third Servile War (the offical name for Spartacus' rebellion) almost nothing is known about the historical Glaber. Despite rising to the rank of Praetor, he was an ultimately insignificant politician, and historians cite him being dispatched against the rebels as a sign of how little Rome thought of Spartacus. Even his death is unrecorded; while it's mentioned his force was destroyed at Vesuvius, Glaber himself simply drops out of the historical record. Aside from giving him a personal connection to Spartacus, the show's portrayal of Glaber matches up with this pretty well; see Dude, Where's My Respect?, above.
Corrupt Politician: Clearly wields a lot of influence in the Senate, and uses it in the grand tradition of Roman patronage to advance those he personally favors (e.g. Varinius) and cut down those he does not (e.g. Glaber).
Death by Sex: She wasn't killed because she had sex with someone. She was killed because she laughed at someone (read: Ilithyia) who was tricked into having sex with someone (read: Spartacus) she was supposed to have sex with.
Fate Worse than Death: Her hand was chopped off from her corpse in order to blackmail Ilithyia, her murderer. In short she was used as The Pawn even in death.
Numerius is the son of Roman Magistrate Titus Calavius and his wife, Domitia
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: At first he seems like a nice enough kid, perhaps a little too thrilled by watching people kill each other, but hey, Values Dissonance, right? He worships the ground Spartacus walks on and treats him with admiration, even though he's a slave, so he can't be all bad. Then he orders Spartacus to kill Varro, his best friend. Ok, he was manipulated into it by Illythia, just a dumb kid mesmerized by a nice pair of tits, right? Wrong. When confronted about Varro's death by Aurelia, he coldly says that "He was nothing. He deserved to die." However nice this kid might seem, he serves as perhaps the coldest reminder that to the Roman Elite, slaves are nothing but playthings to be discarded on a whim.
Broken Pedestal: Inverted with Spartacus. He idolizes the champion gladiator and Spartacus, in return, was quite fond of him. But after he ordered Varro's death, Spartacus has openly expressed his disdain for him.
Dented Iron: By the time Spartacus and Crixus fight him, his body is essentially a mass of scar tissue, and he's been retired for several years. If his fight with Oenomeus in the prequal comic is anything to go by, during his prime he was likely the single most dangerous fighter within series canon.
Noble Demon: Had Oenomaus dead to rights in their fight before noticing his wife in the crowd. He stopped his assault, offering to let Oenomaus take is sword back up(said sword was sticking out of Theokoles' shoulder at the time) so they could continue on equal footing, only for the match to be declared a draw then and there.
Out with a Bang: Apparently the first woman he slept with didn't survive the encounter, not out of any malicious intention on Theokoles' part, but rather simply because he didn't know his own strength.
Benevolent Boss: He is shown to be well-loved by his slaves. Oenomaus' flashbacks in Vengeance also shows this. Of course, this is relative to other bosses who have slaves fight to the death for entertainment and profit. The difference seems to be that he doesn't rape them or send them to the mines without provocation.
"Well Done, Son" Guy: Batiatus wants his father's approval, but even an old lanista such as Titus can't approve of everything his son has done. Ironically, he threatens to disown Batiatus for one of his few good qualities— his genuine devotion to Lucretia.
Tullius (Stephen Lovatt)
"Reconsider your answer, or be excluded from the games forever."
Tullius is a rich merchant and former soldier, and sits among the elite Roman class of Capua.
Establishing Character Moment: He talks about how purity and ugliness coexist, and proves it by having a dirty and smelly gladiator rape the beautiful Diona. Not content with that, he decides to anally rape her at the same time. This shows about all we need to know about him.
Torture Technician: Like most Roman elite. Demonstrates it on the captured Gaul in Vengeance. He chooses to slice off the gladiator's breast.
What Could Have Been: Was going to take a spear through the mouth (which would have been even more karmic), but the special effects were too costly. So it was changed to the chest.
Caburus (Joel Oliver)
Caburus is a mighty gladiator and champion of the House of Vettius and later the House of Solonius. he is despised by professional gladiators and lanista because he is purposely matched against smaller and weaker gladiators.
Would Hit a Girl: Executes escaped slaves in the opening of the arena, two of which are women. One of those two is Diona.
Introduced in Vengeance
Publius Varinius (Brett Tucker)
"Crassus? Yes, I have dined and bathed with him on many occasions. A man large of coin, small of cock."
Publius Varinius is a high-ranking Praetor in the Roman Senate. His power and influence rivals Glabers own, causing much friction between the two as Varinius seeks to use Spartacus' rebellion as a way to gain favor for himself in the Republic, and knows that catching Spartacus would bring him glory.
Harmless Villain: Tall, well-built and looks fetching in armor. Largely ineffectual in a fight though, and it is clear that a great deal of his political influence stems from the fact that Albinius likes him.
Honour Before Reason: After being wounded, he calls out for his last squad of reinforcements. Ashur knows that they won't make any difference, but Marcus seems to think dying to the last man is better than letting Spartacus escape. Ashur doesn't agree, so he kills him.
Modern Major General: Has some clever ideas off the battlefield, but proves to be an utterly inept commander. Perhaps Truth in Television, since a lot of Roman commanders were politicians rather than soldiers.
Salvius is a soldier, and later Tribune, serving under Glaber.
Butt Monkey: Him getting beaten up by various characters verges on a Running Joke. Also, despite being an experienced soldier who handles most of the army logistics and demonstrates Undying Loyalty to his commander, he gets sidelined by said commander in favor of a Smug Snake slave.
Villainous Valour: In Balance, he saves Glaber's life from Spartacus, despite being disarmed at the time. He is also the last man standing in Glaber's defence in the finale.
Introduced in War of the Damned
Marcus Lucinius Crassus (Simon Merells)
"A man's true enemy is doubt, a thing I would not carry into battle against Spartacus."
Marcus Licinius Crassus is the richest man in Rome and a senator of the Republic. Envied and despised by the highborn among the Senate, he craves the power and respect that defeating Spartacus and his rebel army would bring him.
Historical Badass Upgrade: The show portrays him as considerably more cunning, competent, and all around more badass than most historians would credit the actual Marcus Crassus, who is generally remembered as a poor general (albeit a damn good Corrupt Corporate Executive). Though it's reasonable for the show, after the cunning but physically unintimidating Batiatus, and the militarily powerful but foolish Glaber, to have a truly impressive villain for a change.
Bad Boss: Reconstructed, while he is harsh to his troops, it's to ensure that they fear their commanders more than the enemy and are thus willing to give their all to win a battle.
Benevolent Boss: He respects and values his slaves, a stark contrast to the other Roman villains.
Crasuss: "Knowledge and patience. The only counter to (an opponent with) greater skill."
Good Parents: He is a strict but fair father who tells his son off for making mistakes but rewards him as well. Somewhat subverted in that, while he is well-intentioned, he is way too harsh sometimes.note By "way too harsh", we mean he forces his son to participate in decimation, knowing there's a one in ten chance his son will die in the process. He justifies this by saying he's treating his son as any other soldier, but even by the standards of the time, decimation was considered a harsh and brutal punishment.
Historical Villain Downgrade: Roman historians didn't record what portion of his force Crassus decimated, but the debate between modern historians is whether he decimated the legions that he absorbed from the praetors who failed before he took command, or the ones led by Mummius who attacked without orders and were routed, or all of his legions. For perspective, the first would put the total at somewhere between eight and nine thousand, and the last forty to fifty thousand, not the paltry fifty men portrayed in the series.
Historical Antihero Upgrade: Also this, since the historical Crassus wasn't as competent as the guy we see onscreen. In fact, later historians chew him out for bragging about his role in putting down the servile revolt, an undertaking that wasn't exactly overly respectable by Roman standards (not because of the cruelty involved, but because slaves weren't considered worthy enemies).
Knight Templar: Has shades of this. Thinks he is the hero from his POV and Spartacus the villain and vice versa from Spartacus' POV. He is much more ruthless in disposing off people who serve him no purpose though.
Know When to Fold 'Em: He doesn't protest Pompey stealing credit for his victory, accepting that Pompey's claim has already been acknowledged by the Senate and that if he supports it they can be allies. This is in contrast to the historical Crassus, who held a long standing grudge against Pompey after the war(which was eventually mediated by Ceasar, incidently), and their term as Co-Consul could best be described as Teeth-Clenched Teamwork.
Not So Different: Recognizes the similarities between himself and Spartacus. They are both fighting for what they believe in, and see themselves as the hero and the other as the villain.
In the finale, its alluded that the two could have been friends in alternate lives. Both had great respect for each other despite despising each other's methods. They were even able to parley peacefully and shake hands at the end.
Ultimately defied; when Crassus says he wishes Spartacus had been a Roman, so they may have stood beside each other, Spartacus replies he considers it a blessing that it was not so. Whatever respect these two men may share for one another's intelligence and competence, their ideals are vastly different.
"Must Julius Fucking Caesar risk life to kill every last rebel himself?"
Julius Caesar is a young rogue from an esteemed lineage. He will join along side with Marcus Licinius Crassus as the devoted antagonist. His deadly intelligence and leadership will be brought to bear against the rebellion as he begins his ascent towards the all-powerful ruler he will one day become.
Badass Beard: Although his peers mock him for it, since a typical Roman is clean-shaven. Also a bit of Fridge Brilliance, since he must have got the moniker of Caesar (latin for "hairy") from somewhere. He trims it down in episode six.
That being said, a few scenes later he instigates the slaughter of dozens of roman prisoners, several women and children among them, in order to instigate infighting among the rebels. While this serves a tactical purpose, that's quite a few people who might have lived otherwise.
Historical Antihero Upgrade: The historical Caesar was not known for his participation in putting down the Servile Revolt, although he was a protege of Crassus and shared in the triumverate with him and Pompey immediately after the war.
Kick the Dog: Him cleaving the head of a man who fled Sinuessa en Valle, a kill which didn't serve any purpose whatsoever since the guy carried valuable intel and wasn't even a soldier in the first place.
Oh Crap: When Kore kills Tiberius, Ceasar loses his shit. Likely because he knows that the rebels would kill him now that the trade is out the window, and that if he some how makes it out alive, Crassus will be furious with him upon is return. He calms down when Kore offers herself up for trade in Tiberius' place, and later acknowledges she had the right to kill him, even defending her to Crassus.
Only Sane Man: He's the only one of the Roman officers to try to point out to Crassus that running his legions with barely any rest will leave them utterly exhausted when it comes to fighting Spartacus. He's also the only one to try to convince Crassus that leaving Rome to be defended by a single legion against Crixus in order to pursue Spartacus is a terrible idea. For the latter, he gets held down by two guards as Tiberius rapes him for trying to suggest to him that maybe he should tell Crassus why leaving Rome relatively undefended is a very bad idea, even as Caesar is willing to not tell Crassus that he found out about Tiberius raping Kore to avoid devastating Crassus further. Granted, Crassus comes to reason later and pursues Crixus but still.
Pay Evil unto Evil: Was apparently looking forward to paying Tiberius back for his rape several times over while escorting him back to Crassus' camp from Spartacus. Kore got to him first, however.
Pyrrhic Victory: He and his comrades did defeat Spartacus' army, but Pompey stole the credit and glory.
Rape as Drama: Viciously raped by Tiberius while tied down by two strong guards.
Sophisticated as Hell: During a confrontation with Tiberius, he explains in a decidedly more poetic way at first that there is no way Tiberius could get away with killing him. Why? Because he is "Julius Fucking Caesar!"
Third-Person Person: Arrogant to begin with, after the ego boost he gets from being celebrated for retaking of Sinuessa he begins to frequently refer to himself in the third person often accompanied with an adjective, i.e. "Honored Caesar", "Mighty Caesar", and perhaps most memorably "Julius Fucking Caesar". Interestingly, after he is raped by Tiberius he never refers to himself in the third person again.
Too Kinky to Torture: He enjoys getting cut as foreplay. The sight thoroughly squicks Tiberius out. The resulting wound is actually part of his cover as The Mole, as he claims he cut out his slave brand.
Worthy Opponent: Defied. He actually holds a few members of the rebellion in a certain respect, but not enough to spare them from torturous deaths. None of them return the sentiment; rather, they all despise him for infiltrating and betraying them.
Your Cheating Heart: It's mentioned a few times that he's married, though his wife is never seen. He does, however, have sex with several slaves and whores over the course of the season.
Tiberius Licinius Crassus (Christian Antidormi)
"I believe we tower above a slave in all things, no matter what name he bears."
Tiberius is the son of Marcus Licinius Crassus. He is given the duty of defeating Spartacus and his army along with Crassus, and is using this opportunity to please and gain favor from his father by doing so.
Chekhov's Gun: His sword is an Arc Symbol in the final season. Ultimately, it's the weapon used to kill both Crixus and Naevia.
The Chew Toy: He is crawling out of it though with one rape after another.
Co-Dragons: For his father Crassus along with Julius Caesar.
Combat Pragmatist: To the point of being Dangerously Genre Savvy. Whereas Caesar takes on Agron and Crixus in different episodes and fails to beat them, Tiberius just attacks them while they're distracted.
Death by Adaptation: He's real life counterpart didn't even participated in the Third Servile War.
Out-Gambitted: It's interesting to ponder how his father might have reacted to his disobedience of orders in Men of Honour had the plan worked - which it probably would have if it hadn't been for the pirates waiting offshore with a ridiculous arsenal of artillery.
Pet the Dog: While he has a low opinion of slaves, he cares about Kore. Which makes the Kick the Dog above all the more shocking when it happens.
Pint-Sized Powerhouse: He is notably shorter than the other Roman leaders and not heavily built, but still has one of the most impressive kill tallies of the season.
She Cleans Up Nicely: In episode 6, she is bathed and clothed in status fitting clothes. Both Caesar and Crassus (who had only previously seen her dirty and in slave attire) note how much better she looks.
What the Hell, Hero?: Calls Spartacus out on killing her husband, his forces massacring thousands, and then acting offended for her harbouring a handful of her people from the cruel treatment of the rebels.
To his credit, Spartacus seems to grant that she has a point.
Reality Ensues: Historically, Pompey's only contribution to the war was mop up duty, coming in and slaying some rebels who had fled from Crassus while Crassus defeated Spartacus' main force. Pompey claimed that while Crassus had defeated some rebels, he had ended the rebellion, thus getting credit for it the senate. As much as Pompey may have been built up in the show, his actual contribution is historically accurate.
The Usurper: Stole Crassus and his army's credit of defeating Spartacus' rebel forces.
Younger Than He Looks: Pompey was only about 32 at the time of the seriesnote Six years older than Ceasar, nine years younger than Crassus, and Glaber commented on his youth in Vengeancenote Interestingly enough, it's not known how old Glaber was. Joel Tobek is in his early forties, only about a year younger than Craig Parker and only four years younger than Simon Merrells, and looks every day of it (and then some).