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Auctus
Auctus2.jpg
First appearance S0E01: Past Transgressions
Last appearance S0E03: Paterfamilias
Profession Gladiator (House of Batiatus)
Race Greek
Relationships Barca (Lover, deceased)
Titus Lentulus Batiatus (Former Dominus, deceased)
Quintus Lentulus Batiatus (Dominus, deceased)
Ulpius (Former Doctore, deceased)
Oenomaus (Friend/Doctore, deceased)
Fulco (Friend, deceased)
Gannicus (Friend, deceased)
Leviticus (Friend)
Pollux (Friend)
Litaviccus (Friend, deceased)
Lydon (Friend)
Tyronius (Friend)
Crixus (Rival, deceased)
Ashur (Rival/Enemy, deceased)
Dagan (Rival/Enemy, deceased)
Status Deceased (Killed by Crixus)
Actor/Actress Josef Brown

Auctus is a gladiator in Batiatus' Ludus and lover of Barca. He appears exclusively in Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.

Appearance[]

Auctus is tall, though not quite as tall as Barca, and has light tan skin. He keeps his dark brown hair cut short and neat and has an exceptionally sculpted and muscular build. While training he wears the typical gear of his fighting style, hoplomachus: a galerus shoulder guard and manica arm-padding, a balteus or cingulum belt, subligaculum or subligaria, ocrea leg-wrapping, and sandals, and used a dory or spear, hoplon shield, and gladius. Most of these are worn in the arena as well, but the arm- and leg-guards would be of a more sturdy material. His physique helps make him a gifted hoplomachus, allowing him to attack and evade with strength and agility, as well as grace.

Personality[]

Auctus is coarse, gruff, crude, and sometimes mean-spirited. Alongside his lover Barca and their gladiator brothers, he enjoys leading pranks and bullying anyone who has not earned the mark of the brotherhood. This harassment can take the form of dirty and even cruel tricks, such as urinating in food before Ashur, Dagan, and Crixus eat.

Even so, he also has a gentler, kinder, more noble side. He exhibits a deep love for Barca, with whom he shares a cell. Despite the harshness of their surroundings, they are openly tender with and protective of each other. Auctus keeps birds in their cell as pets, which he and Barca both tend. He likes to take the birds out to hold and pet them when not training. When Ashur and Dagan kill and eat several of the birds as revenge for the couple's harassment, Auctus flies into a rage, and he and Barca start a brawl.

Despite his berating and abuse of the recruits, he is shown to respect the ones who persist in training such as Crixus. However, he still does not view Crixus as a true brother, since he did not yet earn the mark through the test--the main reason Auctus, Barca and the other gladiators do not view Ashur and Dagan as true brothers.

Combat Prowess[]

Auctus demonstrates great skill with a spear in the arena, making him a talented hoplomachus. Titus acknowledges Auctus as one of the most highly skilled gladiators in the ludus, and he may have been Champion at one time.[1] Agile and relentless in battle, Auctus proves himself one of the most respected and skilled fighters in Batiatus' ludus. A testament of his skill as a warrior is that Titus wished to make Auctus the house champion rather than Gannicus, whose flippant personality and ignoble behavior make him unworthy of being champion in Titus' eyes.

Gods of the Arena[]

Auctus is a prominent, long-standing gladiator for the house of Batiatus. Recognized as a veteran in the ludus, he is shown to have many bonds with his brothers and command some degree of respect and recognition. Perhaps as part of his elevated status, he constantly berates and harasses the recruits with his lover, Barca, as well as friends Fulco, Leviticus, and Litaviccus. He is also good friends with Oenomaus and Gannicus, indicating his senior status in the ludus.

His most notable relationship is with Barca, whom he deeply loves. Although he regards Barca as an equal in skill and rank, Auctus also displays some measure of protectiveness toward him. When Oenomaus brutally defeats Barca in order to show off his recovery to Batiatus, Auctus is displeased. When Barca jokingly boasts that Gannicus winning a fight blindfolded is not that impressive because he could do the same, Auctus shows concern, and lovingly reproaches him for his foolishness, The two of them are openly affectionate, live in the same cell, and spend most of their time together. The two lovers both care for Auctus' pet birds, which they keep in their cell.

Auctus with his helmet.


Auctus and Barca enjoy insulting and harassing Ashur and Dagan, as they do not view the Syrians as true brothers after receiving the mark without the proper gladiator test. Despite his berating of the Syrians he gains respect for Crixus, but still does not view him as a true brother since he has not yet earned the mark through the test. Eventually, their bullying of the recruits reaches a breaking point after Ashur and Dagan kill and eat Auctus and Barca's pet birds in revenge for soiling their food. This results in a brawl, which angers Titus, and he cites such dishonorable behavior as why they "lost" the primus of the Vinalia.

Auctus is slain by Crixus.

Auctus is later set to fight Crixus in the arena, but he is angered because Crixus had not earned the mark and coldly tells a nervous Crixus that he will die by his hand. Since Auctus is a veteran gladiator, he is favored and the determined victor in the fight.

During their battle, Auctus had the upper hand and easily forces Crixus to the ground. Crixus, however, manages to turn the fight around by depriving Auctus of his spear and afterwards causing him to use his short blade. Auctus continued the battle where Crixus showed off his skill before he manages to stab Auctus in the torso. With his final moments, he compliments Barca's instruction of Crixus. As he falls to the ground, he makes sure that the last thing he sees is Barca by turning to make eye contact with his lover, who looks on in tears.

Barca falls into a deep depression following Auctus' death. His emotional state seems to improve overall after Crixus offers his bread to feed the birds. He tells Barca that Auctus was the first person he ever killed in battle to honor his own fallen loved ones, and he will never forget him. Barca is pleased to know that Auctus will be remembered and takes the bread, telling Crixus that the birds were Auctus' pets. Barca never cared for them, but now they are all he has left of Auctus. He and Crixus form a close friendship after this, and Barca continues to care for the birds and show them affection.

Blood and Sand[]

Although Auctus neither appears nor is mentioned in Blood and Sand. However, Barca continues to care for and show affection to the deceased Auctus' pet birds, even cuddling one during mealtime. The fact that Barca did not care for the birds while Auctus was alive, and he told Crixus in Gods of the Arena that he only began to care about them because they were all he had left of Auctus, implies that Auctus' memory lives on with Barca.

Trivia[]

  • Josef Brown, the actor who played Auctus, is 187cm (6' 1½) tall.
  • Josef Brown is also a professional dancer. As a result, Auctus is presented as easily one of the most agile gladiators on the show.
  • Auctus was considered to be highly skilled gladiator and one of the best in the ludus. He was also a personal favorite of Titus Batiatus. Titus even indicates that he would prefer if Auctus were known as champion, rather than Gannicus.
  • Historically, having been Greek, Auctus would not have been trained as a Hoplomachus, a style partially based on the Ancient Greek Hoplites. This would've been done to avoid stirring up a Gladiators' national pride. With the style also being partially based on Carthaginian culture, Barca would not have fought as a Hoplomachus either. Similarly, Spartacus wouldn't have fought as a Thraex. However, it may be that in the series, Batiatus allows his gladiators to adopt styles related to their homelands as a way to tap into their inner passions, or make them more marketable to the public.
  • The necklace he wears is a Hellenistic choke collar. This could mean that Auctus came from South Eastern Europe as a slave. His official homeland is unknown, however he likely hails from a tribe that lived near or in Greece, or a Greek diasporic community.
  • The First Mithridatic War (89-85 BCE) could be the reason for Auctus' enslavement and presence in the ludus of Batiatus. The war waged by the Pontic king Mithradates VI (Mithradates the Great) occurred some years before the events of Gods of the Arena (around 78 BCE), and took place primarily in Greece, with many Greek warriors fighting the Romans. Auctus may have fought for Mithradates against the Romans, but was captured and taken as a prisoner of war. Historically, this was how many people became gladiators.
  • After Crixus defeats him, Crixus joins the brotherhood and rises to the position of champion in the ludus.
  • Crixus mentions that Auctus is the first person he has killed in battle, and that he will always remember the man for it. This forms the close friendship with Barca, who was comforted knowing Auctus would be remembered.
  • Auctus is a Latin word, meaning 'large'. It may be a nickname, as well as the name of a Roman gens, the plebeian gens of Cocceia. It may also be the name given to him when taken as a Roman slave, as Romans tended to assign new names to slaves to sever their identities.

Quotes[]

"The Gaul winces from spear, as he would from my cock."

(To Ashur): "A fucking goat may bear the mark, it does not make him a brother."

(To Crixus) "You are to die, at the end of my spear."

(To Crixus, His Final words) "Barca... has taught you well."

(After Gannicus wants to spar with Barca) "The gods bless Barca with another tiny man to fuck!"

References[]

  1. Spartacus: Gods of the Arena Prequel; Episode 3
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