Batiatus' Ludus is the enclosure for all of his gladiators, where they are trained and housed. It was passed on to him from his father, who was in the same profession. The ground level is a gladiator ludus whilst the upper levels are Batiatus' villa.
The building, being situated on the edge of a mountainside, boasts a brilliant view over all of Capua.
The lower parts of the ludus are the areas for the gladiators. The entrance gate is here, which leads directly onto a training ground. One edge of this square is unwalled and falls off to a sheer cliff. Beyond the training ground is the
eating area for the gladiators, and on this floor are their cells/rooms (only the gladiators of higher worth are allowed rooms of their own). The trainee gladiators and others sleep with a few others in cells similar to those in a prison. There is also a bathing area on this level.
A barred gate separates the gladiators from the living quarters above the ludus, which house Batiatus, Lucretia and their slaves. The gate is locked every night when the gladiators are shut away for sleep. This upper area is far more lavish than the ludus below, befitting for a Roman citizen of moderate standing - and more, when Lucretia refurnishes to impress Ilithyia's rich friends. The house burrows into the mountain behind and has a balcony overlooking the gladiator training area.
From what has been seen of the Villa, there is a general social area with an ornamental pool in the center and leading off from this are various other rooms, including Batiatus' sleeping quarters and a large pool that serves as a bath.
The Ludus was built by the father of Titus Lentulus Batiatus and the grandfather of Quintus Lentulus Batiatus. The exact date and by what means it was built is unknown other than that Quintus' grandfather built it with the belief that
all men are able to earn their worth and fight for honour and glory. The gladiators that came from the House of Batiatus were often very famous and favoured by the people of Capua in that the house and it's gladiators became a very part of Capua's tradition in gladiators. This is where Spartacus killed Batiatus and Crixus wounded Lucretia. Then
later Lucretia kills Ilithyia's son and herself.
Slaves and Guards
Gods of the Arena
Spartacus (TV Series)
Spartacus is sold to Batiatus after defeating Solonius' gladiators in the Arena. Batiatus has been dealing with financial matters for a while, and struggling to pay back his benefactors including Ovidius.
Batiatus' ludus rivals that of Vettius', with the current Champion being the Celt named Gannicus, who rose to the position after Oenomaus' defeat and 'victory' against Theokoles. Ulpius' is the current Doctore. Crixus, then a stone hauler, is bought by Batiatus to gain favor with Tullius, the financer of the Amphitheater of Capua, to ensure that his Gladiators are a part of the opening games of the Arena.
After the Massacre at Batiatus' Ludus, his slaves and Gladiators remain at large. Glaber, now a Praetor is sent to handle Spartacus and his rabble. The Ludus is used as Glabers villa during his stay in Capua. Oenomaus is captured by Ashur in the Pit and brought back to the Ludus. After Spartacus and his men are tracked down to the Mines of Lucania, Ashur and Glaber's men succeed in capturing Crixus, Rhaskos and Acer.
Very little is known about the historical ludus owned by Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Batiatus (or Vatia) in Capua. Five known Gladiators from this ludus were Spartacus, Crixus, Oenomaus, Gannicus and Castus.
Other than the five named, Batiatus owned around 200-300 other gladiators, all trained in the same ludus. In 73 BC, the gladiators had conspired to break out, but somehow their plan was revealed and preventive measures enacted. A second breakout was undertaken shortly after, leaving only 70-80 gladiators able to stage the uprising. They escaped from their barracks and raided the kitchens for knives, spits, and other sharp objects until they could locate real weapons.
The historical location of the ludus was in or near the Capua Amphitheater in ancient Capua, and can still be visited to this day. Ancient Capua was destroyed by raiders in the Dark Ages, but the amphitheater remained remarkably intact. Today the area of ancient Capua is located in the city of Santa Maria Capua Vetere, while the relocated city of Capua is only a ten-minute drive north east. The amphitheater is open for tours and includes a gladiator museum, with the Archaeological Museum of Ancient Capua a short walk away.
The ultimate fate of Batiatus' Ludus is unknown, but it's likely that the ludus saw a steady decline in quality, having been where the Third Servile War began, with Batiatus' name and that of his family being forever stained.
- Half of the gladiators in the ludus were Gauls.
- It is hinted that Spartacus stands the only Thracian gladiator in the ludus.
- Similarily, it is said that Ashur, following the death of Dagan, is the only Syrian in the ludus, while Varro and Narto, are the only Romans among the gladiators.
- It is hinted numerous times throughout the series that, although Batiatus' stock of gladiators is considered to be smaller than most other ludus', his gladiators are significantly more skilled.
- Historically it is believed that Spartacus only spent one year of his life in this ludus. In the TV Series, Spartacus spends two years of his life in the ludus.
- Little is known about the guards of the ludus, though they were perhaps referred to in Latin as Custodis, and were likely hired on a private basis by the Lanistae, who may have chosen former gladiators, ex-legionaries or unemployed mercenaries for the task. A privately-employed Custos (guard) would have provided his own arms and armour, which would have been inferior to that of a serving Roman legionary.
- In the Blu-Ray featurette 'Oh, Those Randy Romans' Rob Tapert reveals that there were 17 men in one of the bathhouse scenes, referring to the first time Spartacus enters in the episode Sacramentum Gladiatorum. This would logically mean that at that point in time, Batiatus had only 17 gladiators and/or trainees, yet 25 can be named as living there at that time.
- It is possible that some of the men were elsewhere, but more likely is that since 9 of the 25 gladiators were not seen until at least season 2, the actual number or gladiators was never intended to be quantifiable, as there were too many background characters.