|Gaius Claudius Glaber|
|First appearance||S1E01: "The Red Serpent"|
|Last appearance||S2E10: "Wrath of the Gods"|
|Profession||Legatus (Season 1) |
Praetor (Season 2)
|Relationships||Ilithyia (Wife, deceased)|
Albinius (Father-in-Law, deceased)
Seppia (Lover, deceased)
Seppius (Rival, deceased
Marcus (Friend/Tribune, deceased)
Publius Varinius (Political Rival, deceased)
Spartacus (Soldier/Archenemy, deceased)
Ashur (Right-Hand Man, deceased)
Salvius (Soldier, deceased)
Iovis (Soldier, deceased)
Linus (Soldier, deceased)
|Status||Deceased (Killed by Spartacus)|
Gaius Claudius 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 is a man of average height with short black hair and blue eyes. He is often seen wearing armor that is in the same style as that of his legionaries, though he has also been seen wearing robes that befit a man of high stature and position amongst the noble hierarchy. Glaber also holds an athletic/muscular body tone and professional Roman combat skills as demonstrated from his use with a sword.
Like many Romans, Glaber is shown to be a power-hungry patrician who looks down on people of lower social standing, like Batiatus, whom he belittles and ignores. He shows little care for anyone but himself, such as when he leaves his wife, Ilithyia, in The House of Batiatus to be treated almost like a slave, and when Glaber mocks Mercato for his incompetence. He is also unpopular among many of his nobleman; Albinius looks down upon Glaber, Seppius and Varinius have a bitter rivalry with the Praetor, Varis and Cossutius do not have any love lost for him, and the Senate is disappointed in Glaber's results in hunting down Spartacus. However, Glaber does seem to be on good terms with his Tribune Marcus and Magistrate Gallienus. Glaber does show affection for llithyia when he is not busy or stressed, but is as easily quick to disown her when she endangers his standing.
Glaber is considered unpopular amongst the nobles and in particular isn't favored by those in the Senate. The wives of the noble Romans mentions the rumors about Glaber's deeds on the front line consisting of pilaging, rape, and groundless slaughter.
He has a deep resentment towards Spartacus, whom he holds personally responsible for his disgrace by not only speaking out against him, but inciting mass mutiny after Glaber decided to abandon the Thracians' villages to pursue his own goals. Glaber's embitterment of Spartacus has consumed himself in an extreme emotional dislike for the Rebel leader, forcing Glaber to dishonorable tactics and questionable maneuvers that would have the Senate frown upon him, such as relying on mercenaries and crucifying innocents. Glaber himself once admitted to his overall embracement of his monstrosity, blaming Spartacus for all his foul moods and deeds.
Glaber is trained in Roman Army tactics and technique, and is a devious and brutal tactician. He commands large numbers of infantry and artillery units in war against the slave army. However, his rigid and unyielding tactics leave him vulnerable to attacks in several instances. Even though he can be reckless, he proves to be an expert swordfighter and more than a match for gladiators.
Blood and Sand
Legatus Glaber is first seen addressing a gathering of Thracians, offering a bargain of aid against the barbarian Getae in exchange for service in the Auxiliary in the war against the horde of Mithridates. Many of the Thracians are quick to dismiss his offer, except for Spartacus, who insists that the Romans help to wipe out the Getae - "all of them." Glaber solemnly agrees.
Midway through the campaign, Glaber entertains a surprise visit from his wife, Ilithyia, despite Roman law forbidding the presence of women in military camps. When two of the Thracians, including Glaber's ally, report a sudden shift of the Getae's position westward, he resolves to abandon his plan against the Getae and move on Mithridates
himself, breaking his oath with the Thracians. When he issues orders to the Thracians, however, his ally is first to defy the command, and a fight quickly ensues. In the commotion, Glaber is thrown from his horse and left unconscious. Facing a summons back to Rome for his loss of the auxiliary,
an outraged Glaber personally hunts down the Thracian responsible for the mutiny, capturing him along with his wife, Sura. He orders the woman sold into slavery while he transports the Thracian and several of his comrades to Capua, there to be executed ad gladium. With this offer, Glaber hopes to reclaim his honor and standing with Rome - specifically, his father-in-law, Senator Albinius. While five of the captured six Thracians die quickly in the Arena, one - Glaber's former ally - prevails, even when hopelessly outmatched by four trained gladiators. An enraged Glaber demands instant death for the Thracian, but relents when Quintus Lentulus Batiatus makes an offer to purchase the
man as a gladiator and name him Spartacus. Visiting the newly-named gladiator in his cell, Glaber taunts the Thracian one last time before departing for Rome, to continue his aspirations in the Senate.
Glaber returns to Capua in order to investigate the disappearance of Licinia, the cousin to the wealthy Marcus Licinius Crassus. He scoffs at Batiatus' meeting with him and then goes to meet with Mercato in order to discuss the current situation.
The meeting with Mercato proves to lead nowhere, much to the frustration of Glaber. Ilithyia greets him, but Glaber wonders about what promises she made to Batiatus and Lucretia on his behalf due to Batiatus pressing Glaber's patronage. Ilithyia responds she promised nothing other than that she would would pass word of it to him. She tells him to humour Batiatus as his gladiators are the toast of Capua. The two then make love after coming to mutual agreement.
Glaber and Ilithyia go to Batiatus' Ludus and he relucantly considers Batiatus' offer of granting patronage, but is not affected by Batiatus words. He requests to see all of the gladiators and it is during this time that he and Spartacus meet again. Glaber taunts the Thracian that he has become the Champion of Capua and demands a demonstration. Spartacus, with practice swords, faces off
against Glaber's elite soldiers. First against Iovis, then Vesper and Linus, and then finally against 4 other Romans. Spartacus easily defeat all his Roman soldiers in combat. Glaber is impressed by Spartacus' skill but more so at how Batiatus appeared to have broken his once rebellious spirit. Before patronage is granted, however, Glaber orders Spartacus to kneel before him. The champion does so, much to Glaber's delight. Just as things appear to be going well, however, Crixus attacks Ashur. Glaber angrily declines the proposal, citing Batiatus' inability to control his gladiators, and attempts to leave. As he and Ilithyia prepare to return to Rome, Batiatus angrily demands Glaber's patronage much to Glaber's
ire. Ashur is then summoned to the room to which he then reveals the hand of Licinia. Glaber is horrified and asks why Batiatus murdered her by Batiatus grinningly tells him that it was Ilithyia who had killed her. He says that he was content to keep it a secret but that if patronage is not granted than Batiatus will have her body resurface with all evidence pointing to Glaber and Ilithia. Ilithyia attemtps to tell Glaber that it is a lie but as she and Glaber stare at one another her eyes and facial expressions betray her and he slaps her aside. Glaber affirms that patronage is granted and that Ilithyia will remain in Batiatus' care along with a clutch of his soldiers. He then takes his leave back to Rome.
Six weeks after the Massacre of the House of Batiatus, Glaber has been elected as a Praetor of the Republic. He sits with his friend, Marcus, and talks about how they should possibly assemble a Legion to go to Hispania, as they believe that Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus will be unable to quell the rebellion there. They are interupted, however, by the arrival of Glaber's father-in-law, Senator Albinius and fellow Praetor, Publius Varinius, whom Glaber has a particular distate for. Albinius informs Glaber that he will be dispatched to Capua to crush Spartacus. Glaber refuses at first but is eventally forced to agree after his status is threatened. He goes to Ilithyia, who is now with child, that he is being dispatched to defeat Spartacus. He also informs her she will be coming with him, but she protests. Glaber reminds her that it's her fault they are tied to Batiatus and his ludus to cover up the murder of Licinia. She still remains reluctant but Glaber isn't moved.
discuss what his plans are but Glaber scoffs at him stating he'd prefer to speak to the Magistrate. Ilithyia arrives, angered that she is to be in this house and desires to stay in their villa in the city, but Glaber refuses. He then sets to the task of organizing his men.
When a crazed Lucretia appears, frightening Ilithyia to hysterics, advice from Marcus, who has come along as Glaber's Tribune, Glaber seizes an opportunity, and orders a public address in the market square of Capua. At the address, he presents Lucretia as a divine omen from the Gods (although it is merely a ruse to bring up the city's morale). He also presents a captured slave from the House of Batiatus, Aurelia, revealing her to be
the sole survivor of a group of Rebels his men found. He speaks out to the crowd, but his presentation is cut short due to a surprise attack by Spartacus himself, who bursts from the crowd and engages Glaber in a fight. Before either man can finish the fight, more Roman soldiers come, as do Spartacus' Rebels. The ensuing chaos ends with the Rebels making a retreat before even more Roman soldiers arrive.
Following the attack, Glaber and Marcus discuss options of recruiting more men into their ranks. Seppius, a young Capuan noble and ally of Varinius, however, holds claim over the mercenaries surrounding Capua. Marcus suggests that they make an aggreement with the boy but Glaber is reluctant. Marcus arranges a meeting between Glaber and Seppius yet the two immediately conflict, ultimately not being able to find common ground.
Glaber continues to exult Lucretia's new status as prophetess, despite Ilithyia's warnings that she is not to be trusted. He receives surprise help in the form of Ashur, arriving at the ludus with a captive Oenomaus, formerly Doctore of the House of Batiatus in tow. He sees Ashur in low regard, remembering that it was him who forced Glaber to grant patronage to the House of Batiatus, and has him cut off the mark of the brotherhood that he still possesses to test his loyalty, which Ashur does. After Ashur discovers the location of where Spartacus would be going he sends both Marcus and Ashur to ambush them at the mines. His relationship with his wife worsens as he focuses intently on capturing Spartacus. Soldiers return with three Rebels, the Gauls: Crixus, Rhaskos and Acer. Glaber is infuriated that Spartacus evades capture.
At a party held at the ludus for the nobility of Capua in order to raise spirits, Glaber brings out the captured Gauls, along with Oenomaus, to present them to be killed by Varinius, whom Glaber holds in low regard. Varinius inste
ad insults Glaber by refusing to kill them and decides they should executed in the arena, excluding Acer who instead is chosen to be tortured.
Ashur would return with the remaining soldiers who went with Marcus, who was killed, to chase down Spartacus. Infuriated that his friend was killed and untrusting of Ashur, Glaber sentences Ashur to be executed in the arena with the others.
Unbeknownst to him, his own wife, father-in-law and rival work against him which causes conflict. After counsel from Lucretia he has Ashur released who, through Lucretia, tells Glaber of his wife's plans to abort his child and end their marriage. He confronts Ilithyia with this information who confirms it. With nothing left, Glaber asks her, "Is there nothing left between us?" to which there is no positive response and the two leave to attend the executions at the arena as husband and wife for the last time.
During the preliminary matches, Glaber is shown having great disdain for everyone around him as they all look down on him and patronize him, infuriating Glaber. Soon enough, Spartacus and the rebels make an attack on the arena to free the Rebels and he watches on as the destruction of the arena occurs around him. He looks out and locks eyes with Spartacus who then throws a spear at him. Glaber dodges it, cutting his cheek, while the spear strikes and kills Cossutius. When everyone begins to leave Glaber is told by Albinius that his days in the Senate are now over and pushes him aside. As Glaber escapes he sees his father-in-law injured, and in revenge for the comments and conspiracy against him, murders Albinius. He expresses this to his wife who breaks down in tears, but whether the tears are for her fathers death or the realization that her marriage to Glaber cannot be dissolved is unknown, something Glaber himself takes note of later. Glaber shows nothing but contempt for his wife, and only keeps her alive due to their unborn child carrying his name.
Glaber attempts to organize his soldiers with Salvius acting as his new second. Ashur approaches Glaber to try and explain how gladiators are far above common slaves and would require greater fighters than Roman soldiers. Glaber has Ashur prove his boast as he himself stood a gladiator before. Ashur fights and defeats Salvius and two other soldiers. An impressed Glaber promotes Ashur as his right hand and tasks him with gathering the most ruthless men that could prove useful in crushing the rebellion.
Later, Glaber again attempts to gain the aid of Seppius. They, however, clash as Seppius continues to hold the favor of Varinius. Ashur returns to Glaber with a group of the deadliest men in the city and with Glaber they move against Seppius and his household, killing them all whilst covering it up as a though it was the slaves uprising in the name of Spartacus, Glaber himself personally killing Seppius.
Seppius' younger sister, Seppia is invited to stay at the House of Batiatus by Glaber who does this to spite his wife. Glaber then takes command over Seppius' militia, led by Octavius Tarsus. He begins to develop strategies with Ashur for capturing Spartacus and addresses the city in the market, crucifying one of his wife's slaves and announcing that all slaves will be punished if they even whisper Spartacus' name.
After tasking Ashur with tracking down Gannicus and bringing him to the villa, Glaber tries to persuade Gannicus to join his army after seeing him ignite the crowd during the execution games. In exchange for this, Glaber offers Gannicus his rudis that was recovered from the ruins of the arena. When Gannicus says he isn't interested, Glaber allows him to leave the villa with the rudis, stating that he is a free man and that his fate is his own. However, after Gannicus departs, he instructs Ashur to have one of his mercenaries follow him and that should Gannicus choose to flee Capua, he shall be crucified.
That night, Lucretia and Ilithyia stage an event that leads Glaber and the others to believe that his unborn child will die if remaining in Capua. Glaber decides to have her transported to Rome, but on Ashur's advice, keeps Lucretia in Capua. Heavily guarding her caravan he and Ilithyia bid each other farewell.
Soon afterwards, Seppia arrives in his chambers. Glaber, confused at first, watches Seppia remove her gown whilst staring at one other before kissing and making love. Salvius breaks up the encounter by informing the Praetor of unfortunate news. Much to Glaber and Ashur's dismay, Ilithyia is kidnapped by Gannicus, who attacked the guarded wagon and killed off all the Roman guards, including Ashur's man.
Back in the villa, Glaber contemplates his situation in returning his wife, although his worries are more rooted in pragmatic reasoning of politics, as Glaber and Seppia soon become official lovers, sleeping with each whenever often. Soon enough, Lucius enters the villa with news of Ilithyia - she is held captive by Spartacus, and will be returned in trade for a full wagon with supplies and weaponry. Glaber learns the deal is to bring only three men alongside him, and Spartacus the same, with the amendment that Spartacus will never arrive if reinforcements are seen on the road. Despite Ashur and Seppia's protests, Glaber agrees to the offer.
Taking Tarsus and Salvius with him, Glaber soon meets up with Spartacus in the marketplace, and share words with each other. However, the trade turns out to be a trap, as Ashur and his mercenaries soon ambush the Rebels. Glaber locks arms with Spartacus, although he gets taken down. Salvius and Tarsus manage to save the Praetor's life, and soon sound the horn for reinforcements. The ambush fails, as Lucius and Mira rain down arrows on the soldier, with Tarsus becoming a casualty, and Glaber getting shot with an arrow to the chest, forcing a retreat.
Back in the villa, as Glaber tends to his wound, Lucretia questions why Glaber disregarded the life of Ilithyia during the trade, to which Glaber angrily responds that he would do anything to see Spartacus' life at an end, even at the cost of Ilithyia. He plainly states he will mourn her passing, and soon afterwards engages in more intercourse with Seppia. Unbeknownst to Glaber, however, Lucretia reveals to Seppia that Glaber was responsible for her brother's death, causing her to contemplate vengeance.
Eventually, Spartacus releases Ilithyia, telling her Glaber has no true love for her. Ilithyia then returns to her husband in the villa, where he is having sex with a reluctant Seppia, and falls unconscious to the pool. A shocked Glaber calls for a medicus, and soon afterwards Ilithyia wakes up in a prematurely made bedroom. Glaber interrogates Ilithyia for Spartacus' whereabouts, and is then questioned as to why he holds no love for her anymore. Glaber calls himself a 'monster' born of necessity, and cooly responds for her to look for the response she gave him before Varinius' games, and then leaves.
Varinius soon arrives to inform Glaber the Senate wishes for the Praetor to step down from his continued search for Spartacus, as it has gone on too long. In disbelief, Glaber replies to Varinius that Spartacus is now within his grasp, and inadvertedly confirms to Varinius the Rebel leader's location in Vesuvius. Varinius then informs Glaber he is now charged with the task, and before going to Vesuvius, Varinius tells Glaber if he wishes to rise above in the Senate, he would do as commanded. Varinius then takes his leave.
As Glaber goes to the baths to wash himself, he has a discussion with Seppia about Varinius and Seppius. A vengeful Seppia replies he does not trust Varinius to strike down the man responsible for her brother's death, and smashes a jar of wine across Glaber's head, forcing him backwards into the edge of the pool. Right before Seppia can stab Glaber, however, Ilithyia
sneaks from behind to force Seppia's blade into her torso before slitting her throat causing blood to spray across Glaber and into the pool. As the corpse is dropped in the waters, a naked and bloodied Glaber questions Ilithyia as to her actions, reminding her of the love they once shared now gone forever. Ilithyia simply replies to Glaber that they are both 'monsters' and should act as such. The two make love to each other, as Seppia's body floats in the pool behind them.
After the failed assault of Varinius and his soldiers, Glaber attacks Spartacus and his men at the temple, where they are interrogating Varinius. Glaber unleashes the ultimate weapon, the Roman Catapult. A barrage of flaming boulders fly through the air killing many Rebels (Varinius included) as he and his Romans storm the temple. They overrun the camp while Spartacus and his men retreat for Mount Vesuvius. Glaber tells his men that Spartacus and the Rebels now have the high ground, whilst they lost the advantage. Ashur asks if he will let them go free, the praetor replies, "No I will let them feast on mud and rock and when hunger and madness drives them from their perch we shall kill them all."
While in the Vesuvius Temple, Glaber is visited by Ilithyia. The two, now holding on another in love once more, talk about current plans and Ilithyia manages to convince her husband to take down Spartacus the next day. He is then told by his wife that Ashur was the one who influenced Seppia into trying to kill him. Glaber remarks how he was a serpent, yet the oracle must go as well, and instructs Ilithyia to remove Lucretia.
Glaber then sends Ashur on a suicide mission to "prove his loyalty." After Ashur's head is delivered to Glaber, he prepares for battle.
Meanwhile, Spartacus, Agron, Crixus, and Gannicus slide down vines from the volcano in order to surprise Glaber and his men by taking control of their catapults. Glaber and his men then confront the four Rebel leaders, and after sharing one final gaze with Spartacus he orders his men to kill them. The Romans charge but his army is outflanked when the rest of the Rebels attack them from behind beginning a fierce battle. During the fight, Glaber takes down many Rebels but after seeing his men being defeated he realizes they are fighting a losing battle and has the remaining Romans retreat.
Glaber and his men then retreat to the temple but Spartacus pursues. After Spartacus kills Salvius, thereby avenging Mira's death, Glaber and Spartacus duel each other. Spartacus counters his moves, to which an enraged Glaber remarks he will not fall to a slave. The two continue battling with Glaber nearly succeeding in killing Spartacus through sheer rage but Spartacus catches his hand and states he is a free man, then thrusts his sword through Glaber's stomach and forces Glaber to his knees. Spartacus says to his army, "The Roman finally learns his place before us, on his knees." Glaber in a fit of rage and disbelief, curses Spartacus, saying that his death will only send more legions of Romans and one day soon he will fall to a deserved end. Spartacus dismisses this by saying "Perhaps, yet it is not this night." Glaber is finished off when Spartacus drives his sword down his throat, leaving Glaber to drown in his own blood.
War of the Damned
List of Appearances
- To read the original historical sources, see Historical Accounts of Spartacus' War
Next to nothing is known about the historical Gaius Claudius Glaber, other than a few scant facts. All that is known is that he was one of eight elected Praetor's for the year 73 BC, that he was a Plebian at least thirty-nine years old, and that he led a few thousand militia in an effort to destroy Spartacus and was subsequently defeated.
Following his defeat, he disappears entirely from history and had no known descendants. Given that Praetors were ranked second in importance next only to the two Consuls in Roman politics, the fact that he vanished completely from history is noteworthy. Therefore it is likely that he was either killed during the battle or was so humiliated by the defeat that he retired from public life.
- Craig Parker, the actor who portrays Glaber, is 5'10" tall.
- His given name, Gaius, is not used throughout the first season. Instead, he is referred to as Claudius, which is technically his family name.
- The name Claudius would indicate that Glaber was a member of the Gens Claudia (or Clodia), who were a prominent Patrician dynasty in the Republic. The Gens (tribe/clan/family) was believed to be descended from a Sabine nobleman named Attius Clausus, whom would be later called Appius Claudius Sabinus Inregillensis, after defecting to the Roman Republic from the Sabine tribe of northern Latium.
- Glaber would have been at least thirty-nine years old at the time of his death, as this was the minimum age for a Praetor.
- As Glaber was a Praetor entrusted with military authority by the Senate, his office would have specifically been that of a Praetor Peregrinus, whom possessed Imperium (high military command).
- As an elected Praetor, Glaber would have been entitled to a security detail of six Lictors.
- Dialogue in Enemies of Rome, suggests that he has been the only Roman commander to have come close to defeating Spartacus, although at this time Spartacus had only a small fighting force as opposed to a much larger army.
- Glaber was the thirteenth main character to be killed.
- Glaber closely resembles the character of Marcus Glabrus from Stanley Kubrik's 1960 film.
- It was mentioned in Libertus that one of Glaber's ancestors had lost the first battle of the Second Punic War in Italy (Battle of Trebia). This implies a relation to Tiberius Sempronius Longus, who was Consul in 218 BCE. Longus, however, would also enjoy some success, such as defeating a Carthaginian division led by Hannibal's brother, Hanno, at an engagement at Grumentum, in Lucania, in 215 BCE.
- In the Spartacus: Blood and Sand iPhone game, Glaber is one of the playable characters, even though he is obviously not a gladiator. He dresses in a Roman military style and fights with a spear and shield.
"I fear you are right, you are not like me. Your wife was the heart that beats beneath your chest, you would have given all, to see her live. But I would do the same, to see you dead."
—Glaber To Spartacus
"You have allied yourself with Rome. I am its body and voice."
—Glaber to Thracian soldiers
"You will march where you are commanded!"
—Glaber to Spartacus
"The shadow of Rome is vast, and you, Thracian, will die under it."
—Glaber to Spartacus
"I see you have taught the animal not to speak out of turn."
—Glaber to Batiatus
"The Thracian finally learns his place before me—on his knees."
—Glaber to Spartacus
"Spartacus is but a man! He shall never triumph over the people of Capua.
—Glaber to Capua citizens
"My men have been set to higher purpose by the Gods themselves, at this very moment they close on Spartacus and his horde, and they shall once more kneel before the glory of Rome!"
—Glaber to Capua citizens
"I would have them feast on mud and rock and when hunger and madness have driven them from their perch, we shall kill them all."
—Glaber to Ashur
"The Egyptian and your men prove themselves. See the bodies of the slaves properly attended, draw no attention."
—Glaber to Ashur
" You have won nothing. Rome shall send legions in my wake, and one day you shall fall to deserved end."
—Glaber's final words to Spartacus