|First appearance||S3E03: Men of Honor|
|Last appearance||S3E06: Spoils of War|
|Relationships||Castus (Former Right-Hand Man, deceased)|
Adherbal (Pirate, deceased)
Tryphon (Pirate, deceased)
Cilician Pirate 1 (Pirate, deceased)
Cilician Pirate 2 (Pirate, deceased)
Spartacus (Former Ally/Enemy, deceased)
Ennius (Employer, deceased)
Gannicus (Ally/Enemy, deceased)
|Status||Deceased (Killed by Laeta)|
Heracleo is the leader of a band of Cilician Pirates.
Heracleo is a middle-aged pirate with dark-hair and a foreign accent. He adorns a leather cloak with a rag around his head and has a small dimple beside his nose. He wields a unique axe when in battle. Later he uses a strange looking sword when under the employment of Crassus.
Following his conflict with Spartacus, Heracleo gains a distinct scar on his forehead.
As a career pirate and raider, Heracleo is an experienced fighter, though he most likely lacks formal training. He is capable of holding his own in combat, ableit with deceitful and sometimes cowardly tactics. Even he admits that he and his men are "no match for a 'god of the arena'" and will typically avoid engaging gladiators or other superior foes.
Captivating and charismatic, Heracleo is an outgoing individual with an alluring presence around him. The pirate leader is quite celebratory, even on mundane occasions, and has continueously pestered Spartacus about doing so to properly commemorate their newfound alliance. Heracleo is somewhat jolly, cheering happily when proving to Spartacus that his "reach" is long, and partakes in drink often with his comrades, such as Castus. He is also humorous, acquiring the name "King Spartacus" for the rebel leader. However, the pirate is also a shady character devoid of a moral compass.
As an indulgent privateer, Heracleo is motivated soley by his desire for monetary rewards. While Heracleo does provide faithful services to his customers, his loyalty depends upon the amount of payment received, and can just as easily betray current clients in favor of more promised ventures of other third parties. Because the pirate leader is noted for his untrustworthiness and his "lack of honor", Rebels have questioned his reliability within the grain trading. Also, despite the fact he once held a grain trade alliance with Ennius, Heracleo has strong sexual desires towards his wife Laeta, and isn't afraid to make his advances on her.
War of the Damned
Heracleo appears at the city gates with Castus, Tryphon and Adherbal, carrying a wine amphora and offers to trade with them. Soon after, Heracleo reveals that he had an underground agreement with the city's Aedile, and that he needed his seal to trade with safety.
Despite being untrusted by others in his army, Spartacus agrees to make a deal.
Outside the city at the beach without weapons, they nearly fight each other when Heracleo delivers less than he earlier promised. But Tiberius leads an attack that instead of dividing them, unites them, and the two groups fight against a common enemy, Heracleo, himself, saving Spartacus' life. Eventually, Heracleo sends a signal to his ships, which then catapults explosives to crush the Romans, earning Spartacus’ trust, and thus sealing the agreement.
Heracleo and his men have been able to collect supplies for Spartacus and the Rebels but their stock always seems to be more wine than food due to the winter season coming and the low number of food-ships sea. Heracleo points out that Spartacus shouldn't waste food on the Roman prisoners but Spartacus doesn't budge on the subject. The two then move to make plans for an even greater scheme that would see Heracleo and his men profit while also advancing Spartacus and his rebellion.
Heracleo and Castus take to drinking with Nemetes and Lysiscus. The two use this oppurtunity to gain information as Heracleo is deeply intoxicated and Castus has passed out. He accidently reveals the plans of Spartacus to the duo and while Nemetes moves to inform Crixus, Lysiscus seeks to find what out else Heracleo may know.
The next day Heracleo and the rest of his men return to their ships in which they sail off to gain their fortunes and begin to pull off the plan conducted by Spartacus. Spartacus meets him at the docks and sends one of his trusted men, Sanus, to accompany Heracleo and the rest of the Pirates on their journey. Heracleo and Spartacus bid each other farewells for the time and tells Spartacus to inform Castus that they will return for him in time, as the pirate still appears to be passed out from all the drink from the night before.
After an off-scene negotiation with the Romans and killing of Sanus, Heracleo reappears at the port with the ships. But when Spartacus and the others ask where is Sanus, Heracleo says he has fallen, not to the Romans, but "To their desires and the weight of the gold not even a king can have". And then unleash Roman soldiers from inside the ship.
Spartacus and Gannicus fight the infiltration force together for a few moments. before the arrival of Rabanus and Pollux. Heracleo takes on Pollux for a bit before managing to make the Rebel lose balance and fall off the ship. Afterwards, Crixus, Naevia and others join forces and kill all the Romans. Spartacus then jumps on to the ship and kills one of the pirates and then challenges Heracleo. Their duel is brief as Spartacus lands a heavy blow against the Pirate captain, splitting his head open and knocking off of the boat. He falls into the sea with a gash on his face.
He survives and the gash on his face is given stitches. He and his surviving crew members regroup with Crassus. Crassus honors their bargain and loads the pirate's ships with gold, and gives him Laeta to do with as he wishes, despite her protests that she is a Roman citizen. Heracleo has his men bind and gag her. Crassus warns Heracleo to leave the city with his crew within a certain time or die.
Heracleo and his men drag Laeta to Attius' forge. He claims that she will be like his Queen and brands her on the arm with his mark, making her his slave. Sibyl and Gannicus then appear and Heracleo comments that it is good to see Gannicus alive and that the death of others was a necessity in order to avoid a merciless death and become a rich man. Gannicus threatens him with a sword and the Cilician responds he is no match for a god of the arena but says during their fight his sword might
slaughter Gannicus' woman (indicating Sibyl) before he dies . Gannicus replys that she is not his woman and attacks him. During the fight, Gannicus, thinking he had taken down the pirate, is distracted fighting the other Cilicians that accompanied their leader.
Heracleo, still conscious, reaches for Sibyl while Gannicus is distracted. Sibyl fights back but she isn't skilled enough to last, and Heracleo presses a sword to her throat. Gannicus quickly realizes what is happening and yells her name, panicked. The Cilician pirate immediately uses Gannicus' concern to his advantage saying "So you do care for the little one? But it's a pity now that you have killed her!" Gannicus screams "No!" then he watches, shocked as suddenly the Cilician is stabbed in the throat by Laeta with a hot branding iron.
Afterwards, Gannicus steals his cloak and necklace as a disguise.
- Heracleo is the first and only (known) person that was killed by Laeta.
- It is unknown how he was able to survive being underwater with a severe head gash.
- An interview with series creator, Steven S. DeKnight, reveals that Heracleo is based upon the name of a real life pirate leader who was known to have plagued the seas during the time of the Third Servile War. Whether or not this was the real pirate leader who worked with Spartacus during the rebellion is unknown.
- As a commander of more than one ship, Heracleo may have been known by the maritime title of Navarchos, which had existed since the Peloponnesian War, and translated as a "leader of ships" or admiral.
- In many ways, Heracleo can be seen as the equivalent of Ashur.
"Did I not fucking warn you about my reach!? Ha!"
"An act born of necessity, and raised with heavy heart. I much liked King Spartacus and his companions...well, most of them. Yet I was given a choice between a wealthy life...or die a merciless death. Which, to a man of my sort, is no choice at all."
- Spartacus: War of the Damned Season 3; Episode 6