- For the full Prequel article, see Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.
The series is set during the later days of the Roman Republic, with the story beginning five years before the rebellion of 73 B.C. The plot opens not long after Quintus Lentulus Batiatus becomes lanista of his father's ludus. He becomes increasingly famous due to his gladiator champion Gannicus and his continuous victories. However, Titus Batiatus, Quintus' father, seeks to return from his retirement to continue running the ludus at his son's side. Quintus soon realizes that he cannot accomplish his goals with his father disagreeing with many of his ideas and methods. As the story progress, Quintus' wife, Lucretia, kills Titus unbeknownst to Quintus and removes her husband from his father's shadow. In the ludus, doctore Ulpius questions Batiatus' recent actions and Batiatus has him stripped of his rank, passing it on to Oenomaus. In celebration of the construction of the new arena, a gladiatorial event is hosted and Gannicus emerges as the victor. He is awarded freedom for his victory, and Batiatus emerges as the most successful lanista.
Episode 001: Past Transgressions
Summary: With his father's ludus now under his control, Batiatus selects his most skilled gladiator, Gannicus to win the favor of a nobleman so that he may participate in the opening Games of the New Arena. Crixus makes his first appearance, and begins his training as a gladiator soon after being bought by Batiatus in the city streets. Ashur is also one of the recruits recently acquired, yet he and Crixus have yet to prove themselves and receive the mark of the brotherhood.
Episode 002: Missio
Summary: Through an entertaining meeting with Quinctilius Varus, Batiatus succeeds in securing the position of primus for Gannicus in Vettius' upcoming games. Oenomaus is challenged by Doctore, and is forced to fight him, leading to the latter's death. Batiatus then appoints Oenomaus as the new Doctore of the ludus.
Episode 003: Paterfamilias
Summary: Batiatus' father, Titus, returns from Sicily and quickly undoes Batiatus' elaborate scheme to gain prestige. Meanwhile, things run amok in the ludus and Oenomaus feels he does not deserve his position as Doctore. Crixus makes his debut in the arena by slaying Auctus and receives the mark of the Brotherhood.
Episode 004: Beneath The Mask
Summary: Lucretia and Batiatus decide to make use of the house's rising fame, and invite many guests of high social standing to the villa for a night of pleasures. While Batiatus whisks his father away from the event, Lucretia and Gaia are left to tend to the men, including an unexpected visit from Tullius. Gaia attempts to sympathize and soften Tullius' resentment towards the House of Batiatus, but is ultimately murdered at his hands.
Episode 005: Reckoning
Summary: Following Gaia's death, Titus gives Batiatus the option of either dissolving his marriage with Lucretia or being banned from the ludus with her. Tullius approaches Titus and offers him the same deal as before; a place in the primus of the games in return for Gannicus. Titus considers Gannicus' worth by organizing a series of battles in the ludus to determine the true champion of his household.
Episode 006: The Bitter End
Summary: The primus approaches, and Batiatus is left to tend to the unfinished business of his father, Titus, and his deal to sell Gannicus to Tullius. However, not all goes according to Tullius' plans. Both Batiatus' and Solonius' newly acquired men step into the ring of fire of the primus to determine their fate.