|Marcus Decius Solonius|
|First appearance||S0E01: Past Transgressions|
S1E01: The Red Serpent
|Last appearance||S1E12: Revelations|
|Relationships||Quintus Lentulus Batiatus (Former Friend/Archenemy, deceased)|
Lucretia (Interest/Former Friend, deceased)
Lysimachus (Gladiator, deceased)
Caburus (Gladiator, deceased)
Arkadios (Gladiator, deceased)
Theokoles (Hired Gladiator, deceased)
Kastor (Servant, deceased)
Tullius (Rival, deceased)
Titus Calavius (Friend, deceased)
Ovidius (Friend, deceased)
Ashur (Informant/Traitor, deceased)
|Status||Slain ad Gladium by Spartacus in the Arena|
|Actor/Actress||Craig Walsh Wrightson|
Marcus Decius Solonius is a Lanista of Capua and was Batiatus' closest friend turned into his nemesis and chief rival.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Solonius is a lean man with tidy blonde hair and appears to be middle-aged, perhaps older than Batiatus. Despite this he has a surprisingly toned build in terms of muscle (though nowhere near the build of a Gladiator). His most prominent feature is a set of extremely polished teeth, which is looked upon with derision by most of Capua's ladies, including Lucretia and Ilithyia. He usually wears attire akin to that of someone of a rich lifestyle.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Solonius is Batiatus' main rival when it comes to training gladiators. He is a wily man, equal in cunning to Batiatus, and the two compete to become the best lanista in Capua. Solonius, however, is less attractive than his former friend and is viewed upon with disdain by the women of Capua, including Lucretia, Ilithyia, and their friends. As such, he, often resorts to excessive bribery among the Roman elite, and is well known to openly engage in prostitution and other illicit activities. Like Batiatus, Solonius is never afraid to revert to more dubious means to get what he wants, but often resorts to even more dastardly tactics and strategems.
Initially, in Gods of the Arena, he and Batiatus were good friends. While Batiatus was more aggressive, Solonius tried to work his way up through more cautious methods. Their friendship deteriorated after Solonius realized that he was being used by Batiatus and went against a plan the two had formed in order to "make a name for himself".
Combat Prowess[edit | edit source]
Despite not being a gladiator and only having one match in the entire series, Solonius is trained with a blade and demonstrates a decent capacity for swordplay, something which even Spartacus notes during their fateful duel. However, like most of his peers, Solonius is of no real threat to trained gladiators.
Story[edit | edit source]
Gods of the Arena[edit | edit source]
Solonius is a low-level lanista and close friend to Batiatus. They both are left in the lower venues in comparison to their rival, Vettius. The two wish to become better involved with the gladiatorial games. However, while Solonius wishes to take a slower approach and proceed with caution , Batiatus prefers more aggressive and scheming measures.
Worried for Batiatus after he is brutally beaten by men of Vettius and Tulllius, a high-class merchant who is building the new Capua Arena, sends a message for advice to Batiatus' father, Titus, which unintentionally brings him back to Capua. During this time Solonius acts on behalf on his friend, Batiatus, but also keeps in contact with Tullius in order to ensure that he will still be able to enter gladiators in the arena.
Later, Titus is killed by wine (Poisioned by Lucretia), however it is believed to be the work of Tullius and so Batiatus seeks revenge on the man for all the grievance they suffer. Solonius believes Batiatus mad and an argument ensues with Batiatus claiming that Solonius has never done what he must to make a name in this world. Their argument is put to ease by Lucretia and Batiatus apologizes. The two then go off to plan what their move against Tullius would be.
Solonius later goes to Tullius and Vettius after Batiatus refused to sell them Gannicus, a gladiator of great skill desired by the duo, which sends Tullius into a rage. Solonius tells Tullius at how Batiatus moves to sell Gannicus to a Syrian at the edge of the city so that Tullius could never have Gannicus. Tullius, Vettius and Solonius then gather men to meet Batiatus and end things.
It is later revealed to be a trap, conjured by Batiatus and Solonius, as several gladiators appear from the shadows and a brawl in the street breaks out. Batiatus and his men take Tullius to exact their revenge on him whilst Solonius takes Vettius hostage in order to negotiate deals with him.
Before the Games of the New Arena begin, both Batiatus and Solonius sit in the polvinus after maneuvering their way up. Vettius arrives saying how he is retiring as a lanista and goes to follow Tullius (Who in reality was killed by Batiatus and his gladiators) to a distant city.
Batiatus makes comment that he and Solonius will split Vettius' men, however it appears that Solonius has already take care of that part by securing all of Vettius' men. When Batiatus questions Solonius on this he reveals his true thoughts of Batiatus and that he was tired of being pushed around all the time. This creates a bitter rivalry that would then take hold of the two them for years to come.
During the games the two lanistas hold the most men in the Primus and are to battle one another. Batiatus has 7 men while Solonius has 13, so it is believed that the latter's house would be victorious. Despite a close fight the gladiator Gannicus is victorious and as a result Batiatus gains victory over Solonius.
Solonius, however, makes one final strike at Batiatus before the end, persuading the Magistrate, Sextus, to grant freedom to Gannicus. This makes Batiatus lose his best gladiator and forces him to put his eyes on another who may rise in the future.
Period Before Blood and Sand[edit | edit source]
During the 5 year time gap between Gods of the Arena and Blood and Sand, Solonius has risen to become the most popular Lanista in Capua and, as a result, is much higher on the political and economic scale than Batiatus. This feud between Batiatus and Solonius also grows from being rivalry to silent hatred of one another.
Blood and Sand[edit | edit source]
Solonius makes appearance at the celebration event held by Senator Albinius. He greets Batiatus and Lucretia in which they provide polite criticism back and forth. Following Batiatus' showing of Crixus and Barca to the other guests, Solonius brings forth 6 of his gladiators to which he boasts of their skill and prowess, much to Batiatus dismay.
The following day during the gladiatorial games and execution of Thracian prisoners held by Albinius, Solonius sits with the other Roman nobles in the pulvanis. When the last of the Thracian prisoners is presented to face of against Solonius' champion, Arkadios, three other gladiators under Solonius appear onto the sands. Both the crowd and Albinius are both dismayed by this act. Gaius Claudius Glaber expresses how this particular Thracian caused great dishonour to Rome and should be humiliated and that Solonius was helpful in this decision. Solonius, however, does not meet Albinius' eyes as the Senator is shown to disapprove of this act much like Batiatus and the crowd. As the Thracian and the gladiators fight, the tides turn as the Thracian is able to defeat all four of Solonius men, much to the shock of everyone. Solonius then witnesses the purchase of the Thracian by Batiatus and Albinius granting him life for his victories and his new name: Spartacus.
Solonius enjoys higher regard as a lanista in Capua than Batiatus does in this time period, with Solonious continually taunting Batiatus with power. This warps in the other direction over time, with Batiatus first striking luck when he buys Spartacus for his ludus. When Solonius realizes he is losing standing, he asks Ovidius to dispose of Batiatus for him, not risking it himself so that the murder could not be traced. Ovidius sends slaves from Remus to attack Batiatus in the Pit, almost succeeding save for Spartacus' intervention. Batiatus discovers who the slaves belonged to and takes vengeance on both Remus, who admits to Ovidious as a culprit, and Ovidius and his family. Eventually, Batiatus discovers Solonius was behind it.
A silent battle wages between the two lanista. Solonius attempts to secure a win over Batiatus' gladiators by buying Theokoles, the legendary undefeated giant, but after long preparation and hard training, Crixus and Spartacus manage to defeat him. Batiatus never mentions that he knows of Solonius' attempt on his life but hints at it and devises a plan to undermine him.
Solonius, on the other hand, tries to convince Ashur that he would better off without Batiatus and working with Solonius. Ashur appears to fall gradually for this offer, much to Solonius' delight.
During the celebration of Numerius' birthday party, being held at Batiatus' Ludus, Solonius is invited by Batiatus as a means to insult and demean him over the fact that Batiatus' fortunes have risen up his own. Solonius, however, does not allow Batiatus to get under his skin and instead mingles with the other guests. Solonius then approaches Ashur, asking him what Batiatus intentions are. Ashur warns that they should not be seen talking and tells him of Batiatus' intentions of humiliating him. He then watches the bout between Spartacus and Varro and watches with interest over how Spartacus is forced to kill his best friend despite the fight having been agreed upon as exhibition. Following the nights events, Batiatus attempts to gain politcal support from Magistrate Calavius, only to be dejected. Solonius then steps in chiding Batiatus and then leaving that villa in conversation with Calavius.
Following more unpleasant dealings, Ashur makes another meeting with Solonius, this time telling that Batiatus has turned his attentions from his rival to bigger dealings. Solonius then learns that Calavius' disappearance is due to Batiatus and follows Ashur down into the sewers to free him. Ashur quickly abandons him when guards start to approach and Solonius finds that Calavius is already dead before he is confronted and apprehended by guards. There it is revealed that Ashur had been plotting with Batiatus all along, and Batiatus has been tricking Solonius the whole time and he is falsely accused in the magistrate's death.
As punishment for his "wrongdoings", Solonius' is sent to the arena to be executed by a gladiator; ironically, Spartacus is chosen as executioner. He is seen to have some knowledge of fighting, but proves no match for the Thracian, who easily cuts through Solonious with several slashes. Sliced up and gutted, Solonious falls to his knees in defeat and recalls the sound of the crowd as being glorious, before telling Spartacus he has chosen the wrong path with Batiatus. His last moments are joyous, as he discovers that Spartacus plots Batiatus' downfall, and Solonius dies laughing as he is beheaded, with Batiatus looking onward.
Books[edit | edit source]
Solonius appears as one of the characters in Spartacus: Morituri.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- When Vettius threatens that Solonius and Batiatus will be executed for their crimes, Solonius responds, "Based upon what evidence? We were not found knife in hand, kneeling beside body." Ironically, this is exactly the manner in which Solonius was found when he was falsely implicated for the death of Calavius.
- According to the Blu-ray commentary for Revelations, Solonius' death scene was originally written with him attempting to flee from Spartacus in the arena, thus dying like a coward. It was decided that it would be more appropriate to have Solonius put up a decent fight, and die with honor. This decision was made in part due to Craig Walsh Wrightson's performance of the character, and in part due to the showrunners' surprise at his physique when he stripped off his shirt!
- Over 75% of the actor's official show reel, despite his many other roles, features the role of Solonius, suggesting how proud he is of the part.
- Solonius' name may be derived from the Roman deity Sol Indiges, one of the original sun gods of the Roman pantheon, whose worship was centred around agriculture. Sol Indiges, whose temple was found on the Quirinel Hill in Rome, had a feast made in his honour on the 11th of December, and a sacrifice in his name was performed on the 28th of August.
- Solonius may belong to the Plebeian Gens Decia, who were of either Oscan or Sabine descent. The Gens was present during the early days of the Roman Republic, when a certain Marcus Decius led the First Secessio Plebis (Secession of the Plebeians) in 495-4 BCE, and was possibly the first Tribune of the Plebs.
Quotes[edit | edit source]
"You survived your execution, Thracian. Upon these very sands... perhaps good Solonius will fare as well."
—Solonius to Spartacus
"A vexing conundrum."
—Solonius to Batiatus
"You've picked my bones clean, speak now before I reclaim the meat."
—Solonius to Ashur
"Loyalty can become a crushing weight, if not braced by proper support. When your back begins to break, you'll find my shoulders broad and welcoming." —Solonius to Ashur
"It's taken many years and the price of blood, but now I finally see you for what you are. You're a man who holds no one in esteem above himself, and I must thank you, because without your guidance, I would have never found nerve to rise up and betray those closest to me."
—Solonius to Batiatus
"You take the wrong life. Your master Batiatus, is the villain."
—Solonius to Spartacus; his last words
References[edit | edit source]
- "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" Season 1; Episode 12