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Quintilius Varus
First appearance S0E02: Missio
S2E01: Fugitivus (Mentioned)
Last appearance S0E06: The Bitter End
S2E01: Fugitivus (Mentioned)
Profession Senator
Race Roman
Relationships Cossutius (Friend, deceased)
Petronius (Friend)
Gaia (Friend, deceased)
Status Active
Actor/Actress Peter Feeney

Quintilius Varus is a Roman senator visiting Capua for business with Vettius. He appears exclusively in Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.


Varus is a tall, slender man with short black hair and clean shaven. He wears high-born clothing to match his status and always attended by slaves.


Varus is shown to display bisexual tendencies that are heightened by opium and wine. These preferences are known by Gaia who uses them to gain favor for the House of Batiatus. He also seems to be quite arrogant and is not above using manipulation to get his own way.

Gods of the Arena[]

Varus is a man of high-standing, arriving in Capua to choose men for his games. To get a higher place for himself, Batiatus arranges it so that he, instead of Vettius, can gain Varus' favor. He sends his wife, Lucretia, and her friend, Gaia, who is also a friend of Varus from her time in Roma, to meet him and bring him back to the villa. Meanwhile Ashur, Dagan, and Indus mislead Vettius into thinking that Varus is at the new arena, before they beat him.

Varus checking out Gannicus

With Vettius beaten, Gaia and Lucretia bring Varus back to the villa. Here, after some smart maneuvering, Batiatus convinces Varus to watch a demonstration showing Gannicus and Crixus. After the fight Gannicus is brought up to the villa where he has sexual intercourse with Melitta, at Varus' request. This, along with Gaia's knowledge of Varus, gains Batiatus the favor he desired and secures the primus in Varus' games.

Varus later returns to the House of Batiatus with his friend, Cossutius, who desires to see the "pleasures" that the House of Batiatus had afforded him. While Cossutius has his fun with the gladiator, Rhaskos, and virgin slave, Diona, Gaia tries to seduce him and gauge attraction though her attempts are in vain as Varus knows she is without any high-end heritage or wealth and leaves with Cossutius not long after.

During his games, he sits in the pulvinus alongside Tullius and Titus Batiatus, Quintus' father. After the fight between Barca and Gnaeus concludes, he grants Gnaeus life, as return for the hospitality he received at the House of Batiatus. He later expresses amazement at Crixus defeating Auctus, a veteran gladiator of great skill.

Varus would later be in attendance at the Games of the New Arena and watch as the Houses of Batiatus, Solonius and others battle to discover which gladiator becomes Champion of Capua.

He is amazed at Batiatus' house winning because of Gannicus, as with Cossutius he remarks that he might have mind for Batiatus' for his own games.


He is briefly mentioned by Ilithyia who is about to confirm hers and her husband's attendance to one of his parties. Glaber, however, says they will not be present due to their upcoming departure to Capua to deal with the rebel threat.

During their conversation, it is implied by Ilithyia that Glaber has some disdain for Varus which may be reciprocated. Besides this Varus is also mentioned by Ashur at the time when he is torturing Oenomaus.


  • It is very likely that Varus is intended to be based upon Sextus Quintilius Varus.
    • Varus' son, also named Sextus Quintilius Varus, was a Senator who fought against Julius Caesar during the Roman Civil War and was one of Caesar's assassins. He would die, along with Brutus and Cassius, at the decisive Battle of Philippi in 42 BC.
    • Varus' grandson, Publius Quintilius Varus, was a Roman politician and general under Caesar Augustus. Though his father had died fighting against Augustus, he had regained position among the ruling class by marrying the daughter of Augustus' closest friend and advisor, Marcus Agrippa. Publius Varus is most famous for the annihilation of his legions at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD, where he was also killed. His defeat was the inspiration for the famous quote from Augustus: "Varus, give me back my legions!"(" Vare, Vare, redde legiones!").
  • Cast credits spells the character's name alternatively as 'Varis' and at other times as 'Varus'. Stephen DeKnight confirmed on twitter that it is spelled 'Varus'.
  • Varus is a member of the Patrician Gens Quintilia, whose name is derived from the name Quintus (the fifth), and were descended from the original followers of Romulus prior to the founding of Rome. While members of the gens held numerous offices, including a number of Praetorships, only one of their number, a certain Sextus Quintilius Varus in 453 BCE, ever held the Consulship.
  • Varus' friendship with the merchant Petronius, who he had invited to experience the pleasures at the villa of Batiatus, could be contingent upon them being patron and client. A defining feature of Roman society.
  • Varus is one of the few antagonists in the series to have survived.