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Mark of the Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood is the body of the gladiator social structure within a Ludus where slaves can train and pass "the Test" in order to be branded with their houses' mark and be considered a real Gladiator, while those who do not take the test are not considered real gladiators. While most slaves in general where marked to show their position in life, a gladiators mark was considered sacred to many of them.

The Initiation[]

Slaves are bought by the ludus Lanista in order to become gladiators. The Lanista will purchase the most fearsome and most powerful looking slaves to come to their ludus for training. The slaves are initiated by the Doctore of the ludus.

After their orientation, the recruits must train as intensely as the brotherhood does in order to show enough skill to match that of the gladiators who have trained for years. The gladiators will taunt and humiliate the initiates trying to make them give up or even kill them just to show how hard it is to be a gladiator. A strong initiate will not give up.

After weeks of training, all the initiates will be tested in front of their Dominus against the gladiators of the brotherhood. Initates will face gladiators based on skill level. A strong Initiate faces a strong gladiator, while a weak initiate faces a weak gladiator.

The test involves real swords and shields with absolutely no armor, mea

The Brotherhood of Batiatus after training.

ning if a gladiator loses, he dies.

The test is contested on a wooden platform 2 meters off the ground. The rules to the test are simple:

Victory can be achieved by: killing the opponent and taking his rank, knocking him off the platform, or forcing him to submit. If fighting shows that both fighters are evenly matched, the recruit has also succeeded.

Defeat comes when: a recruit is killed, or if he gives up or falls off the platform. Those that lose and live are sent to the mines.

Victory in the test will awards the mark of the brotherhood and successful initiates are welcomed as new members into the gladiator family and, with it, more respect from the brotherhood which comes with many privileges. Unfortunately, generally half of the recruits ever make it to become members of the brotherhood and only one will live his life as a gladiator.

The Social Structure[]

The brotherhood is separated into five different ranks. False Gladiator, Gladiator, Veteran Gladiator, Champion and Doctore. Each rank within the brotherhood allows for different privileges.

False Gladiator[]

False Gladiators live among the rest of the Gladiators and are treated as such by their Dominus. However, they have received their mark under pretenses that true Gladiators consider unworthy, and are therefor treated no better than a recruit.


Gladiators are given a shared cell, enough food. He fights for a few coins at the morning and midday games and is allowed whores if he can pay.

Veteran Gladiator[]

A veteran is given his own small cell below the ludus, more food, and fights for enough coin normally at midday games and afternoon games. He can buy items for himself and whores when he wants.


The champion of the ludus is given his own larger cell outside the prison, right by the training area. He eats more than anyone and fights for more coin in the primus. He is allowed his own personal belongings and can freely walk around and ask requests from his Dominus such as Whores or a Wife for no cost.


The Doctore is a Gladiator, usually a former Champion, that no longer fights in the arena, but instead trains other Gladiators. The position of Doctore is highly respected by both Gladiators and his Dominus alike, and regarded as the highest ranking slave in the ludus. He oversees all Gladiator training, and as such is allowed to speak freely to his Dominus regarding the Gladiators. His form of payment, if any, is unknown.

Brotherhood members from The House of Batiatus[]

The Brotherhood comprises everyone who passes the test. Past and present gladiators are listed.

Spartacus and members of the Brotherhood.


  • Possible Latin terms for "brotherhood" could include Fraternitas (brothers in a family), or in the terms of an association may be Soliditas (a firm in the corporate sense) or Collegium (organization).
  • It is hinted throughout the series that, although Batiatus' stock of gladiators is considered to be smaller than most other ludus', his gladiators are significantly more skilled.