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Tullius
Tullius Gods.jpg
First appearance S0E01: Past Transgressions
Last appearance S0E06: The Bitter End
Profession Former Soldier
Merchant
Race Roman
Relationships Sextus (Ally, deceased)
Vettius (Ally/Friend)
Titus Batiatus (Friend/Rival, deceased)
Solonius (Rival/Enemy, deceased)
Batiatus (Rival/Enemy, deceased)
Gaia (Former Love Interest/Victim, deceased)
Appius (Employee)
Status Deceased (mortally stabbed and buried alive by Gannicus, Oenomaus and Batiatus)
Actor/Actress Stephen Lovatt

Tullius Severus[1] is a wealthy merchant and former soldier who sits among the elite class of Capua. He appears exclusively as the main antagonist in Gods of the Arena.

Appearance[]

Tullius wears merchant's clothing of fine quality, though not the togas and tunics of the highest classes, and always keeps his blond hair short and tidy. 

Personality[]

Tullius is a skilled and respected merchant in Capua. He has many business interests, and appears to have many working and personal relationships. His status as a merchant, a position upon which Roman elites typically looked down, indicates he did not come from the highest ranks of Roman society, but was from a high-status plebeian family. He has an interest in the games and has given his own slaves to work on the erection of the arena. He wishes to have fame of his own on the sands and tries, repeatedly, to purchase Gannicus from Batiatus, as he wants a gladiator of his own in the primus.

Tullius shows himself to have psychopathic tendencies. While he at first presents as an extremely pleasant, fair, and personable individual, it is revealed this is a façade when Batiatus refuses to sell him Gannicus. Immediately, his entire demeanor changes, and is shown to commit or sanction many acts of violence and degradation throughout the season. He takes a sadistic joy in the pain and humiliation of others, regardless of class or background. The relationships he forms are indicative of his underlying delinquency.

Though the nature of his personal relationship to Vettius is unclear, his business relationship is one of blatant exploitation. He is capable of being amicable to Vettius, but often scolds and demeans him, even in the company of others. His relationship with Magistrate Sextus shows the depth of his political power, as it is revealed that Sextus has become a puppet of Tullius, despite their contrasting ranks. While he appears to have genuine sentiment for Gaia, her support for the house of Batiatus ultimately results in her shameless murder at Tullius' hands. He shows no remorse for any harm he causes, and appears determined to enrich and elevate himself at any cost.

Combat Prowess[]

A former soldier of the Roman Republic, Tullius boasts some skill with a sword. He, however, is not comparable to that of a gladiator as when he faces Gannicus, Oenomaus tells Gannicus to let Tullius win.

Gods of the Arena[]

Tullius first appears alongside Vettius and Sextus in the stands, watching over the old arena of Capua. In the meantime, he is partially funding the erection of the new arena and his slaves work on it. He appears late to the games, much to Batiatus's distress, as he had hoped for Tullius and Sextus to see Gannicus fighting and consider placing him in the opening of the Games of the New Arena.

A later chance arises in the Capua markets when Batiatus, taking Vettius up on a bet, has Gannicus fight Vettius's man Otho, whilst blind-folded. Gannicus, against the odds, emerges the victor and Tullius is impressed. He invites Batiatus to his shop (a slaugherhouse) for a business proposal.

That evening, Batiatus meets Tullius. The conversation remains on friendly terms and Tullius suggests that Gannicus enter the primus of the new arena and mentions coin. Batiatus understands this to mean that he can purchase Gannicus's place, but Tullius's intention is instead to buy the gladiator and allow Batiatus to enter other gladiators in the primus. When Batiatus refuses the offer, his slave is killed and a bag is pulled over his head. Batiatus is then savagely beaten by Tullius's men and Vettius. Tullius urinates on his face before telling him to reconsider the offer, leaving him badly beaten and bleeding on the street.

Tullius continues to reiterate his offer, but Batiatus stubbornly refuses. When Titus returns to Capua from Sicilia, he learns of Batiatus's business with Tullius through Solonius and immediately jumps to setting things right. He is polite with Tullius, who responds in like and does not resort to more dubious manners of persuasion. They agree to remove Gannicus from the primus and to have more of Batiatus's gladiators fight in the small Capuan area instead.

Later, a party is held in the House of Batiatus for the elites of Capua. Tullius arrives without invitation and challenges Gannicus

Gaia's death by Tullius.

to a battle, and Gannicus is humiliated because he is forced to hold back so as not to insult the guest. To try and make peace between Tullius and Batiatus, Lucretia's dearest friend Gaia offers herself to Tullius. They escape to a side room, where they embrace and Tullius tells Gaia of how he lusted for her when they were younger. He then brutally kills Gaia and leaves her and her favored red wig on the floor. Tullius is also blamed for the death of Titus, because it is his poisoned wine that killed Titus, not knowing the poison was added by Lucretia.

Tullius is stabbed

Batiatus takes his revenge by tricking Tullius (along with Vettius) into an alleyway in the marketplace, where they are attacked. Tullius is gagged and taken to the arena, where Batiatus, Gannicus and Oenomaus stab him repeatedly in the abdomen. They place him within the walls of the arena that he built, burying him alive. His absence is reported by Vettius, who was blackmailed into saying that Tullius had to leave to attend to sudden business in Antioch.

List of Appearances[]

Spartacus: Gods of the Arena

Trivia[]

  • Stephen Lovatt, the actor who plays Tullius is 180cm (5' 11") tall.
  • Tullius shares a name with one of the most famous Romans in history, Marcus Tullius Cicero.
  • Tullius may be related in some way to the Gens Tullia, though he appears to come from a non-senatorial background. 
  • Tullius is a highly respected and wealthy Roman merchant and butcher, extending his patronage to numerous businesses in Capua, including the ludus of Vettius.
    • Tullius used his money to build the new arena.
  • Tullius killed Gaia by bashing her head in with her wig stand.
  • Steven S. DeKnight joked in a commentary for The Bitter End that he would like to see Tullius either dead or alive living off of rats during the fall of the arena seen in Libertus.
  • In the Blu-Ray Commentary for Gods of the Arena Steven S. DeKnight implies that Tullius might be a sexual sadist, who derives pleasure from hurting (or even killing) others. Evidence of this is his clear pleasure in beating and humiliating Batiatus, his enjoyment of slashing and injuring Gannicus in their fight (only barely being able to restrain himself from killing him) and his murder of Gaia after they made love. It is also implied that his obsession with obtaining Gannicus is not solely for business reasons.
  • The Latin word for merchant was Mercator.

Quotes[]

"I offer to buy one of your slaves as you have from me and you produce cock to piss on me? Do you know how that feels?"
Tullius to Batiatus

"Reconsider your answer, or be excluded from the games forever."
Tullius to Batiatus

"Your son has much to learn in the ways of diplomacy."
Tullius to Titus

"God of the arena, Saved by a woman."

- Tullius to Gannicus

"I should have had your life at the beginning of this. The mistake is mine, having stayed hand in respect of your father."
Tullius to Batiatus

References[]

  1. The cognomen Severus, never revealed in the spoken dialogue, is taken from the contract for the sale of Gannicus signed between him and Titus Lentulus Batiatus, as shown in The Bitter End
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