Spartacus Series: All about Gannicus

     Gannicus is perhaps the gladiator with the most personality within the Spartacus series. It is known to us that you love this character. Check out everything about Gannicus within the story and in the series.


     Gannicus was a Celtic slave who, along with the Thracian Spartacus and his fellow Gauls, Criso, Casto and Enomau, became one of the leaders of rebel slaves during the Third Servile War ( 73-71 BC). In the winter of 71 B.C., Gânico, together with Casto, broke with Spartacus, taking a large number of Celts and Germans with them, marking the second detachment of the rebellion. The group of Gânico and Casto met their end in Lucânia, near Monte Soprano (Monte Camalatro), where the Roman consul Crassus, Lúcio Pomptino and Quinto Márcio Rufo based their forces in battle and defeated them.


  • Gânico is played by Dustin Clare in the TV series' Spartacus: Gods of the Arena and sequences Spartacus: Vengeance and Spartacus: War of the Damned. He is portrayed as a former ex-gladiator, from the House of Batiatus, who agrees to join the cause of Spartacus in honor of his friend Enomau after he entered the rebellion.
  • Gânico is played by Paul Telfer in 2004, in the miniseries Spartacus - He commands the rebel cavalry. In the miniseries, he is portrayed as a Thracian.


     Gannicus is a central and anti-hero character in Spartacus. He acts as a champion at Ludus de Batiatus during all prequel events, Gods of the Arena, until his departure after gaining his freedom after the New Arena Games. He later returns to Vengeance initially as an acquaintance of the rebels, criticizing their cause against the Roman Republic, although he ironically becomes a rebel because of his closest friend, Oenomaus.

     He is often referred to by others as a "God da Arena "due to his legendary struggles as a gladiator that led to his freedom. Gannicus is a 1.78m tall, athletic Celtic gladiator with tanned skin and long, dirty blond hair. In later times, he has a tattoo - an Icelandic symbol called Helm of admiration; to induce fear and protect against abuse of power, in your left arm. He is remarkably handsome and charming, enough to get the attention of Gaia, a woman who inhabits the wealthy Roman class. He fights with two Dimachaerus-style gladiator swords.


     Gannicus proves to be a remarkable physical example: fearless in the arena and possessed by a thirst for life's fleeting pleasures. His love of wine and women, along with his unshakable arrogance, is unmatched with any of the other gladiators. For his victories, Gannicus is not seen training with the other gladiators, but he can train alone in the shade, if he wishes. 

     Gannicus is shown as a close friend of Oenomaus and his wife Melitta, despite taking Oenomaus' place as champion at Ludus de Batiatus. With a love for battle, he reveals an animated smile whenever confronted. Although he could defeat opponents with quick efficiency, he demonstrates charisma in conducting his fights with various attacks, demonstrating graphically horrible executions, and laughing and roaring at the spectators. He prides himself on being able to face gladiators with his bare hands and is even willingly blindfolded during a fight. 

     Although he seeks female physical companionship on a constant basis, Gannicus does not mistreat women and has a strong moral code, which is a common characteristic shared by Spartacus and Oenomaus. However, in addition to his arrogance, there is an underlying sense of honor about him that creeps to the surface, especially in the presence of Oenomaus. This became tense when he began to struggle with his feelings for Melitta and would later haunt him in the years since his departure.
     At first, Gannicus doubts Spartacus and his cause, believing that the man is a joke equal to the rebellion, but over time he slowly joins the rebellion and, although he does not consider himself close to Spartacus at the end of Vengeance, he and Spartacus gain mutual respect. At the time of the War of the Damned, he and Spartacus became very close and often played and barked with each other, even giving advice to each other. Spartacus sees Gannicus' potential as a leader and has asked him to become one countless times, but Gannicus denies claiming that he does not wish to become a "God" in the eyes of the rebels, like Spartacus; However, he still accompanies him and seems to become one of his closest allies. 

     Gannicus, however, still does not truly believe in the cause and, instead, does so to honor Oenomaus; however, he occasionally acts as a moral advisor to Spartacus, guiding him in the right direction and embracing him as a brother. After developing a relationship with Sybil and the departure of Crixus and Agron with half his army, Gannicus takes the position unofficial second in command in the rebel army. Shortly before the final battle against Crassus's army, he fully accepts to become a leader on the grounds of buying time, so that those unable to fight can escape Rome's rule.


     As a former champion not only from his home, but also from the arena, Gannicus is one of the most skilled, athletic and durable fighters in the series. Gannicus' true testimony to his abilities is that he proved to be equivalent to Spartacus with skill and sword, while Spartacus is considered one of the best, if not the best fighter in the series. Gannicus himself claims that he and Spartacus are equal in skill with swords, but admits that Spartacus is superior to him when using a spear. 

     Gannicus' fighting style matches his thinking. With the Dimachaeri style, he can attack constantly and, with Pankration, he can protect himself without armor. He thrives on athletics and speed that allow him to bombard quick attacks and aerial attacks with many jumping movements compared to other gladiators who prefer a more grounded fighting style. 

     Gannicus also seems to be able to enter a furious rage in combat, which greatly increases his overall strength and ability. This was seen in his fights with Otho, Barca, Egipto and Crixus. However, Gannicus' morbid pursuit of emotion, facing death as closely as possible, often puts him in dangerous combat situations. He willingly fights Otho without weapons, blindfolded, and challenges enemies physically bigger and stronger than himself, such as Caburus, Egyptians and Crixus, without hesitation. 

     It is the combination of his obsession with danger, indifferent attitude against fear, talented athletics and extremely improved fighting skills that allow him to be victorious against virtually all the enemies he faced while laughing and smiling with joy and excitement. several enemies, even in tight corridors, such as Ashur's mercenaries and pirates. During the capture of Ilithyia, he alone brought down an entire squad of bodyguards through the element of surprise and help from the night darkness, as well as a group of hunters who later questioned his presence around the gladiator.


     Gannicus was initially purchased by Titus Lentulus Batiatus in his late teens. Gannicus exhibited a natural fighting ability, however, due to his arrogance and carefree attitude, he was never favored by Titus and therefore did not receive much consideration. However, he developed a strong friendship with Oenomaus and also befriended other notable gladiators, such as Barca and Auctus. After Titus became ill and moved to Sicily, Quintus became the Dominus of the house; after that, he started using Gannicus in the arena more and more. Gannicus proved to be a real sight in the arena and gained popular followers.


     Gannicus is a popular gladiator and a rising star in the gladiator world in Capua, at Casa de Batiatus, having stood out since his friend Oenomaus was defeated by Theokoles. He is introduced by Quintus Batiatus in a match at the Old Arena, in which he easily defeats his opponent. 

     Gannicus' face. Back at Ludus, Gannicus gains rewards for his victory; wine and women. He participates in both vigorously, then plays with his friends Oenomaus and Melitta. He seems to be free of all worries and has little respect for his own life. While Batiatus attempts a commercial deal with Tullius, he and Vettius argue over who has the best gladiators. 

     Batiatus jokes that any of his gladiators could defeat Vettius' gladiators in the absence of sight, and Vettius accepts him. Batiatus chooses Gannicus to fight, which means that he is officially champion of the Ludus and the days of Oenomaus as champion are over. That night, Oenomaus hears drunks singing outside and finds Gannicus swinging dangerously over the cliff cliff, with an amphora of wine in his hand. He purposely slips and almost falls, laughing at the danger of it. He then sobers up for a moment and tells Oenomaus that he should be the only fighter (calling Oenomaus a true champion), but the next day he is taken to the city to face Vettius' champion, Otho.
     The challenge occurs in the market. Vettius brings his gladiator Otho, along with a blindfold, reminding Batiatus of the part of his challenge that he just meant as a joke. Sixth and Tullius are present, and Batiatus does not wish to be seen as a coward, but he cannot accept it. Gannicus, instead, accepts the sale and prepares for the fight, mocking Otho in doing so, saying that the task should not be difficult, as he only needs to direct his blades to the smell of excrement. from the beginning, because Otho launches all attacks with a cry of rage. They lock their arms and fight without weapons, but once they are free of each other, Gannicus cannot find his opponent and is knocked to the ground. 

     Otho hits many strong blows and eventually grabs his sword again. He cuts off Gannicus' chest, but Gannicus grabs him and forces the sword out of his control. Otho pulls a nail close and stabs Gannicus in the chest with it, but Gannicus pushes him again. Sword in hand, Otho approaches and strikes Gannicus, who runs out of the way at the last moment. The sword fits on a wooden plank. Gannicus follows the sounds and grabs Otho, forcing him to fall on the tip of the sword, cutting his neck and killing him. Tullius is impressed with Gannicus' performance and seeks to buy it from Batiatus, who refuses. A cunning battle begins between the two over who owns the Gannicus.
     After the battle, Gannicus joins Oenomaus in his room to celebrate and share wine. Melitta, Oenomaus' wife, enters and hears Gannicus joking about killing Oenomaus in the arena, if applicable. She plays with him for discussing the possible death of her husband so lightly and asks what he would do if he could not laugh or fight to get out of a situation, which is what he would normally do. He replies that he may have to fuck his way out. A new Roman guest, Quintilius Varus, arrives at the village. Batiatus is eager to impress the man to win favor, and offers a demonstration of Gannicus, who trains at Ludus, for battle. 

     As Varus favors Gaia, he allows her to choose Crixus, a new trainee, as Gannicus' opponent. Varus asks for used metal swords instead of wooden swords, and Batiatus hesitantly agrees. When the fight begins, Gannicus seems to have the advantage, but Crixus manages to regain his form and even knock down one of Gannicus' swords and take him down. Impressed, Gannicus soon manages to recover and gains control of the battle again, knocking Crixus to the ground.


     In the years following his freedom, Gannicus presumably traveled the Italian Peninsula and on one of these trips he traveled to Sinuessa En Valle. There he met a Roman blacksmith, called Attius, and they became good friends. Although he was no longer a gladiator, he followed the events that took place in Capua. During that time away from Capua, he had heard many stories about the "Undefeated Gaul", whom he knew as Crixus and was pleased to learn that he became champion after his departure. Gannicus would learn later about Spartacus' revolt and the death of his old domain. He later discovered that Rhaskos, Crixus and Oenomaus would be killed in the ad gladium arena in Capua. This led him to return to his old city, wanting to give them an honorable death in the arena.


     Five years later, it is revealed that Gannicus has wandered over the years and has surrendered to the point where he is quoted as being "light on coins". This leads him to return to Capua, the place where his prestige and reputation were established in search of ways to finance his ventures. In exchange for fights in the arena, once again, he receives a coin amount from Mercato, a local games organizer, thrilled by his presence. On the night before the execution, he goes to the brothels and sleeps with a prostitute named Márcia, for which develops affection. 

     After realizing that they must face him in the arena, Crixus is perplexed as to why his old friend would deliberately end their lives in the arena, with Oenomaus believing that it is because he has lost all honor. While waiting outside the arena, Gannicus briefly exchanges words with Spartacus in disguise, who has come to free his teammates and destroy the stadium. Spartacus realizes that he is a gladiator released from the House of Batiatus through the mark of the brotherhood, and questions him why he came to kill his brother. Gannicus reveals that he had heard that the three would be executed and believes that only he can make them die honorably.


     After the Battle of Vesuvius, Gannicus remains with the rebel army. He now loyally serves to honor his fallen friend, although he still has doubts about the cause. Meanwhile, he was on the side of Spartacus and Crixus during the main battles. Gannicus also now became interested in Saxa and developed a strong friendship with Spartacus, becoming a kind of confidant and moral adviser to him. After the victorious battle against Cossinius and Furius, Gannicus returns to the camp to drink wine with his friends Sanus and Totus and then he sleeps with Saxa and two other women presented as "gifts" to him by Saxa. Spartacus summons him, upset that Gannicus did not send his battle report. Gannicus reports "We fight, we win". Spartacus then realizes Gannicus' ability and tells him to take his rightful place alongside Crixus and himself as a leader.

     Gannicus does not consider himself a leader who refuses, but Spartacus says that many already see him as such and even greater would follow him in battle and would gladly die for the cause. Gannicus explains to Spartacus that he wants to remain in the brotherhood and remain a close advisor to Spartacus, but not to be seen as God like Spartacus. Gannicus also questions Spartacus' blood path, wondering how many must die before he feels peace. Spartacus notes that the more Romans he kills, the greater the chance of slaves, noting that he could not even save his own wife. 

     With the change of subject, Gannicus reveals to Spartacus his affair with Melitta and says that even when he gained his freedom, the pain he caused to those he loved remained. He goes on to explain that Oenomaus finally forgave him in his last breath, telling Spartacus that forgiveness heals where revenge leaves a void, but Spartacus doesn't move. Gannicus then departs from Spartacus' tent to seek more celebration and states that he is with him until the end.


     Historically, Gannicus was of Galician origin. His exact tribe is unknown, but it is speculated that he was a brother both in captivity and in tribal brotherhood with Crixus. If true, Gannicus may be from the Allobroge tribe. The homeland of the Allobroges extended to the modern French regions of Vivarais, Savoy and Dauphine. The 19th century German historian Karl Mullenhoff theorized that the name "Gannicus" was of Germanic origin. In light of this, many historians such as English scholar George Long and modern historian Barry Strauss speculated that Gannicus and many other soldiers who fought for Spartacus were captured children of the Cimbri tribe who were completely destroyed in the Battle of Vercellae in 101 BC. 

     In this battle, 60,000 members of the Cimbri tribe (a semi-nomadic tribe from northern Europe), mainly women and children, were captured and made slaves by the Romans. By the beginning of the Third Servile War, in 73 BC, many of these children had already grown up and most likely hundreds or thousands of them served in the ranks of the rebels. Like Spartacus, Crixus and Oenomaus, Gannicus may also have been a gladiator at the Gnaeus gladiator school Cornelius Lentulus Batiatus in Capua. 

     In the winter of 71 BC, Gannicus, together with Castus, interrupted Spartacus, receiving 12,500 rebels, mainly Celts and Germans. This marked the second rupture of the rebellion, after Crixus, a year earlier. Gannicus and Castus came to an end in Lucania, near Mount Soprano (Mount Camalatrum), where Marcus Licinius Crassus, Promptinus and Rufus entrenched their forces in battle and defeated them . It is said that during the battle, Gannicus showed extreme bravery. Historically, his name could have been "Gaius Cannicius" or simply "Cannicus".

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