Varro: Learn more about this Gladiator from Capua

04/11/2021

     Varro was one of the most relevant gladiators. Varro was also the best friend of the protagonist and after his death, Spartacus was very sad. "He will be remembered as a father, husband and friend among enemies."

Who was Varro?

     Varro is a gladiator from the house of Batiatus during Spartacus: Blood and Sand. He was once a free Roman man, but voluntarily becomes a gladiator in the Ludus of Batiatus to pay his gambling debts. He went from being an ordinary recruit to becoming one of the most formidable gladiators in the ludus. Varro is husband of Aurelia, father of Janus and friend of Spartacus.

Varro did not exist in history like Gannicus or Crixus.


Appearance and Personality:

     Varro stands out from the other gladiators with his short, curly blond hair. He has a friendly demeanor and an open face, giving him a boyish appearance. Even before training in Ludus de Batiatus, Varro sported a muscular build.

     Varro is one of the most amiable and friendly gladiators. He is a gladiator of his own choosing, deciding that he would pay his debts by fighting in the arena and putting his earnings in debt; these are also sent to support his wife, Aurelia and son. He chose to pay the debt out of honor, instead of following the coward's path, which would be to flee Capua and hide.

     Despite his gentler nature, Varro is boisterous and enjoys sparring with Spartacus, with whom he has a great friendship.

Abiliity:

    Despite having no combat experience at first, Varro quickly proves to be a capable gladiator, fighting in various weapon styles such as sword and shield, spear, axe, dagger and single sword. Over time, he finds himself being personally taught by Spartacus to hone his skills, as well as fighting alongside him in the sand.

     Varro soon becomes one of the best gladiators in ludus, where in the arena he proves to be a strong, agile fighter and a worthy opponent. In his last fight, Varro was able to defend himself against Spartacus, even giving the latter a cut to his abdomen before being overpowered.

Varro and Spartacus were great friends (in and out of the series)!


Historical context:

     The Roman legal term for a free man who sold himself into slavery because of debt was a Nexus or "debt slave." Nexum being the contract a debt slave submitted to. Nexum was actually abolished with the passing of Lex Poetelia Papiria 323 BC, although several Italian Socii states may have continued the practice. Nexi (plural) would be held captive by his creditors, known as Obaerati. Quintus Lentulus Batiatus may have been Varro's Obaeratus.

Varro appears as one of the characters in Spartacus: Swords and Ashes and Spartacus: Morituri.


Curiosities:

  • Born in the Italian region of Campania, Varro may be descended from the Samnites, former opponents of Roman hegemony in southern Italy.
  • Varro in Latin means "durable" or "strong".
  • Varro's death was met with a strong reaction from fans.
  • Varro was the third main character to be killed.
  • When his body is expelled from the ludus, his carriers are Spartacus, Rabanus, Rhaskos, and Amilcar.
  • Varro usually fights Murmillo's style, as seen over his time training in ludus and his fights in the arena.
  • After earning the Brotherhood mark, Varro has more respect from other gladiators than anyone else in his recruiting class; even the respect of Crixus.
  • Jai Courtney, the actor who plays Varro, is 1.85 cm tall.

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