Lentulus Batiatus

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Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Batiatus1 (or, possibly, Vatia2) was the Roman owner of a gladiatorial school in Capua (near Mount Vesuvius), in southern Italy. It was from this school that in 73 BCE, the Thracian slave, Spartacus, and about 70 to 78 followers, escaped. The break-out led to the slave rebellion known as the Third Servile War (73 – 71 BCE).3

Identity and origins

Shackleton Bailey noted that the name ('Batiatus'), as recorded by the ancient historians, could be a corrupted form of the cognomen 'Vatia'. Cornelius Lentulus Vatia would then have been either a Servilius Vatia by birth adopted into the Cornelii Lentuli or else a Cornelius Lentulus by birth adopted into the Servilii Vatiae.2

Portrayal in film

Batiatus was played by Peter Ustinov in Stanley Kubrick's 1960 film, Spartacus, for which Ustinov won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.4

Ian McNeice played Batiatus in the 2004 television adaptation Spartacus.5

John Hannah played Batiatus in the 2010 Starz television series Spartacus: Blood and Sand and the 2011 Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.6


  1. ^ McGushin, Patrick (1991) Sallust: The Histories, p.113
  2. ^ a b Shackleton Bailey, David. R. (1991) Two Studies in Roman Nomenclature, p.73
  3. ^ Plutarch, Life of Crassus, 8
  4. ^ IMDb, Peter Ustinov, Awards
  5. ^ IMDb, Spartacus (TV 2004)
  6. ^ Starz. "John Hannah on Spartacus: Blood and Sand". Retrieved February 22, 2010. 

External links

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