5908 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Crixus the Gaul (Manu Bennett in Spartacus)

Crixus


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

The rebellion led by the gladiator Spartacus (circa 72 BC)  is a famous bit of Roman history, and has repeatedly been adapted as a story. This profile is specifically based on the first 2 seasons of the Spartacus TV series that ran from 2010 to 2013.

This high-end series, full of violence, sex and intrigue was a fan-favourite. Crixus the Gaul  is one of its main characters.

Notes

  • This is in honor of an excellent series — the coolest thing I have seen in many years — and the first season final episode of which, starting the third Servile War, must be ranked as one of the greatest I’ve ever seen!
  • The full third season is not covered by this profile, which is chiefly about season 1-2.
  • Manu Bennett also stars as Slade “Terminator” Wilson in the current Arrow-series, which is truly cool!

Advertisement


Background

  • Real Name: Crixus the Gaul.
  • Other Aliases: The Champion of Capua, The God of Blood and Sand, The Undefeated Gaul.
  • Marital Status: Single (secret love affair with Naevia, the slave girl).
  • Known Relatives: Doiros (brother, deceased), three unnamed brothers (deceased), four unnamed uncles (supposedly deceased).
  • Group Affiliation: The Batiatus Ludus school of gladiators, later the Rebel Gladiators.
  • Base Of Operations: The Batiatus Ludus or the chosen arena of combat.
  • Height: 5’10 ¾” Weight: over 200 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


Powers & Abilities

Crixus is an excellent combatant capable of handling many gladiatorial combat styles and melee weapons. He was taught to fight by the trickster Ashur, the champion Gannicus and the Doctore Œnomaus, all excellent fighters in their own fashion.

Crixus, once the Champion of Capua, has a strong, confident personality and can inspire others to follow him and to fight for what’s right.


History

A Gaul at heart

Crixus is a Gaul from the area of modern south-eastern France, which historically was a Celtic domain.


Advertisement


Once captured by Romans he started out as a lowly street slave washing public toilets until Quintus Lentulus Batiatus saw his potential and purchased him for a handy sum to make him into a gladiator. This was thought of as a bad deal by his father, Titus Batiatus.

Humble beginnings

After vigorous and hard training at the Batiatus Ludus, he eventually earned his membership in the brotherhood of gladiators by his victory against veteran gladiator Auctus. Auctus had been the lover of fellow gladiator Barca, whom Crixus later befriended.

Crixus was ranked top of the school along Gannicus in several ranking matches. A cut-throat Lanista, Tullius, had made a bid for Gannicus, which was opposed by Batiatus, but at which Titus decided that he would be sold off only if he lost against Crixus.

Crixus (Manu Bennett) with a gladiator helm

Crixus thus defeated Gannicus in a ranked match as a broken-hearted Gannicus (having had an affair with his friend’s wife) voluntarily lowered his guard. This would have resulted in Gannicus being sold off by Batiatus’s father to a rival competitor, which is what Gannicus wanted, and in Crixus becoming the school’s best gladiator.

However, as Batiatus’s wife, Lucretia, ruthlessly poisoned Batiatus’s stern father, Titus, to death, Batiatus unexpectedly and finally got full control of the school. This meant that not only would Gannicus not be sold off, but Batiatus promptly captured the rival and buried him lethally wounded within the newly built arena.

A chance at victory and freedom

During the ceremonial openings of the new arena, some slaves were initially executed. Then commenced the individual fights the survivors of which would enter a large Gladiator group fight from which only one man could emerge victorious; the only ways of leaving were through death or by being thrown out of the fighting area.

Crixus (Manu Bennett) with his hands behind his head

During this battle fellow Gladiator Ashur wanted to gang up with Crixus to kill off all other fellow Gladiators, but this was found unacceptable by Crixus, who had had bad dealings with the man, and who therefore promptly incapacitated Ashur and effectively ended his career as a fighter forever, thus earning himself an eternal foe.

Crixus was seemingly about to be killed by the hugest of opponent, when he was saved and thrown out of the fighting area by Gannicus, who thus fought on to become the Champion of Capua instead.

Although he survived, Crixus thus lost his chance at the grand title that time around. However, Gannicus, through the roar of the public, and the higher spectators, was awarded the wooden sword for his great victory, much to the chagrin of Batiatus, and hence earned his victory and freedom! Crixus would not meet Gannicus again until the Third Servile War had started.

Gladiators being branded in Spartacus: Blood and Sand

Thus, Crixus, remaining behind, still ended up being at least the best Gladiator at the school, and in whom Batiatus would now put most of his trust in the future. In time, Crixus fought and defeated the Decemus and Tiberius, the legendary Gargan twins, and Crixus became the official Champion of Capua (Season 2).

Intense rivalry

Later on when Spartacus arrived at the school Crixus immediately felt rivalry and hatred towards the newbie gladiator; Thracians and Gauls are not natural friends. Harsh words and blows were often dealt and Crixus nearly killed Spartacus during sparring matches and in the arena.

However, after the two were pitted against and even survived combat against the legendary and monstrous Theokoles, the Shadow of Death, in the grand arena they at least grew to respect each others abilities.
Crixus (Manu Bennett) pressured

After a very bloody fight he was severely incapacitated and seemingly dying, but managed to blind Theokoles with a reflection of the sun with his last moves, which likely nobody observed and which resulted in Spartacus ending up as the victor and new Champion of Capua. The loss was utterly devastating and the way to full recovery was very long.

Intrigues at the school denied him further real chances to regain the title or redeem himself. He was very close to the slave girl Nævia and was forced to perform sexual services to his domina, Lucretia.

The third Servile War

It wasn’t until the very initial stages of the third Servile war that Crixus finally realized that he had been betrayed at every turn by his masters whom he had so faithfully served and that they wanted nothing but to earn a coin and to see him dead, and that is would be impossible to get his freedom through the arena or even survive in the end.

300-esque combat scene in Spartacus: Blood and Sand

The realization changed his priorities and goals completely; a few moments before his planned death by Lucretia he became respected friends with Spartacus. They had all suffered, and suffered hard from the injustices of greedy men.

Spartacus, having always seen the strength in Crixus, could easily have killed him as he had been poisoned during their supposed last fight, but instead offered him to join in the planned revolt, talk towards which Crixus had previously had deaf ears.

Crixus reluctantly but decidedly joined, which helped Spartacus to finally start a revolt as this also convinced all the other Gladiators of the Ludus, who greatly respected Crixus, to join in. Crixus convinced even the possibly most honorable gladiator at the school, the Doctore Œnomaus, to join their cause in those opening minutes (Season 1).

Two secutor fighters in Spartacus: Blood and Sand

Crixus with the red fabric, Spartacus with the blue.

He’s basically a strong follower and functions well as a second-in-command during the revolt, a general of what is practically terrorists of the Roman Empire. The rest is history (and Season 3)…


Description

Crixus is in superb athletic form and an accomplished fighter. Around his neck he carries a necklace that he received from Gannicus, the former Champion of Capua, when that one became a free man. Along his dark, brooding voice he radiates strength, conviction and power, useful traits for a leader.


Videos

The following illustrative videos include S P O I L E R S.

Crixus tribute Part 1 – sent from above:

This video gives a clear picture of everything explained in this writeup and may therefore be the most fitting one. So, if you, dear reader, have chosen to read the writeup in its entirety, you can watch that video and appreciate the legend of Crixus in full.

The following two videos give spoilers about season 3 which is beyond this writeup.

The story of the undefeated Gaul:


Personality

No direction, no goal

Crixus has a dark and brooding personality, and mostly sticks to himself. Having served others during all his adult years and having lost everything before, he had little direction in life and no future goals of motivations.

He has hidden anger and passion – a fire in his eyes and a steely gaze, which was perceived by Batiatus on the street as he decided to buy the slave for a hefty sum to make a Gladiator out of him.

A gladiator fight in Spartacus: Blood and Sand

At first, Crixus was severely out of his element in the gladiatorial games and in the school, but adapted quickly enough to live and rise in experience and rank.

Realizing that the only possible way out of slavery was to gain grand victories on the arena, earning money and favor from his master in doing so, he valued all advice and experience from the other gladiators, and felt that giving it everything was the only salvation at hand.

As such, he learned to fight in a bitter school of pain, blood and humiliation, but from true masters whose instructions he completely took to heart. With steely resolve his skill rose daily and he was fully accepted into the school, particularly by those who saw his great potential, including Œnomaus, Gannicus and Batiatus.

Tough gladiator

Crixus very soon also started truly believing in the honor of blood and sand – to fight and die in the honor of the gods, the Batiatus School and the people of Capua. In fact, he had dreamed of revenge by violence ever since his entire family was killed by a rival tribe.

He was forced to kill fellow Gladiator Auctus, which he regretted, and managed to become friends with Auctus’s lover, the other powerful Gladiator Barca. This act earned him the mark of the Brotherhood, with which came the respect of the other combatants.

Crixus (Manu Bennett) wounded in the arena's sand

Eventually, he became the master of Capua, the most valued gladiator of the city, and slowly grew arrogant and complacent in this role. At all times, he would do absolutely anything his masters asked of him, including killing friends and so on, out of a misplaced sense of duty.

He was even secretly chosen to perform sexual duties for his Domina, Lucretia, which he performed admirably, although with withheld regret as he was in love with fellow slave, Nævia, with whom he had a secret affair.

He dreamed of winning or buying himself and Nævia their freedoms to life a life in peace elsewhere wherever they desired, which spurred him forward. During this time he could be very vicious and, as a born killer, display an arrogant streak. At the same time, though, there is no doubt that he was inspiring and possibly a capable leader of men too.

Honor, glory and justice

When Spartacus entered the stage his pride and power were threatened, and he fought him hard at every opportunity and in every way. However, in time, the relationship taught Crixus honor and to look for higher goals beyond the arena.

His motivations started to sway and eventually, when dying at the hands of his masters, he accepted his fate whole-heartedly: to fight the Romans, all the injustice they had all suffered and to bring revenge at the point of a sword.

The gladiatorial ludus in Spartacus: Blood and Sand

He got his chance for revenge against all injustice at the hands of the Romans as he joined Spartacus’s revolt and as he killed (or so it appeared) Lucretia during the final uprising that started the third Servile war. His quest for redemption led him to try finding Nævia during the war and to lead his fellow liberated slaves and to wreak havoc among the Romans.

Never the soft-spoken ones, Spartacus and Crixus still talk hard to each other and others, but at least they are both loyal to a common cause and know they can trust each other in thick and thin.


Quotes

(To Barca) “Doiros was the brother I held closest to me. He was a fierce warrior as was my father and all before us. I watched as they all fell before the spears of the Arveniæ. My hand was too small to pick up a sword. I was forced to serve. To balance swape. First of all the shits who took my family. And then the Romans they sold me to. Not a day passes where I do not dream of honor and death in blood and victory. Auctus’s is the first life I’ve ever taken in battle. It will be not forgotten.”

“I am untrained against that, but your instructions are well received.”

(Taking the oath of the brotherhood) “I commit my flesh, my mind, my will to the glory of this Ludus and the commands of my master, Batiatus. I swear to be burned, chained, beaten or die by the sword in pursuit of honor in the arena.”

“There is no greater glory than standing victorious on the arena.”

(Convincing Œnomaus) “Spartacus showed us the way. This house is without honor! Batiatus ordered his wife dead. And Domina, she has tainted me because I spurned her advances. They stole [their lives] from you, from all of us. You asked me to put faith in you. I ask the same. Honor us all, and let’s see an end to this fucking house!”

(Starting the Third Servile War) “Kill them, kill them all !!”


Sharing



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Crixus

Dex: 05 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Pursuing Honor, Seeking Justice
Int: 03 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Gladiator, Champion, later General
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 016 HP: 030

Skills:
Animal Handling (Riding): 03, Charisma (Intimidation): 04, Martial Artist: 04, Weaponry (Melee, Shields): 06

Advantages
Iron Nerves, Languages (Old Latin, Gaulish), Leadership (from season 3 onwards only), Lightning Reflexes, Local Hero (the Champion of Capua, at times only, and later co-leader and general of the Gladiator army).

Connections:
Agron the Germanic (Low, from season 3 onwards only), The Batiatus Ludus (Low if the Lanista is in a good mood, otherwise None since he is but a slave, seasons 1-2), Œnomaus, the Doctore (Low), Barca, the beast of Carthage (High, season 1 only), Gannicus (Low, season 3 only), Spartacus (High, only from Season 3 and onward), The Army of Rebel Gladiators (High, from Season 3 onwards only).

Drawbacks:
Distinct Appearance (burned B-brand on his right forearm, and numerous scars; easily concealable, 0 pts), Forced Exile (the Batiatus Ludus, slave gladiator, during seasons 1 & 2 only), Rival (Spartacus, Season 1 only).

By Dr. Peter S Piispanen.

Source of Character: Spartacus TV-series seasons 1-2, character played by Manu Bennett.

Writeup completed on the 25th of May, 2014.

Writeups.org is a non-commercial, community site

We chat and work at the DC Heroes Yahoo! group .