In 71 BC, Gannicus, along with Castus, separated from Spartacus along with around 12,300 rebels, leading them to a region named Cantenna. Forced into battle against Crassus, he, Castus and most of their army were killed in the Battle of Cantenna.
Gannicus was born in a tribe somewhere near northern Gaul and Germania. He was later captured by the Romans and enslaved. Taken to Italy, he was then sold to Lentulus Batiatus and trained as a gladiator in his ludus, where he would fight others for the entertainment of the crowd.
He remained at this ludus for a number of years before Spartacus arrived, along with his wife, both also bought by Batiatus. Spartacus gained the respect and support of Gannicus over the next year, which helped him rally the gladiators in the ludus and finally break out of the ludus in 73 BC. He participated in many raids before the rebels headed towards Mount Vesuvius to await Gaius Claudius Glaber and his army.
Gannicus was fearless in the rebellion and possessed by a thirst for the fleeting pleasures of life. Gannicus was a close friend to Castus. With a love for battle, he reveals an excited grin whenever confronted. Beyond his cockiness, there's an underlying sense of honor about him that creeps to the surface. At first, like Oenomaus and Castus, Gannicus was doubtful of the rebellion, but as time passes and their victories increase, he considers it a worthy cause.
He was a respected leader of the rebellion, gaining the trust of Spartacus and also Crixus. He took any oppertunity to joke and trade barbs with the other leaders. He understood the other leaders well, and their intentions.
Gannicus was a Celtic gladiator of average height, athletic, with tanned skin and long, dirty blonde hair. He had several tattoes, one being a Nordic symbol representing invincibility. He was noted to have a remarkable charm.
Traits and Skills
- Main Article: Gannicus' Battles
Gannicus was a gladiator and one of the most skilled, athletic, and durable fighters in the rebellion. Gannicus was as skilled as Crixus and Spartacus in his fighting prowess. As a Celt, he thrived on athleticism and speed that enables him to bombard rapid strikes and aerial assult with many jumping motions compared to the other gladiators who prefered a more grounded combat style.
- Main Articles: Gannicus' relationships
He had a respect for women, but wanted relationships with women in the rebellion who were either captured warriors or gladiatrix'. He probably had no interest in women who were non-combatents.
Historically, Gannicus was of Celtic origin. His exact tribe is unknown but it is said that he is considered a brother both in bondage and tribal brotherhood with Crixus. If true, Gannicus may be of the Allobroge tribe. The homeland of the Allobroges extended across the modern French regions of Vivarais, Savoy, and Dauphine.
Gannicus (or Cannicus) was a gladiator from the gladiatorial school of Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Batiatus in Capua. Together, with the Thracian, Spartacus and the Gauls, Crixus and Oenomaus and Castus, he became one of the leaders of the rebellious slaves during the Third Servile War (73-71 BC).
In the winter of 71 BC, Gannicus, along with Castus, broke off from Spartacus, taking 12,300 rebels, primarily Celts and Germans. This marked the second break off of the rebellion. They were defeated in a battle in Cantenna by Crassus' commanders: Quintus Marcius Rufus and Lucius Pomptinus.
Gannicus and Castus met their 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.
- While not a major or present character, Gannicus was first portrayed by Paul Lambert in the 1960 Spartacus film.
- Gannicus was later portrayed by Paul Telfer in the 2004 miniseries. In the movie, Gannicus is reimagined as a Thracian.
- Gannicus was later portrayed by Dustin Claire in the Starz original series. He appeared in the prequel series: Gods of the Arena, and later the second and third seasons: Vengeance and War of the Damned.