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Andy Whitfield as Spartacus – a Thracian. He had volunteered to fight for the Romans, but later rebelled. As punishment he was condemned to death in the arena, but defeated the gladiators sent in to kill him. His life spared, he becomes a gladiator in the ludus of Lentulus Batiatus. Producer Rob Tapert said that crew wanted an unknown actor to portray the role; while Whitfield has appeared in Australian television and film, Spartacus marked his United States debut.
Erin Cummings as Sura – the wife of Spartacus. She is enslaved after her husband rebels against the Romans and is killed later.
John Hannah as Quintus Lentulus Batiatus – a lanista. Purchases Spartacus to train him along with his other gladiators at his ludus.
Lucy Lawless as Lucretia – Batiatus' wife. The two are trying to renew their financial prosperity.
Peter Mensah as Doctore – Batiatus' trainer of gladiators. He wields a bullwhip.
Manu Bennett as Crixus, "the Champion of Capua" – a Gaul, and Batiatus' top gladiator. He is having a relationship with Lucretia.
Antonio Te Maioha as Barca, "the Beast of Carthage" – one of Batiatus' most successful gladiators, serves as bodyguard and hit man for his master. He is later killed by Batiatus.
Jai Courtney as Varro – a Roman citizen who sold himself to the ludus to support his family.
Nick Tarabay as Ashur – a former gladiator forced to stop fighting due to injury. He remains at the ludus to work for Batiatus as a bookmaker in addition to aiding other gladiators.
Lesley-Ann Brandt as Naevia – is Lucretia's personal and loyal slave but also secretly in love with Crixus .
Craig Parker as Gaius Claudius Glaber – a Roman army legatus, who leads the Thracian volunteers during the mutiny by Spartacus.
Viva Bianca as Ilithyia – the daughter of senator Albinius and wife of Glaber.