Enslaved warrior Spartacus enters the ludus of Batiatus to receive training to fight as a gladiator. He quickly makes an enemy of the champion of Capua, Crixus, and receives training by the whip-wielding taskmaster Doctore. He meets Varro, a fellow recruit, who becomes his ally in training. Spartacus's owner, the crafty Batiatus, makes him an offer he finds difficult to refuse. Spartacus faces the test which determines whether he is fit to be a gladiator and bests Crixus through the use of a small ribbon of cloth belonging to his wife when Crixus stops fighting to gloat. Spartacus swears to the oath of the brotherhood of the gladiator.