Gaius Claudius Glaber
Glaber's actions in that uprising were disastrous, and are noted by historians mostly due to his opponents' use of unorthodox tactics. In command of a Roman militia, Glaber managed to besiege the rebelling slaves on Mount Vesuvius. The escaped slaves showed ingenuity by fashioning rappelling lines from local vegetation, and scaling down the cliffs on the other side of the mountain. The slaves then outflanked Glaber's militia, almost entirely annihilating his forces.
Following this defeat, there is no further historical record of Glaber. It is not known if he was killed, or was simply considered too obscure to note further by the classical historians.
In screen adaptations of the life of Spartacus, Glaber has been portrayed:
- by John Dall as "Glabrus", a character loosely based on Glaber, in the 1960 film Spartacus
- by Ben Cross as "Titus Glabrus" in the 2004 TV miniseries Spartacus
- by Craig Parker in the 2010 TV series Spartacus: Blood and Sand, and its 2012 sequel Spartacus: Vengeance. Here, in contrast to the films in which Glaber is simply the first Roman to attempt to end the rebellion, Glaber is portrayed as Spartacus' personal enemy responsible for his having first fallen into captivity.
- Broughton, T. Robert S. Magistrates of the Roman Republic, vol. 2. Cleveland: Case Western University Press, 1968, p. 109 &115 n. 1.
- Bradley, Keith. Slavery and Rebellion in the Roman World. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989, pp. 93–94. ISBN 0-253-31259-0
- Strauss, Barry S. (2009). The Spartacus War (1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4165-3205-7.
The ancient sources mentioning Glaber include:
- Sallust, Histories 3.90-93 Maurenbrecher.
- Livy, Periochae 95
- Plutarch, Crassus 8-9
- Frontinus, Strategemata 1.5.21
- Appian, Civil Wars 1.116
- Florus, Epitome 2.8.4
- Frontinus, Stratagems, Book I, 5:20–22 and Book VII:6.
- Appian, Civil Wars, 1:116.
- Plutarch, Crassus, 9:1–3; Frontinus, Stratagems, Book I, 5:20–22; Appian, Civil Wars, 1:116; Broughton, Magistrates of the Roman Republic, p. 109. Note: Plutarch and Frontinus write of expeditions under the command of "Clodius the praetor" and "Publius Varinus", while Appian writes of "Varinius Glaber" and "Publius Valerius".
- Strauss, p. 61.
- Appian conflates the names of Varinius and Claudius Glaber, writing Varinios Glabros, not Varinius Faber, as in the Ancient Sourcebook translation, cf. Broughton 2.115 n. 1