A whip (or Flagellum in Latin) has long served as tool for controlling animals or humans through pain, or as an instrument of corporal punishment. It could also be used as a weapon, though is rather unwieldy for the task and requires great skill to be effective in combat.
A particularly vicious, multi-tailed lash with pieces of metal entangled in the tails, designed to rip the skin off the victim being whipped. Used exclusively as a form of corporal punishment and execution.
The Romans would, according to custom, scourge a condemned criminal before he was put to death. The Roman scourge, also called the "flagrum" or "flagellum" was a short whip made of two or three leather (ox-hide) thongs or ropes connected to a handle. The leather thongs were knotted with a number of small pieces of metal, usually zinc and iron, attached at various intervals. Scourging would quickly remove the skin. According to history the punishment of a slave was particularly dreadful. The leather was knotted with bones, or heavy indented pieces of bronze.
Whips in the series are generally depicted as long leather bullwhips.
A whip is used by the Doctore of The House of Batiatus, to aid in training unruly gladiator recruits, it had been wielded by all the Doctores from the ludus, and it is an instrument used just by the most trusted and loyal of man. Oenomaus is shown to be especially skilled with his, often entangling and disarming his trainees with ease, including Spartacus (as in the episode Sacramentum Gladiatorum). The whip is broken when he grabs Spartacus with it in episode Kill Them All, after Oenomaus stoped Spartacus in his first attempt to kill Batiatus, Crixus cuts the whip in half and Oenomaus falls to the ground.