|First appearance|| S1E03: Legends|
|Last appearance||S2E05: Libertus|
|Relationships|| Seppius (Friend, deceased)|
Seppia (Friend, deceased)
Magistrate Gallienus (Friend)
Quintus Lentulus Batiatus (Friend, deceased)
Publius Varinius (Friend, deceased)
|Status||Deceased (Killed in arena collapse)|
Middle-aged with average height, Mercato is a balding man with a prominent forehead because of this. Like most of his Roman peers and superiors, he wears finely cut expensive robes.
Mercato is very proud of his family and appears to be very friendly with all others in his attendance. He has enjoyment for the games and attends them on a regular basis. He also has a friendship with Batiatus and many others in Capua. He is close friends with Magistrate Gallienus and also with the siblings Seppius and Seppia, having known them since their childhood and his death provides them with considerable grief. Gaius Claudius Glaber however did not like him, referring coldly to him as not 'somebody of note'.
Blood and SandEdit
Mercato first appears alongside Batiatus when examining the gladiators of his house. When admiring the champion of the house Crixus, the Gaul shows Mercato his sword, and frightens the Roman. Batiatus gloats to Mercato it was the steel that slayed the lives of the Gargan Twins.Later on, after the fall of Theokoles and Spartacus' meteoric rise as champion, Mercato is set to host the upcoming games of the arena, in honor of his grandfather Marcus Minucius Rufus, who conquered the Thracians in the past. As Mercato pays visit to Batiatus, he reminds the lanista the history of Rufus, and how Mercato initially wanted the role of Rufus to be played by Crixus, although injuries sustained from Theokoles proved the Gaul incapable of combat. As Batiatus offers Gnaeus as a replacement, Mercato declines and request Spartacus instead, due to his recent stardom. Paying additional costs for the champion, Mercato gladly accepts and believes the upcoming show would be a spectacle.
When the games finally arrive, as Spartacus is donned in Rufus' armor to face off against six other slaves dressed as Thracians, Mercato inquires as to the stacked odds, not knowing of Spartacus' request for the handicap. As Mercato watches Spartacus allow a spear to almost end his life, the Roman grows increasingly worrisome over whether or not the champion will survive the odds, and remarks to Batiatus if he realizes who had won this battle historically. Eventually, though, Spartacus manages to get the upper hand and slays all his competitors, much to the delight of Mercato. When Glaber arrives in Capua he goes to meet with Mercato in hopes of finding out what happened to Licinia, the cousin of the wealthy Marcus Licinius Crassus. This meeting does not go well as Mercato gives no explanation on what happened, leaving Glaber frustrated.
Mercato appears in the arena with Gallienus and Seppia, watching a slow and ineffectual match hastily put together for the crowd's distraction from current events. He and Gallienus are then shocked when Seppia tells them of eight of her brother's men being slaughtered that day.
He greets Glaber upon his arrival at Batiatus' former villa as he prepares to make camp their for his men. Mercato, acting in Gallienus' place, wishes to discuss the situation with Glaber, but the Praetor shrugs him off and doesn't heed Mercato's warnings of Spartacus' prowess.
He attends a party held at the villa by Glaber and Ilithyia along with Gallienus, Publius Varinius and Cossutius where he states his impressions on how well the villa has been cleaned since the massacre a few weeks earlier. He then participates in the torture of the captured gladiator turned rebel Acer.
When Gannicus returns to Capua to participate in the executions of Oenomaus, Crixus and Rhaskos, Mercato greets him on arrival and promises him a high salary once all three are dead. Mercato himself is in charge of organizing all of the day's games including the executions. He and Gannicus discuss terms, but Gannicus states he is light of coin. Mercato gives him some and wants to show Gannicus to the Magistrate and the Praetor, Publius Varinius, but Gannicus declines, desiring the attention of wine and women instead. Mercato smirks at how Gannicus has not changed and decides to let him go while he attends to matters of the games.
During the games, Publius Varinius remarks that Mercato has done a great job in pairing gladiators, even gauging that he should conduct this trade in Rome. Mercato appears prideful but respecfully declines as his fortunes are tied to Capua.
When Spartacus and his men launched their rescue mission and began burning the arena down, he is present in the arena's pulvinus with the other Romans. He is killed as he attempts to flee, being killed by a collapsing support beam which crushes him under its great weight.
His death deeply saddens Gallienus, Seppius and Seppia in particular, putting her in a state of deep grief and depression which Seppius likens to how she felt after the death of their cousin Magistrate Sextus.
"You do realize my grandfather won this battle?"
― Mercato to Batiatus
"How you will stir the crowd! Tales of the prowess of Gannicus yet fill the air, rivalling those of Hercules himself" ― Mercato to Gannicus
"Clear fucking way!" ― Mercato (last words)
- On the Spartacus: Blood and Sand DVD commentary of the season finale episode Kill Them All, Steven DeKnight remarked that Mercato was originally going to die in the massacre at the House of Batiatus, but the actor Greg Ward was unable to show up on set due to scheduling conflicts. As a result, Mercato later appeared in Vengeance, where the character finally died as was intended.
- In the credits of Legends, Greg Ward is titled as 'Erebus' even though he is directly referred to as 'Mercato' during the episode. This is due to the fact that the character was originally named Erebus prior to filming, but the name was changed very close to the initial shoot date. (Comment from actor Greg Ward)
- Curiously, Mercato is actually a modern Italian word for marketplace. Although it is etymologically linked to the Latin word Mercator, meaning "merchant".
- Mercato appears to have held the office of Aedile. In the major cities of the Republic, the Aedileship would have been held by two colleagues, and would have been responsible or organising the markets, the public games, supervising law-enforcement and the maintenance of public buildings.
- Mercato would have been a member of the local Capuan political class known alternately as the Curiales or the Decuriones, who were local landowners and merchants with enough wealth and status to govern provincial cities.
- Mercato is depicted as a grandson of Roman Senator and general by the name of Marcus Minucius Rufus. who was Tribune of the Plebs in 121 BCE and held the Consulship with Aulus Postumius Albinus in 110 BCE. As such, Mercato is a scion of the Gens Minucia. Different branches of the Gens were derived from both Patrician and Plebeian origins. The oldest Patrician branch of the Minucii originally inhabited the Esquiline Hill in Rome, while a younger Plebeian branch of the Gens Minucia, such as the Rufii, were perhaps named for an ancestor with red hair (meaning of Rufus in Latin).