(Not necessarily) a real
interview with a market VIP
Illustration by Evonrude
TOS: Wow! Spartacus! I thought you’d be
bringing a trident and net!
SPAR: Hah! I’m a trader now! You know,
Spartacus, the Mighty Mercator!
TOS: I thought the gladiator stuff was a
pretty good gig? And then the whole
SPAR: I had enough battling smelly Celts
and Ethiopian lions. A guy could get hurt
that way. And leading a bunch of rebellious
slaves? They wouldn’t do anything I told
them to. A couple years ago, I bought some
grain from around the Black Sea, traded it
for some Falernian wine, sold that in
Capua, and ka-ching, I was able to say
“Vale” to the gladiator business.
TOS: You had “ka-ching” in those days?
SPAR: Ka-ching? Of course we had ka-
ching. A ram sack filled with coins has a
TOS: Do you have any insight on the cur-
rent crisis in Greece?
SPAR: Tell me when there’s NOT a crisis in
Greece. Just shows you where that democ-
racy and scroll-learnin’ will get you.
TOS: You have the advantage of a couple
thousand years of experience, what
trading strategies do you use?
SPAR: One of my techniques is to use my
nose. I wake up in the morning, take a good
whiff of the open sewage in Rome, and can
tell which commodities everybody’s
using—I get long those—and short every-
thing else as a kind of pairs trade. I’m get-
ting long fermented fish paste big time.
TOS: But how do you buy and sell stuff?
Do you have limit orders? Stops?
SPAR: I go down to the docks and squeeze
those vendors, man, both literally and figu-
ratively. You could drive an ox cart through
some of their markets, and all the purple-
toga types just hit the bids and lift the
offers—ha!—they’re too good to work ’em.
And if some guy doesn’t want to play, I
know just how to grab his neck to bring
him around to my way of doing things.
TOS: Well, that would be kind of illegal
SPAR: No, you’re just too skinny.
TOS: Yeah, well, at least I have a com-
puter that I can trade online with! I don’t
need a bodyguard when I buy or sell
SPAR: See, that makes no sense to me.
Nothing you do is face to face, man to man.
I mean, when I do a trade with someone,
that guy knows that if he reneges on a deal,
he’s gotta deal with Spartacus. Go ahead
and walk out on a Crassus or a Pompey. But
not me. You have to know who you’re deal-
ing with. And on the way over here another
skinny guy’s telling me how your economy
stinks because of a bunch of other skinny
guys trading and not having to own up on
the losses. I could have told you that would
happen. But who asks an old gladiator who
happens to be sitting on a pile of talents of
gold as tall as your faceless statue of Ceres?
Yes, I climbed up and looked for myself.
TOS: You’re just in love with yourself,
SPAR: Well, I did crush a bunch of Roman
legions and made enough trading to have
party villas ringing the Mediterranean. I
stared out as a slave, I kicked butt, and
now I’m huge. You have a problem with
that? I don’t.
TOS: Heck no … Thanks Sparty …
For the record, despite our technological
prowess, we were not able to travel through
time to actually conduct this interview
with Spartacus himself. Any accuracy or
resemblance to Spartacus or his descendants is purely coincidental and a figment
of the writer’s overactive imagination.