ImageRoman era tests Lawless
Mekeisha Madden Toby / Detroit News Television Writer

In her "Xena" days, actress Lucy Lawless played a fearless lady warrior intent on defeating evil.

Well, these days, the New Zealand native is playing another intrepid type, named Lucretia, but this lady is anything but warrior-like, and her weapon of choice is her wanton sexuality on the violent and oversexed Starz epic "Spartacus: Blood and Sand."

The addictive and entertaining Friday night drama, which has given the premium cable network its best ratings for an original series, is set in Roman times. The show follows an enslaved Everyman named Spartacus (Andy Whitfield), who is fighting as a gladiator to win his freedom and find his missing wife. It's "Rome" meets "300."

Lawless' Lucretia and her husband, Batiatus (John Hannah, "The Mummy" movies and "Four Weddings and a Funeral"), own Spartacus. While Lucretia and Batiatus have yet to involve Spartacus in their bedroom games, the couple often solicits their slaves to, um, help keep things titillating. Seemingly insatiable, Lucretia even has a lover, a slave gladiator named Crixus (Manu Bennett).

"For the Romans, (slaves) were like an extension of your right hand," Lawless, 41, told reporters at a recent press junket while promoting the show. "They meant nothing. The Romans dehumanized people. Societies that allow slavery dehumanize."

Read More on The Detroit News

Submitted by Barbara Davies