|First appearance|| S0E01: Past Transgressions|
S1E02: Sacramentum Gladiatorum
S2E02: A Place In This World
|Last appearance||S2E10: Wrath of the Gods|
|Profession|| Former Gladiator (House of Batiatus)|
|Relationships|| Quintus Lentulus Batiatus (Dominus, deceased)|
Lucretia (Domina/Victim, deceased)
Dagan (Friend/Rival, deceased)
Indus (Friend, deceased)
Glaber (Employer, deceased)
Salvius (Rival, deceased)
The Murderer (Ally, deceased)
The Egyptian (Ally, deceased)
Danus (Ally, deceased)
Fimbria (Ally, deceased)
Nileus (Ally, deceased)
Oenomaus (Doctore/Enemy, deceased)
Crixus (Former Friend/Archenemy, deceased)
Naevia (Victim, deceased)
|Status||Deceased (Killed by Naevia)|
Ashur is an ex-gladiator in Batiatus' ludus and a central antagonist in the series. Due to a conflict with Crixus prior to Blood and Sand, he was crippled and forced to wear a brace on his right leg. Since then, he became Batiatus' errand boy, accompanying him into the city to aid in transactions or sometimes going alone for more private business. When Batiatus is killed, Ashur seeks out Praetor Glaber as a new patron to further his own desires. Using his years in the ludus, Ashur seeks to become a link between Spartacus and the Romans who are hunting him.
Ashur has an olive complexion, brown eyes and black hair. As a gladiator, he kept his head nearly bald and sported a beard with one braid. After his fall, he alters his appearance, sporting a very short and a close-shaven mustache, beard, and goatee. He has a muscular build, though he has lost the tone that he once sported as a gladiator. He bears a scar on his forehead and larger burn scar from his left shoulder to his bicep. At one point he bears the mark of the brotherhood of the House of Batiatus on his right forearm, but is later forced to painfully cut it off at Glaber's orders. He later shaves his face as a further show of loyalty.
Because of his leg brace, he constantly walks with a slight limp and is unable to move at great speed. While wearing it, he also wears a red and black sash from his right shoulder to his waist, signifying his slightly elevated status above most other male slaves. Once his brace is removed, he once again wears the typical gladiator attire, although still walking with a slight limp. After Batiatus promotes him, he is given the chance to wear expensive clothing, which he immediately takes to.
He usually carries around a book, stylus and coin purse to keep track of and pay for business expenses and gambling bets. He has been seen to wear a dark, hooded cloak during visits to the city, both with and without Batiatus' presence.
Under patronage of Glaber, he dresses in a fashion akin to that of a mercenary and carries a sword with him at all times, as well as a clean shaven face.
Ashur has proven himself to be a cunning, intelligent, and manipulative opportunist. Having less physical power and skill than the other gladiators, he uses deception and roundabout methods in order to achieve his goals. For example, to avoid paying his debt to Barca, Ashur quietly arranges for the latter's death. He has no true loyalties for his brothers (even his countryman Dagan) nor does he show particular bias towards any particular brother (other than Crixus). When pressed, however, Ashur can fight well, though he is quick to use dirty tricks such as throwing sand and attacking with hidden weapons.
He has a great hatred towards Crixus, stemming from the mutilation and humiliation he suffered at the Gaul's hands. Originally content with trying to undermine Crixus' status as champion, he later takes a more active role after discovering Crixus' affair with Naevia. Initially, in Gods of the Arena, he and Crixus were close friends.
He demonstrates a strong loyalty to Batiatus, seen in particular when he manipulates Solonius and helps frame him for Magistrate Calavius' murder, ignoring all Solonius's promises of wealth should Ashur betray Batiatus. He is also good with numbers, as he frequently helps Batiatus keep track of his finances, business transactions, and gambling wagers. To advance himself, he would seek Praetor Gaius Claudius Glaber and become his right hand similar to Batiatus and show the same unwavering loyalty.
Ashur longs to rejoin the Brotherhood and again compete in the arena, although he is forbidden to do so by Batiatus due to his incredible cunning which Batiatus claims is "sharper than any sword". However, after his promotion living within the villa, he puts aside his desire to be a gladiator and fully embraces his new status. There once was a great sense of honor and brotherhood within Ashur. This, however, would turn into pure hatred and vengeance for his former brothers of their mockery and ridicule of him, even when he was in gladiator in good standing.
Ashur often refers to himself in the third person.
Ashur boasts of his skills as a Gladiator but lacks any real performance when in combat. He wins his arena and sparring matches by tricking his opponents or by sheer luck. Ashur's skill in combat mostly comes from utilizing his own cunning to win his battles, as a means to claim victory over those who do hold greater skill and ability over him. Ashur has said he has been considered the lowest ranked of the gladiators.
That being said, he has shown talent in unarmed combat during fights with several others, proving that he does hold skill. When pressed to a corner, Ashur is shown to have greater skill than usually thought, being able to fight off and defeat three trained Roman soldiers in direct combat, as well as taking down Nemetes and Lugo. His skill even allows him to briefly hold his own in fight against Gannicus, when the Romans attack the temple in Vesuvius.
Gods of the ArenaEditAshur is an Assyrian slave bought into Batiatus' Ludus to become a recruit along with Dagan, a fellow Assyrian, Indus and several others, who would not survive the training. He is enthusiastic about his training and friendly towards the other recruits, apart from perhaps Crixus, who joins slightly later than the others. Dagan repeatedly insults Crixus in Assyrian (Aramaic), and Ashur mocks Crixus by falsely translating the insults into friendly banter. Later, after Crixus has caught up, he speaks to him as an equal, and the two talk of how one day they will rise to fame together, forming a tight friendship.
When Batiatus requires untraceable slaves to do a task of his, he picks Ashur, Indus and Dagan to carry out the task because they do not yet bear the mark. They lure Vettius into a side alley and beat him senseless, killing his slaves. Afterwards, Ashur slits Indus' throat because he allowed Vettius to see his face, and is therefore recognizable. For their success, both Ashur and Dagan are given the mark of the brotherhood, forcefully administered by a reluctant Doctore who believes they have not yet proved themselves as worthy gladiators. Ashur laments that he is unable to speak the oath, but considering the circumstances he did not truly deserve to (which also explains why many gladiators never viewed him as a true gladiator in the first place).Eventually, Dagan learns the language of the others and discovers Ashur has been falsifying the translations. Along with this, Ashur offers Dagan as a sex slave to a Roman elite when the house is visited for a night of pleasures. Dagan realizes that his friend has been tricking him all along, and looks towards fighting him and killing him. Titus Batiatus is aware of this rivalry and wishes Dagan, the better gladiator, to win. Ashur is repeatedly told that, if it wasn't for Dagan's talent and lack of language, he would have been sold to the mines long before. Later, Titus Batiatus has a contest to evaluate the worth of his men.Still enraged by Ashur's betrayal, Dagan battles with deadly purpose, but allows Ashur a moment of rest. Taking charge of the moment, Ashur catches Dagan off-guard with an attack to the groin and then slices through the side of his head, gouging his eye out. Ashur would then participate in the games of the New Arena and wins enough matches to be given position among the Primus. As he and his brothers fight off against Solonius' men, Dagan attacks him in a rage. The two former friends clash, but Ashur claims victory and kills Dagan.The fighting would continue and he would fight alongside Crixus until they, Gannicus and their enemy, Caburus remained left. He suggests to Crixus that they join forces against Gannicus, because he is eager to be champion. Crixus responds by crippling Ashur with a slash through the leg and pushing him out of the ring of fire. Ashur's left arm catches the fire on the way out and he loses his chance to become champion.
When Gannicus leaves the ludus, Ashur is present, badly injured and now with a brace upon his leg. He sees Gannicus leave and then looks to Crixus. Betrayed by his only friend and now robbed of his position as a gladiator, he and Crixus would then hold a mutual grudge from that point on.
Blood and SandEdit
Ashur appears as an ex-gladiator who is no longer in fighting condition, due to the brace upon his leg. He is a messenger for Batiatus and other gladiators. He is able to procure things from outside the ludus. Despite this he is the least liked and least trusted.He and Barca are sent in a mission to kill Ovidius. Beforehand, he makes a bet with Barca on the unlikely outcome of an arena battle; namely, that of Spartacus and Crixus against Theokoles. Barca wins the bet but Ashur did not expect to have to pay him back, and he ends up in a lot of debt, which Barca persistently reminds him of. After Theokoles' death, Ashur is sent to town to buy wine and women to celebrate Spartacus's victory. He also hires the merchant to forge a letter saying that all of Ovidius's family was slaughtered, except for his young son, which would jeopardize Barca as the boy saw his face. Batiatus believes the letter and kills Barca, thereby relieving Ashur of any debts he still owed the gladiator. After plotting the death of both Solonius and the Magistrate he is promoted to the villa as Batiatus' right hand man. As a reward he requests to have Naevia, knowing that she loves Crixus and that this would anger the man. This is proven so to all when Crixus sees Ashur touching Naevia in the villa and discovers what is going on, he attacks Ashur. The guards pull him off, and he is later punished by Oenomaus. Having revealed his relationship with Naevia, she too is beaten and taken from the ludus to be sold on the markets, much to Ashur's delight.
During the slave revolt Ashurs manages to escape the chaos in the ludus but is cornered by Oenomaus, who insists on knowing what truly happened to Barca. Ashur lies in answers and fights Oenomaus, but he is no match for him. Before he is to be slain Ashur confesses to Oenomaus all his crimes, leaving Oenomaus horrified, and that his motives came from the ridicule and mockery of him from the other gladiators. Eventually Ashur is forced to the ground, where he begs for a quick, painless death. Oenomaus is about to honor this request and deliver it when Ashur grabs a piece of metal from the floor and stabs Oenomaus in the leg. He flees the ludus, first hiding under the corpses of some Roman soldiers to wait for the coast to clear.
VengeanceEditSeveral weeks later Ashur makes contact with Lucretia in the marketplace of Capua, discretely passing her a written message while hiding his face under a hood. Having located Oenomaus fighting under an assumed name in the Pits, he kills his old teacher's opponent and captures him. At the same time, Lucretia performs a ritual meant to bring a blessing from the gods. At the pivotal moment, per his message to Lucretia, Ashur enters with the captured Oenomaus, staging it as being a favor from the gods due to Lucretia's ceremony.
Ashur asks Glaber allow himself to interrogate Oenomaus as he is the only among them that knows the man. Glaber, remembering how Ashur was responsible for forcing patronage to Batiatus, is hesitant and wonders of what loyalty Ashur could provide. Ashur pledges his allegiance to Glaber by removing the mark of the brotherhood from his arm and then sets to the task of brutally interrogating Oenomaus. The plan appears to be falling apart, however, as Oenomaus refuses to speak out against Spartacus and his men. Ashur soon becomes furious at his failed attempts to torture answers from Oenomaus, and very nearly kills him before being stopped by Lucretia. She tells him that the house is full of secrets, suggesting that perhaps it is time to dig out some old "bones" from within the walls of the house.
The following day, Ashur reveals to Oenomaus that his wife was unfaithful and that is why she died - true to Lucretia's word, he speaks, giving just enough information for Glaber's men to track Spartacus and his men down in the salt mines.Ashur accompanies Glaber's men to the mines, and recognizes two former gladiators, Manus and Plenus, guarding an entrance. Realizing that the rebels are already there, he surprises both men and swiftly kills them before they realize he recognized them. He leads the soldiers into the mine, and he incapacitates several rebels, including Crixus and Rhaskos. While the prisoners are returned to the House of Batiatus, Ashur accompanies the remaining troops, lead by their commander Marcus, into the forest in pursuit of the remaining rebels. While they are able to slowly pick off the rebels in a series of fights, the Romans suffer heavy casualties. Ashur cautions Marcus that they need to unite the men into one unit, instead of splitting them up into small bands to search the forest, as he rightfully believes they cannot defeat the former gladiators with such spaced out numbers. Marcus refuses to heed his warning, and is injured in the final battle, with the majority of soldiers killed and the rebels once again on the run. After killing Liscus, Ashur drags Marcus into a secluded area and begs him to order a retreat, but the soldier refuses, stating that they are Romans and will fight to the last man. Ashur replies "I am not a Roman." and murders Marcus on the spot, framing his death on the rebels to force a retreat.
He returns with the few remaining men to the ludus, and Glaber imprisons him for his failure, promising that he too will be executed in the upcoming gladiatoral games meant to execute Crixus, Rhaskos, and Oenomaus.
As Ashur sits chained in his cell, Lucretia comes to visit him, promising to convince Glaber to release him. She also tells him of a potion Ilithyia has bought to abort her child, and where it is kept, ordering him to find it and replace it with a placebo. When he complains that he cannot move freely throughout the ludus, she gives him a key to the gates.
However, Ashur goes against Lucretia's orders and instead of replacing the potion, he informs Glaber of its existence, leading the Praetor to discover his wife's plot to dissolve their marriage. He does not attend the games and wasn't present when the Arena is destroyed.Glaber and Salvius find that many of Glaber's soldiers are fearful of Spartacus and have fled. Ashur appears as the two speak and states that Glaber must find a greater force than soldiers to face gladiators, boasting three soldiers at once are of no match. Knowing he once stood a gladiator, Glaber tells the Syrian to give a lesson in their skill. Ashur then faces off against Salvius and two others in direct combat, who he manages to defeat before remarking that he stood lowest of the brotherhood. Impressed by Ashur's skill, Glaber elevates him and grants him a new mission. Ashur - now clean-shaven - resides in the champion's quarters in the ludus. When confronted by Lucretia as to why he told Glaber about the vial, instead of what he was told. Ashur declares that he is Glaber's man now and doesn't need to take orders from her. He then proves his point by raping Lucretia.
Ashur soon departs the ludus to Capua and to gather some of the most dangerous men he can find. His group's brutality is shortly showcased as they slaughter all in the house of Seppius (except for Seppius, who is left alive for Glaber to finish off). He later takes jewels and gold from Seppius' house, including the snake-shaped bracelet that the deceased wore.He continues raping Lucretia multiple times after the first, as he is successfully able to convince her that, as Glaber now trusts him, he has more power than her, and can have Lucretia killed or sent into slavery. This convinces her not to tell Glaber of his continued assaults, but to shamefully put up with them. Ashur however believes that she is beginning to enjoy their time together, turning it into a twisted love/hate relationship. He even begins calling her "my love" and giving her gifts of the jewels he has stolen from those he has killed at Glaber's command. However, his new "love" for her is expressed through possessiveness and violence, and he is quick to beat and rape her should she insult him. Eventually he gains enough patronage with Glaber to have her promise to be his wife and the ludus to be granted to him for his service, something Lucretia will do anything not to see. Ashur eventually deduces the location of the rebels and alongside Glaber marches on the rebels and forces them to flee into the mountains. There Ashur remains at his side throughout the majority of the conflict, but manages to cut down several rebels as well. While camped at the temple, awaiting the right time to assault the rebels on the mountain, Ashur expresses greater desire to be a lanista and become the greatest in all the Republic. His loyalty is brought into question to Glaber when a visit from Ilythia and Lucretia reveals the bracelet that Ashur stole from Seppius' corpse. They string together a story to show that Ashur had hoped Seppia to have killed Glaber. When confronted, Ashur denies this and prepares to defend himself though Glaber also gains the mercenaries on his side, leaving Ashur defenseless. Enraged he begins cursing out at the mercenaries for betraying him. Ashur then turns and makes an attempt to strike down The Egyptian for betrayal but fails, as The Egyptian has the skills to overcome and evade Ashur's attack, leaving him at a completely disadvantage to defend himself. As an act to "test his loyalty", Glaber sends Ashur to the rebels with a list of demands in order to ensure terms of surrender. The rebels eventually decide to kill Ashur as a means to answer Glaber. Crixus steps up to fight Ashur head on, but Naevia steps in, wanting to kill the man who brought her into such despair resulting in Ashur and Naevia clashing. Ashur barely tries and easily overpowers Naevia, despite her training by Crixus. Ashur prepares to kill Naevia, but his arrogance overcomes him and he begins to speak out to all the others. Naevia takes advantage of this and fatally injures him. In his last breath, he claims his death will not undo what he has done to each and every one of them and laughs at how their imminent defeat is because of him, before being decapitated by Naevia. His head is then delivered to Glaber who smiles as this was the decision he had desired.
List of AppearancesEdit
- Nick E Tarabay, the actor who plays Ashur is 183cm (6'0") tall.
- Ashur fights in the Thraex style equipped with a parmula and a sica.
- Despite the fact that the show frequently refers Ashur as "Syrian", he would - historically - in fact be Assyrian. "Ashur" is an ancient Assyrian/Babylonian name, from the Assyrian Chief God; Ashur. Due to the authoritative influence of Greek geographers and ethnographers on the Romans and consequently, the rest of western civilization, the voiceless palato-alveolar sibilant(IPA; ʃ) was replaced with a voiceless alveolar sibilant(IPA; s), because of the absence of the former phoneme in Greek, hence Ashur becomes Assyr and by extension the people of Ashur become "Assyrians".
- Ashur is a direct enemy and main personal antagonist of several individuals. This includes: Crixus, Barca, Dagan, Oenomaus, Naevia, Lucretia, Gannicus and Salvius.
- Ashur appears to have knowledge of the Vesuvius Temple, the main base of operations of the rebels, which could mean that he had once roamed free throughout the Roman lands.
- During conversation with Lucretia, Ashur revealed to having never known his father.
- The events leading to Ashur's death mirror that of his victim Barca: they were both fiercely loyal to their superiors, only to lose their trust through false information and be betrayed by them.
- Throughout the first season, Ashur and Spartacus have mutual hatred of Crixus and interacted well on many occasions, though Spartacus knew better not to trust him.
- Creator of the series, Steven S. DeKnight, stated that Ashur is the series' "wild card".
- Ashur was the ninth main character to be killed.
"You fucking cunt(s)!"
"You're all the same. Spartacus, Crixus, the noble Oenomaus. Fallen to ruin for a woman plowed by other men's cock."
—Ashur to Oenomaus
"And who will fight Ashur? Choose carefully, for I long for blood." 
—Ashur to Gladiators
"Up, you fucking goat! Dominus does not pay you to dream of tits and cunts."
—Ashur to Aulus
"All men fall. It's but time and method that differ."
"Whatever you need, Ashur provides."
—Ashur to Crixus
"I am a villain, but I'm not your villain."
"My fucking treachery? When did YOU stand forth for Ashur? When did any of you greet me short of mockery, and scorn!? Fucking cunts!"
—Ashur to Oenomaus
"It is a thing of beauty, is it not? What a man may accomplish if his mind is set to purpose."
—Ashur to Lucretia
"And I was considered lowest among the brotherhood."
—Ashur to Glaber
"They are freely given by the dead, who no longer have need of them."
—Ashur to Lucretia
- ↑ Spartacus: Blood and Sand Season 1; Episode 9