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"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

"It is a thing of beauty, is it not? What a man may accomplish if his mind is set to purpose."Ashur to Lucretia

"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

Ashur was a central antagonist in Spartacus: Blood and Sand, its prequel Spartacus: God of the Arena, and Spartacus: Vengeance.

He was portrayed by actor Nick Tarabay.

Personality

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.

Appearance

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.

Combat Prowess

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.

Relationships

Romances

Lucretia

Lucretia is Ashur's former domina, rape victim, unwilling lover and future wife.

Following the departure of Spartacus and the other gladiators and slaves of The House of Batiatus, Ashur returns into the villa where he discovers Lucretia barely alive. He stiches up her wounds and ensures that she survives, seeing her clothed, fed and cared for. He would later become involved in an unknown plot with Lucretia.

Several 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, 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. They talk with Ashur revealing his role in saving her, as she helps him by telling 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Friends and Allies

Batiatus

Upon arriving at the Ludus, Ashur is almost immediately enlisted by Batiatus to take part in his schemes. He is ordered along with the other Syrians Dagan and Indus to take part in an assault Vettius in revenge for an earlier assault on Batiatus by Vettius and his benefactor, Tullius. Ashur afterwards urinates on the wounded and bleeding Vettius and then slits Indus's throat after Vettius sees his face. As a reward for their services Ashur and Dagan are given the mark of the brotherhood without having to be tested. Ashur is among those who aid Batiatus in the ambush on Tullius and is present when the latter is sealed into the newly built arena while still alive.

After he is crippled Ashur becomes Batiatus's runner, messenger, and accompanies him whenever he goes into town. He also acts as an informal bookkeeper and keeps track of all the various wagers Batiatus has made. Batiatus also uses Ashur to perform his dirty work such as assassinations and spying.

Ashur helps Batiatus to frame Solonius for the murder of the Magistrate Calavius by feigning interest in Solonius's offers of greater financial reward in exchange for undermining Batiatus. He leads Solonius to the sewers where Calavius is being held captive, under the pretense that Solonius would be hailed as a hero, and Batiatus unmasked as a criminal, upon the magistrate being rescued. However, Solonius discovers that Calavius's throat has been cut, and is arrested by the city guards. Solonius is later condemned to death in the arena and is executed by Spartacus.

Ironically, despite his machinations Ashur remains steadfastly loyal to Batiatus until the latter's death, notwithstanding his deceipt in respect of Barca. He even obeys Batiatus when the latter declines his request to rejoin the gladiators upon taking off his leg brace, on the grounds that he had already proven to be of greater worth outside the arena.

Glaber

After the death of Batiatus and the fall of his house Ashur attempts to ingratiate himself to Glaber. A a test of loyalty, he cuts off the brand of the house of Batiatus from his arm at Glaber's insistence. He also assists by capturing Oenamaus, and torturing him for information, on the grounds that he is the only person who truly knows the former doctore. After Oenamaus inadvertently reveals the rebel slaves are heading to the mines to free Naevia, he accompanies Glaber's soldiers to the mines and swiftly kills two of the former gladiators who were posing as guards.

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 that even three soldiers at once are no match for one gladiator. Knowing that he once stood a gladiator himself and doubting a gladiator's skill, Glaber tells the Syrian to prove such prowess. Ashur then faces off against Salvius and two others in direct combat, who he brutally and swiftly defeats, after which 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.

However when Seppius's sister, Seppia, attempts to murder Glaber Lucretia and Illythia spin the tale that Ashur may have had a hand in organising the attack, causing Glaber to distrust Ashur yet again. 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 reject these demands and decide to execute Ashur instead, an act promptly carried out by Naevia. His head is then delivered to Glaber who smiles as this was the decision he had desired. Ironically, the master manipulator meets his downfall due to the machinations of a master whom he had no intention of betraying.

Enemies

Crixus

Initially, in Gods of the Arena, he and Crixus were close friends. 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. After being promoted in the household he requests that Naevia be given to him as a reward, a request that Batiatus indulges. When Crixus discovers this he brutally attacks Ashur in the house while Batiatus is hosting Glaber, resulting in Naevia being sent away and Crixus being scourged as punishment.

Barca

Barca mercilessly mocks Ashur and the other new recruits to the Ludus in Gods of the Arena, treating him to the same sort of hazing and humiliation generally meted out to newcomers, such as verbal abuse and urinating in his food. But while Barca eventually grows to respect fellow newcomer Crixus due to his fighting prowess, Barca's opinion of Ashur sinks deteriorates when he receives the brand of the brotherhood despite never proving himself as a worthy Gladiator (the brand was a reward for an assault carried out by Ashur, Dagan and Indus on Vettius in revenge by an earlier assault on Batiatus by Tullius and Vettius). This opinion is shared by many others in the Ludus and Ashur is never seen to be a true gladiator, and hence Barca continues with his mockery of them.

In Blood and Sand Ashur and Barca make a wager on the Shadow Games where Crixus and Spartacus are to fight the legendary and undefeated Theokoles. Barca puts coin into their favor with Ashur gladly receiving as he is certain the duo would lose to the Shadow of Death. This proves troublesome for Ashur as Spartacus manages to defeat Theokeles and therefore owes Barca a large debt of coin, which the latter constantly threatens him for. However Ashur overhears about Barca's involvement in the murder of Ovidius (a merchant adversary of Batiatus) and his family.

Barca tells his lover Pietros he spared the life of the young son of Ovidius against the orders of Batiatus. Seeing an opportunity to organize Barca's death and erase the debt, Ashur informs Batiatus (while also enlisting the assistance of Marcellus to forge a letter confirming same) who is enraged at this apparent betrayal by Barca. Barca is brought to Batiatus (Barca believing that he is there to speak of his freedom) and is questioned about the subject.

Barca states he lied to Pietros in order to comfort him. Batiatus begins to believe Barca, but before this could happen, Ashur stabs Barca and begins a fight. Barca valiantly defends himself but being unarmed and outnumbered is defeated and is killed by Batiatus. However, it is later revealed that the boy did not in fact survive, meaning that Barca was telling the truth. Batiatus, with Ashur's assistance, later lies to the other gladiators and tells them Barca purchased his freedom.

Oenamaus

Like Barca, Oenamaus has a dim view of Ashur when he first arrives in the Ludus and does not believe he has earned the right to be considered a brother gladiator. He also resents Ashur's manipulation and is one of the first members of the household to suspect that Barca earning his freedom is questionable. He suspects Ashur's involvement and tells him of this face to face. When Naevia is sent away from the house after her romance with Crixus is revealed (also due to Ashur's machinations) she notifies Oenamaus that Barca was not freed but killed by Batiatus. When the gladiators finally revolt he confronts Ashur, who coldly admits he set in motion the events leading to Barca's death. Oenamaus then proceeds to duel Ashur, who is no match for him. Just before Oenamaus can kill him Ashur stabs Oenamaus and hides amidst the bodies of the dead guards.

In Vengeance it is Ashur who manages to track down Oenamaus in the Pits, where he is fighting under an assumed name and face paint in the hope of getting killed. Ashur later tortures Oenamaus at the former Ludus for information leading to the rebel slaves, but to no avail. However, upon being notified by Lucretia that Gannicus slept with his wife Melitta an enraged Oenamaus inadvertendly reveals that the rebels intend to go to the mines to free Naevia, who is being held there. He later recruits the mercenaries to fight against the former slaves, including the Eqyptian, who ultimately succeeds in mortally wounding Oenamaus (although not before being killed by Gannicus).