Ascaris was a mute assassin in Rome. (TV: The Romans) In 64, Ascaris, a Legionary (Second Class) of the Ninth Legion, was removed from regular duties by a centurion and given the special task of assassinating Maximus Pettulian, a lyre player who planned to kill Emperor Nero. (PROSE: The Romans) Ascaris succeeding in killing Maximus Petullian, however the First Doctor assumed the man's identity.
When the First Doctor claimed that he was Maximus, the centurion believed that Ascaris had failed, but gave him another chance. When he tried to kill the Doctor, the Doctor fought back, and when Vicki Pallister joined the melee, Ascaris fled out the window. A previous failure had caused the centurion to cut out his tongue, causing his muteness. (TV: The Romans)
Years later, Ascaris had been demoted to Legionary (Fourth Class) and served on the construction team of Hadrian's Wall. General Agricola told his son-in-law Tacitus that his presence was hindering the construction of the wall. (PROSE: The Romans)
Behind the scenes
- Although PROSE: The Romans reveals Ascaris helped construct Hadrian's Wall, the timing of the possibility is somewhat problematic. COMIC: The Long Con establishes that Trajan, who preceded Hadrian according to The Romans, served as Emperor at least until 111. Because Ascaris is visibly an adult in TV: The Romans, this would make him at least 65 years old by that time. Historically the construction on Hadrian's Wall began in 122, which would place his age at nearly 80, an even more unlikely possibility for an active Roman soldier.