Timon (Rome character)
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|First appearance||"The Stolen Eagle"|
|Last appearance||"A Necessary Fiction"|
|Portrayed by||Lee Boardman|
Timon (Hebrew: טוביה "Tevye") is a character in the HBO/BBC2 original television series Rome, played by Lee Boardman. He is a Jew, depicted as a "hired sword" – from bodyguard to assassin – for Atia of the Julii, from whom he is quite willing to take her body in lieu of coin.
Timon initially appears as little more than a cutthroat who carries out Atia's dirty work with a cheerfully mercenary attitude. However, as the series continues, his conscience and faith gradually catch up to him as guilt over his sins and lack of piety makes him more and more uncomfortable with his current lifestyle.
A Jewish horse trader, Timon performs guard duties and several other "services" for Atia, often in exchange for sex.
In the second season, Timon's religious older brother Levi comes to Rome, soon pointing out to the already-troubled Timon that his questionable means of earning a living have gotten out of control. Things reach a breaking point when he tortures Servilia of the Junii mercilessly at Atia's orders; finally disgusted by Atia's cruelty, he near-chokes her, screaming "I am not a fucking animal!" He leaves a shocked Atia gasping for breath and walks out.
Timon rediscovers his Judaism under Levi's influence, soon joining his brother in his revolutionary activities. When Levi intends to assassinate Prince Herod of Judea in Death Mask, Timon has a change of heart, realising the killing will change nothing and that he must stay alive for his family, but the only way Timon can stop Levi is with a knife in Levi's gut.
In A Necessary Fiction, he and his family pack up to leave Rome for Judea, lying to his family that Levi has left Rome and they might see him there. His wife, despite knowing about Timon's relations with Atia, tells him as they are leaving, "you're a good man." He is not mentioned again in the series.
Timon is referred to by Levi by his Hebraic name, "Tevye", Timon appearing to be a Hellenisation. Such alterations of non-Roman names were common during the time period, with arguably the best example being the change of "Saul" to "Paul."