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Aquilus (died 259 CE) was a Gallo-Roman member of the Liberalis Circulum, a branch of the Hidden Ones operating throughout the Roman Empire. He conducted much of his operations in the city of Lugdunum. Aquilus was also a distant ancestor to Desmond Miles.[1]

In 259 CE, Aquilus was tasked with the assassinations of several high-ranked individuals within the Roman Empire. After failing to eliminate his third target, General Gracchus, Aquilus met up with his cousin Accipiter—an Aleman and fellow member of the Liberalis Circulum—from whom he obtained an ancient artifact known as the Ankh, which he in turn gave to his father Lucius for safekeeping.

After his father was murdered and the Ankh stolen by the Roman Senator Caïus Fulvus Vultur, a member of the Order of the Ancients, Aquilus traveled from Lugdunum to the Imperial capital of Rome, seeking vengeance. Successful in his objective, he returned home with the Ankh, where he presented it to his wife Valeria and discovered more of its abilities.

However, Aquilus and Valeria were later captured by Roman soldiers, who sought to execute them in retaliation for Vultur's assassination. Though Accipiter mounted an attack to try and rescue his cousin, he ultimately failed as Aquilus was killed by one of the Roman soldiers to prevent his escape.


Early life[]

The son of Lucius, a prominent member of the Liberalis Circulum branch of the Hidden Ones, Aquilus was trained by his father to follow in his footsteps and fight for the Brotherhood's cause. Eventually, he was formally inducted into the Hidden Ones and began carrying out various missions for them in and around his hometown of Lugdunum.[2]

At some point, Aquilus met and fell in love with Valeria. After they married, the couple moved together into a villa in Lugdunum. However, Aquilus' work for the Hidden Ones frequently kept him away from his home and family.[3]

Meeting with Gracchus[]


Aquilus meeting Gracchus

In 259 CE, Aquilus was tasked with the deaths of three individuals, all of whom held high-ranking positions within the Roman Empire. After successfully eliminating his first two targets, he traveled to the camp of General Gracchus, his third and final target. Claiming that he was there to deliver a message to the general, Aquilus was welcomed into the camp and met Gracchus in his tent.[2]

Aware of Aquilus' previous assassinations of Senator Caius and General Titus, Gracchus revealed that he already suspected the true reason behind the Hidden One's visit. Aquilus attempted to deny the accusation, but was quickly overpowered by the Roman soldiers and stabbed in the chest by Gracchus, who did not want to take any risks. The Hidden One subsequently passed out and was left for dead in the tent.[2]

Return home[]

AC2A - Accipiter & Aquilus

Aquilus and Accipiter

When Aquilus regained consciousness, he was laying on a bed and found his wound tended to. He soon noticed someone sitting besides him, who revealed himself to be his cousin Accipiter, an Aleman general and fellow Liberalis Circulum member. Accipiter then talked about the battles he had been waging against the Romans and explained to Aquilus that he had found him while attacking Gracchus' camp.[3]

Aquilus changed the topic of the conversation to an object Accipiter was meant to deliver to him. His cousin assured him that he had the item in his possession, but due to Aquilus' current state, he decided to wait until the latter had recovered from his wounds to give it to him.[3]

Eventually, Aquilus made a full recovery and was able to ride a horse again, going on a ride with Accipiter. They stopped near a river, where Accipiter gave Aquilus the item he was carrying: an artifact known as the Ankh. With this, Aquilus parted ways with his cousin and set off for Lugdunum to deliver the Ankh to his father.[3]

Upon his arrival, Lucius greeted his son and claimed that he had not expected him to return alive. Aquilus then met an old friend of Lucius, the Roman Senator Caïus Fulvus Vultur, who was visiting. After the three had dinner together that night, Vultur went to bed while Aquilus and Lucius spoke of the mission. Aquilus handed the Ankh to his father, who explained that it allegedly had the power to resurrect the dead.[3]

Exposing the traitor[]

AC2A - Aquilus Faustin interrogation

Aquilus interrogating Faustinus

After Aquilus revealed to his father what had happened during his failed assassination attempt of General Gracchus, they both suspected that somone had alerted the general to their plans, meaning they had been betrayed. Lucius then informed his son that the traitor was likely Bishop Faustinus, so Aquilus immediately set off to interrogate him.[3]

Catching Faustinus off guard by waking him up in the middle of the night, Aquilus threatened the bishop, who confessed to his betrayal, claiming he had no choice. However, the Hidden One did not believe that Faustinus had acted alone and so he beat him up until the bishop betrayed the identity of his accomplice: Vultur. This revelation momentarily stunned Aquilus, allowing Faustinus to break free of his grasp and run away, though he did not get far, as the Hidden One killed him with a throwing knife to the back.[3]

Aquilus subsequently rushed back to his father's home, but arrived too late, as he found Lucius dead and the Ankh missing. Upon further inspection, Aquilus found his father's servant Weke, who had been mortally wounded and only managed to utter a few words before passing away. Just then, a maid came up and revealed that Vultur had killed both Lucius and Weke and stolen the Ankh, causing Aquilus to vow revenge.[3]

Journey to Rome[]

AC3A - Vultur death

Aquilus standing beside Vultur's body

Traveling to Rome to hunt down Vultur, Aquilus managed to locate and infiltrate the senator's home, killing a group of guards in the process. However, he spared one guard, whom he forced to direct him to Vultur. Upon being led to Vultur's room, the senator rushed out of the door with a spear, but accidentally impaled the guard who had been forced to assist Aquilus, leaving Vultur with no protection.[4]

As the Hidden One angrily confronted his father's murderer, he demanded the Ankh. Vultur complied and offered to tell him some of the artifact's history so that he could better understand its importance. Aquilus agreed, but assured the senator that no matter what, he would die at his hands.[4]

Vultur went on to explain the Ankh's usage by the Egyptian goddess Isis to resurrect her lover Osiris for one night, as well as its subsequent use by various Egyptian pharaohs. As he finished his story, Vultur made one final attempt to attack Aquilus with the Ankh, but the Hidden One stabbed him in the chest, killing him and avenging his father. He then took the Ankh and left Rome to return to Lugdunum.[4]


AC3A - Aquilus death

Aquilus' death

Returning home, Aquilus was greeted by Valeria, and the two had a night of intimacy in celebration of his safe return. Afterwards, the Hidden One recounted to his wife the events in Rome, and told her about the Ankh and its power. As he touched the artifact in an attempt to activate it, the Ankh displayed a holographic message from Lucius, recorded shortly before his death.[4]

Before they could see his father's final message through, Aquilus and Valeria were interrupted by Roman soldiers, who broke into their residence with the order to arrest them. The couple were subsequently bound and escorted to Rodumna, where they were to stand trial and be executed.[4]

As the escort passed through a forest, the Roman soldiers were temporarily halted by Accipiter, who had caught wind of his cousin's execution and sought to prevent it. The soldiers, in a state of panic, slit Aquilus' throat to prevent his escape, though they did not get the opportunity to kill Valeria, who was unknowingly pregnant with their child.[4]


Despite his untimely death, Aquilus had managed to secure the Ankh for the Hidden Ones, which remained in Valeria's possession after his execution. Though she attempted to give it to Accipiter, he refused due to being too busy with his battles against the Romans to properly look after it, and trusted Valeria to hide it in a safe place.[4]

Aquilus' distant descendant Desmond Miles would become a prominent member of the Assassin Brotherhood, the successors of the Hidden Ones, and eventually sacrifice himself to save the world from the Second Disaster in 2012.[5]

Behind the scenes[]

Aquilus is a character introduced in Assassin's Creed 1: Desmond, the first volume of the non-canon Assassin's Creed comic series published by Les Deux Royaumes. However, Aquilus and the historical events of the comic were later made canon by the Assassin's Creed Encyclopedia.


The name "Aquilus" is derived from "Aquila", a Latin translation for "eagle". As such, his name has the same eagle motif as Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad and Ezio Auditore, as well as some of the later characters in the franchise like Haytham KenwayArbaaz MirAveline de Grandpré, and Nikolai Orelov. "Aquila" is also the name of the ship that Ratonhnhaké:ton took command of during the time of the American Revolution.