Characters – Epaphroditus

Tiberius Claudius Epaphroditus featured in both Palatine and Galba’s Men is a genuine historical personages.


The Historical Epaphroditus

What we know is very little. He pops up precisely three times in the written historical records. We know he was a freedman of Nero’s who brought the Piso plot to the Emperor’s attention and was richly rewarded for it.

We know he was with Nero when he died.

And we know how he died.

He probably wasn’t the Epaphroditus who owned the slave Epictetus, who later became a renowned philosopher.

He probably wasn’t the Epaphroditus who Josephus dedicated his Jewish histories too.

Epaphroditus (Greek for charming) was a very common slave name.


Outside of the written record we know he had a whopping big house on the Esquiline Hill because archaeologists found an inscription there listing his name and many post-Piso titles.

As a writer this scarcity of information is a bonus, it gives me license to say give him a wife, children, a personality of his own that probably has very little to do with the historical Epaphroditus.