Galba’s Men: Book II of the Four Emperors Series

Rome 68 AD.
Slaughtering hundreds of civilians at the gates of Rome is hardly the best introduction for new Emperor Galba to his city. However the aged ruler is determined to get on with clearing up the mess Nero left. Assisting him are his three men: Vinius, Laco and Icelus.
Also in his entourage one Marcus Salvius Otho. Jovial, charming and fatally reckless Otho is armed with a killer idea: Wouldn’t it be marvellous if the childless Galba adopted him as his heir?
Appointing old pal Epaphroditus as his campaign manager, Otho sets about winning hearts and minds in his own unique cheery way. For Epaphroditus it is a harmless way of enlivening his post Nero retirement; either Galba makes Otho his heir, or he doesn’t. What could possibly go wrong?
For once the former Palace manipulator has fatally miscalculated. These are paranoid times and Otho’s ‘harmless’ plan is about to bring Rome to its knees.


Palatine: Book I of the Four Emperors Series

Available on Amazon (just search for LJ Trafford)


68 AD and for once, Rome is peaceful.

Whilst Emperor Nero plays with his new water organ and a cross dressing eunuch, his wily secretary Epaphroditus manages the governance issues. However, times are changing.

Praetorian Prefect Nymphidius Sabinus, a man so straight he’d make a decent spirit level, is disgusted by the moral degeneracy of Nero’s court. Motivated by the traditional Roman values of valour and nobility and with a stack of mother issues to rival Nero’s, Sabinus is determined to remove the Emperor from a throne he does not deserve.

Blinded by his own righteousness Sabinus is ignorant of what he has unleashed – The Year of the Four Emperors!


Tiberius Claudius Epaphroditus Part Two

The Fictional Epaphroditus

In Palatine it is stated that he is 47 years old in 68 AD. He is working as Nero’s Private Secretary, mention is made of a previous role in the petitions office and a role working for Sabinus’ grandfather Callistus, as well as assistant to Claudius’ freedman Narcissus.

Epaphroditus is extremely wealthy, owning an enormous villa on the Esquiline and commands an impressive salary. It is hinted that he’s not averse to taking bribes. It is also hinted that this villa was payment for a role in the demise of Emperor Claudius.

Married to Claudia Aphrodite, a fellow ex-Imperial slave, they have between them seven children living, 5 girls and 2 boys. Who are: Silvia, Faustina, Pollus, Perella, Claudia, Julia and Rufus. Another boy, Iugarthus, born when both Epaphroditus and Aphrodite were slaves drowned in a Palace bathroom when aged only 15.

Despite this happy marriage he is a known philanderer. In Palatine his chosen mistress is Artemina (Mina) who is described as bearing an uncanny resemblance to Aphrodite (though considerably younger than her). A past dalliance with Nymphidia Sabina is also mentioned.

It has to be said that Epaphroditus is incredibly self serving. When Sabinus takes over the Palace he gives no thought whatsoever to the plight of Mina or any of the other slaves. His loyalty is to himself, then the Emperor, and then his family. In Galba’s Men he shamelessly uses Philo for information without worrying about the ramifications for his assistant.

In Palatine he ponders over the friendship between Alex and Sporus, finding such relationships perplexing. Actually it turns out he does have at least one friend in Marcus Salvius Otho. Though even this friendship was originally founded to enable Epaphroditus to ingratiate himself with the young Emperor Nero.

Sabinus claims that Epaphroditus and Phaon are relatives, though this is never confirmed and most probably it is a tactic to get Alex on board with his plot. Similarly Alex assumes Epaphroditus to be vernae (a Palace born slave), though again this is never confirmed.

In The Wine Boy, we learn that Epaphroditus’ past is not as illustrious as he would like to pretend.

Physically he is of medium height (Aphrodite is actually taller than him), with neat dark hair and arresting green eyes.