2. A freedman and favourite of the emperor Nero, who employed him as his secretary. During the conspiracy which put an end to Nero's rule, Epaphroditus accompanied his master in his flight, and when Nero attempted to kill himself, Epaphroditus assisted him. For this service, however, he had afterwards to pay with his own life, for Domitian first banished and afterwards ordered him to be put to death, because he had not exerted himself to save the life of Nero.
The philosopher Epictetus was the freedman of this Epaphroditus ; but whether he is the same as the Epaphroditus to whom Josephus dedicated his " Jewish Antiquities," and on whom he pronounces in his preface a high eulogium for his love of literature and history, is very uncertain, and it is generally believed that Josephus is speaking of one Epaphroditus who lived in the reign of Trajan and was a freedman and procurator of this emperor. (Tac. Ann. 15.55
; Sueton. Nero,
14; D. C. 63.27
; Arrian, Dissert. Epict.
1.26; Suidas, s. v. Ἐπίκτητος
; comp. the commentators on Josephus.) From all these persons of the name of Epaphroditus, we must distinguish the one whom the Apostle Paul mentions as his companion. (Philipp.