English > Characters > Biblical characters > Aphranius


Aphranius is the head of Pilate's secret police. He often shows up as the hooded man, with his head almost unvisible. He is a master in disguise an deception

Aphranius is not just the executioner of Pilate's dirty jobs,he also helps him, through clever but sneaky discussions, to find creative solutions for situations which can't be discussed in public, or which can't be made public at all.


His name could be inspired by Sextus Aphranius Burrus (1- 62), a Roman with Gaul roots. Aphranius Burrus was a tribune, and later procurator and private guard of empress Livia Drusilla II (58 BC-22) - the widow of emperor August (63 BC-19) - and later private guard of the emperors Tiberius (42 BC-37) and Claudius (10 BC-54). He helped Julia Agrippina the Younger (15-59) to get her son Nero (37-68) on the trone and became one of his advisors when Nero became emperor in 54 at the age of 16. The other advisor was the philosopher and writer Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BC-65). The first 5 years of Nero's government - the quinquennium Neronis - were generally described as «a school example of good governance», because the two men behind the scene were determining the policy.

When the apostle Paulus (3-67) was being arrested and put in the Mamertine prison at Capitoline Hill, Aphranius Burrus was responsible for him. There was said that he treated him very humanly.

Nero, however, had to tolerate that his mother Julia Agrippina the Younger (6-69) claimed an always more important role for herself. By mediation of Agripinna Aphranius Burrus got control on the Praetorian Guards in the year 51. He had an excellent military reputation but he knew bloody well that he had to be grateful to Agrippina. He could prevent that Nero assassinated his mother a first time - although it later happened nevertheless. Sextus Aphranius Burrus himself died in the year 62.

Some oneliners coming from Aphranius Brutus are still known. He once said to the young emperor Nero: «When I have spoken once, do not question me again», and his last words, just before he died, were «Ego me bene habeo» or «With me everything's well».

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