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Tiberivs Ivlivs Alexander1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 September 2012


In the reign of Tiberius, and probably early in the reign, two sons, one of them the subject of this paper, were born to a member of the Jewish community of Alexandria, Alexander mistakenly surnamed Lysimachus. His respectability was vouched for by the learning and standing in the community of his brother Philo, his piety by the gift of new gates to the temple at Jerusalem, and his wealth brought him into contact with prominent personalities in both the Roman and Jewish worlds. Agrippa, the grandson of Herod the Great by Aristobulus, was the beneficiary, at a crisis in his fortunes, of Alexander's sympathetic banking transactions; a letter of credit on Puteoli for a large sum enabled this winsome but wasteful scion of the Jewish royal house to face his creditors and return to Italy, and the investment turned out well for Alexander himself, and was to associate his children, particularly Tiberius Iulius, closely with the family of Agrippa for the rest of the latter's lifetime.

Research Article
Copyright © E. G. Turner 1954. Exclusive Licence to Publish: The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies

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PIR II, 164–5, no. 92; A. Stein, P-W 153 (Julius 59) and PIR2 I, 86, no. 510; Le Pape, Bull. Soc. roy. d'archéol. d'Alex., 8, no. 29 (1934), 332 ff.


2 cf. below, p. 56, n. 17.

3 L'Armée rom. d,' Egypte, pp. 421 ff. Rostovtzeff maintained his opposition to this interpretation, see Yale Class Studies, II (1931), 49.

4 Pliny, Epp., X, 6, 7, 10, 1. Josephus, c. Apionem, 2, 72.

5 Hist., I, 11.

6 ll. 3–4. See bibliography of the edict in n. 32 below (p. 60).

7 H. Wolfson, Philo, 78.

8 The scholars of the Museum, themselves great politicians, were either indifferent or actively hostile. Apion, historian of Egypt, commentator on Alcaeus (P. Oxy. 2295, fr. 28, 1), and opponent of Philo before Gaius, invented the calumny of Semitic ritual murder (Josephus, c. Ap. 2, 8). The interests of Chaeremon, his successor in the chair of grammar, later tutor to Nero, were in the symbolical secrets of the Egyptian past. He was himself a ἱερογραμματεύς in the Egyptian priestly order. See Schwyzer, H. R., Chairemon (Leipzig, 1932Google Scholar).

9 De Spec. Legibus, I, 51–3.

10 c. Apionem, 2, 123.

11 Hist., 5, 5.

12 Antiq. Iud., 19, 276.

13 G. F. Moore, Judaism, II, Index s.v. ‘Apostates’.

14 Quod omnis probus liber sit 26 and 141; De Povidentia, 2, 58.

15 JEA 12 (1926), 77–9, developed in The Politics of Philo Judaeus (1938).

16 Götting. Gel. Nachr. 1942, Phil.-hist.Klasse no. 5.

17 p. 161 Aucher (Lysimachus loquitur), ‘Haec sunt, o honoratissime Philo, quae Alexander noster ex fratre nepos conscripsit’. The words are identical with those in which Philo describes Alexander, and cannot be reconciled with the dramatic character of Lysimachus. cf. Pohlenz, l.c., 412–415. Possibly the Lysimachus of this dialogue is the same person as the Iulius Lysimachus of P. Fouad 21, 8.

18 Museum Helveticum, 9 (1952), 137 ff.

19 Conveniently available in Frey, Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaicarum, II, nos. 1451–1530. I am grateful to Professor Momigliano for drawing my attention to them.

20 R. Lattimore, Themes in Greek and Latin Epitaphs, 65 ff. (with references to earlier discussions).

21 Nos. 1490, 1508, 1509, 1512. Nos. 1511, 1530 are discussed below.

22 P. Lond. 1912, 88 ff.

23 Reading ἐπεισπαίειν.

24 OGI 663. Plate in Annales du Service, XIII, 2 (1914), pl. 12.

25 Antiq. Jud., 19, 329.

26 ibid. 19, 276.

27 This seems to be implied by his presence at a council of war in A.D. 70, Josephus, BJ 5, 45.

28 Gnomon, 7, 23–6.

29 Journal Jur. Pap., 5 (1951), 207 ff.

30 OGI 685.

31 BJ 2, 387.

32 The older texts in OGI 669 and IGRR I, 1263, are superseded by H. G. Evelyn White and J. H. Oliver, The Temple of Hibis in El Khargeh Oasis, Part II: The Greek Inscriptions (New York, 1939Google ScholarPubMed), nos. 3 and 4 The papyrus copy is BGU 1563. Further interesting suggestions about the text are made by W. Schubart in Archiv.f. Pap., 14, 36–43. The older text is translated by A. C. Johnson, Roman Egypt, no. 440, pp. 705 ff. On the contents of the edict, the most important recent studies are by Wilcken, , Zeitschr. Savigny-Stiftung, 42 (1921), 124 ff.Google Scholar; Reinmuth, TAPA 65 (1934), 248 ff.; Bell, H. I., JRS 28 (1938), 1 ffGoogle Scholar; W. Müller, Festschrift F. Zucker (1953), 293–7.

33 On the strength of a similarity to the words in Dig. I, 17, describing a prefect not assuming office until ‘Alexandriam ingressus sit’.

34 l. 40 f.

35 See especially ll. 61 ff. in White and Oliver's version.

36 The fate of Alexander's predecessor, recalled for using a bath made ready for Nero's visit, shows how dangerous it was to make enemies.

37 In A.D. 39 the prefect is described as returning (εἰσεληλυθότα) to Alexandria o n 17th Jun e (W. Chr. 59).

38 P. Lond. 1912, 22, 77.

39 ll. 25–6.

40 P. Oxy. 899, 28 of A.D. 200; P. Wien Boswinkel 1, 19 (but the restoration is not beyond doubt).

41 Cl. Préaux, , Mélanges G. Smets (Brussels 1952), 571 ffGoogle Scholar.

42 Scott, K., JRS 24 (1934), 138–9Google Scholar. Herrmann, L., Latomus 12 (1953), 312–15Google Scholar, sees in Basilides a member of the priesthood of Leontopolis.

43 P. Fouad 8. cf. P. Jouguet, Mélanges Alfred Ernout (1940), 201–210; Bull, de l'Institut de l'Egypte, 24 (1941–1942), 21–32.

44 The Hibeh Papyri, Part II (1955), to which reference is made for all details about the papyrus.

44a P. Oxy. XXII, 2349, shows L. Peducaeus Colonus in office as prefect of Egypt at some date earlier than 27 July, A.D. 70.

45 Last, H. M., JRS 34 (1944), 123Google Scholar.

46 BJ 6, 237. cf. 5, 45 πάντων τῶν στρατευμάτων ἄρχων κριθείς.

47 ILS 264.

48 Tac. Hist., 3, 52; ILS 987. cf. the appointment of Lucilius Bassus as prefect of the fleet at Ravenna.

49 OGI 586.

50 Mommsen's own version (Hermes 19, 645) is ‘praefectus exercitus Iudaici’. cf. however CIL III, 6809 = ILS 2696, and the ‘praefectus exercitus qui est in Aegypto’.

51 I, 131.

52 CIL VI, 32374

53 68, 30, 2.

54 Kortenbeutel, H., Ein Kodizill eines römischen Kaisars, Abhandl. Preuss. Akad. 1939, Phil-hist. Kl., no. 13Google Scholar.

55 See A. Piganiol, CRAI 1947, pp. 37 ff. and the criticism by Pflaum, H. G. in Latomus 10 (1951), 474–5Google Scholar; Pflaum, H. G. and Balogh, E., Revue hist. de Droit, 30 (1952), 120Google Scholar.

56 Titus 7.

57 Tac. Hist. 4, 68; CIL 6, 2016.

58 XI, 7.