By: Samuel Krauss
Roman procurator of Judea from 61 to 64 (Jos. "Ant." xx. 9, § 1). While on his way from Alexandria to his new post he was met by a delegation of Jews, who demanded the punishment of the high priest Ananias. Albinus sent him a threatening letter, and three months later deposed him. Albinus endeavored sincerely to restore peace in Jerusalem, and had many of the Sicarii executed. Some, however, he permitted to go free on payment of a ransom. In the dispute between Joshua (Jesus) ben Damnai and Joshua (Jesus) ben Gamla concerning the office of high priest, Albinus sided with the former, who sent him presents every day. This description of Albinus by Josephus in the "Antiquitates" is, as Grätz ("Gesch. d. Juden," 4th ed., iii. 445) remarks, much milder than that in the "De Bello Judaico," according to which Albinus administered his office far worse than even his predecessor, Festus. There was no wickedness he would not commit. He robbed individuals of their property, and imposed oppressive taxes upon the people. On receipt of bribes, he liberated Roman decurions who had been imprisoned for deeds of violence. Even the revolutionary elements of the land were able to buy his friendship, so that their number constantly increased. Josephus ("B. J." ii. 14, § 1) does not scruple to call him the robber chief (ἀρχιληστής) and the tyrant of the wicked. Hegesippus ("De Excidio Hierosolymitano," ii. 8) says of him that to the poor he was a tyrant and to the rich a slave. Zonaras, in his "Chronicle" (ed. Pinder, vi. 17), judges him more leniently.
Both Josephus and Hegesippus admit that, when compared with his successor, Gessius Florus, Albinus might be considered good, were it not that through his connivance with the robbers he sowed the seed of the subsequent rebellion. When a certain Jesus, son of Ananias (or Ananos), predicted the destruction of Jerusalem, he was brought before Albinus, who had him cruelly tortured; but when the procurator saw that the prophet would not recant, he allowed him to go free as a harmless madman (Josephus, "B. J." vi. 5, § 3; Hegesippus, v. 44). Lucceius Albinus, who was appointed to the governorship by Nero and subsequently to that of Tingitana by Galba, and previously by Nero to that of the province of Mauretania Cæsariensis (Tacitus, "Historia," ii. 58, 59), and who, together with his wife and intimate friends, was executed by order of Vitellius, is, according to all accounts, identical with Albinus.