Roman general of the first century; son of the alabarch Alexander, who gave him the name of Tiberius, probably in honor of the emperor Tiberius; but he himself assumed the name of Julius out of compliment to the reigning family of the Julii. Alexander, who was a nephew or cousin of Philo, forsook the faith of his ancestors and rose to high rank. In the year 46 he was appointed by Claudius procurator of Judea (Josephus, "Ant." xx. 5, § 2; idem, "B. J." ii. 11, § 6). Nero afterward made him a Roman knight, and, in the war against the Parthians, assigned him to the post of civil governor by the side of the military official, the general Corbulo (Tacitus, "Annales," xv. 28). He received from Nero the important post of prefect of Egypt; and Agrippa hastened from Jerusalem—where the rebellion had just broken out—to Alexandria, in order to congratulate Alexander.

The appointment of this apostate from Judaism to this exalted position was destined to be fatal to the Jews of Alexandria; for when they began their struggle with the Alexandrians in order to maintain their rights, Alexander ordered out the Roman legions, and they devastated the Delta, the quarter inhabited by the Jews, and slew about fifty thousand of them ("B. J." ii. 18, §§ 7, 8). In the contest between Vespasian and Vitellius for the position of emperor, Alexander, on receipt of a letter from Vespasian, caused (July 1, 69) the Egyptian troops to swear the oath of allegiance to the latter ("B. J." iv. 10, § 6; Tacitus, "Hist." ii. 79; Suetonius, "Vespasian," vi.). This was probably done at the instigation of Berenice, who was a relative of Alexander. As a reward for this service the latter was appointed to accompany Titus in the Jewish war as prafectus prœtorio—"general of the army" ("B. J." v. 1, § 6), probably the highest military office to which a Jewever attained. In the council of war before Jerusalem Alexander voted for the preservation of the Temple (Renier, "Conseil de Guerre Tenu par Titus," in "Mémoires de l'Institut," 1867, xxvi. 294; Grätz, "Gesch. d. Juden," 4th ed., iii. 531).

In 1838 an inscription was found in Aradus, in which the council and the people of Aradus pay homage simultaneously to Pliny the Elder and to Alexander ("Corpus Inscriptionum Græcarum," iii. 1278, No. 4536 et seq.). The dignities of Alexander are stated in this inscription as follows: ἀντεπίτροπος (this appellation is found here only, and is equivalent to vice-procurator; see Mommsen in "Hermes," xix. 640); eparch of the Jewish host; governor of Syria; eparch of the twenty-second legion in Egypt. The stone bearing this inscription was brought to Paris in 1864 (Renan, "Mission en Phénicie," 1864, p. 29).

  • Schürer, Gesch. des Jüd. Volkes, i. 473, 524.
S. Kr.
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