A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

(Τιβέριος Ἀλέξανδρος), was born at Alexandria, of Jewish parents. His father held the office of Alabarch in Alexandria, and his uncle was Philo, the well-known writer. Alexander, however, did not continue in the faith of his ancestors, and was rewarded for his apostacy by various public appointments. In the reign of Claudius he succeeded Fadius as procurator of Judaea, about A. D. 46, and was promoted to the equestrian order. He was subsequently appointed by Nero procurator of Egypt; and by his orders 50,000 Jews were slain on one occasion at Alexandria in a tumult in the city. It was apparently during his government in Egypt that he accompaied Corbulo in his expedition into Armenia, A. D. 64; and he was in this campaign given as one of the hostages to secure the safety of Tiridates, when the latter visited the Roman camp. Alexander was the first Roman governor who declared in favour of Vespasian; and the day on which he administered the oath to the legions in the name of Vespasian, the Kalends of July, A. D. 69, is regarded as the beginning of that emperor's reign. Alexander afterwards accompanied Titus in the war against Judaea, and was present at the taking of Jerusalem. (J. AJ 20.4.2; Bell. Jud. 2.11.6, 15.1, 18.7, 8, 4.10.6, 6.4.3; Tac. Ann. 15.28, Hist. 1.11, 2.74, 79; Suet. Vesp. 6.)