§367 Tiberius Julius Alexander

Tiberius Julius Alexander

(0367) Text: [ἀντίγραφον] ἐκθέματος. Τιβέριος Ἰούλιος [Ἀλέξανδρος λέγει·] | [πᾶσαν πρό]νοιαν ποιούμενος τοῦ δια[μένειν τῷ] | [προσήκο]ντι καταστήματι τὴν π[όλιν ἀπολαύου-] | [σαν τῶν εὐ]εργεσιῶν, ἃς ἔχει παρὰ τῶ[ν Σεβαστῶν καὶ] | [τοῦ τὴν Αἴγ]υπτον ἐν εὐσταθείᾳ διά[γουσαν εὐθύμως] | [ὑπηρετεῖν] τῇ τε εὐθηνίᾳ καὶ τῇ με[γίστῃ τῶν νῦν] | [καιρῶν ε]ὐδαιμονίᾳ μὴ βαρυνομέν[ην καιναῖς καὶ ἀδί-] | [κοις εἰσ]πράξεσι, σχεδὸν δὲ ἐξ [ο]ῦ [τῆς πόλεως] | [ἐπέβην κ]αταβοώμενος ὑπὸ τῶν [ἐντυγχανόντων] | [καὶ κατʼ ὀ]λίγον καὶ κατὰ πληθηι τῶ[ν τε ἐνθάδε εὐσχη-] | [μονεστ]άτων καὶ τῶν γεωργού[ντων τὴν χώραν] | [μεμφομέ]νων τὰς ἔνγιστα γενομ[ένας ἐπηρείας, οὐ] | [διέλιπο]ν μὲν κατὰ τὴν ἐμαυτο[ῦ δύναμιν τὰ ἐ-] | [πείγοντα] ἐπανορθούμενος. ἵνα [δὲ εὐθυμότεροι] | [πάντα ἐλ]πίζητε παρὰ τοῦ ἐπιλάμ̣[ψαντος ἡμῖν ἐπὶ] | [σωτη]ρίᾳ τοῦ παντὸς ἀνθρώπω[ν γένους εὐεργέ-] | [του Σ]εβαστοῦ Αὐτοκράτορος Γάλ[βα τά τε πρὸς σω-] | [τηρίαν] καὶ τὰ πρὸς ἀπόλαυσιν κ[αὶ γινώσκητε, ὅτι] | [ἐφρόν]τισα τῶν πρὸς τὴν ὑμ[ετέραν βοήθειαν] | [ἀνηκόν]των, προέγραψα ἀν[αγκαίως περὶ ἑ-] | [κάστου τῶ]ν ἐπιζητουμένων, ὅ[σα ἔξεστί μοι] | [κρίνειν καὶ π]οιεῖν, τὰ δὲ μείζον[α καὶ δεόμενα] | [τῆς τοῦ αὐτοκρ]άτορος δυνάμεως [καὶ μεγαλειότη-] | [τος αὐτ]ῶι δηλώσωι μετὰ πάσ[ης ἀληθείας,] | [τῶν θε]ῶν ταμιευσαμένων εἰς [τοῦτον τὸν ἱε-] | [ρώτ]ατον καιρὸν τὴν τῆς οἰκουμέ[νης ἀσφάλειαν. ἔγ-] | [νων] γὰρ πρὸ πάντων εὐλογωτάτη[ν οὖσαν τὴν ἔν-] | [τευ]ξιν ὑμῶν ὑπὲρ τοῦ μὴ ἄκον[τας ἀνθρώπους εἰς] | [τε]λωνείας ἢ̣ ἄλλας μ̣ισθ̣ώ̣σεις οὐ[σιακὰς παρὰ τὸ] | [κοιν]ὸν ἔθος τῶν ἐπάρχων πρὸς βία[ν ἄγεσθαι καὶ ὅ-] | [τι οὐ]κ ὀλίγον ἔβ̣λαψ̣ε τὰ πράγματα τ[ὸ πολλοὺς ἀπείρους ὄν-] | [τας] τῆς τοιαύτης πραγμ[α]τείας ἀχ̣[θῆναι μετὰ] | [ἀ]νάγκ[η]ς [ἐ]πιβληθέντων αὐ[τ]οῖς τῶ[ν τελῶν. διό-] | περ καὶ αὐτὸς οὔτε ἤγαγ[ό]ν τινα εἰς τε[λωνείαν ἢ μίσθω-] | σιν οὔτε ἄξωι εἰδὼς τοῦτο συμ[φέρ]ει[ν καὶ ταῖς κυ-] | ριακαῖς ψήφοις τὸ μ[ετὰ] προθ[υμίας ἑκόντας πρα-] | γματεύεσθαι τοὺς δυνατούς. [πέπεισμαι δέ, ὅτι οὐδʼ εἰς] |τὸ μέλλον ἄκοντάς τι[ς] ἄξει [τελώνας ἢ μισθωτάς,] | ἀλλὰ διαμισθώσει τοῖς βουλ[ομένοις ἑκουσίως προσ-] | έρχε[σ]θαι μᾶλλον τὴν τῶν [προτέρων ἐπάρχων] | αἰώνιον συνήθε[ι]αν φ[υ]λάσ[σων …] | […]

Translation: Tiberius Julius Alexander declares: Since I am exercising every solicitude for the city of Alexandria to maintain its proper political status in the enjoyment of the benefactions which it has from the Caesars, and for Egypt to continue in prosperity and cheerfully contribute to the grain supply and to the very great felicity of the present times unoppressed by novel and unlawful exactions; and since practically from the moment I entered the city I have been assailed by clamors of petitioners, both in small groups and in throngs, both from the most respectable people here and from the country farmers, complaining about the recent abuses, I have lost no time in righting pressing matters to the extent of my authority. And that you may the more cheerfully expect everything for your salvation and happiness from our benefactor, imperator  Galba Augustus, who has brought light to us for the salvation of the whole  human race, and that you may know that I have been concerned with the matters relating to your relief, I have perforce set forth the decisions and actions that are in my power concerning each of the requests, and the weightier matters requiring the authority and majesty of the emperor I shall report to him in all truth, for the gods have preserved to this most sacred age the security of the inhabited world.

First of all, I recognize the complete reasonableness of your petition that persons not be forced against their will, contrary to the general practice of the provinces, into tax ..farming or other leases of imperial estate; no little harm has been done by the compulsion of many persons inexperienced in such duties, when the collection of the taxes was imposed upon them. Wherefore I myself have not forced and shall not force anyone into tax farming or lease, for I know that it is to the advantage of the imperial revenues, too, to have competent men administer these willingly and zealously. I am confident that in the future no official will force tax farmers or lessees against their will, but, observing the invariable practice of the former prefects instead of imitating someone’s temporary wrongdoing, will lease to persons willing to come forward voluntarily.

Whereas some officials have also had loans of others assigned to themselves under pretense of public obligations and have then proceeded to consign some persons to the debtor prison or to other jails […] (trans. based on that of York University)

Commentary: Tiberius Julius Alexander is significant for a number of reasons, being a Jewish man who both served as governor of Judaea (46-48 CE) and participated in the siege of Jerusalem in the Judaean War.  Reproduced here is an edict he issued while governor of Egypt (identical with §372). Much has been written about him and his pursuits are attested by Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, among others. For additional documents attesting him, see §365, §366, §368§369, §370, §148.

Provenience: Philadelphia, Egypt 6 July 68 CE

Bibliography: BGU 7.1563; CPJ 2.418c