Alexander the Alabarch was a Jew -- and almost certainly -- a Roman citizen who lived in Alexandria, Egypt during the first half of the first century A.D. His influence is known to have spanned three continents touching on Rome, Alexandria (Egypt), and Jerusalem (Palestine).
In ancient sources, Alexander was known as "the Alabarch." The Alabarchy was a Roman magistracy that existed only in Egypt and was responsible for assaying gold (Latin: obrussa) with related duties. After Octavian/Augustus defeated Cleopatra, Egypt became Rome's largest supplier of gold. The alabarch thus became both an important and lucrative appointment.
Alexander appears to have been well known among the imperial family in Rome. He was "old friends" with the Emperor Claudius, was the epitropos (procurator/governor/guardian?) for Claudius' mother Antonia Minor (daughter of Marc Antony and niece of Augustus), and was thrown into prison by the Emperor Gaius (Caligula) for some unknown reason.
Concurrently in the Jewish world, Alexander had the gates of the Temple in Jerusalem gold and silver plated and his son Marcus married the eldest daughter of King Agrippa of Judea forming a royal alliance between the families. In Egypt, Alexander was a large land owner and his brother, Philo of Alexandria, is still known for his extensive writings on Jewish theology.
This Web site on Alexander the Alabarch has been assembled by Kass Evans to complement her historical fiction works that feature Alexander. All information on this site is based on historical evidence except where otherwise indicated.
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