Tiberius Julius Alexander (10 AD – 70 AD)
Let’s be clear here: I said that I was finished at looking for my past life in the 1st Century AD. I even stopped writing about Rome heroes and villains. But one name kept creeping into my awareness. This individual may even have contributed to the writing of the Gospels of the New Testament.
There are two Tiberius Julius Alexanders. The elder one was the chief customs officer of Alexandria.
Alexander was the brother of the philosopher Philo, and since the latter was born in 15 BCE, we may assume that Alexander was born between 20 and 10. The name of their father is unknown, but he certainly must have been a rich man.
Alexander became arabarches of Alexandria, i.e. chief customs officer. He was therefore accustomed to dealing with large quantities of money, and it is no coincidence that he was chosen as one of the administrators of the possessions of Antonia Minor, the wife of the Roman prince Drusus. He used his profits for several purposes, such as the decoration of the Temple at Jerusalem, and a payment to the Jewish prince Herod Agrippa, who was broke but desperately needed to go to Italy (35/36).Julius Alexander Sr. – Livius.org
The younger one is the focus of my attention now.
Tiberius Julius Alexander was born as the son of a rich Jew from Alexandria, who was also called Tiberius Julius Alexander. Father Alexander served as chief customs officer and had offered financial help to the mother of the emperor Claudius, Antonia. His brother was the philosopher Philo (c.15-c.50), and his younger son was Marcus, the husband of princess Berenice, the daughter of the Jewish king Herod Agrippa. In other words, the younger Tiberius Julius Alexander belonged to one of the most influential families in the Roman East, a family that stood in three cultural traditions: Jewish, Greek, and Roman. They had the status of Roman knights.Julius Alexander Jr. – Livius.org
If you read the Livius passage in its entirety, you will see that Junior had an active role to play in three main arenas of action in the first century: Egypt, Judea and Rome. This is what the author of “Caesar’s Messiah” writes:
“Tiberius Alexander was another individual within Titus’ innermost circle who knew of Judaism well enough to oversee the production of the New Testament. Tiberius was the nephew of the famous Jewish philosopher Philo, and Vespasian held him in such regard that he made Tiberius chief of staff to Titus during the siege of Jerusalem.
“Though a Jew, Tiberius Alexander was a Roman knight who was morally able to order the murder of thousands of his race to maintain the Pax Romana, the Roman peace. When the Jews of Alexandria ‘made a disturbance,’ Tiberius ordered the Roman troops not only to kill the rioters, but to plunder and burn their ghetto as well. Josephus records that ‘fifty thousand corpses piled up.’ Tiberius, in his role as chief of staff to Titus during the siege of Jerusalem and the subsequent slaughter and enslavement of the Jews there, showed a slavish obedience to Rome. It would have been necessary for someone of Jewish descent who created a religion that was used to oppress his own people. His religious perspective was Romanized to such an extent that he was not even monotheistic. He often used the word ‘gods.’ Josephus, who, it should be remembered, also claimed to be a Jew, recorded Tiberius’ close relationship to the Flavians.”
… as also there came Tiberius Alexander, who was a friend of his, most valuable, both for his good-will to him, and for his prudence. He had formerly been governor of Alexandria, but was now thought worthy to be general of the army [under Titus].
The reason of this was, that he had been the first who encouraged Vespasian very lately to accept this his new dominion, and joined himself to him with great fidelity, when things were uncertain, and fortune had not yet declared for him. He also followed Titus as a counselor, very useful to him in this war, both by his age and skill in such affairs.Josephus
Caesar’s Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus:Flavian Signature Edition (pp. 308-309). Kindle Edition.
It’s interesting to me that when Jerusalem was finally captured, Alexander (as second-in-command) tried to persuade Titus to spare the Temple. Titus went and destroyed it anyway.
Since I do not have accurate birth or death dates, I cannot draw up any charts. But it is interesting to note that someone born in 10 AD would have very similar outer planet placements since they move so slowly. It means that the links I see with Vespasian would still stand if Alexander were shown instead.
And it is not known how his life was ended, so my past-life regression of being stoned by a mob in Italy could be the ‘true’ demise of my life there. Besides, I too would have stood where Pontius Pilate stood, but (about) 15 years later. Thank God, it’s over.