I. (1) Flaccus Avillius succeeded Sejanus in his hatred of and hostile designs against the Jewish nation. He was not, indeed, able to injure the whole people by open and direct means as he had been, inasmuch as he had less power for such a purpose, but he inflicted the most intolerable evils on all who came within his reach. Moreover, though in appearance he only attacked a portion of the nation, in point of fact he directed his aims against all whom he could find anywhere, proceeding more by art than by force; for those men who, though of tyrannical natures and dispositions, have not strength enough to accomplish their designs openly, seek to compass them by manoeuvres. (2) This Flaccus being chosen by Tiberius Caesar as one of his intimate companions, after the death of Severus, who had been lieutenantgovernor in Egypt, was appointed viceroy of Alexandria and the country round about, being a man who at the beginning, as far as appearance went, had given innumerable instances of his excellence, for he was a man of prudence and diligence, and great acuteness of perception, very energetic in executing what he had determined on, very eloquent as a speaker, and skilful too at discerning what was suppressed as well as at understanding what was said. (3) Accordingly in a short time he became perfectly acquainted with the affairs of Egypt, and they are of a very various and diversified character, so that they are not easily comprehended even by those who from their earliest infancy have made them their study. The scribes were a superfluous body when he had made such advances towards the knowledge of all things, whether important or trivial, by his extended experience, that he not only surpassed them, but from his great accuracy was qualified instead of a pupil to become the instructor of those who had hitherto been the teachers of all other persons. (4) However, all those things in which he displayed an admirable system and great wisdom concerning the accounts and the general arrangement of the revenues of the land, though they were serious matters and of the last importance, were nevertheless not such as gave any proofs of a soul fit for the task of governing; but those things which exhibited a more brilliant and royal disposition he also displayed with great freedom. For instance, he bore himself with considerable dignity, and pride and pomp are advantageous things for a ruler; and he decided all suits of importance in conjunction with the magistrates, he pulled down the overproud, he forbade promiscuous mobs of men from all quarters to assemble together, and prohibited all associations and meetings which were continually feasting together under pretence of sacrifices, making a drunken mockery of public business, treating with great vigour and severity all who resisted his commands. (5) Then when he had filled the whole city and country with his wise legislation, he proceeded in turn to regulate the military affairs of the land, issuing commands, arranging matters, training the troops of every kind, infantry, cavalry, and lightarmed, teaching the commanders not to deprive the soldiers of their pay, and so drive them to acts of piracy and rapine, and teaching each individual soldier not to proceed to any actions unauthorised by his military service, remembering that he was appointed with the especial object of preserving peace.
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