I. Δεύτερος μετὰ Σηιανὸν Φλάκκος Ἀουίλλιος 1διαδέχεται τὴν κατὰ τῶν Ἰουδαίων ἐπιβουλήν, σύμπαν μὲν ἀδικῆσαι τὸ ἔθνος ὥσπερ ἐκεῖνος ἄντικρυς οὐ δυνηθείς—ἐλάττους γὰρ εἶχε τὰς εἰς τοῦτ᾿ ἀφορμάς—, ἐφ᾿ ὅσους δ᾿ ἔφθανεν, ἀθρόους ἀνηκέστοις περιέπειρε κακοῖς. οὐ μὴν ἀλλὰ καὶ μέρει δόξας ἐπιτίθεσθαι τὴν ἐπιβουλὴν ἐξέτεινεν ἐπιὼν τοὺς πανταχοῦ πάντας διὰ τέχνης τὸ πλέον ἢ δυνάμεως· οἷς γὰρ ἰσχὺς οὐ πρόσεστι τῶν τὰς φύσεις τυραννικῶν, πανουργίαις τὰς ἐπιβουλὰς κατορθοῦσιν. 2ὁ Φλάκκος οὖν οὗτος ἐν τοῖς ἑταίροις κριθεὶς παρὰ Τιβερίῳ Καίσαρι μετὰ τὴν Ἱβήρου1 τελευτήν, ὃς ἐπετέτραπτο Αἴγυπτον, καθίσταται τῆς Ἀλεξανδρείας καὶ τῆς χώρας ἐπίτροπος, ἄνθρωπος ἐν ἀρχῇ μυρία καλοκἀγαθίας ὅσα τῷ δοκεῖν ἐξενεγκὼν δείγματα· πυκνός τε γὰρ ἦν καὶ συνεχὴς καὶ ὀξὺς νοῆσαι καὶ τὰ βουλευθέντα πρᾶξαι καὶ προχειρότατος εἰπεῖν καὶ πρὸ τοῦ 3λεγομένου τὸ ἡσυχαζόμενον αἰσθέσθαι. παντάπασιν οὖν ὀλίγῳ χρόνῳ τῶν κατὰ τὴν Αἴγυπτον
- 1So Reiter for mss. βήρου or σεβήρου. See note b.
I. The policy of attacking the Jews begun by1 Sejanusa was taken over by Flaccus Avillius. He had not like his predecessor the power to ill-treat outright the whole nation, for he had less opportunities of doing so, but those whom he reached suffered the direst misery from the stabs which he dealt to them one and all. And, indeed, though his assault appeared to be only partial, by employing craft rather than power he brought them all wherever they were within the scope of his hostility. For persons naturally tyrannical who have not the addition of strength achieve their malignant designs through cunning. This Flaccus then, who had been given a2 place in the suite of Tiberius Caesar, was after the death of Iberus,b who had been prefect of Egypt, made prefect of Alexandria and the country round it. He was a man who at first gave to all appearance a multitude of proofs of high excellence. He was sagacious and assiduous, quick to think out and execute his plans, very ready at speaking, and at understanding what was left unspoken better even than what was said. So in quite a short time he3 became thoroughly familiar with Egyptian affairs,
- aFor Sejanus’s hostility to the Jews cf. Legatio 159–161, and see further App. p. 531.
- bThe name of Iberus is mentioned by Dio Cass. lviii. 19. 6 as succeeding Vitrasius Pollio as prefect of Egypt. Older editions adopting the reading of most of the mss. called him Severus. Cf. De Som. ii. 123 and note, vol. v. p. 609.