List of governors of Roman Egypt

During the Classical Roman Empire, the governor of Roman Egypt (praefectus Aegypti) was a prefect who administered the Roman province of Egypt with the delegated authority (imperium) of the emperor.

Egypt was established as a Roman province in consequence of the Battle of Actium, where Cleopatra as the last independent ruler of Egypt and her Roman ally Mark Antony were defeated by Octavian, the adopted heir of the assassinated Roman dictator Julius Caesar. Octavian then rose to supreme power with the title Augustus, ending the era of the Roman Republic and installing himself as princeps, the so-called "leading citizen" of Rome who in fact acted as an autocratic ruler. Although senators continued to serve as governors of most other provinces (the senatorial provinces), especially those annexed under the Republic, the role of Egypt during the civil war with Antony and its strategic and economic importance prompted Augustus to ensure that no rival could secure Aegyptus as an asset. He thus established Egypt as an imperial province, to be governed by a prefect he appointed from men of the equestrian order.

A prefect of Egypt usually held the office for three or four years.[1] An equestrian appointed to the office received no specialized training, and seems to have been chosen for his military experience and knowledge of Roman law and administration.[1] Any knowledge he might have of Egypt and its arcane traditions of politics and bureaucracy—which Philo of Alexandria described as "intricate and diversified, hardly grasped even by those who have made a business of studying them from their earliest years"—was incidental to his record of Roman service and the emperor's favor.[1]

Classical Roman Empire

Prefects of the province of Egypt[2]
Date Prefect
30 BC 26 BC Gaius Cornelius Gallus
26 BC 24 BC Aelius Gallus
24 BC 22 BC Gaius Petronius or Publius Petronius
13 BC 12 BC Publius Rubrius Barbarus
7 BC 4 BC Gaius Turranius
AD 2 AD 3 Publius Octavius
3 10 Quintus Ostorius Scapula
10 11 Gaius Julius Aquila
11 12 Lucius Antonius Pedo
12 14 Quintus Magius Maximus
circa 15 Lucius Seius Strabo
circa 15 Aemilius Rectus
16 23 Gaius Galerius
circa 32 Vitrasius Pollio (died in office)
circa 32 Hiberus (Viceprefect)
33 38 Aulus Avilius Flaccus
circa 38 Quintus Naevius Cordus Sutorius Macro
38 41 Gaius Vitrasius Pollio
41 42 Lucius Aemilius Rectus
between 42 and 45 Marcus Heius
45 48 Gaius Julius Postumus
48 52 Gnaeus Vergilius Capito
circa 54 Lucius Lusius Geta
55 59 Tiberius Claudius Balbillus Modestus
60 62 Lucius Julius Vestinus
63 65 Gaius Caecina Tuscus
66 69 Tiberius Julius Alexander
70 Lucius Peducius Colo(nus?)
71 73 Tiberius Julius Lupus
circa 74 Valerius Paulinus
75 76 [S]ept[imius?] Nu[...]
78 79 Gaius Aeterius Fronto
80 82 Gaius Tettius Cassianus Priscus
83 Lucius Laberius Maximus
83 84 Lucius Julius Ursus
85 88 Gaius Septimius Vegetus
89 92 Marcus Mettius Rufus
92 93 Titus Petronius Secundus
94 98 Marcus Junius Rufus
98 100 Gaius Pompeius Planta
100 103 Gaius Minucius Italus
103 107 Gaius Vibius Maximus
107 112 Servius Sulpicius Similis
113 117 Marcus Rutilius Lupus
117 119 Quintus Rammius Martialis
120 124 Titus Haterius Nepos
126 Petronius Quadratus
126 133 Titus Flavius Titianus
133 137 Marcus Petronius Mamertinus
137 142 Gaius Avidius Heliodorus
142 143 Gaius Valerius Eudaemon
144 147 Lucius Valerius Proculus
147 148 Marcus Petronius Honoratus
150 154 Lucius Munatius Felix
154 159 Marcus Sempronius Liberalis
159 160 Titus Furius Victorinus
161 Lucius Volusius Maecianus
161 164 Marcus Annaeus Syriacus
164 167 Titus Flavius Titianus
167 168 Quintus Baienus Blasianus
168 169 Marcus Bassius Rufus
170 176 Gaius Calvisius Statianus
176 Gaius Caecilius Salvianus
176 177 Titus Pactumeius Magnus
178 180 Titus Taius (?) Sanctus
circa 181 Titus Flavius Piso
181 183 Decimus Veturius Macrinus
circa 184 Vernasius Facundus
185 Titus Longaeus Rufus
185 187 Pomponius Faustinianus
188 Marcus Aurelius Verrianus
circa 188 Marcus Aurelius Papirius Dionysius
189 190 Tinius Demetrius
190 Claudius Lucilianus
192 Larcius Memor
192 194 Lucius Mantennius Sabinus
195 196 Marcus Ulpius Primianus
197 200 Quintus Aemilius Saturninus
200 203 Quintus Maecius Laetus
203 206 Claudius Julianus
206 211 Tiberius Claudius Subatianus Aquila
212 213 Lucius Baebius Aurelius Juncinus
215 Marcus Aurelius Septimius Heraclitus
216 Aurelius Antinous
216 217 Lucius Valerius Datus
218 Julius Basilianus
218 219 Callistianus
219 221 Geminius Chrestus
222 Lucius Domitius Honoratus
222 223 Marcus Aedinius Julianus
224 Marcus Aurelius Epagatus
224 225 Tiberius Claudius Herennianus
229 230 Claudius Masculinus
231 Marcus Aurelius Zeno Januarius
232 237 Maebius Honoratianus
circa 240 Lucius Lucretius Annianus
241 242 Gnaeus Domitius Philippus
242 245 Aurelius Basileus
245 248 Gaius Valerius Firmus
249 250 Aurelius Appius Sabinus
251 252 Faltonius Restitutianus
252 253 Lissenius Proculus
253 Septimius [...][3]
253 Lucius Titinius Clodianus
253 256 Titus Magnius Felix Crescentillianus
257 258 Ulpius Pasion
circa 258 Claudius Theodorus
258 262 Lucius Mussius Aemilianus
262 263 Aurelius Theodotus
circa 264 Gaius Claudius Firmus
266 Cussonius I[...]
267 Juvenius Genialis
270 Tenagino Probus
271 Julius Marcellinus
271 273 Statilius Ammianus
273 Gaius Claudius Firmus
280 281 Sallustius Hadrianius
283 Celerinus
283 284 Pomponius Januarianus
circa 284 Marcus Aurelius Diogenes
285 Aurelius Mercurius
circa 286 Peregrinus
287 290 Gaius Valerius Pompeianus
292 Titius Honoratus
292 293 Rupilius Felix
297 Aristius Optatus
297 Aurelius Achilles
298 Aemilius Rusticianus
298 299 Aelius Publius

Later Roman Diocese (323 – 640)

Prefects of the province of Egypt[4]

# Governor Start End Title as governor Termination
1 Julius Julianus 328 ؟؟؟ -
2 Septimius Zenius 328 329 -
3 Magninianus 330 -
4 Florentius 331 -
5 Hyginius 332 -
6 Paternus 333 334 -
7 Flavius Philagrius 334 337 -
8 Flavius Anthonius Theodorus 337 ؟؟؟ -
9 Flavius Philagrius 338 340 -
10 Longinus 341 343 -
11 Paladius of Italy 344 345 -
12 Nestorius of Gaza 345 352 -
13 Sebastianus of Thrace 353 354 -
14 Maximus 'the elder' of Nicaea 355 356 -
15 Cataphronius 356 357 -
16 Hermoginus Parnasius 357 359 -
17 Italicianus of Italy 359 359 -
18 Faustinus 359 361 -
19 Gerontius 361 362 -
20 Icdicius Olympus 362 363 -
21 Herius (or Aerius) 364 364 -
22 Maximus 364 364 -
23 Flavianus 364 366 -
24 Procolitianus 366 367 -
25 Flavius Itulimius (or Tatianus) 367 370 -
26 Olympus Paladius 370 371 -
27 Elius Paladius 371 373 -
28 Hadrianus 379 380 -
29 Julius Julianus 380 382 -
30 Paladius 382 383 -
31 Hebatius 383 383 -
32 Anthonius 383 384 -
33 Optatus 384 384 -
34 Florintius 384 386 -
35 Euzipius 386 386 -
36 Paulinus 386 387 -
37 Flavius Olpius Artherius ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
38 Tudurus ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
39 Flurus ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
40 Alexander ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
41 Poethus ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
42 Anthimius ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
43 Theoctisius ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
44 Theognostus ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
45 Pergamius ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
46 Apollonius ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
47 Arsinius ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
48 Eustathius ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
49 Neodusius ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
50 Deoscurus ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
51 Rudun ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
52 Pentadius 403 404[5] -
53 Orestes 412 415[6] -
54 Alexander ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
55 Evagrius ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
56 Hebatius ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
57 Potamius ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
58 Evagrius ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
59 Genadius ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
60 Remegius ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
61 Archilaus ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
62 Petrus Marcellinus Felix Liberius c.538 542 -
63 Pothalius ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
64 Aurestus ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
65 Calistus ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
66 Cleopatra ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
67 Carmosinus ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
68 John Laxarion ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
69 Hefastus ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
70 Germanus Gestinius ؟؟؟ ؟؟؟ -
71 John 582 ؟؟؟ -
72 Paulus 585 ؟؟؟ -
73 John (restored) 588 ؟؟؟ -
74 Costantinus 592 ؟؟؟ -
75 Menas 595 ؟؟؟ -
76 Petrus Gestinius 600 603 -
77 John 606 ؟؟؟ -
78 Nectias 614 ؟؟؟ -

Sassanian Occupation

# Governor Start End Termination
1 Shahrbaraz 618 before 621
2 Sahralanyozan ca. 621 unknown
3 Shahrbaraz ca. 626? ca. 628 Egypt recorded as being under Shahrbaraz's control when he concluded his agreement with Heraclius on withdrawal of Persian troops

Second Byzantine period

# King Start End Title as governor Termination
78 Anastasius 629 640 -
Cyrus of Alexandria 630s 630s Patriarch and Pope recalled by the emperor
79 Theodore 641 642 -
Cyrus of Alexandria 630s 642 Patriarch and Pope surrendered to Umar

References

  1. Alan K. Bowman, Egypt After the Pharaohs 332 BC-AD 642: From Alexander to the Arab Conquest (University of California Press, 1986, 1996), p. 66.
  2. Unless otherwise noted, governors from 30 BC to AD 299 are taken from Guido Bastianini, "Lista dei prefetti d'Egitto dal 30a al 299p", Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, 17 (1975), pp. 263-321, 323-328
  3. Added from Guido Bastianini, "Lista dei prefetti d'Egitto dal 30a al 299p: Aggiunte e correzioni", Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, 38 (1980), pp. 75-89
  4. Unless otherwise noted, governors from 328 CE to 373 CE are taken from Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church: St. Athanasius: Select works and letters, (1892), pp. xci
  5. Dzielska, Hypatia of Alexandria, p. 40
  6. Jones, "The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, Volume 2", p. 810

Further reading

  • Oscar William Reinmuth: The Prefect of Egypt from Augustus to Diocletian. Leipzig 1935.
  • Arthur Stein: Die Präfekten von Ägypten in der römischen Kaiserzeit. Francke, Bern 1950.
  • Heinz Hübner: Der Praefectus Aegypti von Diokletian bis zum Ende der römischen Herrschaft. Filser, München-Pasing 1952.
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