Tiberius Claudius Balbillus
|Also Known As:||"Balbillus the Wise"|
|Occupation:||Praefectus Aegypti (55/59 CE)|
|Managed by:||Justin Swanström|
About Tiberius Claudius Balbillus
Tiberius Claudius Balbillus or Balbilus, also known as ‘Balbillus the Wise‘ (Greek: Τιβερίος Κλαύδιος Βαλβίλλος, 3 – 79) was an Egyptian Greek astrologer and a learned scholar. Balbillus was the son of astrologer Tiberius Claudius Thrasyllus, also known as Thrasyllus of Mendes and Princess Aka II of Commagene, who was either a granddaughter or great granddaughter of King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene. His sister was Eunia, who married the Praetorian Prefect Naevius Sutorius Macro.
Balbillus was of Equestrian rank. He was born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt. During the reign of Roman Emperor Caligula he fled from Rome to Alexandria, but returned to Rome under Roman Emperor Claudius, with whom he had been friendly when they were children and had met at his father's house. He accompanied Claudius on his expedition to Britain as an officer in the 20th legion (Legio XX Valeria Victrix) and when they returned was awarded a crown of honor. Other sources mention his Hasta Pura. Balbillus was one of the highest magistrates of Equestrian rank that served in Rome.
Appointed high priest at the Temple of Hermes in Alexandria and director of the Library, he split his time between there and Rome. He foretold an eclipse which fell on one of the emperor’s birthdays, and remained as advisor to Claudius even after the emperor had passed an edict expelling all astrologers from Rome. He avoided the fatal end of many astrologers under Roman Emperor Nero, who in 56 appointed him Prefect of Egypt, where he stayed until 59. Balbillus returned to Rome under Roman Emperor Vespasian. When he died, his friend Vespasian thought very highly of him and dedicated a sporting festival called the Balbillean Games, named and held in honor of his memory which was held at Ephesus from 79 until into the 3rd century.
Balbillus married an unnamed Greek woman and they had an only child, a daughter called Claudia Capitolina. Capitolina married a Greek Prince from the Kingdom of Commagene called Gaius Julius Archelaus Antiochus Epiphanes. Through his daughter, Balbillus would become the maternal grandfather of Capitolina’s children with Epiphanes who were: Prince Gaius Julius Antiochus Epiphanes Philopappos and Princess Julia Balbilla.
^ (Source: Suetonius.Claud.28,1). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiberius_Claudius_Balbilus