a Roman official stationed at Alexandria under the
Empire. Josephus applies the title (Ant.
18.6, 3; 19.5, 1;
20.5, 2) to Alexander Lysimachus, the brother of the famous Philo. It has
been conjectured that he was a subordinate of the Jewish ethnarch (Franz,
Corp. Inscr. Gr.
3.2, 291 a); and others have suggested
that he collected certain taxes, deriving the name from ἀλάβη,
“ink,” and translating it scripturae
This suggestion receives some support from the
mention of vectigal Alabarchiae per Aegyptum atque Augustaneam
in Cod. Just.
4.61, 9; but the
reading there is doubtful. An epigram of Palladas of Alexandria
ii. p. 430) commiserates an ass, because
ἐξ ἀλαβαρχείης γραμματικοῦ
--i. e. because he has come from a rich house into a poor
one. Some scholars regard the word as a corruption of ARABARCHES
but this word
denotes an entirely different office (cf. Marquardt, Röm.
1.289, note 1). [ARABARCHES
] The title is also found in Lycia
(C. I. G.