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PRAEFECTUS AEGYPTI Egypt was not included by Augustus either in the senatorial or in the imperial provinces, but was reserved for his more immediate control. None of the senators or equites illustres were allowed to set foot in it without the special permission of the emperor (Tac. Ann. 2.59; D. C. 51.17); it was governed for him by a procurator of equestrian rank, who, however, as holding a superior position to that of an ordinary procurator and an imperium ad similitudinem proconsulis (Dig. 1, 17, 1), was entitled praefectus Aegypti (Tac. Hist. 2.74, &c., and often in inscriptions), or in Greek ἡγεμών. His staff consisted of freedmen of the emperor. Everything but the fixing of the revenues and the right of appointment to certain posts was in his hands: the administration of finance, the judicial authority, and the supreme military command. He reported directly to the emperor, and the tenure of his office depended on the emperor's pleasure. Thus Seius Strabo, the father of Seianus, held this post for only a few months, but his successor, Vitrasius Pollio, for sixteen years. (Marquardt, Röm. Staatsv. 1.285.) This praefectus held rank second in the scale of the non-senatorial dignities, coming after the praefectus praetorio, but before the praefectus annonae. (Mommsen, Staatsr. 2.997, 2.)


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