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Marcus Ambibulus

Coin of Marcus Ambibulus.
Coin of Marcus Ambibulus (©!!)
Marcus Ambibulus: Roman knight, governor of Judaea (6-9 CE).

According to the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, Marcus Ambibulus was one of the Roman governors of Judaea. His tenure of office is usually dated between 6 and 9, although a slightly later date is possible. Although Josephus does not mention Ambibulus' exact titles, we know from an inscription found at Caesarea that one of his successors, Pontius Pilate, was a prefect, so we can assume that Ambibulus was a prefect too.

We know hardly anything about the man, although, as a prefect, he must have belonged to the equestrian order - the second class of the Roman elite, after the senators. He was appointed by the emperor Augustus and succeeded Coponius. Josephus writes:

Marcus Ambibulus came to be Coponius' successor. During his governorship, Salome, the sister of king Herod, died, and left to Livia Jamnia, all its toparchy, and Phasaelis in the plain, and Arehelais, with a great plantation of palm trees that offers fruit that is excellent in its kind. After Ambibulus came Annius Rufus.
[Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 18.31]
This is all we know about this Marcus Ambibulus. Probably, he did his job well, because a bad governor would have been faced with rebellion, something that Josephus is always eager to mention. His silence suggests that Ambibulus was a fine administrator.
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