Gaius Julius Alexander Berenicianus
Gaius Julius Alexander Berenicianus (Greek: Γαίος Ιούλιος Αλέξανδρος Βερενικιανός, about 75 – about 150) was a Cilician Prince and second-born son to King Gaius Julius Alexander and Queen Julia Iotapa of Cetis. His eldest brother was Gaius Julius Agrippa and his younger sister was Julia Iotapa.
Surviving inscriptions on Berenicianus reveals that his family were related to important members of Asian, non-Jewish and Jewish aristocracy. Berenicianus was of Jewish, Nabataean, Edomite, Greek, Armenian, Median and Persian origins. His paternal grandparents were King Tigranes VI of Armenia and his wife Opgalli. Through Tigranes, he was a descendant of King Archelaus of Cappadocia, King of Judea Herod the Great and his wife Mariamne. Agrippa along with his family and paternal relatives were among the last known descendants of the Herodian Dynasty. He was an apostate to Judaism. It is unlikely that Berenicianus attempted to exert influence on Judean Politics. His name indicates that the family connections from the Herodian Dynasty were not wholly broken. His maternal grandparents were King Antiochus IV of Commagene and Queen Julia Iotapa.
The Kingdom of Cetis was a small client state in the Roman Empire. Cetis was a small region in Cilicia that was previously ruled by his Cappadocian royal ancestors and Antiochus IV. The city in Cilicia Elaiussa Sebaste was a part of the Kingdom. When his parents married in Rome in 58, then Roman Emperor Nero crowned his parents as monarchs and gave them that region to rule. He was born, raised and educated in Cetis.
In 94, Berenicianus along with Agrippa entered the Roman Senate. Surviving inscriptions also reveal the career of Berenicianus. Berenicianus served as a suffect consul or as a consul ordinarius in 116. Between 132-133, he was Proconsul of the Roman Province of Asia. While Berenicianus was Asian Proconsul, he appeared to have been a patron of the arts. During his proconsulship, the bishop and later saint Judas Cyriacus died or was killed in a riot during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 133.
A possible descendant of Berenicianus was the usurper of the 3rd century Jotapianus. He married Cassia Lepida (born ca 80), daughter of Cassius Lepidus (son of Cassius Longinus and Junia Lepida). Through her father and paternal grandmother, Cassia was a direct descendant of the Roman emperor Augustus. Berenicianus and Cassia had a daughter named Julia Cassia Alexandra (born ca AD 105), who married Gaius Avidius Heliodorus (born ca AD 100). Heliodorus was ab epistulis under the emperor Hadrian and praefectus Aegypti between AD 138 and 140. Heliodorus and Alexandra had children, including the usurper Avidius Cassius.
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