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"Sophronios. Yet another man made butcher for the sake of wealth."
―Bayek on learning of Sophronios, 48 BCE[src]

Sophronios (died 48 BCE) was an upper-class resident of Alexandria, Egypt who lived during the 1st century BCE. Envious of the date farm of Uteh, he sought to steal it through a falsified deed of sale. When this failed, he had his private militia murder Uteh and his entire family in 48 BCE, only for Uteh's daughter Iras to survive. Ultimately, Sophronios paid for his crime when he was assassinated by the Medjay Bayek in order to save Iras from further danger.

Biography

"That farm should be mine by now! What is the reason behind the delay?"
―Sophronios, 48 BCE[src]

By 48 BCE, Sophronios was an affluent man who lived in a luxurious house in Alexandria, Egypt situated just inside the wall by the western gate. His wealth allowed him to not only own a country villa on the road from Alexandria to Yamu but also employ his own private militia. Aside from serving as his guards, his soldiers were also at times used to bully and extort property from less powerful commoners. It was in this very capacity that he deployed his forces against the date farmer Uteh in 48 BCE.[1]

Uteh, coming from a long line of Greeks who had immigrated to Egypt centuries earlier, owned a date farm between Alexandria and Yamu that had for generations lain barren. When Uteh broke from family custom to finally cultivate the land, his success attracted the envy of Sophronios. Eager to profit off of the farm, Sophronios forged a deed of sale in the hopes of convincing Uteh to relinquish the property to him. This failed spectacularly, and an infuriated Sophronios resorted to colluding with a captain to have Uteh and his family murdered but framed in such a way as to appear to have been a tragic accident. In his letter to this captain, he granted him permission to use his country villa as a base. As part of the deal, they were to split the profit from the farm, but Sophronios warned that should the captain betray the partnership and fail to arrive at his house in Alexandria with the expected results within two weeks of the letter being sent, he would find means to have the captain killed.[1]

The plot was carried out near flawlessly; the date farm was razed, and Uteh, his wife, and their son were slain, but there was one misstep that proved critical enough to turn the tables back on Sophronios. The daughter, Iras, had survived, and she was able to bring all three bodies of her family to the Temple of Sekhmet in Yamu where she reported the murders to the Head Embalmer. Through him, the Medjay Bayek caught wind of the crime.[1]

Sophronios remained ignorant of this turn of events to the very end. While he relaxed back at his home in Alexandria, impatiently awaiting news that the loose end of Iras had been resolved, Bayek eliminated the soldiers searching for her and tracked down his residence through his letter to the captain. Subsequently, Sophronios was assassinated by the Medjay in his own home, freeing Iras to rebuild her family's farm.[1]

Personality and characteristics

Sophronios was a vicious man driven purely by greed. Despite being financially prosperous, his lust for greater riches was insatiable. When Uteh refused to concede to his underhanded attempts to steal his land, the desperation of Sophronios to win the property was such that he articulated it as not just a desire, but a need: a need to seize it, a need to kill Uteh, a need to slaughter Uteh's entire family. Although he planned for their deaths to be framed as an accident, he made no secret of his murderous nature, openly threatening the lives of his allies should they fail to fulfill their end of the bargain. Indulgent in his privileged status, he deplored the lower status merchants who operated their businesses in the square outside his house, finding their inferior goods to be "filthy". Just before his death, he planned to buy them out to persuade them to move their market elsewhere.[1]

Appearance

References