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Roman Military and Administrative Personnel

in the New Testament *

by D. B. SADDINGTON, Johannesburg - Pretoria


I. Introduction . 2410
II. The Military in the New Testament . 2412
I. Soldiers at the Execution of John the Baptist 2412
2. The Centurion at Capernaum . 2413
3. The Soldiers at the Cross . . . 2413
4. Cornelius of the Italian Cohort 2415
5. Claudius Lysias and his Cohort 2416
6. The Officers of Agrippa II . . . 2416
7. Julius of the Augustan Cohort · 2417
8. Paul under Military Guard in Rome · 2418
III. The Emperor (and his Household) .. .2419
IV. Provincial Governors (outside Judaea) 2419
1. Quirinius . . . 2419
2. Sergius Paulus 2420
3. Gallio . . . . . 2420
V. The Herods . . . . 2421
1. Herod the Great 2421
2. Archelaus 2422
3. Antipas . 2422
4. Agrippa 1 2423
5. Agrippa II 2423
6. Royal Officials - Chuza, Blastus and Aretas' Ethnarch . 2424
VI. Roman Governors of Judaea 2425
1. Pontius Pilate 2426
2. Felix. 2426
3. Festus . . . . · 2428

• This contribution was originally submitted in 1990. I wish to thank the editors for allow-
ing me to make various alterations in 1995. I also wish to thank many friends and col-
leagues for their helpful comments at various stages.
2410 D . B. SAD DINGT ON

VII. City Offi cials . 2429

1. In Co lonies _. Phili ppi a nd Cori nt h . 2429
2. In 'G reek-ty pe" Ci ties - Th essaloni ca, Athens , Eph esus a nd Ma lta 2431
Ind ex . 24 33
postscript 1996 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2435

I. Introduction

After his victory over Ant on y and Cleopatra at the battle of Actium in 31
B. C, Julius Caesar's heir, Octavian, soo n to be called Augustus (LEPU<HO':; ),
changed the Roman system o f government from what had been a Republ ic to
an Empire (technicall y called the Princip ate). In particular, he was granted per-
sonal responsibility for many of rhe provinces, ma inly those where legion s were
stationed, such as Syria, and delegated their act ual administr ation to governors
usually called imperial legate s (/egati Augusti pro praeto re). During his long
principare he added various new areas to the Roman Empire . These new impe-
rial pro vinces (as they are usu ally termed) included several small region s who se
administration was entrusted not to imperial legate s but to officials called pre-
fects, as in the case of Judaea. (The governor of the much more important
Egypt was also a prefect.) Under the emperor Claudius (except in Egypt), the
title of the governors of the smaller imperial provinces changed from prefect to
procurator. The remaining prov inces of the empire are usually called senatorial.
They were usually governed by governors called proconsul s and, with some
exceptions at the beginn ing of the Empire, did not have legions stationed in
them . Examples include Acha ia and Asia. 1

AE l'Annee Epigra phiq ue (Paris, 1888 -) (cited by the last tw o digits of the year
an d the inscription n o.).
Cll Co rpus Ins cri pti o num l atinaru m (Berlin J 863 - ).
GABBA, E. Iscriz ioni greche e lat ine pe r 10 stu d io dell a Bibbia (Mila n 1958).
IG Inscriprion es Gr aecae (Berl in 1873- ).
IGR Inscription es Gr aecae ad Res Rom an as Pertinenres, ed. R. CAGNAT et al.
(Paris 1911- 2 7).
IlS Inscriptiones Latin ae Selecrae, ed. H . DESSAU (Berlin 1893 -1916).
OGIS Orienris Graeci Inscriptiones Selecrae, ed. W. DITTENBERGER (Leipzig 1903 - 5).
PIR z Prosopographia Imp eri i Roman i, ed . E. GROAG et al. (Berlin 1933- ).
PME Prosopographia Militia rum Equestriurn, ed . H. DEVIJVER (Louvain 1976 - 93).
RE Real-Encyclopadie der c1assischen Alrerturnsw issen sch a fr, cd . PAUl y-WIS-
SOWA (St utt ga rt 1893-1978 ).
SEG Supplernenr um Epigr aphicum Graccum (Leiden 192 3 -) .

I On Rom an provincia l ad mi nist ra tion, d. G . H . STEVENS ON, Roman Pro vincial Admin-
istration till the Age of the Anton ines (O xford 1939 ); A. lINTOTT, Imperium Ro manum:
Politics a nd Administration (London 1993); on prefects and procurat ors, d. A. N . SHER-

Within the empire there was considerable local autonomy. The most im-
portant administrative unit was the cit y. Citie s were ba sically self-governing,
but var ied con sider ably in sta tus. The most prestigious was the ' co lony" (co-
lonia), an urban community of Roman citizens (with full local a uto nomy),
equal in status to the Romans of Ital y or Rome herself. Such were Philippi and
Corinth . Some cities, however, wer e still a nachro nistica lly regarded as 'free ';
they were technically' allies' of Rome, exempt from the authority of the gover-
nor of the province in which they were situated. Such were Athens, Thessalon-
ica and Ephesus. I
As in most empires, th e influence of Rome extended beyond ar eas formall y
under her direct control. Many local rulers were left largel y independent in
their own districts provided that th ey maintained the peace, followed Roman
forei gn policy and gave support in time of war. The y are somewhat mislead -
ingly called client kings. Not all had the hon ourable title of king, hut were
designated ethnarchs (literally, ruler s of a people) or tetrarchs (rulers of a small
area). During the New Testament period, Jud aea and surrounding areas like
Galilee or Peraea were client kingd oms under the Herods for much or part of
the rime.!
At no time were arrangements immuta ble: in fact cha nges of stat us at both
the local and the provincial level were not uncommon.
The core of the Rom an arm y consisted of units ca lled legions, brigades
some five to six thousand strong. The soldiers in the legions were Roman citi-
zens and operated as heavy-armed infantrymen. Normally there were four le-
gions in Syria. To supplement the legions the Romans had long relied on an
ad hoc basis on their allies or subjects for other types of soldiers, especially
cavalrymen, archers and light-armed troops. In the earl y Principate these con -
tingents took on increasingly form al and permanent structures. The se auxil ia-
ries (allxilia) , as they were called , were non -citizens, although, especiall y from
the time of the emperor Claudius, the y tended to receive Roman citizen ship
after a minimum of 25 years of service. Auxiliary cavalry regiments were called
alae (lA,Ul) and those of infantry cohorts (cr7tf:ipUl). Many infantry regiments
were part-mounted (cohortes equitataei. In Rome herself Augustus formed a
prestige corps of cohorts, the praetorian guard. The Rom an navy was small:
there were two fleets stationed off Italy and several p rovincial fleets.
Client kings had their own armies, incre asingly modelled on Roman lines.
Local cities might ha ve small para-military or ' police' forces , like the Temple
•police' in jerusalem."

WIN-WHITE, 'Procurator Augusti', PBSR XV (193 9), 11-26; A. H . M. JONES, Procurators

and Prefects in the Early Principate, in: IDEM, Studies in Rom an Government and Law
(O xford 1968 ), 115-25 .
2 On the cities of th e empire, d. J. S. REID. The Mun icipa lities of th e Rom an Empire (Ca m-
brid ge 1913 ); A. H. M . JONE S, The C ities of the Eastern Rom an Pro vinces (O x for d 1937 );
IDEM, The Greek C ity from Alexander to justinian (Oxford 194 0) .
3 On the client kingdoms, d. D. BR AUND. Rome and the Friendl y King: The Character of
th e C lient Kingship (Londo n 19 84 ).
4 On the Rom an army, d. G. WEBSTER, The Rom an Imperia l Arm y of the First and Second
Centuries A. D. (London 1969, 31985) ; L. KEPPlE, The Making of the Roman Army -

II. The Military in the New Testament

Outside judaea' the early Christians who came into conflict with the au-
thorities were usually dealt with locally, but the army features on occasion in
the Gospels. Legions were not stationed in Judaea in the New Testament period,
although the word itself had entered popular speech . Jesus felt that he could
call on 12 legions of angels for protection and a demoniac whom he healed
was called Legion (Mr. 26,53; Mk. 5,9). The soldiers mentioned in the Gospels
and Acts" were auxiliaries or in the employ of the Herods, ? i. e., members of
the armed forces of a client ruler.

1. Soldiers at the Execution of John the Baptist

When Herod Antipas had John the Baptist put to death, military com-
manders ()(IAiap)(Ol) were present at the banquet which he was giving at the
time, and a <J1tEKOUA.U"C(J)P carried out the beheading (Mk, 6,21; 27). The word

From Republic to Empire (London 1984); Y. LE BOHEC, L'arrnee romaine sous Ie haur-
emp ire (Paris 1982, 21990) tr, as: The Imperial Roman Army (London 1994); on the
auxilia, d. G . L. CHEESMAN, The Auxilia of the Roman Imperial Army (Oxford 1914 r.
Hildesheim 1971); P. A. HOLDER, Studies in the Auxilia of the Roman Army from Augus-
tus to Trajan (Oxford 1980); D. B. SADDINGTON, The Development of the Roman Auxil-
iary Forces from Caesar to Vespasian (49 B. C. to A. D. 79 ) (Harare 1982).
5 'judaea ' is used in two senses throughout. It can refer to the area around Jerusalem which
formed the Roman administrative district of Judaea proper, or it can be used more loosely
to include the surrounding areas like Idumaea, Peraea, Sarnariris, Galilee and Gaulanitis.
On Judaea in its regional context, cf. E MILLAR, The Roman Near East, 31 B. C. - A. D.
337 (Harvard 1993). On the administration of Judaea in New Testament times, d. the
standard works of E. SCHORER, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ
(175 B. C. -A. D. 135) (Edinburgh 1973-1987, an updated translation of his ' Geschichte
des jiidischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi' [Leipzig 1885 -1924]); E. M. SMALLWOOD,
The Jews Under Roman Rule from Pompey to Diocletian: a Study in Political Relations
(Leiden 1976, r. 1981). For a brief popular account, d . D. B. SADDINGTON, The Admin-
istration and the Army in Judaea in the Early Roman Period (from Pompey to Vespasian,
63 B. C. to A. D. 79), in: Pillar s of Smoke and Fire: The Holy Land in History and
Thought, ed. M . SHARON (johannesburg 1986), 33-40.
6 On the armed forces of judaea in New Testament times, d. T. R. S. BROUGHTON, The
Roman Army, in: The Beginnings of Christianity, I: The Acts of the Apostles, ed . F. J.
FOAKES JACKSON and K. LAKE (London 1933), V, 42 7-45; D. B. SADDINGTON (1986) , I. c.
n.5 above; M. GRACEY, The Armies of the judaean Client Kings, in: The Defence of The
Roman and Byzantine East, Proceedings of a Colloquium held ar The University of Shef-
field in April 1986, ed. P. FREEMAN and D. KENNEDY (Oxford 1986), 311- 23 ; on Therole
of the army in Judaea, d . B. ISAAC, The Limits of Empire: the Roman Army in the East
(Oxford 1990,21992), 104ff.
7 Such were the O"tp<l"TEUIJU"TU (accompanying Antipas) at the trial of Jesus (Lk. 23, 11) and
the soldiers (of Agrippa I) guarding Peter after his arresting in Jerusalem (Ac. 12,4).

XtA1UPX0<; (literally, the commander of 1 000 men) H had long been used in
Greek military terminology. It was later used for the Rom an tribunus or com-
mander of an auxiliary regimen t 1 000 strong. It ma y not mean more than
.senior officer ' in this context. L1tEKOUAUt(OP is a transliteration o f a Latin term :
the speculatores? were the scouts of the Roman army, but the word had taken
on a special meaning with reference to a particular type of elite soldier in the
Praetorian Gu ard used by the emperors for special mission s and such ta sks as
executions. It is not clear whether the Latin term was Antip as', or th at of
popular parlance. In an y case, its use is evidenc e of the way in which official s
of th e tetr arch's army were assimilated to those in the imperial forces.

2. The Centurion at Capernaum

The centurion whos e serva nt Jesus healed at Capernaum (Mr. 8,5; Lk.
7,2) 10 is called l;Kat"6vt"upXo~, the regular Greek translation for centuria . From
the way in which Jesus speaks of his faith, it is clear that he was not a Jew.
But, as he was in Galilee , th en unde r Ant ipas, he must have belonged to his
arm y. As will become appa rent below, the Herods recr uited man y of their
forces from the non-Jewish elements in the populations under their co ntrol.

3. The Soldiers at the Cross

The Temple' po lice' II were involved in the initial arrest of Jesu s, but the
soldiers who feature at his trial and execution were ob viousl y under the com -

8 O n the ter m, d . below, p. 241 6, n. 19.

9 O n the specularores of the praetoria n guard, d . M . DUR RY, cohor tes preror iennes
(Paris 1938, r. 1968 ), 108 ff. For a speculato r connecte d with a prison of the pra etor ian
guard a t Rome, d. Sex. Cetrius Severus (PIR 2 C 703) who served under Gera (almo st
certainly the prefect of the guard under Claudius from 48-51 , L. Lusius Geta IPIR1 L
43 5 )) a nd was ab comentaris custodiaru., o r record s secreta ry of the prison (lLS 20 73 ).
10 G . Z U NTZ, Th e " Centurio n" of Ca perna um and his Autho rity (Mart, VIII, 5 - 13), JThS
XLVI (1945) , 183 ff., has drawn attentio n to the alterna tive read ing of )(I}.ia p)(o; (cf.
below, n. 19) which appears in some witnesses instead of cKuTovmpxo;. Although it is
true that the Herod s seem to have orga nized their arm ed forces on the Rom an model , it
is not certai n th at )(1}-iU P)(O; here can be tak en to repres ent a com mander of a milliar y
co ho rt (these do not seem to ha ve been inst ituted as ea rly as this - d . below, n. 19).
ZUNTZ makes the interesting suggestion that the officer was a military govern or of a
district. Whether the Herods o rganized their territory in this way is not known. His anal o-
gies are Rom an : P.Juvent ius Rufus (AE 10, 207; PME I 155; SAU D INGTON 119871, l. c,
n. 52 below, 270, no . 7), a milita ry tribune in a legion who was placed in charge of a
mining area in Egypt unde r Augustus, an d Claudi us Lysias (d. below, p. 24 16), who,
how ever, cannot be described as military governor of Jeru salem.
II Mk. 14,43; Mt. 26, 47 ; Lk. 21,52 . John (18,3) seems to differenriare between a cmEipa
and the servants of the H igh Priest menti oned by the ot her evangelists. If the term is being
used techn ically, it co uld imply the presence of Rom an soldiers at the arres t as well. That
John was thinking of a forc e in 'Roman' term s is perhaps confirmed by his terming the
2414 D. H. SADDIN ( iTON

mand of Pilate . It is difficult to identify them, especially as they are

merely called soldiers (Mk. 1S,16). The highest ranking officer involved
was a
centurio n called both xsvrupi rov (Mk. IS,39), which is a translit eration
of the
Latin term, and hutovLUPXll ~ (or i;KULOVLUPXO~), the normal Greek
for centu-
rion (Lk. 23,47; Mr. 27,S4) . All that can be stated definitely is that
(under a centurion) from an auxiliary regiment were involved. Little
can be given to apocryp hal sources, but it may be noted that the'
Gospel of
Peter' (8,31) names the centurion in charge of the watch at the sepulch
re of
Jesus as Petronius and the' Acts of Pilate' (16,7) calls the soldier who
the side of Jesus Longinus . The writers may have simply chosen Latin
which they considered approp riate (? on the analogy of that of Corneli
us of the
Italian Cohort) . But the possibility remains that the actual names have
survi ved:
they are names commo nly borne by Roman soldiers. All of them
appear on a
list of men from the East serving in Egypt in the early imperial period.
12 Centu-
rions in auxiliary regiments were often Roman citizen s, I> but especial
ly so in
the 'citizen cohorts ' (to be discussed below). The Latin name may
be a faint
indication that a citizen cohort was involved at the Cross: it would
not ha ve
been inappro priate for Pilate to have deployed one on such a sensitiv
e occasion
had one been available to him (which was perfectly possible). Accord
ingly, the
regiment at the Cross may have been a citizen cohort (even the Italian
Cohort ,
if it was already stationed in Judaea) . But there are other possibilities.
(B.J. V, 551; 556) refers to Syrians (a broad term in itself), at least
during the
Jewish Revolt. The only pre-War evidence is that in A. D. 44 there
were five
cohorts and one ala (a total of 3000 men) of Sebastenians (i. e.,
and Caesareans in Judaea. These obviously corresp ond (with subsequ
ent sup-
plements) to the 3000 Sebastenians from the army of Herod the
Great that
support ed the Romans in the troubles that arose in Judaea after
his death. 14
Herod (and his successors) obviously relied heavily on the non-Jew
ish element
in the populat ion of his kingdom for most of his soldiers . The soldiers
at the
Cross, then, could have been drawn from any auxiliary regiment
into Judaea after the fall of Archelaus, or have been members of more
units drafted from such areas as Samari a, Caesarea or Syria. Whatev
er the
ethnic compos ition of the regiment involved, to the Jews it was of
course ' Ro-
man': thus Josephu s called the unit statione d in the Antonia near
the Temple
during Passover iJ · PWj.1UIKJ1 (mcipa (B.J. II, 224).

comman der of the cr1t ~tpu a X1 Aiupxo~ (18,12). SMALLW OO[) (1976
), o.c. n . 5.168. ac-
cepts the presence of Roman troops at the arrest in John 's account.
12 ILS 2483, recording a L. Longinus from Tavium in Galatia (a
second Longinus from
Erenna in Paphlago nia and a third from Egypt), a C. Corneliu s
from Ancyra in Galatia
and a M. Petronius from Egypt. These were all Roman citizens serving
in a legion. It may
be noted that the documen t also lists 3 cenrurion s in an au xiliar y unit
who were patentl y
Roman citizens.
Ll On centurion s in auxiliary regimenrs, d. D. B. SADDING TON, Prefects
and Lesser Officers
in the Rom an Auxilia of the Early Imperial Period, PACA XV (1980),
26 f. (and ibid . 50.
no . 6, for the cent urion at the cros s).
14 jos, A.J. XIX, 9, 2, 365 (d. XX , 8,7,1 76 ); B.J. II, 3, 4, 52; 4, 2, 58
; SADDING TO N (19 82 ),
o. c. n. 4, SO.

4. Cornelius of the Italian Cohort

The pro-Jewish centurion I ) whom Peter converted to Christianity has a

Roman name, and was in all likelihood a Roman citizen . More interest attaches
to his regiment. There were several Cohortes ltalicae in the Roman army. In all
likelihood that mentioned here was the Cohors 11 Italiea Ciuium Romanorum
known from an inscription 10 at Carnuntum (Bad Deutsch-Altenburg nr. Vienna):
Proculus Rabili f Col . Phi/add. mil. optio coho II Italic. e. R. 7 (= cent -
uria) Faustini ex uexil. sagit. exer. Syriaci stip. VII uixit an. XXVI Apu-
leius {rater [. c.,
" Proculus, the son of Rabilus, of the Colline voting constituency, from
Philadelphia, soldier and assistant centurion of the Coho II Italica of Ro-
man citizens, of the century of Faustinus, from the detachment of archers
of the Syrian army, with seven years' service; he lived 26 years; his brother
Apuleius saw to the erection (of this tomb)".
Although Proculus died on the Danube frontier - it is usually thought that he
arrived there after accompanying the Eastern forces that secured the empire for
Vespasian in 69 - his regiment was part of the Syrian army. His father's name
was not uncommon in Nabataean Arabia, but he came from Philadelphia (Am-
man) in the Decapolis and was a Roman citizen: he mentions his tribus or
voting constituency (the Collina). (The element Ciuium Romanorum in the co-
hort's titulature is not of special significance: a grant of citizenship was not
infrequently made to auxiliary regiments of all kinds for acts of bravery in the
field, enabling the unit to add c. R. to its name, although subsequent recruits
would be peregrine. 17) The Cohortes ltalicae belonged to a superior category
of auxiliary regiments, called Burgerkoborten or .citizen regiments': they were

15 Ac. 10, I; for Cornelius, d . PIR! C 1308; SADDINGTON (1980), l.c. n. 13,51, no . 8. For
a soldier with the name of Cornelius serving in a legion in the East, d. the early inscription
from Beryrus (Beirut) recording M. Come/ius C. [. Fab. leg. V/JI Gallica (Cll, III 14165 6 ) ;
for a Cornelius in a legion in Egypt, d. above, n. 12. For Roman centurions in auxiliary
regiments, d . above, n. 13. Army officers were more fully involved in .civilian ' life than
modern experience would suggest. This is illustrated by a document found on the skeleton
of a Jewish woman called Babarha near the Dead Sea at the time of the Bar Kokhba Revolt
early in the 2nd C. It shows the centurion of an auxiliary regiment lending money to a
Jew (P. YADIN 11 I = The Documents from the Bar Kokhba Period in the Cave of letters:
Greek Papyri , ed. N. lEWIS (Jerusalem 1989) 41 ff.]). On this subject generally, d. B. I-
SAAC, O . c. n. 6, 136 ff.; 442 .
16 IlS 9168; GABBA, no. xxv. For Proculus, d. SAUDINGTON (1980), I.c . n. 13,53, no. 1; on
his citizenship, d. G. FORNI, L'anagrafia del sold ato e del veterano, Acres du VII< congres
international d'epigraphie, Constanta 1977 (Bucharest 19 79), 212 f. (= IDEM, Eserciro e
marina di Roma antica [Mavors 511Stuttgart 19921,187); on the regiment, and the Coh o
Augusta of Ac. 27, I, d. M. P. SPEIDEL, The Roman Arm y in Judaea under the Procura -
tors: the Italian and the Augustan Cohort in the Acts of the Apostles, AncSoc XliI/XIV
17 SADDINGTON (1982), O . c. n. 4, 175 .

originally recruited from citizens and appear to have been especially prominent
in areas where legions were not stationed. I H

5. Claudius Lysias and his Cohort

Paul was saved from the fury of the mob in Jerusalem when he was arrested
by the commander of a cohort (XIA.iuPXoS 't~ S cneipnc), Claudius Lysias.! " XIAi-
aplo; normally represents the Latin tribunus, a title usually implying command
over a regiment 1000 strong (the commander of the more frequent quingenary
regiments were called prefects). That the regiment was milliary may also be sug-
gested by the size of the force which Lysias detailed off to take Paul to Caesarea.
It consisted of two centurions, 200 soldiers, 70 cavalry and oE~lOAapOl)S Sinxoci-
oix; (Ac. 23,23). The latter categ ory is unexplained. It could even refer to arch-
ers: 20 if all these men came from one unit, it could have been described in Latin
terms as a cohors equitata sagittaria. As suggested above (p. 2414f.), one is even
inclined to ask whether it was not in fact the cohort in which Cornelius had
served earlier. Claudius Lysias is notorious for having purchased his Roman citi-
zenship, granted to him by the emperor Claudius. His cognomen is Greek, and
it may be presumed that he came from the eastern part of the empire. Other
tribunes who came from the East - their provinces were Achaia and Asia - and
who received citizenship from Claudius include Ti. Claudius Balbillus, Ti. Clau-
dius Cleonymus, Ti. Claudius Democrates and Ti. Claudius Philinus .>'
It should be noted that Claudius Lysias dealt with all aspects of the crisis
caused by the riot against Paul and summoned the High Priests and the Sanhe-
drin. 22

6. The Officers of Agrippa II

Agrippa II and his entourage were present at a hearing granted to Paul by

Festus: among his party were X1AiupxOl (Ac. 25,23). As noted above (p. 2412),

18 SADDINGTON, ibid . 141 ff.; on the deployment o f such ' special" regiments in provinces in
the East without legions, d. my, as yet unpublished, paper ' Ro man Auxiliary Inscriptions
in the East and Some Special Features of the Auxiliary Regiments in the East ' delivered at
the VlIIth Epigraphical Congress in Athens (1982) .
19 Ac. 21,31 ; 22,27ff.; 23,26; 24,22; for Claudius Lysias , d . PME C 154; SADDI NGTON
(1980), 1. c. n. 13, 38, no. 74; for XI/.lllPXIJ<; as the Greek equivalent o f tribunus, d. LSj"
s. v, 11; for milliary cohorts, d . SADDINGTON (1982), o. c. n. 4, 174; D. L. KENNEDY, Milli-
ary Cohorts: the Evidence of Josephus B. ]. 111. 4.2 .(67) and of Epigraphy, ZPE L (1983),
253-263 .
20 SADDINGTON (1982 ), O . c. n. 4,210. One may note that the detachment in which Proculus
of the Coho II Italica left Syria was a ' vexillanon o f archers ' (above, n. 16).
21 AE 24,78, PME C 124; IGR IV 1060, PME C 134; Inschr. Magnesia 157, PME C 138;
IGR IV 1026, PME C 166; d. H . Dsvrjvsa, Equestrian Officers from the East, in: The
Defence o f the Roman and Byzantine East (1986), o.c. n. 6,109-225, esp. 201.
22 Ac. 22, 30; SMALLWOOD (1976) , o. c. n. 5, 147, says he acted as the governor's deputy in
Jeru salem .

the same term wa s used of the high-ranking officers of Antipas at the death of
John the Baptist. These were officers in the arm y of a client king.!-I

7. Julius of the Augustan Cohort

When Paul was sent to Rome for trial, he was tak en there by a centurion,
Julius of the O"7u:ipa l epucHi]: the CO/JOrs Augusta in Larin. v" Like Ciuium
Romanorum, Augusta was on occasion given to an auxiliary regiment as a n
honorary epithet by the emperor, so that the cohort may have had another
name indicating the composition of its original complement of auxiliaries.
However, Cohortes Augustae (as such) are attested in the Syrian ambit. On e
had been commanded by Aemiliu s Secundus, an officer who conducted a census
of a Syrian town under Sulpicius Quirinius.t"
Q. Aemilius Q. f. Pal. Secundus in castris diui Aug. sub P. Sulpici o Quiri-
nio legato Caesaris Syriae honoribus decoratus praefect. cohort. Aug. I
praefect. coh ort. 1I classicae; idem iussu Quirini censum egi Apamenae
ciuitatis ...
" Q . Aemiliu s Secundus, the son of Quintus, of th e Palatine voting constit-
uency, decorated in the camp of the deified Augustus under P. Sulpicius
Quirinius, imperial governor of Syria, prefect of the Coho Augusta I, pre-
fect of the Coho II. Classica; by order of Quirinius I also conducted a cen-
sus of the city of Apamea (Qalaat el-Mudig)".
A Coh oAugusta is also known under Agrippa II . A centurion with the Roman-
sounding name of L. Obulnius is recorded in it, as well as a prefect who also
had oversight over some nomadic tribes in Arabia.J" The nomen Julius is of
course that of the emperor and there is no reason to doubt that Julius wa s
himself a Roman citizen.
The Coho Italica and, possibly also, the Coho Augusta were prestigious
regiments. Their operation in judaea cannot be placed before AD 40 on the

2J A fragmentary inscription of a Roman offic er, who was prefect of what was probabl y th e
Coho I Lepidiana Equitata, T. Mu cius Clemens (PM E M 68; S AD D ING TO N 119801, I. C.
n. 13, 43 , no. 112) also co m ma nded the fo rces of .the gre at king Agrippa (presumabl y
Agr ippa II rather th an Agrippa I ). Unfortunatel y the exact nature of his post under
Agrippa, designated as C1tUPXo<; (HI---) , cannot be reco vered : the lacuna is best filled by
(H[pan:lJJ.luto<;! or crt[putoiil. The many problems raised by this inscription (AE 67, 525
= 87, 950) cannot be discussed here.
14 Ac. 27, I; for Julius, d . SADDINGTON (198 0), I.e. n. 13,51. no . 9.
2.5 ILS 26 83; GA8BA, no. xviii; PME A 90 ; SADDI NGTO N, ihid . 30. no. 10. For anorher
equestri an offi cer engaged in a ce nsus in the Judaean am bit, d . the praefectus equitum
recording the property o f the Jewish woman Babatha mentioned above (P. YADIN 16;
above, n. 15).
26 AE 25, 121; for 1.. Obulnius, d. SADDINGTON, ibid . 52, no . 22; IGR 1Il 1136, recording
C ha ret us t;1tlupxo;---J cmdpl1; AulyolJcrtTl <; xui crtPUtwrlo<; Nouaocov (PME p. 842; SAD-
DI NGTON, 44, no . 125).

evidence available, but it is of course possible that they had been

sent there
before that, even under the first prefect after the fall of Archelaus

8. Paul under Military Guard in Rome

When he arrived in Rome , Paul was allowed to live in his own accomm
dation, "with the soldier guard ing him" (Ac. 28,16). This brief
remark does
not allow the soldier's regiment to be identified: the natural assump
tion is that
he belonged to the praetor ian guard. F
A further detail accrues from the Western text, where the centurio
n bring-
ing Paul to Rome is said to have handed him over to the .comma
nder of the
camp', 6 crtpaL01ttbapxo~.211 A codex of the thirteen th century, but
probabl y
reflecting a much earlier traditio n, translat es this word into Latin
by the term
princeps peregri norumJ " A high-ra nking centuri on with this title is
attested in
charge of the castra peregrina, a camp in Rome where centuri ons
sent on busi-
ness to the empero r from their legions were housed, and where prisone
rs from
the provinces were held in custody: howeve r, the earliest evidenc
e for this
comes from half a century after Paul 's arrival in Rorne.! " As the
wo rd crpu-
t01tf:oaPXTl~ (its more usual form) is used for an admini
strator in the praetor ian
guard called in Latin princeps castroru m (not however recorde
d before the
beginning of the 2nd century), it seems likely that Paul was initially
over to him .>! Accordingly, on the present evidence it seems likely
that Paul
was held by the praetor ian guard.

27 On Paul's reference co to npurnopi ov in Phil. 1,13 and his impri

sonment in Rom e, d .
DURRY (1938), O. c. n. 9, 35 1 f. For prisoners from the provinces
being sent to the praeto-
rian guard under Trajan, d . PHn. Ep. X, 57, 2. d . in general B. RAPSKE,
The Book of Act s
and Paul in Roman Custod y (The Book of Acts in its First Century
Setting 3) (Grand
Rapids 1994), 17 3ff.
28 On crtpatOltl:oaPXll ~, d . H . J. MASON, Greek
Terms for Roman Institutio ns. A Lex icon
and Analysis, Amer ican Studie s in Pap yrology 13 (Toronto 1974),8
7. The term appears
transliter ated for th e praefectu s cas tro rum or camp co m mandant
of a legion in Egypt,
C. Musanus (AE 54, 163 ; PME M 76 ), whose lack of a cognomen points
to a Cl audi un
or earlier date. The praefe ctus castroru m was of gre ater importan ce
in Egypt th an in oth er
provinces, since the legion s there did not have senatoria l legionary
legates as comman ders,
as elsewhere in the empire.
29 BROUGHTON (1933), I.e . n. 6, 444.
.10 The first princeps peregrino rum known
is the Trajanic centurion recorded on AE 23, 28:
however, T. MOMMSEN and A. HARNACK, Zu Apo srelgesch, 2 8,16.
SPAW 1895, 498 f.
(= T. MOMMSEN , Gesamm elte Schriften VI [Berlin 19101
54 8l, ha ve suggested that
princeps peregrino rum may not have been an exact translatio n.
On the castra per egrin a,
d . P. K. BAILLIE REYNOLD S, The Troops Quartere d in the Casrra Peregrino
(1923), 168ff., esp . 185f.; J. C. MANN. The Castra Peregr ina and
the " Peregrini " , ZPE
LXXIV (1988), 148 ; N. B. RANKOV, Frument arii, the Ca stra Peregrina
and the Provincial
Officia, ibid . LXXX (1990), 176- 82 .
.11 As suggested by A. N. SHERWIN-WHITE,
Roman Society and Roman Law in the New
Testamen t (The Sarum Lectures 1960 -1961 ) (Ox fo rd 1963), 108
ff. The first centurion
known to have held this post is recorded on ILS 918 9.

HI. The Emperor and his Household

Of the emperors who ruled Rome during the New Testament per iod, only
Augu stu s, Tib erius and Claudi us are actually named. In Luke's words ' Caes a r
Augu stu s' issued a decree enjoining a census. 12 The beginning of th e min istr y
o f John the Baptist is dated by a yea r in the ' rule of Tiberius Cae sar' (Lk. 3,1):
although not named, Tib erius is the 'Caesar ' to whom it was right to pay taxes
in Lk. 20 ,22 ff. Claudius is used to dat e an event and is said to have exp elled
the Jews from Rome during his pr incipate (Ac. 11,28 ; 18,2). At his tri al under
Festus Paul appealed to Caesa r (Ac. 25,11) : that Nero wa s the emperor con-
cerned was only incidental, and not stated. Otherwise ' Ca esar' appears in the
New Testament onl y as the name of th e hold er of ultim ate a uthority, " the
guardian of the Roman empire and governor of the whole world " , as an Italian
inscription ha s it (ILS 140).
The emperor had a large staff of slaves and freedmen forming the imperial
bureaucracy, the fam ilia Caesaris.i? It is referred to as 'Caesar 's hou sehold ' , oi
El( til ; Kuioupoc oixiuq in Philippians (4,22). Members of the imperial estab-
lishment were to be found in all the major cities of the empire: those menti oned
here may have belonged to its lower echelons.
Imp erial freed men owned their own slaves: ' the household of Narci ssus',
oi lK trov Ncpxiooou (Rom. 16,11 ), was in a ll likelihood th at of the notorious
ab epistulis, secretary of correspondence, of Claudius (PIR l N 23-4).

IV. Provin cial G ove rnors (outside [udaea)

1. Quirinius

P. Sulpicius Quirinius, legatus Caesaris Syriae (ILS 2683, quoted ab ove,

p. 241 7), Kupn vio; Ttyelloveuo>v tfi;,; t upia; (Lk 2,2), imperial governor of
Syria when judaea wa s made a province in A. D. 6, did not belong to the patri-
cian Sulpicii of Rome but came from a small Ital ian town .I" H is first known
post was the governorship of the small joint province of Crete and Cyrene ; he
won successe s aga inst so me local African tribes. In 12 B. C. he became consul
and then governed Galatia , where he won th e insignia of a triumph - triumph s

.12 Lk. 2,1 . The narure o f th e cens us, and the question it raises co ncern ing the date of th e birth
of Jesus, cannot be discu ssed here . For a recent review of th e subject, d . New Documents
Illustr ating Earl y Chris tianity 6 , edd. S. R. LLEW ELYN and R . A. KEAR SLEY (Ma cqu arie
19 92) , 123 ff.
33 P. R. C. WEAV ER, Familia Caesaris. A Social Srud y of the Emperor's Freedmen and Slaves
(Cam bridge 1972 ); G. BOULVERT , Do mesrique er fon crionnaire so us Ie haur- empire ro-
mai n. La co nditio n de !'a ffra nch i er de I'escla ve du prince (Annales Iitt. Univ. Besan co n
151 , Ce nt re de rech . d'h isr. an c. 9) (Paris 19 74 ).
.14 Tac, Ann. 111, 48; GROAG, RE IVA (1931) , 822 , no. 90.

were celebrated only by members of the imperial family - for his conduc
t of a
war against the mounta in people of the Homon adenses in the area.
While gov-
ernor of Syria some years later (A. D. 6-9) he carried out a census
for the
emperor: Aemilius Secundus, mentioned above (p. 2417), was one
of the offi-
cers to whom he delegated part of the task.

2. Sergius Paulus

Something of the personality and private life of Sulpicius Quirini us,

of Gallio below, is known from imperial authors , but not of Sergius
governor of Cyprus when Paul visited the island on his first mission
ary jour-
ney.35 However, it seems likely that he was the L. Sergius Paullus
(Paullus is
the more usual Latin spelling) who was a senator under Claudius,
a membe r
of the board responsible for the mainten ance of the banks of the Tiber
in Rome
and who, according to a reasonable conjecture, became consul in
A. D. 70. 36
A family of Sergii Paulli, some of whose members were possesse
d of large
estates, is attested at the Roman colony of Antioch toward s Pisidia
and its
vicinity. Including the Sergius Paulus of Acts they would appear to
have been
the descendants of a Roman veteran settled in the colony under Augustu
s. .l7

3. Gallio

L. Junius Gallio Annaea nus (PIRl I 757) was a membe r of an emergin

family from Cordub a (Cordova) in Spain . His father, Seneca the Elder,
was an

.1$ Ac. 13, 7 ff.; GROAG, R£ I1A (1923), 171 S, no. 34. For a recent discussio
n of the problems
surround ing Sergius Paulus, d . J. TAYI.OR, St. Paul and the Roman
Empire: Acts of the
Apostles 13-14, ANRW II 26, 2, ed. W. HAAS E (Berlin- New York
1995) , 1192ff.
36 ILS 5926; S. MITCHELL, Anat olia: Land, Men
and Gods in Asia Minor II (Oxford 1993 ),
6 has accepted GROAG'S suggestion that the L Sergius Paullus recorded
as consul in Rome
in 70 (CIL VI 253) was in fact the governor o f Cyprus. This would
make him the first
man from the eastern half of the empire to have reached the consulsh
ip. Th e L. Sergio 1..
f. Paullo (ilio IlIluir(o) u(iarum) ciuranda rutn i tribtunot mi/(itum) leg(ionis) VI Ferriataet
quaest(ori) - - - on an inscriptio n from Pisidian Antioch publishe
d by W. M . RAM SAY.
The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustwor thiness of the New
Testamen t (London
1915),15 1 (cf. RBi XXV [19161 246) was in all likelihood the governor
's son .
A Q. Sergius Paullus has been adduced as a governor of Cyprus
on the basis of IGR III
935, as emended in GABBA, no. xxi, wh o reads the emperor 's name
as [KJ.uuoJiOt, KUla-
upo c lEl3uato u. T. B. MITFORD, however, Roman Cyprus, ANRW
II, 7,2, ed . H. TEMPOR-
INI (Berlin - New York 1980), BOO, no . 18, read [F'[uiou Kuioupo
c l El3uatOu . (The Pau-
line governor is no . 20 [p, 1301 J in his Iist.) But after inspectin
g the inscr iption,
S. MITCHEll (ibid . 7) says that neither Sergius nor proconsu l can
be read on it.
37 B. LEVICK, Roman Colonies in Southern Asia
Minor (O xford 1967), 112; H . HALFMANN,
Die Senatore n aus dem ostlichen Teil des Imperium Romanu m his
zum Ende des 2. jahr-
hunderrs n. Chr , (H ypornnem ara 58 ) (Gorringen 1979), 101, no. 4;
d . 9; R. SYME, Anaro-
lica. Studies in Strabo, ed. A. BIRLEY (Oxford 1995), 225ff. SYME,
ibid. 234, lists Roman
veterans recorded in the colony.

educator and writer who lived for long in Rome. One of his brothers was
L. Annaeus Seneca, the famous writer and a powerful politician under Nero.
Annaeus Novatus (his first name) was adopted by Junius Gallio, a friend of his
father. His first known post was the governorship of Achaia (Sen. Ep. 104,1;
Ac. 18,12). He became consul in 55. An inscripriont" from Delphi is useful for
dating Paul's stay in Corinth: on it Gallio is addressed by Claudius as "- - -
[nius Gallio, my friend and proconsul of Achaia", ---lvtO; ruAJ.iwv 6 IpliAoe;1
J.10U Ku[i uv80)1tuto<; Irlie; 'Axuiue;]: this was in 52.

V. The Herods'"

It is not inappropriate to include the Herods among the Roman admin-

istrative personnel of the New Testament. They were appointed by the emperors
and were Roman citizens. Though client kings, they alternated at different
stages with the prefects and procurators of Judaea. In this respect they may be
classified as 'Roman'.

1. Herod the Great

Herod't? was called the Great in only one ancient source (jos. A.J. XVIII,
130 - unless the term means 'the elder Herod' here). His father Antipater, the
powerful Idumaean administrator of Hyrcanus the ethnarch and High Priest,
had been granted Roman citizenship and other privileges by Julius Caesar.
When the Parthians invaded Syria and Judaea in 41 B. c., Herod managed to
escape and make his way to Rome . In 40 M. Antony and Octavian (the future
emperor Augustus) presented him to the senate, which conferred the title of
king on him. After the ceremony they accompanied him to the Capitol, where
he sacrificed to Jupiter (jos. A.j. XIV, 388). However, he had to fight to gain

MITCHELL (0 . c. n. 36, II 6) concurs in the view that Sergius Paulus probably suggested
that Paul travel to Pisidian Antioch and gave him introductions to the notables of the city.
38 Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarurn' 801 D; GABBA no. xxii; fUA/,iwvo; uvOU7t(ltOlJ OVl:O;
t1i ~ 'AxuiuC; in Ac. 18,12 has virtually the same phraseology. On the inscription, d .
A. PLASSART, L'inscriprion de Delphes mentionnant le proconsul Gallion, REG LXXX
(196 7), 372 ff.; J. H. OLIVER, The Epistle of Claudius which Mentions the Proconsul Gal-
Iio, Hesperia XL (1971), 239 f., which contains revisions to earlier versions of the text.
(The text with a translation can be conveniently found, together with a full discussion of
Gallio, in: J. MURPHy-O'CONNOR,St. Paul's Corinth, Texts and Archaeology [Collegeville
1983 r. 1990], 141 ff.) .
.l q A. H . M. JONES, The Herods of Judaea (Oxford 1938); R. D. SULLIVAN, The Dynasty of
judaea in the First Century, ANRW 11,8, ed. H. TEMPORINI and W. HAASE (Berlin - New
York 1977),296- 354.
40 P1R2 H 153; A. SCHALlT, Konig Herodes: der Mann und sein Werk, :IUS dem Hebr. uber-
setzr v, J. AMIR (Srudia Judaica 4) (Berlin 1969).

control of judaea, which he only finally succeeded 10 doing in

37 with the
assistance of two Roman legions .
Once secure on the throne, he played the typical role of a Hellenist
king outside the confines of judaea proper. He was noted for his lavish
tions to cities in Greece and elsewhere . He was addressed as Iplf_OPro
~UIO-;, the
friend of Rome (OGIS 414). He rebuilt Samaria, the ruined capital of
but significantly called it Sebaste (the Greek for Augusta) and introdu
ced the
imperial cult with a temple to Augustus. Similarly, when he rebuilt and
the harbou r at Straw's Tower, he named the new city Caesarea, again
introdu c-
ing the imperial cult about a temple to Augustus. In Judaea itself
he made his
Jewish subjects swear an oath of loyalty to the emperor. He sent various
of his
sons to Rome for lengthy stays at the imperial court.
His role in the New Testament was minimal: he only appears as a
figure at the birth of Jesus.

2. Archelaus

Joseph was afraid to return from Egypt to judaea because he had

that Archelaus (PIR 2 A 1025) was king there in place of his father
Herod (Mr.
2,22). In fact, when Herod died in 4 B. C. Archelaus inherited neither
his fa-
ther's whole kingdom nor his title. Augustus decided to split the kingdom
make Archelaus ethnarc h of judaea, Idumaea and Samaria only. Archela
us had
received a considerable part of his educati on in Rome (Jos. A. J.
XVII, 20).
Augustus considered his adminis tration unsatisfactory: in A. D. 6
he deposed
and banished him. judaea then became a Roman province. As such
it persisted
until Agrippa I was made king of the area by Claudius.

3. Antipas

Anripas.v' who ordered the execution of John the Baptist and was
volved in the trial of Jesus, is not called Antipas in the New Testam
ent. Stigma -
tized by Jesus as ' that fox' (Lk. 13,32), he is called King Herod in Mark
but more accurately Herod the tetrarch elsewhere. The brother of
he was in fact appoint ed tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea by Augustu
s in 4 B. c.:
he appears as 'Herod , the son of king Herod, terrarch ' on an inscript
ion set up
in his honour by the city of Athens (OGIS 417; d. 416; GABBA,
no. xv). He
had received part of his educati on at Rome (Jos. A.j. XVII, 20)
. He was a
friend of the empero r Tiberius and, when he built a new capital on
the shores
of the Lake of Galilee, he called it Tiberias. He tried to get the
title of king
from Tiberius' successor, Gaius, in 39, but was banished instead.

41 PIR2 A 746; H . W. HOEHNER, Herod Antipas (Soc. for N . T. Stud.,

Monogr. Ser. J 7)
(Cambrid ge 1972 ). As HOEHNER suggests (p. 105) Herod probably became
a d ynastic title
after the death o f Herod the Great .



NT 2423

4. Agrippa I
:'§? -
d in Rome
j' Julius Agrippa ;*2 a grandso n of Herod the Great, was educate
s, Gaius' success or (jos. A. J . XVIII, 165).
with the future empero r Claudiu
him the title of king and appoint ed him ruler of the tetrarch y of his
}- Gaius gave
ed to be in
banishe d uncle Antipas and other territori es in the area. He happen
~ --
murder ed in 41 and acted as a sort of interme diary
Rome when Gaius wa s
Claudiu s and the senate. Claudiu s rewarde d him by adding judaea
with the result
itself and other former Herodi an possess ions to his kingdom ,
an area as Herod the Great had done. This wa s
that he ruled over as large
by a formal treaty of alliance which was celebra ted in the middle
accomp anied
ted this (JlJ~~ax iu (,allianc e ')
of the forum at Rome: one of hi s coins celebra
senate and people. "! He was awarde d the orna-
between him and the Roman
with all
menta consularia (Dio LX, 8, 2 f.), which meant that he was treated
as Julius Agrippa
the respect due to a consul. On his coins his name appears
and he was also address ed as the great king, ~U<JlAEU:; IlEyu:;
. Howeve r, he
e in foreign policy which led to the speedy, and humilia t-
underto ok an initiativ
ing, interven tion of Vibius Marsus , the governo r of Syria .
James (12,
In Acts he is called king Herod and is said to have execute d
I H.) . His reign was brief: it lasted only from 41 to 44.

5. Agrippa II
sevente en
M . Julius Agripp av', also educate d partly in Rome, was only
him the kingdom , but
when his father died. Accordi ngly, Claudiu s did not give
of Idumae a, Samarit is, Galilee and Peraea
made ]udaea and the associa ted areas
into a Roman provinc e. He later gave the norther n areas of his father's

(Texre und Studien zurn

42 PIR2 I 131; D. R. SCHWARTZ. Agrippa I: Th e Last King of Judaea
23) (Tubinge n 1990). His praenom en has not been recorded : it is usu-
Antiken judentum
like that of his son (d. below, n. 44) . But A. STEIN.
ally assumed to have been Marcus,
ff. has suggested that
Caius Julius, an Agoranomos from Tiberias, ZPE XCIII (1992 ), 144
had been appointe d
the C. julius of a lead weight from Tiberias was in fact Agrippa, who
A.]. XVIII 143 -55). If so, Agrippa' s praen om en
to that post by his uncle Antipas (jos.
was Gaius.
Temple Period (Tel
43 jos, B.]. XIX, 5, 1, 275; Y. MESHORER. jewish Coins o f the Second
the reverse reads : OPKIA BA1: ME Arpmn A
Aviv 196 7), 140 , no . 93 . The legend on
) and the senate
"the treaty of the great king Agrippa with Augustus Caesar (i. e. Claudius
friendshi p and alliance" as explained by A. BURNEll, The
and the Roman people : his
Chalci s, in: Melanges
Coinage of Agrippa I of Judaea and a New Coin of King Herod of
1987), 32-5.
de nurnismarique offerts a P. BASTIEN, ed . H. HUVELIN et at. (Belgium
2 I 132. Normally those who or tho se whose ancestors were enfranch ised by Caesar
44 PIR
Agrippa (like his father )
or Augustus bore the praenom en Gaius (abbrevia ted by C.). That
due to the close
has the cognome n Agrippa and the praenomen M(arcus) is probably
Herod the Great had had with Augustu s' pow erful general Agrippa,
asso ciati on which
M. Vipsaniu s Agrippa (SCHAUT [1969], o. c. n.40, 424 ff.).
wh ose tria nomina were
en M . is not known.
Whether other members of the Herodian family had used the praenom

to Agrippa II, to which Nero added various cities in Galilee and other areas.
He called himself ' the great king' (PUCHACU; I.l~yu~), 'friend of Caesar' and
' friend of Rome' (lGR III 1244; GABBA, no, xxix). In 75 Vespasian awarded
him the ornamenta praetoria (Dio LXVI, 15, 3 f.): the praetor was the next
most important official at Rome after the consul.
Agrippa II features in Acts: he was present at a hearing of Paul in Caesarea
under Festus (25, 13 ff.),
Within Jerusalem and the Jewish areas of their domains the Herods acted
as Jews. Even Agrippa II, remote as his kingdom was from judaea, was a prac -
tising Jew. But this must not detract from their assimilation to the normal
pattern of a Roman client king. 45 They embraced much of the current Hellenis-
tic culture of their day and were themselves, or had their sons, partly educated
in Rome. They welcomed any opportunities afforded them by the emperor or
members of the imperial household to stay in Rome for protracted periods of
time. While there, they might be used in important assignations by the emperor
concerned. They were Roman citizens and the later Herods made this clear in
their names in public proclamations: while Herod the Great and his sons the
tetrarchs seem to use the family name of Herod, the next two generations are
styled Julius Agrippa. This is neatly apparent in an inscription recording a
benefaction in Berytus (Beirut) by Bernice, the sister of Agrippa II, who even
styles herself queen: Regina Berenice regis magni Algrippae (ilia ---I but
names her ancestor Herod the Great rex Herodes proauos (AE 28, 82: GABBA,
no. xxx). Claudius and his successors readily accepted them as citizens: they
awarded them honours such as the ornamenta praetoria or consularia which
were normally the privilege of members of the traditional Roman upper classes,
especially important members of the equestrian order given senatorial-type
honours for special services to the emperor. At home, the Herods modelled
their armed forces on those of Rome and adopted aspects of Roman administra-
tive procedures, In the last resort, they remained loyal servants of Rome. When
the Jewish Revolt broke out, Agrippa II attempted to dissuade the rebels from
continuing on their course. When the war actually started he had no hesitation
in supporting the Roman generals sent to Judaea with his army. He was duly
rewarded by Vespasian . The client kings were fully integrated into the Roman
administrative apparatus.

6. Royal Officials - Chuza, Blastus and Aretas' Ethnarch

Among the women who supported Jesus early in his ministry was Joanna,
the wife of Chuza.r'" who is called btitpoltoC; "Hp<jl80u. The term EltltPOltO; is

45 For this easy assumption of local and imperial roles at a lower social level, d . L. Anroniu s
Zeno, surnamed Great and The Best Man (M&yw; 'ArlOtEU;), who served as a military
tribune in the Legio XII Fulrninata but was allowed by the emperor, 'the most manifest

of the gods ', the right ro wear purple (as a sign of royal descent) and who was high priest
of Imperator Caesar Augustus in Asia (AE 87, 929; PME A 147 + Suppl, II, 2004 ).
46 Lk. 8, 3; for Chuza, d. HOEHNER (1972), O. c. n. 41, 303 f.

used to translate the Latin procurator: both are very broad terms and, without
further detail, can only be represented by some such word as .administrator ',
especially in the financia l sphere. Th e possibility rem ains open that Chuza wa s
an imp ortant financial offic ial of Antipas."?
In a rather strange pa ssage in Acts (12,20 ff.) a dispute between Agrippa I
and the cities of Tyre and Sidon is related. The citie s had won over th e king's
chamberlain, Blastus, to plead their cause. He mu st hav e been of conside rable
importance at th e roy al court.
Paul once informed the Corinthians (II Cor. 11,32) that he had managed
to escape from Damascus although the ethnarch of king Arer as was attempting
to arrest him. Aretas IV wa s the client king of Nabataean Arabia from 9 B. C.
to A. D. 40: the precise nature of his authority in Damascus is unclear. 'Eth-
narch here is hardly comparable to the title given by the Romans to Hyrcanu s
and Archelaus: the y were appointed to rule an area that could later become a
Roman province. The suggestion has been made that the ethnarch was presi-
dent of a trading colony of Nabataeans in Damascus.f" However, the fact that
the erhnarch could take measures to prevent Paul from leaving Damascus im-
plies th at the cit y wa s under the control of Aretas at the time .
The precise nature of the positions held by the royal officials di scussed
above cannot be determined, but they appear to fit a local Jewish or Arabian
and a Hellenistic milieu rather than a Roman one . However, their authority
came from Roman client king s.

VI. The Roman Governors of[udaea

When Archelaus was deposed in A. D. 6 judaea became an imperial prov-

ince under a go vernor of equestrian status until the Jewish Revolt in 66, except
for the three years (41-4) when Agrippa I was king.

47 If the po sition o f Chuza under Antipas be interpreted within a more Jewish context, it
would be interesting to speculate jf it could be con sidered compar able to th e parnas re-
corded on a pte-135 lead weight of Bar Kochba (published by A. KLONER, Lead Weight s
of Bar Kokhba's Administration, IEJ XL [19901, 58-67). KLONER compares the position
with the Greek ci yopavoll o~ (lit . superviso r or markets ). Thi s may impl y thar whe n Ant ipas
made his nephew (and brother-in-law), the future Agrippa I, agoranom os (los . A.J. XVIII,
6, 2 , 149) in Tiberias, wh ich was after all his capital in Galilee, th e post wa s nor as
unimportant as usually implied.
4K lowe the final point to a suggestion by Prof. H . B. M ATTINGLY. G . W. BOWERSOCK, Roma n
Arabia (Ha rva rd 19 83), 68 is also of the op inion th at Damascus was probabl y under the
con trol of Areras at this time . F. M ILLAR (0 . c. n. 5, 56 f.) concurs. For a discuss ion of the
erhnarch in relation to the co mma nd st ructu re of the Nabataean army, d. D. GRAF, The
Nabataean Arm y and the Coh ortes U/piae Petraeorum, in: The Roman and Byzantine
Army in the East, 1992, ed. E Dt,\BROWA (Krakow 1994), 265ff., esp, 278. That the erh-
narch was a busi ness representa tive is the ar gument of E. A. KNAU F, Zum Ethn ar chen des
Aret as 2 Kor 11 32, ZNTW LXXIV (1 983) , 145 - 7. Th e lead er of the large Jew ish com-
munity in Alexandria was styled erhnarch (jo s. A. J . XIV, 7, 2, 117).
2426 n. B. SADDIN GTON

1. Pontius Pilate

The social origin and previous career of Pontius Pilatus?" are unknow
n. He
governed judaea for the last ten years of the principatc of Tiberius (from
26 to 35
or 36). His title was prefect, as appears from an inscription so from
[---Is Tiberieum/i-i-s-lntius Pilatustiprae fectus ludaleale/l-c-»], "Pontiu
s Pilate,
prefect of judaea, [dedicatedj] (a building ?) in honour of Tiberius".
In the New
Testament he is simply called tlyqlCllV, the generic word for governor.
But josephu s
(B.). II, 169) calls him btitpo7l:o,;, Tacitus (Ann. XV, 44) procura
tor, its Latin
equivalent. But this was after the title of prefect had given way to procura
tor for
governors of small imperial provinces; in any case neither author was
in the use of what we would today wish to regard as technical terms.
Soon after taking up office he ordered the troops he was sending from
(his headquarters as governor) to Jerusalem to display their standar ds which
bore the
image of the emperor on them. Jewish passive resistance forced him
to desist (jos,
B.J. II, 169-74 ). He incurred criticism for spending money from the sacred
of the Temple on the construction of an aqueduc t for Jerusalem (Jos.
B.J. II, 175 -
7). The resultant popular demonstration was suppressed by force. Little
is known
about an incident in which he was reported to have killed some Galilean
s (presuma-
bly subjects of the tetrarch Antipas) while sacrificing (Lk. 13,1). He
attempt ed to
erect votive shields inscribed with the name of the empero r (although
not adorned
with his actual image) in his official residence in Jerusalem. The Jews,
headed by the
four sons of Herod the Great who happened to be in Jerusalem, begged
him to re-
frain. When he refused, they petitioned Tiberius, who ordered the removal
of the
shields (Philo, Leg. 299- 306) . The empero r appeared more responsive
to the feelings
of his subjects than of his representative, the governor. These incidents
(the probable
reason for their being known) illustrate either (innocent?) misunderstandi
ng or a de-
liberate disregard of Jewish religious sensibilities.
Howeve r, a more serious situatio n arose when some Samarit ans
caused a
disturba nce in 35 and his troops killed some and he execute d the
The Samarit ans compla ined to L. Vitellius, the governo r of Syria.
Vitellius sent
Pilate to Rome to answer the charges (Jos. A.J. XVIII, 85-9). It
is not known
what happen ed to Pilate after he arrived in Rome.

2. Felix

Felix,S1 a freedma n, was the brother of Pallas, Claudius' powerfu

l a ratio-
nibus or secretar y of finance (and, as such, a colleague of Narciss
us, discussed
49 E. FASCHER, RE XX (1950), 1322 f.; J.-P. LEMONON, Pilate et Ie
gou vernemen r de la judee:
rextes er monume nts (Paris 1981). Pilate's role in the trial of Jesus cannot
be considered here .
For a valuable analysis, d. F. MILLAR, Reflections on the Trial of Jesus,
in: A Tribute to Geza
Vermes, edd. P. R. DAVIES and R. T. WHITE (JSOT suppl. 100) (Sheffield
1990), 355 ff.
so AE 63, 104.
5 1 PIR A 828; PME A 134 ; SAODINGTON (1980),
J. c. n. 13, 38, 72 bis. Felix' nomen (and
praenom ent are uncertain . Tacitus (Hi st , V, 9, 3) calls him Antonius
Felix , which would
accord with his brother's nomencl ature of M . Antonius Pallas (PIR 2
A 858), impl ying th at
NT 2427

. Felix
above, p. 2419). The brother s claimed descent from the kings of Arcadia 2 D 195),
married three princess es (Suet. CI. 28), the last being Drusilla (PIR
the daughte r of Agrippa I and sister of Agrippa II.
s Cu-
Tacitus (Ann. XII, 54) appears to make Felix joint governor with Ventidiu
that Felix adminis tered Samarit is, while Cumanu s was in charge of
manus, stating
tly exacerb ated by the behavio ur
Galilee. As a result of local disturbances, apparen
C. Ummidius
of the two procura tors, as Tacitus calls them, the governor of Syria,
interven ed. Cumanu s was punishe d, but Felix escaped unscath ed. Jose-
Quadra tus,
r of Cumanu s. Perhaps signifi-
phus , however (B.J. 11,247), makes Felix the successo
be procura tor of Judaea, Samarit is, Galilee and
cantly, he states that Felixwas sent to
Peraea, implyin g that the areas were still being thought of separate ly.
(CI. 28)
The position may perhaps be clarified by reference to Suetonius
in comma nd of auxiliar y regimen ts and of
who cites Claudiu s' placing of Felix
of judaea (cohort ibus et a/is prouinc iaeque Iudaeae praepos uiti as
the provinc e
freedme n. If one assumes
an exampl e of the esteem in which the empero r held
sense speci-
that the regiments which Felix comma nded were in Judaea (in the
s above), it is possible that he did indeed initially serve under
fied by Josephu
functio ns.V presum ably
Cuman us as an auxiliar y prefect with adminis trative
in Samaria , where the difficulties had arisen.
to have
The exact dates of his governo rship are not known: he appears
down the conside rable unrest
been in office from about 52 to 58 or 59. He put
force, includin g that caused by ' the Egyptia n' (Jos.
that occurre d with great
261 H.) referred to in Acts 21,38. Acts gives a large amount of space to
B.J. II,
Felix and
Paul's trialst' before him, and to a private intervie w of Paul with
Drusilla (23-4) .
of Josephus IA.J.
both were freed by Antonia, Claudius ' mother. However , in a passage
disputed and some read
XX, 7, I, 137) his name appears as Claudius Felix: but the text is
would imply that Felix
1tEI!1tEI ... K)~uuotO; <1>~AIKU rather than KAUUOIOV <1>~)~IKU. This
than his mother. Support for the nomen Claudius has
had been freed by Claudius rather
Clemens (cited above,
been sought from epigraph y, especially the inscriptio n of Ti. Mucius
tpo1to; rEI Pucrtoi', ?I.
n. 23) who at one stage held a post under a Ti. Claudius (---lc1ti
it cannot be taken as certain that the procura-
Bur the inscriptio n still cannot be dated, and
or of Syria. Felix' son
tor was Ti . Claudius [Felix]. he may have been an imperial procurat
Agrippin a (PIR 2 A
Agrippa (PIR l A 809) apparent ly had a descenda nt called Antonia
Felix' son and of himself was Antonius . On
887), which suggests th at the nomell of both
JSNT I (1978), 33-
the problem , d. F.F. BRUCE, The Full Name of the Procurat or Felix,
6; C. HEMER, The Name of Felix Again, ibid. XXXI (1987), 45-9; N.
XLIX (1990l, 126-41.
Look at the gentilicium of Felix Procurat or of Judaea, Larornus
- A Note on Tac .
On Felix's position in judaea, d . D. B. SADOINGTON, Felix in Samaria
Suet. CI. 28.1, AClass XXXV (1992), 161 if. P. BRUNT, Charges of
Ann . 12.54.1 and
Early Principar e, Historia X (1961),2 14 ( = IDEM,
Provincia l Maladmi nistratio n under the
Felix was initially a .do-
Roman Imperial Themes [Oxford 1990/, 80) has suggested that
rnanial' procurat or like Herenniu s Capito (discussed below, p. 2429)
52 On such prefects, d. D. B. SADDINGTON, Military
Praefecti with Adminis trative Function s,
Sofia 1987 (Turnovo
Acres du IX· congres internati onal d'epigrap hie grecque er latine,
1987),2 68-74.
The Trial of Sr. Paul. A
.~ .1 On the trials of Paul before Felix and Festus, d . H . W. TAJRA,
Half of the Acts of the Apostles (WUNT R. 2, 35)
Juridical Exegesis of the Second
(Tiibingcn 1989), 109 ff.

3. festus

His successor, Porcius Festus, 'i4 died in office: he was governor from only
58 or 59 to 62. Unrest in Judaea intensified. Festus interrogated Paul on several
occasions - once in the presence of Agrippa II and his sister Bernice - before
sending him to Rome (Ac, 25-6).
Since these three governors feature in several ancient authors, more is
known about their characters and actions than of most other equestrian gover-
nors of imperial provinces, who are little more than names. The reconstruction
of their careers and their assignation to their position in Roman society is a
different matter. Only the social origins of Felix are known: it was not unprece-
dented for an ex-slave to become a governor, but certainly highly unusual:
Tacitus (Hisr, V, 9) goes out of his way to express his disgust. But Claudius
had honoured Felix' brother, Pallas, with the ornamenta praetoria (Tac. Ann.
XII, 53), a high enough distinction for a client king like Agrippa II, but remark-
able for a freedman, whatever his administrative ability (although Narcissus
[cf. above, p. 2426f.) had received the only slightly less prestigious ornamenta
quaestoria [ibid . XI, 38]). As noted above, Felix had produced a royal geneal-
ogy, and had married three'client' princesses, the first of whom was related to
the imperial family. His appointment to Judaea should perhaps be seen against
his brother's position at court.
The names 'Pontius' and 'Porcius' are too frequent to throw light on the
origins of Pilate and Festus. However, the name of the second prefect of J udaea,
M. Ambivius.t> is more instructive. He was in all likelihood the son of an
author quoted by Columella (XII, 4, 2); but as the family is also attested in the
eastern provinces, the governor could have come from the Italian diaspora
there. Gessius F1orus, the last of the procurators, came from Clazomenae (Kara-
tina Island, Iskele, nr, Urla) in Asia Minor: his wife was a friend of Nero's wife
Poppaea (Jos. A.J. XX, 252). Apart from Felix, apparently assimilated to client
kingly status, the early governors of Judaea seem to have been drawn from
Italy or from Italian families that had settled in the East.
More important than social origins was previous service, unknown in the
case of all the Jewish governors before the Revolt of 66. They can only be
compared with the governors of the small imperial provinces of the West. (In
one area, the Coman Alps, client kings alternated with equestrian governors,
as in Judaea.) A representative figure under Tiberius may be cited. Sex. Pedius
Lusianus Hirrurus -" was a senior centurion in a legion who was made prefect
of Raetia and commander of the auxiliaries there. Under Vespasian Sex. Subrius
Dexter, S7 a tribune in the praetorian guard, became governor of Sardinia. AI-

54 LAM BERTZ, RE XXII (1953) 220, no. 36 .

55 jos. A.j. XVIlI, 2, 2, 31, correcting the ·A J.l Pl poi)xo~ of the MSS; PIR 2 A 55 7; R. SYM E,
Three Ambivii, CQ XXXVI (1986),271-6 (=IDEM, Roman Papers V [Oxford 1988).
662-91 .
.10 ILS 2689; SADDINGTON (1986), o. c. n. 5,38, n. 14; (1980), I.e. n. 13,34, no. 38.
57 Tac. Hisr . I, 31, 2; CIL X 8023 f.; SADDINGTON (1987), I.c. n. 52 , 271, no . 26 .

though only a financial administrator, Herennius Capitot" may also be cited,

since he served in Judaea: he is known for having reported the unpaid debts of
the future Agrippa I to Tiberius. After holding a military tribunate in a legion
and the prefecture of an ala he became the administrator of the estates in
judaea which the wife of Augustus had inherited from Herod's sister, Salome.
(He then became a financial administrator of Tiberius.) There is no reason
for denying Pontius Pilatet? and the other julio-Claudian governors of judaea
equestrian military careers before their postings to the province. And there is
no evidence for placing them in the higher ranks of the equestrian order.

VII. City Officials60

Most of Paul's missionary activity was conducted in major cmes of the

eastern provinces of the empire. This resulted in encounters with city officials,
technically known as ' magistrates', from the Roman term magistratus.

1. In Colonies - Philippi and Corinth

Philippi in Macedonia is called a KOA,UlVia in Acts (16,12), a transliteration

of the Latin term: its full name was Colonia Julia Augusta Philippiensis. As
such its two senior magistrates were called duouiri iure dicundo, for which
Acts"! uses the generic word (iPXOV1:l;~ and the term crtpannoi. Strategus was

58 AE 41, 105, Jos. A.j. XVIII 6, 2, 158; Philo , Leg. 199-202; PME H 13; P. FRAccARo,
C. Herennius Capiro di Teate procuratore, Athenaeum XVIII (1940), 136 ff. It is interest-
ing to note that the commission with which Capito is charged in the inscription is an act
of homage to Tiberius. The military commanders and administrative officials of his class
often express a deep loyalty for the emperor.
59 In the connection, an interesting speculation of E. WEBER, Zur Inschrifr des Pontius Pila-
rus, BJ CLXXI (1971), 194-200, may be quoted. He suggests that the prefect may have
taken his cognom en Pilarus (from the legionary pilum) when promoted from the rank s to
the cenrurionare and that he may then ha ve gone via the primipilate (as Sex. Pedius Lusia-
nus Hirrutus did) to equestrian status and his governorship. WEBER, wh ile fully admitting
the tentative nature of his proposal, suggests that this may explain his great devotion to
Tiberius (as shown by his attempts to promote the military aspects of his cult) and his
lack of suitability for the post to which he was sent .
60 For the Roman background to Acts, d. C. J. HEMER, The Book of Acts in the Setting of
Hellenistic History (WUNT 49) (Tubingen 1989 ); The Book of Acts in Its Graeco-Roman
Setting (The Book of Acts in its First Century Setting, 2), ed. D. W. J. GILL and C. GEMPF
(Grand Rapids 1994) .
., Ac. 16, 19; 20; for strategoi in Gre ek-type cities, d . W. SCHWAHN, RE Suppl. VI (1935),
1110, 1112, 1157; SHERWIN-WHITF. (1963), O . Co n. 31 , 92 f.; MASON, O . c. n. 28 above,
87 (no. 5 ); 161. For the co lo urless apxovm;, d. [he vague rou; l1PWtolJ; rft; 110AECl>; lAc.
13, 50) of the autho rities in the colony of Ant ioch towards Pisidia. As J. MOLTHAGEN,
Die ersten Konflikte der Christen in der griechisch-romischen Welt, Historia XL (1991),
4 7 suggest s, they were probably the du ouiri.
2430 D . B. SADDI NGTO N

used to translate the Latin praetor, a term used for the two chief magistrates
of some Roman towns in the republican period. As such, it would probably
have long been obsolete: Acts is probably using the common term strategus,
which is found in many Greek citi es in Asia Minor, for the far less frequent
duovir. The words iure dicundo refer to the du ovirs' judicial functions, which
they are seen exercising in the case of Paul: they were both the chief executive
and the chief judicial official s of the colony. They were attended by official s
called lictores.f? who bore bundles of rods as instruments of coercio n and
punishment: it is this aspect of their duties which led to the Greek word for
them, txxPOOUXOI rod-bearers') .
One of the duouiri iure dicund o at Philippi was a certain P. Mucius. His
inscriptions:' reads: P. Mucio Q. f. Vol. 7 (= centurioni) leg. VI Fer. fluir. i. d.
Philipp., "to Publius Muciu s, the son of Quintus, of the Voltinian voting constit-
uency, centurion of the Legion VI Ferrara, duovir (i. e., joint mayor) with judicial
powers at Philippi". His brother is also known. He was C. Mucius Scaeva and
had reached the position of primipilus or leadin g centurion in the same legion
(VI Ferrata, which was stationed in Syria), but his tombstone does not record
any civic posts. Dating from nomenclature is never exact, but the fact that one
brother has a cognomen while the other does not make s it likely that they served
under Claudius (when the use of the cognomen by legionary soldiers was only
just coming into fashion) . It is not beyond the bounds of poss ibility that P. Mu-
cius was duovir at Philippi at about the time of Paul 's visit there.
Corinth was also a colony. Paul's trial there took place before the governor
of the province, Gallio. In Romans (16,23) reference is made to a certain Eras-
tus,64 OiKOv6Jlo~ or financial administrator of the city. As such he would have
corresponded to an aedile . An inscription") at Corinth, Erastus pro aedilit[at]e
s(ua) p(ecunia) strauit, "Erastus had this paved at his own expense in return
for his aedileship " , has been thought by some to refer to him .

62 On Iicto rs in pro vincial cities , d . KOBLER, RE XIlI (1926),515 .

63 AE 34, 62 (and 34 , 61 for his brother). P. COLLART, Inscriptions de Philippes, BCH LVII
(1933 ), 354 ff., who first puhli shed the inscr iptions and wh o has a useful discussion of
them, would, however, date them to the 2nd c. o n stylistic grounds. On Phil ipp i, d.
P. COLLART, Philippes. Ville de Macedoine (Ecole francaise d 'Arhenes v) (Paris 1937) (who
lists the Mucii on 262 f.; 294; 34 7); L. BORMANN, Philippi: Stadt und Chri srengerncind c
zur Zeit des Paulus (Suppl. No v. Test. LXXVIII ) (Leiden 1995 ).
64 Ac. 19, 22 ; WILLRICH, RE VI (1907), 351, no . 2. For an attempt to a nalyse the implic a-
tions of a Christian holding the aed ileship in a Roman colon y, d. B. W. WINTER., Seek the
Welfare of the Cit y: Christians as Benefactors and Citizens (Grand Rapids 1994), 179 -
97 . Erastus has appeared as the cognomen of a Virellius Era stus (SEG XXIX 119791 301 1
in Corinth. He wa s probably a descend ant of a freedm an o f, or a per son enfranchised l>y.
the prominent fam ily Vitellius wh ich pr oduced a go vernor of Syria under Tiberius [a bove,
p. 2426). For oix ovouo c, d . E. Z IEBARTH, RE XVII (1937), 2 118.
6~ AE 30, 118; GABBA, no. xxxii; Corinth VIII, iii (The Inscriptions ), ed . J. H . KENT
(Princeton ] 966), no. 232. Cf. D. W. J. GILL, Erastus the Aedile, Tyndale Bulletin XL

(1989 ), 293 ff. On Co rint h and Erastus, d. further J. MURPHy-O' CONNOR., O . c. n. 38 , 37;
A. D. CLARKE, Secular an d Chr ist ian Leadership in Corint h (AGAJU XVIII) (Leiden
1993), 146 , no . 76.
- - ' :-. /

-" 2. In .Greek-type ' Cities - Thes salonica, Athens, Ephesus and Malta

Thessalonica in Macedonia was a free city with its own assembly (the
Ofi~lO~ of Ac. 17,5) and magistrates. These had the uncommon name, particu-
larly found in Macedonia, of politarchs, which is the term used in Acts. The
names of those serving in 44 - 5 have been preserved on an inscription: they
are typically Greek, Niceratus and Heraclides, obviously not Roman citizens. (,6
In Athens, another free city, Paul was taken by some Epicurean and Stoic
philosophers to the Areopagus, where he was asked to explain his ' new teach-
ing ' (Ac, 17,19). The term could be understood literally of the Hill of Ares or
Mars (the Latin equivalent) as a suitable venue from which to address an audi-
ence. But the phrase 'Paul stood in the middle of the Areopagus' (17,22; d.
33) reads somewhat strangely for this interpretation. It seems more probable
that the reference is to the Council of the Areopagus, an ancient Athenian bod y
often referred to simply as the Areopagus.e? Its power had grown in Roman
times, so that it may be regarded as the city council of Athens. It had certain
judicial powers and traditionally supervised religious affairs. It was probably
convened in this capacity to give Paul a hearing. One of its members, Dion y-
sius,6 8 became a convert to Christianity.
At Ephesus, probably also a free city, Paul aroused the antagonism of a
silversmith, Demetrius.s? He is portrayed as a large-scale entrepreneur who was
influential in the trade guilds of the city. He may even have been a V/,;WTCOIO';, an
official responsible for the care of the shrine of Artemis, the chief goddess of
the city.70 He was able to arrange a meeting of the citizen-body (6 ofil.lO::; - Ac.

66 Ac. 17, 6; 8; GABBA, no. XX; F. GSCHNITZER, RE Suppl. XIII (1973), 483. Cf. G. H . R.
HORSLEY, The Polirarchs, in: The Book of Acts in Its First Century Setting o. c. n. 60,
419 ff.
67 For its positi on in the Roman peri od, d. D.]. GEAGAN , The Athenian Constitution after
Sulla (Princeton 1967), 50; T. D. BARNES, An Apostle on Trial, JThS XX (1969) 407 ff. O.
DE BRUYN, La competence de l'Areopage en matiere de proces public s: des origines de la
polis athenienne a la conq uere romaine (Hisroria Einzelschr. 90) (Stuttgart 1995) is not
prepared ro decide between the different interpretations.
68 Ac. 17, 34;jOLICHER, RE V (1903), 996, no. 154 .
69 Ac. 19,24; O. ROSSBACH, RE IV (1901), 2853, no . 130 ; Suppl.1 (1903), 345 , no. 130.
70 For neopoioi,d. O. SCHULTHESS, RE XVI (1935), 2433. Some have interpreted the statement
that he made silver shrines of Artemis - ltOlWV vcou; apyupou; 'Apt EIlIOOc; (Ac, 19,24) -
as a misunderstanding of the term V£OlltOIOc;, since, although silver statuettes of Artemis have
been discovered, silver shrines have not (SHERWIN-WHITE [19631, o.c . n. 31,90 f.). An inscrip-
tion recording a neopoios Demetrius is known (E. L. HICKS, The Collection of Ancient Greek
Inscriptions in the British Museum [London 1890J Ill, 578; Inschriften von Ephesus 1578 Al,
but the date is not certain and the name Demetrius tOO common to claim identity. G. M .
ROGERS, however, Demetrios of Ephesos: Silversmith and Neopoiosi ; Belleren Turk 1., 198
(1987),877-82, has argued that, in spite of the inconclusiveness of the above evidence, it is
indeed likely that Demetriu s was a neopoios. At one stage the neopoioi were involved in the
enrolment of new citizens of Ephesus. ROGERS suggests that Demetrius, in his campaign
against the Jewish Paul, was attempting to capitalize on the Ephesians' hostility to citizenship
for Jews in the city. But whether this was still an issue at this date is uncertain ,
°ApYlJPOK01tOl or silversmiths honoured the Asiar ch and YPUIl ~lat£U; Ti. Claudius Aristio
menti oned below (Inschriften von Ephesos 425 , I. 10 ).
2432 D. B. SADDI N CiTO N

19,30) in the theatre. In Greek cities distinctions were made between regular
assemblies (d. EVVOllOs EKKA1']OIU of 19,39) and irregul ar one s."! The official
who managed to calm the riotous assembl y (19,32) called by Demetrius with
the suggestion that the matter be brought before a regular assembly was the
YPUllIlU'r.Us: originally clerk of the city council, the grammateus had risen to
become its chief executive officer and it is as such th at he is depicted in Acts.71
Although Paul wanted to attend the assembly, certain of the Asiarchs "!
advised him not to. The precise function of the Asiarch is not clear: he must
have been connected in some way with the KOIVOV or provincial council of
Asia. However, he was apparently not synonymou s with the Archiereus or
High Priest of the imperial cult. The office goes back to the republican period.
Srrabo?" names one, Pythodorus; he was an extremely wealthy man who con-
sorted with Pompey and Caesar. In Ephesu s Asiarchs became prominent at the
time the imperial cult was given special impetus under Domitian: Ti. Claudius
Aristio " may be cited . He was thrice Asiarch and city clerk igrammateusv,
besides holding other prestigious city offices. The Asiarchate appears to have
been a city rather than a provincial office. The use of the plural Asiarchs in
Acts probably refers to previous holders of the position as well as the current
occupant: there was only one Asiarch in office each year.
When after his appeal to the emperor Paul was shipwrecked on his way
to Rome on Malta, he healed the father of a local dignitary, who then enter-
tained him. He was Publius, 6 1tproto<; 'Tis vTJOOIJ, ' the first man of the island '.
The title was official: d. A. Castricius Prudens who was designated 1tProto;
MEAt-tatooV, ' first of the Maltese', on an inscriprion.?" Prudens was a Roman
citizen and a member of the equestrian order and a priest of Augustus. Unfortu-
nately Acts only gives Publius' praenomen (a not uncommon wa y of referring
to Romans in the Greek world). There can be little doubt that Publius was also
a Roman, and possibly even of equestrian status.
It is not surprising that the leaders of religious movements like Jesus (and
John the Baptist) should attract the attention of a client king and a Roman gover-

71 SHERWIN-WHITE ( 1963 ), o.c, n. 31, 84 f., 87f.

12 Ac. 19,35; SCHULTHESS, RE VII (19 12 ), 1750 ; 176 5; d. C. SCHULTE, Die Grarnrn are is
von Ephesos. Schreiberarnt und Sozialstruktur in einer Prov inzhauptsradr des riimischen
Kaiserreiches (HABES 15) (Stuttgart 1994), who, however, does not discus s the YPUIlIlU-
tE~ of Acts.
73 Ac. 19,31; BRANDIS, RE 11 (1896 ), 1564 ff.; L. R. TAYLOR, The Asiarchs, in: The Begin-
nings of Christianity (1933), o.c. n. 6; V, 256-62. For recent discussion of the Asiarchs,
d. S. J. FRIESEN, Twice Neokoros: Ephesus, Asia and the Cult of the Flavian Imperial
Family (Religions in the Graeeo-Roman World , 116) (Leiden 1993), 215 ff . and R. A.
KEARSLEY, The Asiarchs, in: The Book of Acts in Its Graeeo -Roman Settin g, o . e. n. 60,
363 ff. For a silversmith who was also a neopoios, d . Inschriften von Ephe sos 2212.
74 Strabo XIV, 1,42, C649; H . H. SCHMITT, RE XXIV (1963), 592, no. 13 b.
75 For Ti, Claudius Aristo, d. PIR2 C 788; Inschrifren von Ephesos 424; 425; SCHULTE, o. c.
n.72, 158 , no . 57. He is mentioned as a man of prominence by Pliny the Younger (Ep.
VI, 31, 3, where he is called princeps Ephesiorumi ,
76 Ae. 28 , 7; IG XIV 601; GA8BA, no . xvii. For Malt a, d. J. WEISS, RE XV (1931), 54 3,
no. 11.

nor in judaea and its surroundings; nor perhaps that their followers should con-
tinue to conflict with authority at this level in judaea thereafter. What is of interest
is that the missionizing Paul was important enough to be dealt with by a governor
of Achaia and the chief authorities in the cities where his activities aroused opposi -
tion. But even more significant is that he appears to have been treated on equal
terms by two Roman officers, a tribune and a centurion, a .city' official (possibly
even of equestrian status) in Malta, leading citizens of the province of Asia Minor
and even a governor of Cyprus. This is probably testimony less to his Roman
citizenship, than to his education and culture, and perhaps even to the interest
which the growing movement he was promoting could arouse.


A. Names in the New Testament

Agrippa I: 2422f.; 2425; 2427; 2429
Agrippa II: 24 I 6f.; 2423; 2427f.
Anripas: 24 I2f.; 2422; 2425f.
Archelaus: 2414; 2418; 2422; 2425
Aretas: 2425
Berternice: 2424; 2428
Blastus: 2425
Chuza: 2424
Claudius Lysias: 2413 n. 10; 2416
Cornelius: 2414-6
Cyrenius: s. v. Quirinius
Demetrius: 2431
Dionysius: 2431
Drusilla: 2427
Erastus: 2430
Felix: 2426; 2428
Festus: 2416; 2419; 2424; 2428
Gallio: 2420; 2430
Herod Antipas: s. v. Anripas
Herod the Gre at: 2414; 2421 -4; 2429
Joanna: 2424
John the Baptist: 2412; 2417; 2419; 2432
Julius: 2417
Narcissus: 2419; 2426 ; 2428
Paul : 2416-21; 2424f. ; 2427-33
Pilate: 2414; 2426; 2428f.
Pontius Pilate: s. v. Pilare
Porcius Festus: s. v. Festus
Publius: 2432
Quirinius: s. v. Sulpicius
Sergius Paulus: 2420
Sulpicius Quirinius: 241 7; 241 9

B. Other Names
Aemilius Secundus: 241 7; 2420
Agrippa : 242 7 n. 51
Ambivius: 2428
Anronia Agrippina: 242711.51
Babatha: 241 5 n. 15; 2417 11. 25
Castriciu s Prudens : 2432
Claudius Aristio: 24 .~2
Claudius Balbillus: 2416
Claudius Clconymus: 2416
Claudius Dernocrares: 2416
Claudius Philinus: 2416
Erastus: 2430
Gessius F1orus: 2428
Heraclides: 2431
Herennius Capito: 2427 n. 5 I; 2429
Hyrcanus: 2421; 2425
Longinu s: 2414
Mucius : 2430
Mucius Scaeva: 2430
Niceratus: 2431
Obulnius: 2417
Pallas: 2426; 2428
Pedius Lusianus Hirrutus: 2428; 2429 11.59
Petroni us: 2414
Proculus: 2415
Pythodorus: 2432
Salome: 2429
Seneca: 2421
Sergius Paul(l)us : 2420
Subrius Dexter : 2428
Ummidius Quadratus: 242 7
Ventidius Cumanus : 242 7
Vibius Marsu s: 2423
L. Vitellius: 2426; 2430 n. 64

C. Military Ranks
Centurion: 2413-8; 2428; 2430 ; 2433
(Auxiliary) Prefect: 2417 n. 23 & n. 25; 2427; 2429
Primipilus: 2429f.; 2430
Princeps Castro rum: 2418
Princeps Peregrinorum: 2418
Speculator: 2413
Tribunus Militum: 2413; 2416 ; 2429; 2433
EKlltov-rapXTlC; ' 2413 f.
Io:Evtupiwv' 2414

<J1tf;KOlJ/.UTOW 2412
OTpUTOllCliuPX'l ,' 241 8
Xl/.iUPXO; · 2412f. ; 2416

D. Administrative Post s
Aedile : 2430
Asiar ch : 2432
C lie nt King: 24 J I f.; 241 7; 2421 f.; 2424; 24211; 2432
Duoviri : 2429f.
Ethnarch. 2411 ; 2421 f.; 2425
Lictor: 2430
"Magistrate': 2429; 2431
Praetor: 24 30
Prefect: 2410; 2426; 2428
Procurator: 2410; 2425- 8
Tetrarch: 2411; 2422; 2426
iipxwv' 2429
-YPUIlIlUTEV; ' 2432
ElliTPOllO; ' 2424; 2426; 2427 n. 51
iJ-YEIlWV' 2426
VEWllOIO; ' 2431
oixovouoc- 2430
llOAITUPXTJ;;' 2431
llPWTO\' 2429 n. 61
llPOlTO; ' 2432
jXtj30ouxo;;' 2430
<JTPUTTJ-YO; ' 2429

Postscript 1996

2418, n. 27 : For a detailed discussion of Paul 's imprisonment in Rome, d . H . W. TAlRA, The
Martyrdom of St. Paul: Historical and Judicial Context, Traditions and Legends (WUNT
2. Reihe , 6 7) (Tiib ingen 1994), 39ft.
2431 , n. 69: On the status of Ephesus, d . E. GUERBER, Cite Iibre ou stipendiaire? A propos
du srarut juridique d'Ephese a l'epoque du Haut-Ernpire remain, REG CVIII (1995) , 388ff.,
who inclines to the opinion that the city was not ' free' .