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Reference: Gallio


A proconsul of Archaia, under the emperor Claudius, in the time of Paul, Ac 18:12-17. He was the elder brother of the philosopher Seneca, who describes him as uncommonly amiable and upright. His residence was at Corinth; and when the Jews of the city made an insurrection against Paul, and dragged him before the judgment seat, Gallio refused to entertain their clamorous and unjust demands. The Greeks who were present, pleased with the rebuff the persecuting Jews had received, fell upon Sosthenes their leader, and beat him upon the spot, a mode of retribution that Gallio ought not to have allowed. Like his brother Seneca, he suffered death by order of the tyrant Nero.

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the elder brother of Seneca the philosopher, who was tutor and for some time minister of the emperor Nero. He was "deputy", i.e., proconsul, as in Revised Version, of Achaia, under the emperor Claudius, when Paul visited Corinth (Ac 18:12). The word used here by Luke in describing the rank of Gallio shows his accuracy. Achaia was a senatorial province under Claudius, and the governor of such a province was called a "proconsul." He is spoken of by his contemporaries as "sweet Gallio," and is described as a most popular and affectionate man. When the Jews brought Paul before his tribunal on the charge of persuading "men to worship God contrary to the law" (Ac 18:13), he refused to listen to them, and "drave them from the judgment seat" (Ac 18:16).

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Junius Annaeus Gallio, Roman proconsul (Greek, KJV, "deputy ") of Achaia when Paul was at Corinth A.D. 53, under the emperor Claudius. Brother of L. Annaeus Seneca, the philosopher. Adopted into the family, and so took the name, of the rhetorician L. Junins Gallis. His birth name was Marcus Annaeus Novatus (Pliny H. N., 31:33; Tacitus Ann., 15:73, 16:17). He left Achaia "when he began in a fever, often exclaiming that it was not his body, but the place, that had the disease" (Seneca, Ep. 104). "No mortal was ever so sweet to one as Gallio was to all," says his brother, adding: "there is none who does not love Gallio a little, even if he cannot love him more"; "there is such an amount of innate good in him without any savor of art or dissimulation"; "a person proof against plottings." How exactly and undesignedly this independent testimony coincides with Ac 18:12-17!

The Jews plotted to destroy Paul by bringing him before Gallio's judgment seat. But he was not to be entrapped into persecuting Christians by the Jews' spiteful maneuver: "if it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews," said he without waiting even to hear Paul's defense, just as the apostle was about to open his mouth, "reason would that I should bear with you; but since it is (Greek) a question of word and names (namely, whether Jesus is the Christ) and your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such matters. And he drove them from the judgment seat." So the Greeks, sympathizing with the deputy's disgust at the Jews' intolerance, beat Sosthenes the chief ruler of the Jews' synagogue "before the judgment seat." And Gallio winked at it, as the Jewish persecutor was only getting himself what he had intended for Paul. Thus God fulfilled His promise (Ac 18:10), "Be not afraid, but speak, for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee, for I have much people in this city."

Gallio cared for none of these things does not mean he was careless about the thirsts of God (that probably he was from his easy Epicurean-like temper), but with characteristic indifference to an outbreak provoked by the spite of the Jews he took no notice of the assault. Sosthenes himself seems, by Paul's sympathy in trouble, to have been won to Christ, like Crispus (1Co 1:1). Seneca's execution by Nero made Gallio trembling suppliant for his own life (Tacitus Ann., 15:73). Jerome says he committed suicide A.D. 65. Seneca dedicated to him his treatises On Anger and On a Happy Life. The accuracy of Scripture appears in the title "proconsul" (deputy), for Achaia was made a senatorial province by Claudius seven or eight years before Paul's visit, having been previously an imperial province governed by a legate; and the senatorial provinces alone had "proconsuls."

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The elder brother of Seneca. According to Acts (Ac 18:12-17), he was proconsul of Achala under the Emperor Claudius a.d. 53, when St. Paul was in Corinth. Seneca mentions that his brother contracted fever in Achaia, and thus corroborates Acts. The Jews of Corinth brought St. Paul before Gallio, charging him with persuading men 'to worship God contrary to the law' (Ac 18:13). When, however, Gallio found that there was no charge of 'villainy,' but only of questions which the Jews as a self-administering community were competent to decide for themselves, he drove them from the judgment-seat (Ac 18:14 f.). Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, was then dragged before him and beaten; but such 'Lynch law' had no effect upon the proconsul (Ac 18:17).

Pliny tells us that Gallio after his consulship travelled from Rome to Egypt in consequence of an attack of h

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Roman proconsul of the province of Achaia, before whom Paul was accused; but who drove the Jews away, saying he would be no judge of words, and names, and of their law. Sosthenes was beaten before the judgement seat, but Gallio cared for none of these things. Ac 18:12,14,17. History states that Gallio was the brother of the philosopher Seneca, who speaks favourably of him. He was involved in the ruin of Seneca under Nero, and though he at first escaped, he afterwards perished.

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(one who lives on milk), Junius Annaeus Gallio, the Roman proconsul of Achaia when St. Paul was at Corinth, A.D. 53, under the emperor Claudius.

Ac 18:12

He was brother to Lucius Annaeus Seneca, the philosopher. Jerome in the Chronicle of Eusebius says that he committed suicide in 65 A.D. Winer thinks he was put to death by Nero.

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GALLIO was the name of the brother of Seneca, the philosopher. He was at first named Marcus Annaeus Novatus; but, being adopted by Lucius Junius Gallio, he took the name of his adoptive father. The Emperor Claudius made him proconsul of Achaia. He was of a mild and agreeable temper. To him his brother Seneca dedicated his books, "Of Anger." He shared in the fortunes of his brothers, as well when out of favour as in their prosperity at court. At length, Nero put him, as well as them, to death. The Jews were enraged at St. Paul for converting many Gentiles, and dragged him to the tribunal of Gallio, who, as proconsul, generally resided at Corinth, Ac 18:12-13. They accused him of teaching "men to worship God contrary to the law." St. Paul being about to speak, Gallio told the Jews, that if the matter in question were a breach of justice, or an action of a criminal nature, he should think himself obliged to hear them; but, as the dispute was only concerning their law, he would not determine such differences, nor judge them. Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, was beaten by the Greeks before Gallio's seat of justice; but this governor did not concern himself about it. His abstaining from interfering in a religious controversy did credit to his prudence; nevertheless, his name has oddly passed into a reproachful proverb; and a man regardless of all piety is called "a Gallio," and is said "Gallio-like to care for none of these things." Little did this Roman anticipate that his name would be so immortalized.

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