The Gallio Inscription
(a.k.a. Delphi Inscription)

Language: Greek
Medium: limestone
Size: 9 fragments
Length: 11+ lines of writing
Genre: Imperial Decree(?)
Emperor: Claudius (Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus)
Local ruler: Gallio (L. Iunius Gallio Annaeanus)
proconsul of Achaia
Approximate Date: 52 CE
Place of Discovery: Delphi, Greece
Dates of Discovery: 1885—1910
Current Location: École Francaise d'archéologie
Athens, Greece
Inscription number: SIG 2 no. 801 D

(adapted from Deissmann 1912:246
and Conzelmann 1987:152)

letters in blue are reconstructed

by K. C. Hanson
(adapted from Conzelmann 1987:152-53
and Fitzmyer 1990:1330)
TIBERIOS KLAUDIOS KAISAR SEBASTOS GERMANIKOS ARCIEREUS MEGISTOS DHMARCIKHS EXOU- 1 Tiber[ius Claudius C]aes[ar August]us G[ermanicus, Highest Priest, invested with tribunician auth]ority
SIAS TO IB AUTOKRATWR TO KS PATHR PATRIDOS UPATOS TO E TIMHTHS DELFWN TH POLEI CAIREIN 2 [for the twelfth time, acclaimed Imperator for t]he twenty-sixth time, F[ather of the Fa]therland, [Consul for the fifth time, Censor, sends greetings to the city of the Delphians.]
PAL AI MENTH POLEI TWN DELFWN PROQUMOS EGENOMHN . . . KAI EUNOUS ES AR- 3 For a lo[ng time I have been well] dispos[ed toward t]he ci[ty] of Delph[i, but also solicitous for its]
CHS AEI D ETHRHSA THN QRHSKEI AN TOU APOLLWNOS TOU PUQIOU . . . OSA DE 4 [pro]sperity, and I have always protec[ted th]e cul[t of t]he [Pythian Apol[lo .... But]
NUN LEGETAI KAI POLEITWN ERIDES EKEINAI W. . . KAQWS LOUKIOS IOU- 5 now [since] it is said to be desti[tu]te of [citi]zens, as [L. Ju]nius
NIOS GALLIWN O FILOS MOU KAI ANQUPATOS THS ACAIAS EGRAYEN . . . DIA TOUTO SUGCWRW UMAS 6 Gallio, my fr[iend] an[d procon]sul [recently reported to me; and being desirous that Delphi]
ETI EXEIN TON PROTERON... 7 should continue to retain [inta]ct its for[mer rank, I] ord[er you to in]vite [well-born people also from]

8 [ot]her cities [to Delphi as new inhabitants and to]

9 all[ow] them [and their children to have all the] privi[leges of Del]phi

10 as being citi[zens on equal and like (basis)]. For i[f] so[me . . .]

11 were to trans[fer as citi]zens [to these regions, ...]


1. How does this document help date Paul's encounter with Gallio described in Acts 18:12?

2. What is the intention of Claudius's "social engineering"?
3. Why is the issue of Roman citizenship for the people of Delphi so important in this inscription? How does Roman citizenship become important for Paul in the book of Acts? (Read Acts 21:39; 22:28)
4. What long-term purposes would an inscription such as this serve, as opposed to just putting it in a letter?

    Conzelmann, Hans. Acts of the Apostles. Hermeneia. Translated by James Limburg et al. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1987.
    Deissmann, Adolf. St. Paul: A Study in Social and Religious History. Translated by L. R. M. Strachan. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1912.
    Dittenberger, Wilhelm, editor. Sylloge Inscriptionem Graecorum. 4 vols. 3rd ed. Leipzig: Hirzel, 1915. (Abbrev. SIG)
    Fitzmyer, Joseph A. "Paul." In New Jerome Biblical Commentary, edited by Raymond E. Brown et al., 1329-37. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1990.
    Hacker, Klaus. "Gallio." In The Anchor Bible Dictionary, edited by David Noel Freedman, 2.901-2. New York: Doubleday, 1992.
    Hemer, Colin J. "Observations on Pauline Chronology." In Pauline Studies: Essays Presented to Professor F. F. Bruce on His 70th Birthday, edited by Donald A. Hagner and Murray J. Harris, 3-18. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980.
    Jones, A. H. M. "Procurators and Prefects in the Early Principate." In Studies in Roman Government and Law. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1960.
    Rapske, Brian. Paul in Roman Custody. The Books of Acts in its First Century Setting, vol. 3. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994.

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Last Modified: 13 July 2010