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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

prok'-u-ra-ter (epitropos): This word signified in a general sense a steward or bailiff of a private estate, or a financial agent with power of attorney, and the development of the special usage of the word to denote an imperial functionary or official is characteristic of the origin of many departments of administration under the Roman Empire which sprang from the emperor's household. At the time of Augustus, when the domestic quality of these offices had not been entirely lost, the procurators were mostly imperial freedmen. But after the systematic organization of the administration in the 2nd century, the title of procurator was reserved for functionaries of the equestrian class. In fact, the term is so intimately connected with the sphere of official activity of the Roman knights that the expressions "procuratorial career" and "equestrian career" are used synonymously (compare Hirschfeld, Die kaiserlichen Verwaltungsbeamten bib auf Diocletian, 410-65).

During the last century of the Republic, the class of knights (equites) embraced in general all citizens of wealth who were not magistrates or members of the senate. The Roscian Law (67 B.C.) established 400,000 sesterces (about USD18,000 (in 1915), or 3,600 British pounds (in 1915)) as the minimum census rating for membership in this class. The gold ring, tunic with narrow purple border, and privilege of sitting in the first 14 rows at theater were the tokens of knighthood. Augustus added to these the public horse which was conferred henceforth by the emperor and recalled the original military significance of the order. From the time of Augustus the first three decuriae of jurors (judices), each containing 1,000 persons, were filled with knights.

Under the Republic the influence of the equestrian class was chiefly exerted in the financial transactions of the companies which farmed the variable revenues. The importance of the publicani was greatly reduced under the Empire, but the emperors recompensed the knights for this loss of opportunity by entrusting them with a great variety of administrative functions. Military service as prefect or tribune was the preliminary step in the official equestrian career. The highest positions held by members of the equestrian class were called prefectures, and included the prefecture of the guard, of Egypt, of the grain-supply, of the watchmen in Rome, and of the fleet. But between these extremes the title procurator was applied generally to the functionaries whose positions were of imperial origin.

The administration of the fiscus or imperial treasury at Rome and of the finances in the imperial provinces, as well as the collection of fiscal revenues in the senatorial provinces, was in the hands of procurators. They occupied many positions which, on account of their intimate relationship with the person of the monarch, could be safely entrusted only to those whose limited prestige precluded inordinate ambition (Friedlaender, Sittengeschichte Roms 7th edition, Part I, 132-43). Finally, several provinces, where the conditions were unfavorable to the introduction of the ordinary administrative system and Roman public law, were governed as imperial domains by officials of the equestrian class as the emperor's representatives. In Egypt the title prefect (praefectus) was employed permanently as the appellation of the viceroy, and while the same term may have been used originally to denote the governors of this class generally, when their military outweighed their civil functions, yet the designation procurator became at an early date the term of common usage to designate them (Hirschfeld, 382).

Mauretania, Rhaetia, Noricum, Thrace, Cappadocia, Judea and some smaller districts were all, for a time at least, governed by procurators (Tacitus, History i0.11; Dio Cassius lvii.17).

The question concerning the original title of the Roman governors of Judea has arisen because the New Testament employs the word hegemon (Matthew 27:2, 11, 14, 15, 21, 27; Matthew 28:14 Luke 3:1; Luke 20:20 Acts 23:24; Acts 24:1; Acts 26:30), which corresponds with the Latin term, praeses, which might be considered synonymous with either procurator or praefectus (Hirschfeld, 384). There is no inscriptional evidence to establish the nomenclature of the rulers of Palestine before the time of Vespasian, and Hirschfeld is of the opinion that a certain passage in Tacitus (Ann. xv.44) where Pilate is called procurator is not sufficient proof in view of this writer's carelessness in details of this sort. Josephus (Ant., XX, i, 2), however, employs epitropos (procurator) for the time of Claudius, and it is convenient to follow common usage and assume that this title was current from the first.

It was evidently the intention of Augustus that membership in the equestrian class should be a necessary qualification for the procurators who were appointed to govern provinces. But Claudius appointed a freedman, Antonius Felix, brother of the famous minister of finance, Pallas, as procurator of Judea (Suetonius, Claudius xxviii; Tacitus, History v.9). This remained, however, an isolated instance in the annals of Palestine (Hirschfeld, 380), and it is probable, moreover, that Felix was raised to equestrian rank before the governorship was conferred upon him.

The following list of the procurators of Judea is based on Marquardt (Romische Staatsverwaltung, I, 409, 412) and Schurer (Geschichte des judischen Volkes(4), I, 485-585):

Coponius (6 A.D. to circa 10 A.D.)

M. Ambibulus (circa 10-13)

Annius Rufus (circa 13-15)

Valerius Gratus (circa 15-26)

Pontius Pilatus (26-35)

Marcellus (probably 35-38)

Maryllus (38-44)

C. Cuspins Fadus (44-46)

Tiberius Alexander (46-48)

Ventidius Cumanus (48-52) M. Antonius Felix (52-60 or 61)

NOTE.-Marquardt gives his name as Claudius Felix, supposing that he was a freedman of Claudius and therefore took his nomen (Suetonius, Claudius xxviii; Victor, epitome iv, 8); but there is stronger evidence in support of the belief that Felix was a freedman of Antonia, Claudius' mother, like his brother Pallas (Tacitus, Annals xii0.54; Josephus, Ant, XVII1, vi, 4; XX, vii, 1, 2; XX, viii, 9; BJ, II, xii, 8), and accordingly had received the praenomen and nomen of Antonia's father (Josephus, Ant, XVIII, vi, 6).

Portius Festus (61)

Albinus (62-64)

Gessius Florus (65-66)

See , further, GOVERNOR.

George H. Allen

4091. Pilatos -- Pilate, a Roman procurator of Judea
... Pilate, a Roman procurator of Judea. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration:
Pilatos Phonetic Spelling: (pil-at'-os) Short Definition: Pilate Definition ...
// - 6k

5344. Phelix -- "fortunate," Felix, a governor of Judea
... Transliteration: Phelix Phonetic Spelling: (fay'-lix) Short Definition: Felix
Definition: Felix, third name of (Marcus) Antonius Felix, procurator of the Roman ...
// - 7k

1042. Gabbatha -- stone pavement
... Gabbatha Phonetic Spelling: (gab-bath-ah') Short Definition: Gabbatha Definition:
Gabbatha, a sort of paved square, on which the procurator had his judgment ...
// - 6k

2012. epitropos -- an administrator (one having authority)
... Noun, Masculine Transliteration: epitropos Phonetic Spelling: (ep-it'-rop-os) Short
Definition: a steward, guardian Definition: (a) (procurator) a steward, (b ...
// - 6k

4201. Porkios -- Porcius (Festus), a governor of Judea
... Transliteration: Porkios Phonetic Spelling: (por'-kee-os) Short Definition: Porcius
Definition: Porcius, the middle (gentile) name of the procurator Festus. ...
// - 6k

4232. praitorion -- Praetorium (official residence of a governor) ...
... Noun, Neuter Transliteration: praitorion Phonetic Spelling: (prahee-to'-ree-on)
Short Definition: the official residence of the procurator Definition: the ...
// - 7k


Felix is Made Procurator of Judea; as Also Concerning Agrippa ...
... From Fadus The Procurator To Florus. CHAPTER 7. Felix Is Made Procurator Of
Judea; As Also Concerning Agrippa, Junior And His Sisters. ...
/.../josephus/the antiquities of the jews/chapter 7 felix is made.htm

Herod is Made Procurator of all Syria; Malichus is Afraid of Him ...
... Herod Is Made Procurator Of All Syria; Malichus Is Afraid Of Him, And Takes Antipater
Off By Poison; Whereupon The Tribunes Of The Soldiers Are Prevailed With ...
/.../chapter 11 herod is made.htm

Concerning Florus the Procurator, who Necessitated the Jews to ...
... From Fadus The Procurator To Florus. CHAPTER 11. Concerning Florus The Procurator,
Who Necessitated The Jews To Take Up Arms Against The Romans. ...
/.../josephus/the antiquities of the jews/chapter 11 concerning florus the.htm

Caesar Makes Antipater Procurator of Judea; as Does Antipater ...
... Caesar Makes Antipater Procurator Of Judea; As Does Antipater Appoint Phasaelus
To Be Governor Of Jerusalem, And Herod Governor Of Galilee; Who, In Some Time ...
/.../chapter 10 caesar makes antipater.htm

And one Nicodemus, a Jew, Stood Before the Procurator...
... Part I."The Acts of Pilate. First Greek Form. Chapter 5. And one Nicodemus,
a Jew, stood before the procurator� And one Nicodemus ...
/.../unknown/the gospel of nicodemus /chapter 5 and one nicodemus.htm

One of the Jews, Stepping Up, Asked Leave of the Procurator to Say ...
... Chapter 6. One of the Jews, stepping up, asked leave of the procurator to say a
word.� ... The procurator says: If thou wishest to say any thing, say on. ...
/.../unknown/the gospel of nicodemus /chapter 6 one of the.htm

Many Tumults under Cumanus, which were Composed by Quadratus. ...
... CHAPTER 12. Many Tumults Under Cumanus, Which Were Composed By Quadratus. Felix
Is Procurator Of Judea. Agrippa Is Advanced From Chalcis To A Greater Kingdom. ...
/.../chapter 12 many tumults under.htm

The Calamity which Befell the Jews in Jerusalem on the Day of the ...
... 2. But Claudius appointed Agrippa, [456] son of Agrippa, king of the Jews, having
sent Felix [457] as procurator of the whole country of Samaria and Galilee ...
/.../pamphilius/church history/chapter xix the calamity which befell.htm

Having Called a Council, the High Priests and Scribes Annas and ...
... tribunal, and be heard. [1807] And Pilate having called them, says: Tell me
how I, being a procurator, can try a king? They say to him ...
/.../unknown/the gospel of nicodemus /chapter 1 having called a.htm

Chronology of the Apostolic Age.
... Revolt of "Judas of Galilee." Coponius Procurator of Judaea. Marcus Ambivius Procurator.
Tiberius colleague of Augustus. 12. Annius Rufus Procurator (about). ...
/.../history of the christian church volume i/section 23 chronology of the.htm

Smith's Bible Dictionary

The Greek agemon , rendered "governor" in the Authorized Version, is applied in the New Testament to the officer who presided over the imperial province of Judea. It is used of Pontius Pilate, (Matthew 27:1) ... of Felix, Acts 23, 24, and of Festus. (Acts 26:30) It is explained under PROCONSUL that after the battle of Actium, B.C. 27, the provinces of the Roman empire were divided by Augustus into two portions, giving some to the senate and reserving to himself the rest. The imperial provinces were administered by legali . No quaestor came into the emperor's provinces, but the property and revenues of the imperial treasury were administered by procuratores. Sometimes a province was governed by a procurator with the functions of a legatus. This was especially the case with the smaller provinces an the outlying districts of a larger province; and such is the relation in which Judea stood to Syria. The headquarters of the procurator were at Caesarea, (Acts 23:23) where he had a judgment seat, (Acts 25:6) in the audience chamber, (Acts 25:23) and was assisted by a council (Acts 25:12) whom he consulted in cases of difficulty. He was attended by a cohort as body-guard, (Matthew 27:27) and apparently went up to Jerusalem at the time of the high festivals, and there resided at the palace of Herod, in which was the praetorium or "judgment hall." (Matthew 27:27; Mark 15:16) comp. Acts 23:35

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) One who manages another's affairs, either generally or in a special matter; an agent; a proctor.

2. (n.) A governor of a province under the emperors; also, one who had charge of the imperial revenues in a province; as, the procurator of Judea.

... 2. (n.) A governor of a province under the emperors; also, one who had charge of
the imperial revenues in a province; as, the procurator of Judea. ...PROCURATOR. ...
/p/procurator.htm - 13k

Pontius (4 Occurrences)
... After his trial before the Sanhedrin, Jesus was brought to the Roman procurator,
Pilate, who had come up to Jerusalem as usual to preserve order during the ...
/p/pontius.htm - 36k

Pilate (60 Occurrences)
... After his trial before the Sanhedrin, Jesus was brought to the Roman procurator,
Pilate, who had come up to Jerusalem as usual to preserve order during the ...
/p/pilate.htm - 53k

Felix (11 Occurrences)
... Easton's Bible Dictionary Happy, the Roman procurator of Judea before whom
Paul "reasoned" (Acts 24:25). He appears to have expected ...
/f/felix.htm - 15k

Praetorium (8 Occurrences)
... Such a residence might sometimes be in a royal palace, as was probably the case
in Caesarea, where the procurator used Herod's palace (Acts 23:35). ...
/p/praetorium.htm - 14k

... fe'-liks, an-to'-ni-us (Phelix, from Latin felix, "happy"): A Roman procurator of
Judea, appointed in succession to Cumanus by the emperor Claudius. ...
/a/antonius.htm - 10k

Province (66 Occurrences)
... The financial administration of each imperial province was entrusted to a
procurator, that of each senatorial province to a quaestor. ...
/p/province.htm - 38k

Courts (59 Occurrences)
... Only in capital punishment cases must the consent of the procurator be secured,
which is not only clearly stated in John 18:31, but is also evident in the ...
/c/courts.htm - 33k

Judicial (2 Occurrences)
... Only in capital punishment cases must the consent of the procurator be secured,
which is not only clearly stated in John 18:31, but is also evident in the ...
/j/judicial.htm - 25k

Governor (78 Occurrences)
... (2.) The procurator of Judea under the Romans (Matthew 27:2). (Comp. Luke 2:2, where
the verb from which the Greek word so rendered is derived is used.). ...
/g/governor.htm - 48k



Related Terms

Pontius (4 Occurrences)

Pilate (60 Occurrences)

Felix (11 Occurrences)

Praetorium (8 Occurrences)


Province (66 Occurrences)

Courts (59 Occurrences)

Judicial (2 Occurrences)

Governor (78 Occurrences)

Festus (14 Occurrences)

Porcius (1 Occurrence)


Judgment (430 Occurrences)

Sanhedrin (19 Occurrences)

Arrest (22 Occurrences)

Trial (45 Occurrences)

Procure (5 Occurrences)


Judea (50 Occurrences)

Judaea (45 Occurrences)

Lysias (3 Occurrences)

Egyptian (35 Occurrences)

Drusilla (1 Occurrence)

Procorus (1 Occurrence)

Claudius (3 Occurrences)

Caesarea (20 Occurrences)

Cornelius (10 Occurrences)

Annas (4 Occurrences)

Augustus (4 Occurrences)


Edomites (22 Occurrences)

Government (20 Occurrences)

Edom (108 Occurrences)

Herod (45 Occurrences)

Jerusalem (782 Occurrences)

Persecution (22 Occurrences)

Jesus (10891 Occurrences)

New (1850 Occurrences)

Hall (30 Occurrences)

Christ (573 Occurrences)

Taxing (3 Occurrences)

Tax (43 Occurrences)


Army (401 Occurrences)

Rome (12 Occurrences)

Minor (2 Occurrences)

Asia (22 Occurrences)

Testament (13 Occurrences)

Roman (26 Occurrences)


Empire (8 Occurrences)

Old (3966 Occurrences)

Law (670 Occurrences)


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