Historical questions about the veracity of Luke's portrait of Paul are important and valid. But I focus here on the social status which the author of Acts attributes to Paul. In terms of the highly stratified society of his world, where did Luke(4) imagine Paul fitting? Where did he wish to locate him? I suggest that Luke portrays Paul in the company of the elite of his world, acting comfortably in the role of a citizen trained for public duties.(5) In terms of his social status, Paul appears as a retainer to the elites of Jerusalem and as a person who can speak eloquently to Greek philosophers, Roman proconsuls and Jewish kings. He enjoys the patronage of elites. He resides, moreover, in many of the most honorable cities of the Empire, suggesting a high level of sophistication for him.(6)
Thus I am bringing to the study of Acts questions treated more appropriately in cultural anthropology and social description.(7) How does one discern Paul's status?(8) What does this mean in the cultural world of Luke? What value is given in terms of honor to Paul's social location or to the cities which he either visits or in which he resides? Such social and cultural questions require historical scholars to supplement their traditional methods of inquiry and bibliography. The present study will use the work of Gerhard Lenski to map out the levels of social stratification common to the type of society to which Paul belonged.(9) In addition to this, considerations of honor, especially as this relates to cities and citizenship, will be employed from the field of classical studies and cultural anthropology with a view to locating Paul in an honorable environment.(10) New questions warrant new methods of investigation, and the materials used here are increasingly being employed by traditional scholarly investigation.
2.0 Prosopography and Social Stratification
Gerd Theissen and Wayne Meeks have each attempted to describe the social composition of Pauline urban groups.(11) Theissen's interest lies in the social description of the Corinthian congregation, namely, its composition of mostly "lower classes" with some "upper class" people. He basically performs a prosopographical analysis both of the persons named in 1 Corinthians and the offices mentioned. He concludes that "the majority of the Corinthians known to us by name probably enjoyed high social status."(12) His study employs little in terms of formal sociological modeling to differentiate various strata both among the upper and lower classes. And it is no fault of his that we learn nothing about Paul's own status.
Meeks, on the other hand, attempted to describe "the social level of Pauline Christians" using more explicit measurements of social stratification. Noting that "class" is an inappropriate category for close description of ancient populations, he suggests that we examine references to the Roman "orders" and inquire about what constitutes "status."(13) He then presents a prosopographical survey of named figures in both the Pauline letters and the Acts of the Apostles.(14)
Theissen, Meeks and others(15) have pioneered new scholarly approaches to social description. But their particular studies are limited to strictly historical issues(16) and tend to focus on the data in the letters of Paul. The guiding issue behind most of these studies has been the question of whether the early christians belonged to upper or lower classes.(17) Rarely does a scholar engaged in this sort of study ask about the rhetorical strategy of the author of Acts, i.e., whether he consciously attempts to portray Paul and the people in his documents as belonging to a more respectable social stratum. The rhetorical importance of names, offices and labels is outside the concerns of social description. Prosopography, moreover, has its limits.(18) Nor is social description always possible or adequate without more formal appreciation of social theory. Thus, this study asks a set of questions and employs a method different from investigations which were either strictly historical inquiry or rigorous social description.
This study, moreover, even though it will employ concepts and methods from cultural anthropology, aims at interpretation, not simply history or description.(19) It also considers the rhetoric of Luke's social location of Paul. It is our hypothesis that Luke has positioned Paul in the retainer level of the social strata common in ancient cities. As such, Luke portrays him in the employ of upper-strata elites; he states that Paul was educated to perform as a citizen at home in both the public courts and the halls of political power. Luke consciously presents him as an urbane person, at home in the great cities of the empire, the client of elites, and a very honorable person. This sort of information simply cannot be gleaned from Paul's letters and would appear to be at variance with the presentation of himself in those documents. But such seems to be the Lukan rhetorical aim in his presentation of Paul's social location.
3.0 Social Location: Toward a Useful Model
Many recent scholars have begun to use the work of Gerhard Lenski(20) as a useful tool for gaining a sense of the radical stratification of the social world of antiquity.(21) The part of Lenski's work pertinent to this study is the description of advanced agrarian societies, which adequately describes at a macro level the Roman empire of the time of both Paul and Luke. It was characterized, he argues, by "marked social inequality . . . pronounced differences in power, privilege and honor" associated with mature agrarian societies.(22) Thus Lenski sets out to describe nine levels of social status, beginning with the imperial and urban elite at the top of the pyramid and concluding with artisans, untouchables and expendibles at the bottom.
Lenski's description of social stratification involves another model, the pre-industrial city, which has been adequately described for New Testament readers by Richard Rohrbaugh.(23) The importance of Rohrbaugh's studies lies in its appreciation of the fact that the elites lived safely and elegantly in cities and that they were assisted by a retainer class which served their interests. Yet the bulk of the city's population consisted of merchants and artisans, some of whom were well off, but most of whom lived at a subsistence level, at best. This model of the ancient city presupposes that the bulk of the total population dwelt in villages and lived as subsistence peasant farmers (90%), while the remaining 10% (elites, their retainers, merchants and artisans) lived in cities. Acts describes Paul as an urban person, who, while he may travel through the countryside (16:1-7), lodges in cities and deals with all the levels of the ancient stratified city, especially the elites.
Briefly, then, how does Lenski describe the social stratification of an advanced agrarian society?
(1) Ruler. At the top is the ruler,(24) who might have been a Seleucid or Ptolemy, but in Luke's world was the Roman emperor, Caesar. He enjoyed vast wealth and power; Roman armies pillaged the East in their conquest(25) and all that wealth and newly acquired lands made Caesar the ultimate elite figure in the world. There were, of course, numerous client kings in the East who held their positions through imperial patronage.
(2) Governing Class. This small majority(26) of aristocrats(27) served as the officers and advisors of the ruler.(28) They might be civic as well as military figures. Most held their appointments directly from the ruler.(29) They tended to have vast grants of land, which supported their elite lifestyle and facilitated their civic responsibilities. Lenski estimates that as a group they received at least a quarter of the national income, and together with the ruler, they acquired not less than half of the wealth drained from the land or commerce.
(3) Retainer Class. The governing class maintained in their service "a small army of officials, professional soldiers, household servants and personal retainers."(30) They mediated relationships between the governing elites and the common people.(31) If the governing class was small (1-2%), their retainers constituted another 5% of the population.
(4) Merchants. Although this society was basically agrarian and wealth came from land and farming, there was a modest amount of trade and commerce. Merchants(32) could be quite wealthy, especially those dealing with luxury goods,(33) but generally the majority were poor. Wealthy entrepreneurs were not despised, since elites used them to increase their own wealth,(34) whereas smaller scale merchants were held in contempt.
(5) Priests. In the Greco-Roman world there were many famous temples and shrines, frequently associated with important cities. These "political" structures were maintained by a priestly class,(35) whose food, clothing, shelter, etc. were provided by taxes from the land or benefactions from the elite. Their buildings were often richly endowed and served frequently as repositories of wealth. Priests could perform the role of clerk and diplomat, depending on their literacy and social standing.
(6) Peasants. The subsistence farmers who worked the land and produced the agricultural surplus constituted the bulk of the population.(36)
(7) Artisans. Because they had no land and thus no status or means of making advantageous marriages, the artisans of the city are ranked below peasants.(37) In most agrarian societies, this stratum was recruited from the ranks of landless peasants, either dispossessed or non-inheriting ones. Their ranks were continually replenished from migrants from the countryside. While the urban population represented 5-10% of the total population of the empire, the artisan class constituted about half of that.(38)
(8) Unclean, Degraded and Expendibles. At the very bottom of the social scale were the untouchables, who lived just outside the city. Below them were the expendibles, such as petty criminals, outlaws, beggars, itinerant workers, and those who lived by charity or their wits.(39)
The value of this model lies in its accurate description of the world of urban elites and non-elites, as well as the differences between urban and rural populations in antiquity. When we survey the data in Acts about the people with whom Paul has contact, we can begin to discern a definite pattern in the Lukan rhetoric which portrays Paul exclusively as an urban person of the "retainer" class, who has access to rich merchants, members of the retainer stratum, and even the governing class. Let us use Lenski's model as a template for assessing Luke's social location of Paul according to Acts.
4.0 Reading the Status of Paul in Acts According to the Lenski Model
1. Ruler. Although the narrative never tells us whether Paul ever had his requested audience with the Roman Emperor, he did "appeal to Caesar" (25:11, 21; 26:32). An angelic messenger told Paul in a dream, "You must stand before Caesar" (27:24); and in the Lukan schema of prophecy-fulfillment, a reader might be expected to imagine that the prophetic word of the Lord was fulfilled. At least on the narrative level, Paul is a suitable person to appear before the Emperor.
In regard to client kings, when Ananias is instructed to attend to Paul upon his arrival in Damascus, the appearing Lord says of Paul, "He is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel" (9:15). This prophetic remark is amply fulfilled by Paul's appearance before King Agrippa and his queen, Bernice. Although in the presence of the Roman governor Festus, Paul addresses his remarks directly to the monarch, "I think myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am to make my defense today" (26:2, 19). Having heard Paul, the king declared him innocent (26:32). Although Agrippa is clearly a client king of the Roman emperor, the narrative accords him the status of a ruler in his own right.
2. Governing Class. It will be important to distinguish as best we can between three distinct groups with whom Paul is associated: (a) the governing Jewish elite classes in Jerusalem, (b) the Roman authorities (consuls, proconsuls, governors, tribunes), and (c) the leading citizens of various Greek cities. When Luke introduces Saul, he is a retainer of the governing class in Jerusalem. Paul himself goes to the "high priest" for letters authorizing him to act (9:1-2), apparently a publicly known fact "as the high priest and the whole council of elders bear me witness" (22:5). He persecutes the Way "with the authority and commission of the chief priests" (26:12). Luke, then, portrays Paul as a retainer of the governing class in Jerusalem, who acts as their agent, with their authority, and with official documents from them to legitimate his activities and to support his claims. It is, moreover, no minor item that Paul later appears before the elites of Jerusalem, "the chief priests and all the council" (22:30). Among them Luke lists representatives of the governing elite of Jerusalem: chief priests (23:1-5; 24:1), aristocratic Sadducees (23:6), and elders (24:1). Luke would have us believe that he is no stranger to this group.
The first Roman member of the governing class before whom Paul appears is Sergius Paulus, "proconsul and man of intelligence" (13:7). This person of very high status summoned Paul and sought to hear the word of God. The narrative says that Sergius "believed" (13:12), suggesting that Paul found favor while speaking before this elite person. In Corinth Paul was dragged before Gallio, proconsul of Achaia, in circumstances less than favorable (18:12). Although dismissed by Gallio, Paul was a significant enough person to warrant the attention the highest governing official in the area.
His stay with the two Judean governors, Felix and Festus, was more auspicious. Felix was informed that Paul was a Roman citizen and so deserved special protection from assassination (23:26-33). He had "a rather accurate knowledge of the Way" (24:22) and so deferred judgment until another official, Lysias the tribune, arrived (24:22). Yet Felix kept Paul in custody for two years, and on occasion heard Paul "argue about justice and self-control and future judgment" (24:25), topics hotly debated by the major philosophical schools of the Stoics and Epicureans.(40) Paul then pleaded his case before Festus, the new governor (25:6-12), and was given a full, formal hearing (26:1-32). Although the narrative indicates that Paul remained in prison (24:27), he nevertheless had occasional access to the highest governing authorities in the province and engaged at least one of them regularly in formal conversation.
As regards others, Luke narrates that on one occasion Paul was the guest of a person whom we have reason to evaluate as a member of the governing or elite class. After his shipwreck, "the leading man of the island," Publius, offers Paul hospitality (28:7) and even seeks his influence to cure his ailing father (28:8-9). And he remarks that at Thessalonika, Paul was persuasive to a great number of Greeks and "not a few of the leading women" (gynaikôn tôn prôtôn, 17:4). This cryptic remark does not allow much elaboration, for no details whatsoever are given us; it may be a parallel to Luke 8:2-3.
3. Retainer Class. Both the retainer and the merchant class contain higher and lower ranking retainers, as well as richer and poorer merchants. We take this into account as we investigate the persons with whom Paul typically had social relations.
In recent publications, Anthony Saldarini has argued persuasively that the Pharisees of Judea in the time period described by the gospels and the letters of Paul were themselves members of the retainer class who served the needs and interests of the governing elite.(41) Paul, at least, appears in Acts as a literate person, even a scribe. He claims formal training as an educated, and so literate Pharisee, under a famous teacher, Gamaliel (22:3). As noted above, he acts as agent for the Jerusalem elite, functioning not only as "ambassador" with letters of authorization, but possibly also as "bailiff." When he enters synagogues in the cities of Asia Minor, he is regarded as a literate person, with the ability to discourse on the Scriptures and exhort the group (13:15-16; 14:1).
Luke portrays Paul as sufficiently literate and rhetorically eloquent to engage both Stoics and Epicureans in a formal discourse on the Areopagus in Athens (17:16-31). His discourse contains a description of the Stoic deity in terms of the topos on "providence."(42)
Excluding Cynics, it seems safe to suggest that philosophers in the Greco-Roman world themselves belonged to the retainer class, serving as advisors and teachers to the elites. Luke would have us think of Paul as being a worthy member of this retainer class and as someone to whom they would listen.
When Paul begins his public career at Antioch, he is mentioned in the company of four other persons, some of whom probably belong to the retainer class. Barnabas, a native of Cyprus and a Levite, owned property (4:36-37), which he sold and the proceeds of which he donated to the Jerusalem church. He later acts as the trusted agent of the Jerusalem church to the new foundation of disciples at Antioch (11:22-26), and as their agent to convey funds to the Jerusalem church during famine (11:29-30). These are not the actions of a mere artisan, but of a person of some wealth and standing. Although we are ignorant of the status of "Simeon who is called Niger and Lucius of Cyrene," we are on safer ground concerning "Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch" (13:1). This translation of syntrophos may be too strong, for it may more modestly mean that Manaen was "reared together with" Herod in the royal residences.(43) Perhaps not himself a member of the governing class, he was likely a retainer in the royal household.
In Philippi, Paul ran afoul of certain persons in the city, who first hailed him before the city leaders (archostas, 16:19), and then before the civic "magistrates" (stratêgoi). These persons function as the military and civic officials charged with the order of the city (Herodotus 5.38). They in turn can employ the services of "police" (rabdouchoi), that is, those who "carry the rod," viz., lictors who carry the fasces. The "magistrates" have authority to arrest Paul, chastise him, and then release him. As the narrative unfolds, they simply expel Paul from the city as a troublemaker, but Paul demands of them much more. Humiliated and shamed as a Roman citizen (16:37), he demands from these public officials a formal public apology. Luke does not claim that Paul associated with these "magistrates," but rather that he recognized their social status as members of the retainer class responsible for public order and public reputation. They in turn are made to recognize Paul's own status (citizen) and offer a public acknowledgement of Paul's honorable position.
4. Merchants. The most notable merchant with whom Paul has social contact appears to be Lydia of Philippi. On the sabbath, Paul approached a sacred grove where devout women gathered ("there was a place of prayer") and attracted the attention of Lydia, "from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods" (16:14). Wayne Meeks cites three things which indicate that she was no minor merchant, but enjoyed some wealth and status.(44) "Purple goods" (porphyrpôlis) may mean that she engaged in the dyeing of these goods or the sale of the dyed item. Either way, purple was a luxury item and was bought and worn by the elite.(45) Second, she prevails upon Paul and associates to accept hospitality in her house (16:15), which does not appear to be a small shop on a narrow street with meager living quarters behind or above it. Finally, her name, occupation and origin suggest that she belongs to the Greek-speaking merchants who have settled alongside Italian, agrarian colonists. But these clues do not allow us to designate her a "rich" merchant, yet she acts as a kind of patron to Paul.
5. Priests. The priests most frequently associated with Paul in the early part of his career were the elite high priests of Jerusalem, whom we located above in the governing class. Priests in other cities also had dealings with Paul. During the riot at Ephesus, "some of the Asiarchs (Asiarchôn), who were friends of his (philoi)," sent messengers to him to prevent his engagement in the riot (19:31). According to Lily Taylor, "Asiarchs were the foremost men of the province of Asia, chosen from the wealthiest and the most aristocratic inhabitants of the province."(46) As leaders of a religio-political organization, they promoted the cult of the reigning emperor and with him the goddess Roma.(47) The "asiarchs" mentioned by Luke are said to be "friends" of Paul, which term can readily bear the meaning of patron.(48)
From an historical perspective one must wonder how aristocrats dedicated to the promotion of the cult of the Emperor were possibly interested in Paul and his monotheism. Yet Luke's rhetorical strategy concerning Paul's social location indicates that they were his "friends" and patrons. Moreover, if Luke's own portrayal of these figures as leading aristocrats is correct, then they hardly belong in the priestly class, but should be ranked higher in the governing class.
Luke narrates that after Paul's healing of a crippled man at Lystra, the populace acclaimed Barnabas "Zeus" and Paul "Hermes," because he was the chief spokesman (14:11-12). At this point, "the priest of Zeus," whose temple was in front of the city, came forward with oxen and garlands to honor Paul and Barnabas (14:13). This priest quite accurately fits Lenski's description of a person in charge of the sacred rites at a local shrine. Paul forestalled the reverence offered by this priest, but the incident is noteworthy for two reasons. Paul was in contact with this class of person. More importantly, he was honored as a deity by them (see also 28:6).
6. Artisans. When Paul arrived in Corinth, he "found" a Jew named Aquila and his wife Priscilla. "Because he was of the same trade he stayed with them" (18:2-3). They are tentmakers, or workers in leather; and so, they are clearly artisans. We cannot tell whether they were well off or penurious artisans. This association was entirely natural: Paul found people of his own ethnos (Jews), who plied his trade, and who presumably spoke his language. We may assume that Aquila and Priscilla did not live in the exclusive part of the city reserved for elites, but in one of the many artisan neighborhoods. A certain Crispus lived in that quarter as well. He was the "ruler of the synagogue" (archisynagôgos), and became a believer as well (18:8). Crispus, because of his social position, is probably to be considered an artisan of some means and status.
Although Paul was on good terms with the artisans mentioned above, he becomes the dedicated enemy of Demetrius the silversmith at Ephesus. The latter "brought no little business to the craftsmen," and was able to persuade this group of artisans to riot against Paul (19:23-27). They are persuaded to bring their grievances before the civic magistrates (19:38). The narrative does not indicate that Paul resided in the quarter of the city where Demetrius and his artisan associates worked or that he had any social relations with them.
Luke comments once more about Paul's association with artisans in the story of his final visit to Troas. Paul and his Christian disciples are apparently meeting in an artisan's rooms in an insula. The young boy Eutychus falls from the window on the third story (tristegou, 20:9). We are hardly to imagine a multi-storied house of an aristocrat, for which three stories would be most unusual. Rather, this appears to be an insula, a residence of poor artisans.
Placing Lenski's model as a template over the social relationship in Acts, we gain a sense of the author's rhetorical strategy. Luke claims that Paul was at home with the elites of his world. He depicts him as sufficiently educated so as to engage in philosophical discourse and as trained in forensic rhetoric so as to make numerous public speeches,(49) which is one of the duties of a citizen. Paul is clearly the retainer of the elites of Jerusalem and privy to their circle. In his own right, he is a worthy person suited to discourse with Roman proconsuls and client kings. His patrons are said to be asiarchs, elites of Ephesus, and well-to-do merchants (i.e., Lydia at Philippi). In short, Paul is a very honorable person of relatively high social status, who associates with the elites of his world and is trained to perform suitably at that level of society.
5.0 The Urban and Urbane Paul
One's status and honor were related to one's place of origin. Jesus was dismissed by Nathanael simply because he came from the village of Nazareth (John 1:46), whereas Paul claimed honorable status because he was from Tarsus, "no mean city" (Acts 21:39). We investigate now the honor rating of the various cities which, according to Acts, Paul either visited or in which he resided.(50) As R. Rohrbaugh has shown, there is considerable confusion in Luke-Acts over what is a village, a town, and a city.(51) He quotes Pausanias on what the ancients considered a "city," which native description will serve us well in evaluating the cities of Paul's labor and residence:
. . . if indeed one can give the name of city to those who possess no public buildings, no gymnasium, no theatre, no market-place, no water descending to a fountain, but live in bare shelters just like mountain huts on the edges of ravines (10.4.1).
Pausanias points to the public arenas where honorable males speak, act, see and are seen. Such places denote a vibrant civic life and a sophisticated cultural ambiance. They are the natural places of urban elites.(52) Such buildings, monuments and temples might take up 35 to 50 per cent of the area of an walled city.(53) Apart from death, the worst punishment that could be meted out to a Roman citizen was banishment from Rome to some obscure island or region.
5.1 Honor Rating of Cities. Several sets of evidence help us to appreciate the honor rating of the cities in Acts which Paul visits.(54) First, the author himself comments on the status of the various cities: for example, "Tarsus, no mean city" (21:39) and Philippi, "the leading city of the district of Macedonia" (16:12). Second, other cities were well known as major centers of learning and commerce, such as Antioch, Ephesus and Tarsus. Finally, there are archeological data on these and other cities, indicating that they, too, had public buildings, gymnasia, theaters, market-places, etc. Specific information may or may not have been available to general readers of Acts, but the author presumes some common lore or fame for various cities mentioned.(55)
In terms of the honor one derived from being born and raised in a certain city, we cite the rules from the progymnasmata of Menander Rhetor for composing an encomium on a city. These rules were commonplaces in antiquity, and all who learned to write Greek were schooled in these exercises. They represent, then, general cultural expectations from the Hellenistic world. The very first thing an author should note when composing an encomium on someone is the honor which accrues from being born in an honorable city (or country). Because of its relevance for this study, we cite Menander in full:
If the city has no distinction, you must inquire whether his nation as a whole is considered brave and valiant, or is devoted to literature or the possession of virtues, like the Greek race, or again is distinguished for law, like the Italian, or is courageous, like the Gauls or Paeonians. You must take a few features from the nation . . . arguing that it is inevitable that a man from such a [city or] nation should have such characteristics, and that he stands out among all his praiseworthy compatriots.(56).
Thus it was "inevitable" that a person from such an honorable city would have its honorable characteristics.
Moreover, in terms of the honor rating of cities, it is helpful to note the intense "vanity and rivalry of cities in the matter of rank and titles."(57) Cities in Asia Minor regularly made honor claims to titles such as "metropolis" (mêtropolis), "First and Greatest" (prôtê kai megistê), "autonomous" (autonomê), "Warden of the (Imperial) Temple" (neôkorê), "Inviolable" (asylê), "Friend of Rome" (philê or symmachê Rômaiôn), and the like.(58) According to Dio Chrysostom, Nicea and Nicomedia "contended for primacy" (prôteiôn; Or. 38.24). Nicea, moreover, was rightly flattered to be known as
. . . noble and worthy of renown . . . both as to its power and grandeur, for it is inferior to no city of distinction anywhere, whether in nobility of lineage or in composition of population, comprising as it does, the most illustrious families, not small groups of sorry specimens who came together from this place and from that, but the leaders among both Greeks and Macedonians, and, what is most significant, having had as founders both heroes and gods (Dio Chrysostom, Or. 39.1).
Ephesus and Smyrna engaged in rivalry to be called "the First and Greatest Metropolis of Asia."(59) Miletus was known as "First Settled City of Ionia, Metropolis of Many Great Cities in Pontus and Egypt and in Many Places of the Inhabited World."(60) The titles mattered to the ancients, for they drew part of their personal honor from the honor of the renown city in which they lived. And they were highly jealous of sharing this honor with a neighboring city (see Dio Chrysostom, Or. 38.39).
The scope of this study does not allow us to investigate thoroughly all of the cities of Paul's sojourns and travels.(61) We examine four of them in the light of Pausanias' remarks about what constitutes an honorable city in the popular mind. Since Tarsus is the place of Paul's birth(62) and Luke claims that it is "no mean city," it is a fitting place to begin.
5.1.1 Tarsus. Climaxing a long and glorious history, Tarsus became the capital of the Roman province of Cilicia after its conquest by Pompey. Cicero, when proconsul of the province, resided there (Att. 5.20.3; Fam. 2.17.1).(63) Augustus favored Tarsus(64) by exempting it from taxes and fostered its development as a center of philosophy and rhetoric. In his speeches to Tarsus, Dio Chrysostom(65) spoke of its rank as a "metropolis" from the start and as "the greatest of all the cities of Cilicia" (33.17; 34.7).(66) Strabo praised it as a premier center of learning:
The people of Tarsus have devoted themselves so eagerly, not only to philosophy, but also to the whole round of education in general, that they have surpassed Athens, Alexandria, and any other place that can be named where there have been schools and lectures of philosophers (Geog. 14.5.13; see also 14.5.15).
From excavations at Tarsus, we know that it enjoyed the typical theater, gymnasia, marketplaces, fountains, and the like.(67) Apollonius of Tyana found the city more concerned with luxuries than learning, and so left it (Vita 1.7). But he attests to its wealth, and so its prestige and honor.
5.1.2 Antioch. Josephus called Antioch the third city of the empire, after Rome and Alexandria: ". . . a city which, for extent and opulence, unquestionably ranks third among the cities of the Roman world" (Wars 3.29).(68) It was truly famous for its elegance ("Antioch the Great,"(69) "the Beautiful"(70)), its size,(71) wealth and importance.(72) From coins, we know that Antioch called itself "Antioch, metropolis, sacred, and inviolable, and autonomous, and sovereign, and capital of the East."(73) Its population has been estimated between 200,000 and 400,000.(74) With the Roman conquest, it maintained it importance as a major city, becoming the capital of Roman Syria.(75) As befits a major city, it was encircled with great walls(76); it enjoyed the typical public buildings of a noble city, namely, a great colonnaded street, circus, theater, forum, agora, palace, baths, and the like.(77)
5.1.3 Ephesus. Strabo called this city the largest commercial center in Asia Minor west of the Taurus (Geog. 641). From archeological investigation, we know that it had extensive public buildings: the great temple of Artemis (Acts 19:24, 27-28),(78) a splendid theater (Acts 19:29), as well as several market-places, a number of gymnasia, and many fountains.(79) Since Augustus, it enjoyed the honor of being the capital of the Roman province of Asia, and was acclaimed as "First and Greatest Metropolis of Asia." When Ephesus was praised by Strabo, he followed the conventions of the encomium and lauded the city for its famous temple, its environment and harbor, and finally the famous men from it.(80) In a recent article, Peter Lampe has argued that Luke, at least, was quite familiar with the social and topographical features of Ephesus.(81)
5.1.4 Corinth. This famous and wealthy(82) city was refounded as a Roman colony under Julius Caesar in 44 b.c.e. It enjoyed considerable imperial patronage, first under Augustus and then under Tiberias, when a vast public building program was accomplished. As a result, Corinth was a truly honorable city, with extensive walls (Strabo, Geog. 8.6.21), numerous springs and fountains, an upper and a lower marketplace, theater, temples,(83) fountains, monuments, baths and the like (Pausanias 2.2.6-3.6).(84) It hosted the Isthmian games, second most pretigeous Panehellenic games.(85)
From our investigation of these four cities and from other data in Acts, we can discern how Luke portrays Paul as travelling to and residing in provincial capitals, "no mean cities."(86) Tarsus, Antioch, Ephesus and Corinth were wealthy cities, which enjoyed considerable imperial patronage, and which were for the most part centers of learning. Thus Paul is presented as a citizen of the world,(87) at home in the important cities of the empire. Given the known data about the public buildings in these cities, we are led by Luke to envision Paul under the stoa in the marketplaces, at the theater, and in the various public arenas of the city. Luke tells us that in Corinth Paul "argued in the hall (scholê) of Tyrannus" (Acts 19:10), a recognized place for educated disputation.(88) Luke's positioning of Paul in most of the major cities of the empire constitutes a rhetorical strategy that would have his readers accept Paul as a sophisticated person, at home in all parts of the Hellenistic world and truly an honorable person. Honorable people come from and reside in honorable cities.
5.1.5 Parts of the City. More specifically, in what part of the city does Luke present Paul residing when he arrives or stays? We know from studies of ancient and pre-industrial cities that they were divided into numerous neighborhoods: a central part for the few elites and their retainers and the periphery for the many poor artisans. Thus it matters in what part of the city persons are found and where they belong.(89)
Only three times are we told about Paul's place of residence. Lydia, the dealer in purple clothing, invites Paul to "my house" (16:15). Our problem lies in knowing whether Lydia is a wealthy merchant or an average artisan. At a minimum, she appears to be a person of some means, not the typical struggling artisan; this will reflect on where she lives in Philippi. At Corinth Paul stayed with the artisans Aquila and Prisca (18:2-3), presumably in the artisan part of the city, and even there, one for workers in leather. Finally, Paul was the guest of Publius, "the chief man of the island" of Malta (28:7). He is presumably a landed aristocrat with a fine house. On balance, Paul seems to find patronage in honorable residences, even the homes of wealthy persons. But we note quickly that Paul never resides long in the houses of elites.
Although we know that Paul enters synagogues,(90) Luke presents him in other public places. At Athens, he is frequently found in the marketplace (agora, 17:17); the only other reference to marketplace is that of Philippi, where Paul faces the city magistrates (16:19). Then Luke reports that some philosophers brought Paul to the Areopagus, the site of the council of Athenian elders, who were wealthy oligarchs (19:19).(91) Paul is warned not to enter the theater at Ephesus (19:31), a place frequented by elites and non-elites alike. Finally, at Lystra he seems to be standing before the local temple outside the city (14:13), but it is difficult to determine whether this temple was as famous as the great temple of Artemis at Ephesus (19:27). At a minimum, Luke portrays Paul as a typical male of considerable social status: he regularly appears in public space; he frequently does traditional elite male tasks such as argue, debate and speak boldly in public. Luke would have us think of him as a person at home in places reserved for elites.
6.0 Paul, the Roman Citizen.
In a world of elaborate social hierarchy, it is no minor thing that Luke claims for Paul that he is both a citizen of Tarsus, no mean city (Acts 21:29), and a citizen of Rome (16:37; 22:27-28)(92). As we noted in regard to Paul the urban person, if one's prestige and standing are determined by the city of one's birth, all the more is it related to being a citizen of that city, and especially a Roman citizen. Such an honor was particularly rare among the population of the eastern Mediterranean in this period, and so, as F.F. Bruce remarked, ". . . the few Roman citizens, whether Greek or Jews by birth, would constitute a social elite."(93)
When Paul's citizenship is discussed, scholars have tended to ask strictly historical questions,(94) such as, "If he was born a citizen (Acts 22:28), how did his father gain the honor?" and "How could he prove his citizenship? Did he carry a libellus recording the honor?"(95) There simply are no data for answering these questions; and in this inquiry, we focus on the social status Luke claims for Paul, not the historical verifiability of his claims. More importantly for us are questions touching the "rights and duties" of citizens and the social position implied by citizenship.
Although Sherwin-White regularly speaks of the duties and privileges (munera et honores) of citizenship,(96) these are not clearly spelled out in his study. In terms of rights and privileges, Paul only claims Roman citizenship in forensic contexts: when beaten by the magistrates in Philippi (16:37), when threatened with scourging by the Roman tribune (22:25-27), and when demanding a trial before Caesar (25:10-11, 21; 26:32). Thus we infer that one of the rights Paul claimed was that of "a fair public trial for a citizen accused of any crime, exemption from certain ignominious forms of punishment, and protection from summary execution."(97) Acts says nothing more about the rights of a citizen, but from other studies we infer that some citizens were exempt from certain taxes.(98)
What, then, of the duties? This involves some scenario of what citizenship meant and how it was acquired. Since in all probability, Paul's father or ancestor purchased this rare status,(99) we are allowed to imagine a person of considerable influence and wealth to pay the right bribe to the right official. Such a well-placed person would have had civic obligations to act as patron and benefactor to his city, support its public buildings, and provide for certain of its feasts. None of this is even hinted at in Acts, but Luke surely appreciates the snobbery index that Roman citizenship brings.
The recent study by John Lentz examines the social significance of Paul's "appeal to Caesar" in Acts 25:11, 21 and 26:32. In keeping with the thrust of his study, Lentz argues that on the rhetorical level, whatever the historical situation might have been, such an appeal is best understood as Luke's claim for Paul's high social status.(100) He builds his argument on the following observations: (a) only a very small fraction of cases ever came before the emperor (p 144); (b) the various laws concerning trials favored those of high social status (p 144); (c) Paul's appeal to Caesar is not a legal protest against the abusive authority of a local magistrate, which is the normal rationale for a change of jurisdiction (p 146); and (d) numerous historical examples of change of jurisdiction all involve persons of high rank and status (pp 148-49). Thus Lentz concludes that an appeal to Caesar or to higher legal authority was common for persons of "high social status and reputation, or personal ties to the emperor."(101)
7.0 Conclusions and Further Conversation.
We have used several models from the social sciences to give as much precision as possible to the Lukan presentation of Paul's status and social location. Both Lenski's model about the stratification of ancient agrarian societies and the perspective of honor articulated in cultural anthropology have served to give reliability to the intuitive perception that Luke perceives and presents Paul as a person of considerable honor and social status.
This brief study is but a voice in a chorus, a part of a conversation. It supplements Lentz's recent monograph on the status attributed to Paul by his presentation in terms of the classical virtues of antiquity.(102) If it adds anything to the conversation about Acts, two important questions then surface. First, how historically accurate is Luke's portrait of Paul? In addition to study of the differences between the chronology of Paul's letters and that of Acts and between the theology of his letters and that of his speeches in Acts, we should further investigate the social level of Paul as claimed or implied in his letters and that articulated by the author of Acts.
Second, whatever the historical reality, further inquiry should be made concerning the rhetorical strategy in the presentation of Paul, both in his own letters and in Luke's portrait of him. It is part of Paul's own rhetorical strategy to present himself as weak in public speaking and lacking in rhetoric (1 Cor 1:17; 2:1-5), whereas we have seen that it is characteristic of the Lukan rhetorical argument to present Paul as forensically adept. In his own letters, Paul calls attention to his lack of honor (1 Cor 4:8-13; 2 Cor 4:7-12; 11:21-33).(103)
In contrast, Luke calls
attention at every turn to Paul's honorable status in terms of the cities where he lives, his
associates and "friends," his citizenship, and the like. Much remains to be done, therefore, in
terms of the rhetorical stragegy of each author. Nevertheless, this article has advanced the
conversation on the portrait of Paul in Acts by its careful use of reliable models for the
recovery and articulation of Paul's social status and location.
2. See Charles H. Talbert, Literary Patterns, Theological Themes and the Genre of Luke-Acts (SBLMS 20; Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1974); A. J. Mattill, "The Paul-Jesus Parallels and the Purpose of Luke-Acts: H. H. Evans Reconsidered," NovT 17 (1975): 15-45; and Walter Radl, Paulus und Jesus in lukanischen Dopplewerk: Untersuchungen zu Parallelmotiven im Lukasevangelium und der Apostelgeschichte (Frankfort: Peter Lang, 1975).
3. Jacob Jervell, Luke and the People of God (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1972) 153-83 and his The Unknown Paul (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1984) 52-67 and 68-76; William R. Long, "The Paulusbild in the Trial of Paul in Acts," SBLASP 1983 87-105 and Robert L. Brawley, "Paul in Acts: Aspects of Structure and Characterization," SBLASP 1988 90-105. See especially, Earl Richard, "Luke--Writer, Theologian, Historian: Research and Orientation of the 1970s," BTB 13 (1983): 3-15.
4. On the social location of the author of Acts, see Vernon Robbins, "The Social Location of the Implied Author of Luke-Acts," The Social World of Luke-Acts. Models for Interpretation (Jerome H. Neyrey, ed.; Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1991) 305-32; see also Richard L. Rohrbaugh, "Methodological Considerations in the Debate over the Social Class Status of Early Christians," JAAR 52 (1984) 519-46.
5. In a recent study, John C. Lentz (Luke's Portrait of Paul [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993]) has argued basically the same thesis as I am advancing here. The two studies, however, are worlds apart in terms of the manner in which they describe social status (i.e., the formal use of social science models) and in the items in the text of Acts which might illustrate high status. This is not to disparage Lentz's study, but to indicate that this social-science analysis finds support from more historical studies such as his.
6. Paul's own letters indicate that he visited noble cities such as Corinth (1 Cor 1:1), Ephesus (1 Cor 15:32; 16:8), Philippi (Phil 1:1), and Rome (Rom 1:7). But from these documents we never learn anything about the city, whether it has temples, fountains, schools of philosophy, and the like; nor does Paul comment about the status of the city, either "no mean city" or "leading city of the district," as he does in regard to Tarsus and Philippi respectively. Luke would seem more interested in the honor rating of these cities, as part of his rhetorical agenda.
7. See Jerome H. Neyrey, ed., The Social World of Luke-Acts. Models for Interpretation (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1991). For the letters of Paul, see Wayne A. Meeks, The First Urban Christians. The Social World of the Apostle Paul (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1983).
8. See Ronald F. Hock, "Paul's Tentmaking and the Problem of His Social Class," JBL 97 (1978) 55-64.
9. Gerhard Lenski, Power and Privilege. A Theory of Social Stratification (Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 1984).
10. Basic expositions of the cultural meaning of honor are: J.G. Peristiany, Honour and Shame: The Values of Mediterranean Society (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966); David D. Gilmore, Honor and Shame and the Unity of the Mediterranean (Special publication of the American Anthropological Association no. 22; Washington, D.C.: American Anthropological Association, 1986); adaptations of this material for biblical studies are found in Bruce J. Malina, New Testament World. Insights from Anthropology (rev. ed.; Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1993) 28-62 and Bruce J. Malina and Jerome H. Neyrey, "Honor and Shame in Luke-Acts: Pivotal Values of the Mediterranean World," The Social World of Luke-Acts. Models for Interpretation (J.H. Neyrey, ed.; Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1991) 25-65.
11. Gerd Theissen, "Soziale Schichtung in der korinthischen Gemeinde; Ein Beitrag zur Soziologie des hellenistischen Urchristentum," ZNW 65 (1974) 232-72 translated and reprinted in his The Social Setting of Pauline Christianity (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1982), and Wayne A. Meeks, The First Urban Christians. The Social World of the Apostle Paul, 52-73.
12. Theissen, The Social Setting of Pauline Christianity, 95.
13. Meeks, First Urban Christians, 53-55. In a subsequent study, Meeks enumerates observable indices of status: "Some of the indices of higher status were these: Roman citizenship, especially in the early years of the empire, when it was rare; citizenship in the local polis, compared with resident aliens; among the citizens, the decurions or city councillors of smaller cities; wealth, more and more, preferably inherited rather than worked for, and invested in land rather than trade; family and origin: the older the better, the closer to Rome the better, Greek better than "barbarian"; military office or the status of veteran in a colony; freedom by birth . . ." (Wayne A. Meeks,The Moral World of the First Christians [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1986] 34).
14. Meeks, First Urban Christians, 55-73.
15. See E.A. Judge, "The Early Christians as a Scholastic Community," JRH 1 (1960) 4-15, 125-37 and "The Social Identity of the First Christians: A Question of Method in Religious History," JRH 11 (1980) 201-17.
16. For example, Erastus "the city treasurer" (Romans 16:23) has been interpreted both as a slave (see Meeks, First Urban Christians, 58) and as a citizen who was performing an office which was part of the municipal cursus honorum (see Theissen, The Social Setting of Pauline Christianity, 76-83).
17. See Adolf Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1965) 144; and E.A. Judge, The Social Pattern of Early Christian Groups in the First Century (London: Tyndale Press, 1960).
18. See Thomas F. Carney, "Prosopography: Pitfalls and Payoffs," Phoenix 27 (1973) 156-79.
19. For recent descriptions of social status in antiquity adapted for New Testament readers, see Wayne A. Meeks, The Moral World of the First Christians, 32-38 and John C. Lentz, Luke's Portrait of Paul, 7-22.
20. Gerhard Lenski and Jean Lenski, Human Societies: An Introduction to Macrosociology (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1974), and Gerhard E. Lenski, Power and Privilege. A Theory of Social Stratification.
21. See Anthony J. Saldarini, Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees in Palestinian Society. A Sociological Approach (Wilmington, DL: Michael Glazier, 1988) 35-49; David A. Fiensy, The Social History of Palestine in the Herodian Period (Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1991) 155-76; Dennis C. Duling, "Matthew's Plurisignificant 'Son of David' in Social Science Perspective: Kinship, Kingship, Magic, and Miracle," BTB 22 (1992): 99-116 and his The New Testament. Proclamation and Parenesis, Myth and History (3rd ed.; New York: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1994) 49-50, 55-58, 141-42; and Richard L. Rohrbaugh, "The Social Location of the Marcan Audience," BTB 23 (1993): 114-27.
22. Lenski, Power and Privilege, 210.
23. Richard L. Rohrbaugh, "The City in Luke-Acts, "The Social World of Luke-Acts. Models of Interpretation (Jerome H. Neyrey, ed.; Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers 1991) 125-50 and "The City in the Second Testament," BTB 21 (1991): 67-75.
24. Lenski, Power and Privilege, 210-19.
25. John H. Kautsky, The Politics of Aristocratic Empires (Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina, 1982) 51-56 and 65-66.
26. Lenski, Power and Privilege, 219-30. The Roman governing strata was extremely small in numbers, as Ramsey MacMullen points out: "The senatorial stratum amounted to something like two-thousandths of one percent...Equites probably totalled less than a tenth of one percent. Senators had to have property worth 250,000 times the day's wage of a laborer; equites qualified for their rank by less than half of that estate. In Italy, at its richest moment, in its second largest city (Padua), the equites constituted no more than one percent of the inhabitants; in poorer regions of the empire and in the rural population of every region, equites were of course much scarcer" (pp. 88-89 in his Roman Social Relations; New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984). Comparably, the local aristocracy in the cities of the East would be quite small, perhaps only one percent of the population.
27. MacMullen (Roman Social Relations, 89-90) writes of the local aristocracies: "Between the top and bottom, taking into account in a single glance the entire empire, a range of intermediate wealth made up the aristocracy of small cities. In a given city, however, the aristocracy nevertheless stood upon the summit of a very steep social pyramid." On aristocrats, see J.H. Kautsky, The Politics of Aristocratic Empires, 89-98, and Reinhard Bendix, Kings or People: Power and the Mandate to Rule (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1978) 106.
28. Fiensy (The Social History of Palestine in the Herodian Period, 160-61) offers a further definition of this stratum. One can distinguish between the ruler and his circle of elites and another group of lay aristocrats: "They are called 'elders' (presbyteroi) (Mk. 15:1, Acts 4:5), 'leaders' (proestôtes) (V 194), 'first men' (prôtoi) (V 9, 185), MK 6:21, 'NOTABLES' (gnôrimoi) (B 2.410, 318), 'powerful ones' (dynatoi) (B 2.316, 411), 'those first in rank (timê) and birth (genos) (A 20.123), and 'honored men' (Yoma 6:4)."
29. On the Herodian aristocracy in the first century, see David Fiensy, The Social History of Palestine in the Herodian Period, 157-61.
30. Lenski, Power and Privilege, 243; his full treatment is found on pp. 243-48.
31. Saldarini,Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees, 87-88, 92-94, 137-43 and 155-67.
32. Lenski, Power and Privilege, 248-56.
33. Lenski, Power and Privilege, 253.
34. The attitude of Cicero (De Officiis 1.42.151) is typical in this regard.
35. Lenski, Power and Privilege, 256-66; see also Bruce J. Malina, "'Religion' in the World of Paul: A Preliminary Sketch," BTB 16 (1986) 92-101.
36. Lenski, Power and Privilege, 266-78; Douglas E. Oakman, Jesus and the Economic Questions of His Day (Lewiston: Edwin Mellon Press, 1986) 100-102 and his "The Countryside in Luke-Acts," The Social World of Luke-Acts, 152-64. David Fiensy (The Social History of Palestine in the Herodian Period, 157) calls attention to the "the essential bifurcation of peasant society into aristocrats and peasant." This allows us to appreciate the ancient distinction between urban and rural populations, with the attendant snobbery by urban peoples toward the rural, peasant peoples (Fiensy, 168-69). Thus it matters greatly whether Luke presents Paul as just another "uneducated, common man" from the countryside like Peter and John (Acts 4:13) or as an urban dweller in major cities of the empire.
37. Lenski, Power and Privilege, 278-80.
38. Lenski, Power and Privilege, 279.
39. Lenski, Power and Privilege, 281-84.
40. See J. H. Neyrey, "Acts 17, Epicureans, and Theodicy. A Study in Stereotypes," Greeks, Romans, and Christians (D. Balch, E. Ferguson, W. Meeks, eds.; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1990) 118-34.
41. Anthony J. Saldarini, Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees in Palestinian Society. A Sociological Approach (Wilmington, DL: Michael Glazier, 1988) 277-97; and "The Social Class of the Pharisees in Mark," The Social World of Formative Christianity and Judaism (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988) 69-77.
42. See Jerome H. Neyrey, "Acts 17, Epicureans, and Theodicy," 124-26.
43. LSJ, 1728.
44. Wayne A. Meeks, First Urban Christians, 62.
45. See Frederick W. Danker ("Purple," ABD 5. 557-60) indicates that fine purple clothing, of course, was a luxury item of the rich; he also notes that inexpensive mineral and vegetable dyes were also used to produce approximations. He concludes that "it is not possible to determine that Lydia limited her sale to luxury items or to a specific clientele," p. 558). G. H. R. Horsley, New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity [Macquarie University, 1982] 2.26-28) notes that the name "Lydia" suggests a person of servile status, who drew her name from her place of origin. He hints, moreover, that she may well have been of "Caesar's household" (Phil 4:22), an ex-slave working in Philippi in an industry over which emperors from the time of Nero exercised an imperial monopoly (see Eusebius, H.E. 7.32.2-3).
46. Lily Ross Taylor, "Note XXII. The Asiarchs," The Beginnings of Christianity (Kirsopp Lake and Henry J. Cadbury, eds.; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1979) 5.256-62. Yet there continues to be a critical debate over whether an asiarch was also an archiereus; see R.A. Kearsley, "Asiarchs, Archiereis, and the Archiereia of Asia," GRBS 27 (1986): 183-92 and his "Asiarchs," ABD 1.495-97.
47. Whether an asiarch was necessarily a high priest is controversial; but as Kearsley notes ("Asiarchs," 496), they were highly prominent people: Roman citizens, members of important families, benefactors of the city, supporters of the Roman rulers, and honored by the city as patron-benefactors. They clearly belong to the ruling elite.
48. Examples of clients being called "friends" of kings and the aristocracy include: John 19:12; Josephus, Ant. 12.134 & 298; Philo, Flac. 40; 1 Macc 2:18; 3:38 and 10:65. See also Ernst Bammel, "Philos tou Kaisaros," TZ 77 (1952) 205-10 and P.A. Brunt, "'Amicitia' in the Late Roman Republic," Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 191 (1965) 1-20.
49. Jerome H. Neyrey, "The Forensic Defense Speech and Paul's Trial Speeches in Acts 22-26: Form and Function," Luke-Acts. New Perspectives from the Society of Biblical Literature Seminar (C.H. Talbert, ed.; New York: Crossroad, 1984) 210-24.
50. See William Ramsey, St. Paul the Traveller and Roman Citizen (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1903) and The Cities of St. Paul (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1907); see also A.H.M. Jones, The Greek City ; David Magie, Roman Rule in Asia Minor (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950); and Sherman E. Johnson, Paul the Apostle and His Cities (Wilmington, DL: Michael Glazier, 1987).
51. Richard L. Rohrbaugh, "The Pre-Industrial City in Luke-Acts: Urban Social Relations," The Social World of Luke-Acts, 125-27.
52. Rohrbaugh, "The Pre-Industrial City in Luke-Acts," 133-36.
53. Rodney Stark, "Antioch as the Social Situation for Matthew's Gospel," Social History of the Matthean Community (David Balch, ed.; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991) 192.
54. One author of ancient progymnasmata, Menander Rhetor, has left explicit rules for the "praise of a city" (Menander Rhetor [trans. by D.A. Russell and Nigel Wilson; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981] 33-75). Examples of this praise of cities can be found in the two speeches of Dio Chrysostom on Tarsus, especially Or. 33.17-18, 21. Unfortunately, Luke has given very few details about the various cities of Paul to test whether he was familiar with such encomia. Many of Dio Chrysostom's orations are directed toward cities such as Tarsus and Alexandria, and so offer valuable data on their reputations and how public speakers praised them.
55. Further investigation needs to be done in the Lukan shift of focus from Jesus, peasant of the countryside to the early church, artisans of the urban world. See Harvie M. Coon, "Lucan Perspectives and the City," Missiology 13 (1985)415-18. The change of social location in Luke-Acts has been investigated in terms of a shift from the political-religious institution of the temple to the kinship institution of the family; see John H. Elliott, "Temple versus Household in Luke-Acts: A Contrast in Social Institutions," The Social World of Luke-Acts, 211-40.
56. Menander Rhetor, Treatise II 369.17-370.10.
David57.Magie, Roman Rule in Asia Minor (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950) 2.1496 # 17.
58. Athenaeus contains an excellent illustration of this: "Athenaeus speaks of Rome as 'the populace of the world,' and says that one would not shoot wide of the mark if he called the city of Rome an epitome of the civilized world; so true is it that one may see at a glance all the cities of the world settled there. Most of them he details with their individual traits, such as the 'golden' city of Alexandria, the 'beautiful' city of Antioch, the 'very lovely' city of Nicomedia, and beyond and above these, 'the most radiant of all the towns that Zeus created" (Deipnosophistae 1.20b).
59. See Magie, Roman Rule in Asia Minor, 636.
60. Magie, Roman Rule in Asia Minor, 636 and 1496 # 19.
61. See William M. Ramsey, The Cities of St. Paul (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 1961); Sherman E. Johnson, Paul the Apostle and His Cities (Wilmington, DL: Michael Glazier, 1987); John McRay, Archeology and the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1991) 225-350; and Wayne A. Meeks, First Urban Christians, 9-16, 40-50.
62. Acts 22:3; see W. C. van Unnik, Tarsus or Jerusalem? The City of Paul's Youth (London: SCM, 1962) 6-14; for a revisionist point of view, see Martin Hengel, The Pre-Christian Paul (Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1991) 18-39.
63. For a convenient history of Tarsus, see W. Ruge, "Tarsos," PW 2.4 (1932) 2413-39.
64. See Dio Chrysostom, Or. 34.7 and 25.
65. Dio's two encomia to Tarsus (Or. 33 and 34) are valuable sources of what was considered praiseworthy by the ancients; on these orations, see C. Bradford Welles, "Hellenistic Tarsus," Mélanges de l'Université Saint Joseph 38 (1962): 62-75.
66. It was also known as neôkoros, or "Warden of the (imperial) Temple (Magie, Roman Rule in Asia Minor, 637). On its acclamation as a "metropolis," see Strabo, Geog. 14.5.13.
67. Dio Chrysostom (Or. 33.18) seems to be describing the public buildings of Tarsus when he mentions the praise of a city for its "rivers and baths and fountains and porticoes and a multitude of houses and a wide extent of space." See F.F. Bruce, Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1977) 32-36.
68. Strabo remarked, "Antiocheia is the metropolis (mêtropolis) of Syria. It does not fall much short, either in power or in size, of Seleuceia-on-the-Tigris or Alexandria in Egypt" (16.2.5).
69. Philostratus, Vita Apol. i.16.
70. Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 1.20b; Libanius, Or. 31.9; see Bruce M. Metzger, "Antioch-on-the-Orontes," BA 11 (1948) 72.
71. Libanius remarked, "There is no city in the world in which big size has been united in equal measure with such beautiful situation" (Or. xi.196).
72. John Malalas, The Chronicle, as cited in George Haddad, Aspects of Social Life in Antioch in the Hellenistic-Roman Period (unpublished diss., University of Chicago, 1949)
73. See E. T. Newell, "The Pre-Imperial Coinage of Roman Antioch," Num. Chron. 19 (1919) 69-113; see also John Malalas, The Chronicle, as cited in George Haddad, Aspects of Social Life in Antioch in the Hellenistic-Roman Period, 16. Strabo also reports that Antioch was rightly called a "metropolis" (Geog. 16.2.5).
74. See C. Kraeling, "The Jewish Community at Antioch," JBL 51 (1932) 130-60??
75. See A.H.M. Jones, The Cities of the Eastern Roman Provinces (2nd ed., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971) 241-42.
76. Strabo says, "Antiocheia is . . . a Tetrapolis, since it consists of four parts; and each of the four settlements is fortified both by a common wall and by a wall of its own" (Geog. 16.2.4).
77. For a thorough survey of the public buildings erected in Antioch during the Augustan empire, see Glanville Downey, A History of Antioch in Syria from Seleucus to the Arab Conquest (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961) 169-184; see also his Ancient Antioch (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1963) 75-77, 81-84.
78. Antipater of Sidon ranked the temple of Artemis over all the other honorable wonders of the ancient world: "I have set eyes on the wall of lofty Babylon on which is a road for chariots, and the statue of Zeus by the Alpheus, and the hanging gardens and the colossus of the Son, and the huge labor of the high pyramids, and the vast tomb of Mausolus; but when I saw the house of Artemis that mounted to the clouds,those other marvels lost their brilliancy, and I said, 'Lo, apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught so grand'" (The Greek Anthology 9.58); see also Strabo, Geog. 14.1.22.
79. Richard Oster, "Ephesus," ABD 2.542-48.
80. Strabo, Geog. 14.1.22-25.
81. Peter Lampe, "Acta 19 im Spiegel der ephesischen Inschriften," BZ 36 (1992) 59-76.
82. Strabo repeatedly calls attention to its great wealth (Geog. 8.6.20), which in antiquity was also a claim to great honor.
83. Especially the elegant art work in the temple of Dionysus, see Strabo, Geog. 8.6.23.
84. See Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, St. Paul's Corinth (Wilmington, DL: Michael Glazier, 1983) 25-26 and "The Corinth that Saint Paul Saw," BA 47 (1984) 147-59; J. Wiseman, "Corinth and Rome I: 228B.C.-a.d. 267," ANRW 7.1: 438-548.
85. See Oscar Broneer, "The Apostle Paul and the Isthmian Games," The Biblical Archaeologist Reader (D. N. Freedman and E. F. Campbell, eds.; New York: Anchor Books, 1970) 393-428.
86. See J.L. Kelso, "Key Cities in Paul's Missionary Program," BS 79 (1922) 481-86; M. H. Conn, "Lucan Perspective and the Cities," Missiology 13 (1985) 409-28.
87. See Abraham J. Malherbe, "'Not in a Corner': Early Christian Apologetic in Acts 26:26," SecCent 5 (1985) 193-210.
88. See Stanley K. Stowers, "Social Status: Public Speaking and Private Teaching: The Circumstances of Paul's Preaching Activity," NovT 26 (1984) 60-63.
89. See Rohrbaugh, "The Pre-Industrial City in Luke-Acts," 134-136, 144-45. See Wayne A. Meeks, "Saint Paul of the Cities," Civitas. Religious Interpretation of the City (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1986) 20.
90. See Acts 13:14; 14:1; 17:1; 18:19; it is very difficult to determine whether any of these synagogues were in elite or wealthy parts of the city. We do not know whether they were actual buildings dedicated to this purpose or whether the Jewish worshippers gathered in the house of a patron. If the latter, then this person had some means, namely, a residence large enough to host a sizeable body of people and sufficient wealth to act as a patron.
91. See Hubert M. Martin, "Areopagus," ABD 1.371.
92. Among the standard works on Roman citizenship, see A. N. Sherwin-White, The Roman Citizenship (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1937) and his Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1978) 144-93; and Fritz Schulz, "Roman Registers of Births and Birth Certificates," JRS 32 (1942): 78-91 and 33 (1943) 55-64. On dual citizenship, see H.W. Tajra, The Trial of Paul (WUNT 35; Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr, 1989) 76-89.
93. F. F. Bruce, Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 1977) 38. The remarks of William M. Ramsay (St. Paul the Traveller and Roman Citizen [7th ed.; London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1903] 30-31) remain valid: "According to the law of his country, he was first of all a Roman citizen. That character superseded all others before the law and in the general opinion of society; and placed him amid the aristocracy of any provincial town. In the first century, when the citizenship was still jealously guarded, the civitas may be taken as a proof that his family was one of distinction and at least moderate wealth. It also implies that there was in the surrounds amid which he grew up, a certain amount of friendliness to the Imperial government (for the new citizens in general, and the Jewish citizens in particular, were warm partisans of their protector, the new Imperial régime), and also of pride in a possession that ensured distinction and rank and general respect in Tarsus. As a Roman, Paul had a nomen and praenomen, probably taken from the Roman officer who gave his family civitas."
94. The most recent challenger to the Lukan attestation of Paul's Roman citizenship is Wolfgang Stegemann, "Was der Apostel Paulus ein römischer Bürger?" ZNW 78 (1987) 200-29. As arguments against the historicity of Luke's claim, he cites: (1) Paul's low social class and Jewish background, (2) Paul's silence on this point in his letters, and (3) the apologetic nature of Lukan composition in the parts of Acts where citizenship is affirmed.
95. See A. N. Sherwin-White, Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament, 147.
96. Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament, 144-47; at various places in his study, Claude Nicolet (The World of the Citizen in Republican Rome [Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1980]) discusses the rights and duties of citizens: duties (as soldiers, as munificent benefactors) and rights (basically civic and juridical safeguards; exemption from taxation). See Cicero, de Off. 1.17.53.
97. Bruce, Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free, 39. See Stegemann, "War der Apostel Paulus ein römischer Bürger?" 222-24.
98. Sherwin-White, Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament, 147.
99. Sherwin-White, Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament, 154-55. The Roman tribune who arrested Paul in Acts 22:27 remarks that he paid a considerable sum (pollou kephalaiou) for his citizenship; see James H. Moulton and George Milligan, The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: W. B. Eerdmans, 1974) 342. In a later study, A. N. Sherwin-White ("The Roman Citizenship. A Survey of its Development into a World Franchise," ANRW I.2:23-58) indicates how Rome bestowed citizenship on provinces both west and east as a mode of building and confirming its imperial conquests.
100. John C. Lentz,Luke's Portrait of Paul, 139-53.
101. Lentz, Luke's Portrait of Paul, 151.
See Lentz, Luke's Portrait of Paul, 14 and 62-104.
103. See John T. Fitzgerald, Cracks in the Earthen Vessel. An Examination of the
Catalogues of Hardships in the Corinthian Correspondence (SBLDS 99. Atlanta: Scholars
Jerome H. Neyrey