A Roman knight, patron of the arts and friend and counselor of Augustus, Maecenas (d: 8 B.C.) had a reputation for luxurious habits and apparent indolence.



Wayne A. Meeks, The First Urban Christians: The Social World of the Apostle Paul (New Haven/London: Yale Univ. Press, 1983), p. 59. James D.G. Dunn, Romans, Word Biblical Commentary 38 (Dallas: Word Books, 1988), p. 892.


Charles B.E. Cranfield, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1979), p. 784. Similarly Peter Lampe, Die stadtrömischen Christen in den ersten beiden Jahrhunderten (Tübingen: Mohr, 2nd ed., 1989), p. 451.


Colin J. Hemer, The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History (Tübingen: Mohr, 1989), p. 233.


In a letter (Aegyptische Urkunden aus den Königlichen zu Berlin, Griechische Urkunden [BGU], vol. 2, n. 423) dated at the beginning of the second century A.D., Apion from Egypt announces to his family that on arrival at the naval base of Misenum in Italy he was given the service name of Antonius Maximus. In a subsequent letter (BGU, vol. 2, n. 632) he uses that name alone; see John L. White, Light from Ancient Letters, Foundations & Facets: NT (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1986), p. 159.


A.N. Sherwin-White, The Roman Citizenship (Oxford: Clarendon, 2nd ed., 1973) pp. 322–336; Jerome Carcopino, Daily Life in Ancient Rome (London: Penguin, 1981), p. 72.


The highly ambiguous reference in Dio Cassius, History 67:14.3, is sometimes interpreted to mean that he was executed for being a Christian.


William Sanday and Arthur C. Headlam, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans (Edinburgh: Clark, 1902), pp. 419–420.


Lampe, Stadtrömischen Christen, p. 151.


Cranfield, Romans, p. 784, n. 1.


Lampe, Stadtrömischen Christen, p. 151.


Juvenal, Satires 3.61–78.


Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, 6:5183b; 6:9053, 9053a.


The technique is illustrated in David Macaulay, City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1974), pp. 104–105.


The moss grew in the impluvium, a rectangular pool that collected rainwater in the middle of the courtyard. The covering kept the water cool and prevented evaporation; Pliny, Natural History 1923–24.


Juvenal, Satires 8.168


Suetonius, Caesar 39.4, in Lives of the 12 Caesars.


Cicero, Against Verres 2.5.30, 80.


According to Pliny, “Cleopatra had a purple linen sail when she came with Mark Antony to Actium, and with the same sail she fled” (Natural History 19.22).


Juvenal speaks of “wintertime, when the arcades are crammed with canvas market-stalls” (Satires 6.153–154). The reference is to the feast of the Saturnalia celebrated December 17–19.


Pace Lampe, “Paulus—Zeltmacher,” Biblische Zeitschrift 31 (1987), pp. 256–261. Ronald F. Hock is also too categorical in claiming that all tents were made of leather and that Paul in consequence would be better described as a leather-worker (The Social Context of Paul’s Ministry: Tentmaking and Apostleship [Philadelphia: Fortress, 1980], pp. 20–21).


A detailed and graphic description of what leather stitching involves is to be found in Tim Severin’s story of the reconstruction of the leather boat in which Irish monks allegedly reached America long before the Vikings (The Brendan Voyage [London: Arrow Books, 1979], pp. 42–46).


Suetonius, Claudius 25.4.


See my St. Paul’s Corinth: Texts and Archaeology (Wilmington, DE: Glazier, 1983), pp. 130–137.


Ernst Henchen, The Acts of the Apostles: A Commentary (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1971), p. 533, note 4.


Nothing lends plausibility to the suggestion of Dunn that they left their business in Rome in the care of trusted slaves and used the expulsion as an opportunity to establish new branches elsewhere (Dunn, Romans, p. 892).


Juvenal, Satires 3.232–314.


Martial, Epigrams 12.57.2–11.


See the description in Strabo, Geography 6.3.7.


Horace, Satires 1.5.


E. Mary Smallwood, The Jews under Roman Rule from Pompey to Diocletian: A Study in Political Relations (Leiden: Brill, 1981), pp. 213–214.


See, for example, Meeks, First Urban Christians, p. 59.


So rightly Haenchen, Acts, p. 533, n. 4.


Dunn, Romans, p. 892.


Ferdinand J. de Waele, “The Roman Market North of the Temple at Corinth,” American Journal of Archaeology 34 (1930), pp. 432–454.


A series of plans is given by R.C. Carrington, “The Ancient Italian Town House,” Antiquity 7 (1933), p. 145.


Excellent syntheses are to be found in V. Chapot, “Taberna,” Dictionnaire des Antiquites grecques et romaines, ed. C. Daremberg and E. Saglio (Paris: Hachette, 1899), vol. 5, pp. 8–11, and K. Schneider, “Taberna,” Real-Encyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, ed. Wilhelm Kroll and Karl Mittelhaus (Stuttgart: Metzler, 1932), second series, vol. 4, pp. 1863–1872.


Juvenal, Satires 3.204–207.


Martial, Epigrams 12.32.


G. Theissen, The Social Setting of Pauline Christianity: Essays on Corinth (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1982), p. 90; and Lampe, Stadtrömischen Christen, p. 160.


Pliny, Natural History 2.47.


In the judgment of many scholars, 2 Timothy was not written by Paul. I disagree because when 2 Timothy is treated apart from 1 Timothy and Titus, it becomes clear that it contains nothing that militates against Pauline authenticity (see my “2 Timothy Contrasted with 1 Timothy and Titus,” Revue biblique 98 [1991], pp. 403–418).


Adolph van Harnack of the University of Berlin has argued that the qualities reflected in the Epistle to the Hebrews were such that they pointed to Prisca and Aquila as the authors, with the former playing the more active role (“Probabilia über die Adresse und den Verfasser des Hebräerbriefs,” Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 1 [1900], pp. 16–41). According to this argument, it would have been originally composed for members of their house-church, but soon became public. Male chauvinism, van Harnack claims, is the reason why it passed into general circulation without any author being named: A Church that had repudiated (see 1 Timothy 2:11–14) the equality that Paul had recognized in women (1 Corinthians 11:5) could hardly accept as authoritative a letter composed by a woman! Attractive as this hypothesis is in its recognition of the important role that women played in the first Christian generation, it shatters on one word: the masculine Greek participle in Hebrews 11:32 (epileipsei me gar diêgoumenon hos chronos peri Gedeon…) shows the author to be a man! (See Ceslaus Spicq, L’epitre aux Hebreux [Paris: Gabalda, 1952], vol. 1, pp. 205–206.)