849. The Asiarchae

Acts 19:31  •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 11
Acts 19:3131And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre. (Acts 19:31). Certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theater.
The Asiarchae were officers who were chosen to superintend the public games which were held in honor of the gods and of the Roman emperors. Their duties being semi-religions, they are by some authorities called priests, and their office is called a priesthood. Every year ten of the most prominent citizens of the chief cities of proconsular Asia were chosen to the office of Asiarchae for the term of one year, though eligible to reappointment. They were of necessity men of great wealth, since the games at which they officiated were very costly, and the Asiarchae were themselves obliged to meet the entire expense. When officiating they were clad in purple and crowned with garlands. Whether the entire number superintended the games, or only one was selected from the ten to preside while the others assisted, is a point of controversy not yet settled.