Lucius Junius Gallio Annaeanus

"Gallio" redirects here. For other uses, see Gallio (disambiguation).

Lucius Junius Gallio Annaeanus or Gallio was a Roman senator and brother of famous writer Seneca. He is best known for his impartial judgment of a legal case involving Paul the Apostle in Corinth.


Gallio (originally named Lucius Annaeus Novatus) was the son of the rhetorician Seneca the Elder and the elder brother of Seneca the Younger, was born in Corduba (Cordova) c. 5 BC. He was adopted by Lucius Junius Gallio, a rhetorician of some repute, from whom he took the name of Junius Gallio. His brother Seneca, who dedicated to him the treatises De Ira and De Vita Beata, speaks of the charm of his disposition, also alluded to by the poet Statius (Silvae, ii.7, 32). It is probable that he was banished to Corsica with his brother, and that both returned together to Rome when Agrippina selected Seneca to be tutor to Nero. Towards the close of the reign of Claudius, Gallio was proconsul of the newly constituted senatorial province of Achaea, but seems to have been compelled by ill-health to resign the post within a few years. He was referred to by Claudius as "my friend and proconsul" in the Delphi Inscription circa 52.

Gallio was a suffect consul in the mid-50s[1] and Cassius Dio records that he introduced Nero's performances.[2] Not long after the death of his brother, Seneca, Gallio (according to Tacitus, Ann. 15.73) was attacked in the Senate by Salienus Clemens, who accused him of being a "parricide and public enemy", though the Senate unanimously appealed to Salienus not to profit "from public misfortunes to satisfy a private animosity".[3] He did not survive this reprieve long. When his second brother, Annaeus Mela, opened his veins after being accused of involvement in a conspiracy (Tacitus, Ann. 16.17), Gallio seems to have committed suicide, perhaps under instruction in 65 at the age 64.[4]

Gallio and the book of Acts

According to the Book of Acts he dismissed the charge brought by the Jews against the Apostle Paul. (Acts 18:12-17) His behaviour on this occasion ("but Gallio cared for none of these things", v. 17) showed his disregard for Jewish sensitivities, and also the impartial attitude of Roman officials towards Christianity in its early days. Gallio's tenure can be fairly accurately dated to between 51-52 AD.[5] Therefore, the events of Acts 18 can be dated to this period. This is significant because it is the most accurately known date in the life of Paul.[6]

See also


  1. "L. Junius Annaeus Gallio, was suffect consul in the mid-50s AD, perhaps in 54." Robert C. Knapp, Roman Córdoba (University of California Press, 1992) ISBN 9780520096769 p.42. "L. Junius Gallio did hold consulship in 55 or 56". Anthony Barrett, Agrippina: Sex, Power and Politics in the Early Empire (Routledge, 1999) ISBN 9780415208673 p.280. "Gallio reached the consulship, probably in 55". Miriam T. Griffin, Nero: The End of a Dynasty (Routledge, 1987) ISBN 0415214645 p.78. E. Mary Smallwood, "Consules Suffecti of A.D. 55", in Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, Bd. 17, H. 3 (Jul., 1968), p. 384.
  2. Miriam T. Griffin, Nero: The End of a Dynasty (Routledge, 1987) ISBN 0415214645 p.45, relying on Dio 61.20, 2-3.
  3. Vasily Rudich, Political Dissidence Under Nero: The Price of Dissimulation (Routledge, 1993) ISBN 9780415069519 p.117. And Steven Rutledge, Imperial Inquisitions: Prosecutors and Informants from Tiberius to Domitian (Routledge, 2001) ISBN 9780415237000 p.169.
  4. Vasily Rudich, Political Dissidence Under Nero: The Price of Dissimulation (Routledge, 1993) ISBN 9780415069519 p.117.
  5. John Drane,"An Introduction to the Bible",Lion, 1990, p.634-635
  6. Pauline Chronology: His Life and Missionary Work, from Catholic Resources by Felix Just, S.J.


  • Ancient sources: Tacitus, Annals, xv.73; Dio Cassius, lx.35, lxii.25.
  • Bruce Winter, "Rehabilitating Gallio and his Judgement in Acts 18:14-15", Tyndale Bulletin 57.2 (2006) 291-308.
  • Sir W. M. Ramsay, St Paul the Traveller, pp. 257–261
  • Cowan, H. (1899). "Gallio". In James Hastings. A Dictionary of the Bible. II. pp. 105–106. 
  • An interesting reconstruction is given by Anatole France in Sur la pierre blanche.
  • F. L. Lucas's story “The Hydra (A.D. 53)” in The Woman Clothed with the Sun, and other stories (Cassell, London, 1937; Simon & Schuster, N.Y., 1938) focuses on Gallio at the time of Paul's trial. "A Greek trader, a chance acquaintance of Judas Iscariot, comes to tell the Roman Governor of Corinth 'the real truth about this religious quarrel among the Jews', but is dissuaded by the tolerant old man from taking risks for Truth" (Time and Tide, August 14, 1937).

External links

Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "article name needed". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

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