Friday, September 21, 2007

archaeology series 4:Lysanius

In Luke's Gospel, we read John the Baptist began his ministry "when ...Lysanius was district ruler of Abilene (Luke 3:1)

Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,

*However this was challenged since there had only been known a Lysanias who ruled and Abilene who died in 34 BCE

*An inscription in Abilene was discovered mentioning another Lysanius who was tetrarch(district ruler) during the reign of Tiberius. The inscription was for the dedication of a temple and says “for the salvation of the Lord’s imperial and their whole household, by Nymphaeus, a freedman of Lysanius the Tetrarch"

Lords Imperial' was a technical title given jointly to Emperor Tiberius and his mother Livia, widow of Augustus, so this inscription must have been made between AD 14, when Tiberius became emperor, and AD 29, when Livia died.

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