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People's Dictionary of the Bible
Roman Empire. The empire of Rome succeeded the Macedonian empire founded by Philip and Alexander. It controlled the greater part of the then known world. The references to the Roman dominion in the Bible chiefly allude to the empire in its earlier history, including the reigns of Augustus, Tiberius, Claudius, and Nero. The extent and power of the empire during this period were greater than at any earlier and possibly than at any later time. It reached to the Atlantic on the west, the Euphrates on the east, the African desert, the Nile cataracts, and the Arabian deserts on the south, the Rhine, the Danube, and the Black Sea on the north. It also conquered Great Britain. Augustus divided the provinces into two classes—1. Imperial. 2. Senatorial. These divisions are recognized in the New Testament. The ruler of a senatorial province is "proconsul," and of an imperial province a "governor." Thus Cyrenius was governor of Syria. Luke 2:2. Pilate, Felix, and Festus are spoken of as "governors," that is, procurators, of Judæa. Matthew 27:2; Acts 23:24; Acts 24:27.
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Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Roman Empire'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/rpd/r/roman-empire.html. 1893.