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English Bible Dictionary

Praetorium

 

(in the Revised Version translated palace,) (Matthew 27:27; John 18:28,33; 19:3) the headquarters of the Roman military governor, wherever he happened to be. In time of peace some one of the best buildings of the city which, was the residence of the proconsul or praetor, was selected for this purpose. Thus at Caesarea that of Herod the Great was occupied by Felix, (Acts 23:35) and at Jerusalem the new palace erected by the same prince was the residence of Pilate, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. After the Roman power was established in Judea, a Roman guard was always maintained in the Antonia. The praetorian camp at Rome, to which St. Paul refers, (Philemon 1:13) was erected by the emperor Tiberius, acting under the advice of Sejanus. It stood outside the walls, at some distance short of the fourth milestone. St. Paul appears to have been permitted, for the space of two years, to lodge, so to speak, "within the rules" of the praetorium, (Acts 28:30) Although still under the custody of a soldier.

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