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The fourth Roman emperor. He succeeded Caligula (A.D. 41). Though in general he treated the Jews, especially those in Asia and Egypt, with great indulgence, yet about the middle of his reign (A.D. 49) he banished them all from Rome (Acts 18:2). In this edict the Christians were included, as being, as was supposed, a sect of Jews. The Jews, however soon again returned to Rome.
During the reign of this emperor, several persecutions of the Christians by the Jews took place in the dominions of Herod Agrippa, in one of which the apostle James was “killed” (12:2). He died A.D. 54.
Claudius Lysias, a Greek who, having obtained by purchase the privilege of Roman citizenship, took the name of Claudius (Acts 21:31-40; 22:28; 23:26).