Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament 
Gallio governed Achaia as a proconsul of praetorian rank. His name was Marcus Annaeus Novatus; but he was adopted by L. Junius Gallio, a Roman orator, and took his name. He was the elder brother of Seneca the philosopher, to whose influence at court he may have owed his governorship. There is no other direct evidence that Gallio governed Achaia than St. Luke’s statement ( Acts 18:12). But Seneca’s reference to Gallio’s catching fever in Achaia and taking a voyage for a change of air so far corroborates St. Luke. Gallio came to Corinth, the residence of the governor, during the time of St. Paul’s labours there (circa, abouta.d. 50-53).*[Note: On the exact date of Gallio’s proconsulship see art. Dates, iii. 3.]Angered by the conversion of prominent members of the synagogue, the Jews took advantage of the new governor’s arrival to lay a charge against St. Paul which they tried to put in such a serious light as to merit a severe penalty. But Gallio was not so complaisant or inexperienced as they hoped. He elicited the true nature of their complaint, and, cutting short the trial, he abruptly dismissed the case as referring only to interpretations of Jewish law, not to any civil wrong or any moral outrage of which Roman law took cognizance.
Two effects of this decision are noted. ( a ) It was a snub which gave the Greek bystanders grounds for venting their animus against the Jews, by seizing and beating Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue. This seems the true interpretation of a scene which has been supposed to describe Jews beating a Christian-or even their own leader-in revenge for their defeat. But such a savage and illegal protest against Gallio’s decision could not have passed unnoticed by him; on the other hand, a public demonstration against the unpopular and disputatious Jews whom he had just dismissed might appear to him a rough sort of justice which he could afford to overlook, especially as it put the seal of popular approval on his action (see Sosthenes).
( b ) The decision seems to have influenced St. Paul in another direction. Gallio being governor of Achaia, his judgment would become a precedent and would have far-reaching influence. It gave St. Paul a new idea of the protection he could gain from the Roman law. Although Judaism was a religio licita , evidently the Imperial Government did not consider Christian preaching illegal. This amounted to a declaration of freedom in religion of immense value to Christians. From this point of view Gallio’s treatment of the Jewish complaint was a landmark in St. Paul’s missionary labour, and did a great deal to confirm his confidence in Roman protection for his preaching.
Gallio’s private character is eulogized by Seneca in glowing terms. He was very lovable and fascinating; amiable, virtuous, just, and witty. The casual glimpse we get of him in Acts 18:12-17 shows him in a favourable light as governor. The clause ‘Gallio cared for none of these things’ does not bear in the least the interpretation put upon it by proverbial Christian philosophy. No doubt he had more than a touch of the Roman aristocrat’s contempt for religious quarrels and for all Jews. But he appears as an astute judge, seeing quickly into the heart of things, firm in his decisions, and not too pompous or punctilious to turn a blind eye to a bit of rough popular horseplay. He seems to have shared the fortunes of his more famous brother, and was put to death by Nero.
Literature.- Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) , article‘Gallio,’ ib. article‘Corinth,’ i. 481; W. M. Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller , 1895, pp. 257-261, The Church in the Roman Empire , 1893, pp. 250, 346-349; R. J. Knowling, Expositor’s Greek Testament , ‘Acts,’ 1900, ad loc. ; F. W. Farrar, Seekers after God , ed. 1879, pp. 16-21.
J. E. Roberts.
Fausset's Bible Dictionary 
Junius Annaeus Gallio, Roman proconsul (Greek, KJV, "deputy ") of Achaia when Paul was at Corinth A.D. 53, under the emperor Claudius. Brother of L. Annaeus Seneca, the philosopher. Adopted into the family, and so took the name, of the rhetorician L. Junins Gallis. His birth name was Marcus Annaeus Novatus (Pliny H. N., 31:33; Tacitus Ann., 15:73, 16:17). He left Achaia "when he began in a fever, often exclaiming that it was not his body, but the place, that had the disease" (Seneca, Ep. 104). "No mortal was ever so sweet to one as Gallio was to all," says his brother, adding: "there is none who does not love Gallio a little, even if he cannot love him more"; "there is such an amount of innate good in him without any savor of art or dissimulation"; "a person proof against plottings." How exactly and undesignedly this independent testimony coincides with Acts 18:12-17!
The Jews plotted to destroy Paul by bringing him before Gallio's judgment seat. But he was not to be entrapped into persecuting Christians by the Jews' spiteful maneuver: "if it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews," said he without waiting even to hear Paul's defense, just as the apostle was about to open his mouth, "reason would that I should bear with you; but since it is (Greek) a question of word and names (namely, whether Jesus is the Christ) and your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such matters. And he drove them from the judgment seat." So the Greeks, sympathizing with the deputy's disgust at the Jews' intolerance, beat Sosthenes the chief ruler of the Jews' synagogue "before the judgment seat." And Gallio winked at it, as the Jewish persecutor was only getting himself what he had intended for Paul. Thus God fulfilled His promise ( Acts 18:10), "Be not afraid, but speak, for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee, for I have much people in this city."
"Gallio cared for none of these things" does not mean he was careless about the thirsts of God (that probably he was from his easy Epicurean-like temper), but with characteristic indifference to an outbreak provoked by the spite of the Jews he took no notice of the assault. Sosthenes himself seems, by Paul's sympathy in trouble, to have been won to Christ, like Crispus ( 1 Corinthians 1:1). Seneca's execution by Nero made Gallio trembling suppliant for his own life (Tacitus Ann., 15:73). Jerome says he committed suicide A.D. 65. Seneca dedicated to him his treatises On Anger and On a Happy Life. The accuracy of Scripture appears in the title "proconsul" (deputy), for Achaia was made a senatorial province by Claudius seven or eight years before Paul's visit, having been previously an imperial province governed by a legate; and the senatorial provinces alone had "proconsuls."
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary 
was the name of the brother of Seneca, the philosopher. He was at first named Marcus Annaeus Novatus; but, being adopted by Lucius Junius Gallio, he took the name of his adoptive father. The Emperor Claudius made him proconsul of Achaia. He was of a mild and agreeable temper. To him his brother Seneca dedicated his books, "Of Anger." He shared in the fortunes of his brothers, as well when out of favour as in their prosperity at court. At length, Nero put him, as well as them, to death. The Jews were enraged at St. Paul for converting many Gentiles, and dragged him to the tribunal of Gallio, who, as proconsul, generally resided at Corinth, Acts 18:12-13 . They accused him of teaching "men to worship God contrary to the law." St. Paul being about to speak, Gallio told the Jews, that if the matter in question were a breach of justice, or an action of a criminal nature, he should think himself obliged to hear them; but, as the dispute was only concerning their law, he would not determine such differences, nor judge them. Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, was beaten by the Greeks before Gallio's seat of justice; but this governor did not concern himself about it. His abstaining from interfering in a religious controversy did credit to his prudence; nevertheless, his name has oddly passed into a reproachful proverb; and a man regardless of all piety is called "a Gallio," and is said "Gallio-like to care for none of these things." Little did this Roman anticipate that his name would be so immortalized.
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible 
GALLIO . The elder brother of Seneca. According to Acts ( Acts 18:12-17 ), he was proconsul of Achala under the Emperor Claudius a.d. 53, when St. Paul was in Corinth. Seneca mentions that his brother contracted fever in Achaia, and thus corroborates Acts. The Jews of Corinth brought St. Paul before Gallio, charging him with persuading men ‘to worship God contrary to the law’ ( Acts 18:13 ). When, however, Gallio found that there was no charge of ‘villainy,’ but only of questions which the Jews as a self-administering community were competent to decide for themselves, he drove them from the judgment-seat ( Acts 18:14 f.). Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, was then dragged before him and beaten; but such ‘Lynch law’ had no effect upon the proconsul ( Acts 18:17 ).
Pliny tells us that Gallio after his consulship travelled from Rome to Egypt in consequence of an attack of hÃ¦morrhage from the lungs. Eusebius quotes Jerome as saying that he committed suicide a.d. 65; it is also said that he as well as Seneca was put to death by Nero; but these reports are unsubstantiated. Seneca speaks of him as a man of extreme amiability of character.
Charles T. P. Grierson.
Holman Bible Dictionary 
Gallio was the son of Marcus Annaeus Seneca, a Spanish orator and financier, and the elder brother of Seneca, the philosopher and tutor of Nero. Lucius Junius Gallio, a rich Roman, adopted Gallio, naming him Lucius Junius Gallio Annaeus. Gallio's name appears on an inscription at Delphi that refers to the 26th acclamation of Claudius as emperor. This places Gallio in office in Corinth between A.D. 51,53. He was apparently proconsul from May 1,51, to May 1,52, though dates a year later are possible. The date gives evidence from outside the Bible for the time Paul was in Corinth and founded the church there.
Finding the climate at Corinth unhealthy, Gallio apparently welcomed the opportunity to return to Rome, where he counseled Nero until he and Seneca joined a conspiracy against the emperor. First Seneca died; then Nero forced Gallio to commit suicide about A.D. 65. See Achaia; Corinth; 1,2Corinthians; Paul; Roman Empire.
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary 
A proconsul of Archaia, under the emperor Claudius, in the time of Paul, Acts 18:12-17 . He was the elder brother of the philosopher Seneca, who describes him as uncommonly amiable and upright. His residence was at Corinth; and when the Jews of the city made an insurrection against Paul, and dragged him before the judgment seat, Gallio refused to entertain their clamorous and unjust demands. The Greeks who were present, pleased with the rebuff the persecuting Jews had received, fell upon Sosthenes their leader, and beat him upon the spot, a mode of retribution that Gallio ought not to have allowed. Like his brother Seneca, he suffered death by order of the tyrant Nero.
Morrish Bible Dictionary 
Roman proconsul of the province of Achaia, before whom Paul was accused; but who drove the Jews away, saying he would be no judge of words, and names, and of their law. Sosthenes was beaten before the judgement seat, but Gallio cared for none of these things. Acts 18:12,14,17 . History states that Gallio was the brother of the philosopher Seneca, who speaks favourably of him. He was involved in the ruin of Seneca under Nero, and though he at first escaped, he afterwards perished.
People's Dictionary of the Bible 
Gallio ( Găl'Li-O ). Marcus Annans Novatus, brother of the eminent philosopher, Lucius Annæus Seneca, was adopted into the family of the rhetorician, Lucius Junius Gallio, and was thenceforth designated Junius Annæus Gallio. To him his brother Seneca dedicated one of his works, De Ira. He was proconsul of Achaia, under the Emperor Claudius, about 53 and 54 a.d.; when Paul was accused before him. Acts 18:12-16.
Easton's Bible Dictionary 
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 
gal´i - ō ( Γαλλίων , Gallı́ōn ): The Roman deputy or proconsul of Achaia, before whom Paul was haled by his Jewish accusers on the apostle's first visit to Corinth, during his second missionary journey ( Acts 18:12-17 ). The trial was not of long duration. Although Gallio extended his protection to the Jewish religion as one of the religions recognized by the state, he contemptuously rejected the claim of the Jews that their law was binding upon all. In the eyes of the proconsul, the only law universally applicable was that of the Roman code and social morality: under neither was the prisoner chargeable; therefore, without even waiting to hear Paul's speech in his own defense, he summarily ordered his lictors to clear the court. Even the subsequent treatment meted out to Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, was to him a matter of indifference. The beating of Sosthenes is ascribed by different readings to "Jews" and to "Greeks," but the incident is referred to by the writer of Acts to show that the sympathies of the populace lay with Paul, and that Gallio made no attempt to suppress them. Gallio has often been instanced as typical of one who is careless or indifferent to religion, yet in the account given of him in Acts, he merely displayed an attitude characteristic of the manner in which Roman governors regarded the religious disputes of the time (compare also Lysias; Felix; Festus ). Trained by his administrative duties to practical thinking and precision of language, he refused to adjudicate the squabbles of what he regarded as an obscure religious sect, whose law was to him a subtle quibbling with "words and names."
According to extra-canonical references, the original name of Gallio was Marcus Annaeus Novatus, but this was changed on his being adopted by the rhetorician, Lucius Junius Gallio. He was born at Cordova, but came to Rome in the reign of Tiberius. He was the brother of the philosopher Seneca, by whom, as also by Statius, reference is made to the affable nature of his character. As Achaia was reconstituted a proconsular province by Claudius in 44 ad, the accession of Gallio to office must have been subsequent to that date, and has been variously placed at 51-53 ad (compare also Knowling in The Expositor's Greek Testament , II, 389-92).
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
(Graecized Γαλλίων ), a son of the rhetorician M. Annaeus Seneca, and elder brother of Seneca the philosopher. His name was originally Ma. Ann. Novatus, but changed to Junius Annaeus (or Annienus) Gallio in consequence of his adoption by L. Junius Gallio the rhetorician (Pliny, Hist. Nat. 31:33; Tacitus, Annal. 16:17; Quintil. Inst. Orat. 3:1, 21; 9:2, 91). Seneca dedicated to him his treatise De Vita Beata, and in the preface to the fourth book of his Naturales Quaestiones describes him as a man universally beloved (comp. Stat. Silv. 2:7, 32); and who, while exempt from all other vices, especially abhorred flattery. Dion Cassius (60:35) mentions a witty but bitter joke which he made in reference to the persons put to death by Claudius. According to Eusebius, he committed suicide before the death of Seneca (Thesaurus Temporum, page 161, Amstel. 1658), but Tacitus speaks of him as alive after that event (Annal. 15:73), and Dion Cassius states that he was put to death by order of Nero (see Antonii Bibl. Hispan. vet. 1:121 sq.). One writer (Gelpe, Defamiliarit. Pauli c. Senec. Lips. 1813, page 18) thinks that Seneca was converted through .the instrumentality of Paul. He was Proconsul ( Ἀνθυπατεύοντος , Tex. rec.; Ἀνθυπάτου Υ̓́ντος , Tischendorf) Of Achaia ( Acts 18:12) under the emperor Claudius, when Paul first visited Corinth. and nobly refused to abet the persecution raised by the Jews against the apostle (see Dannhauer, De Gallionismo, Argent. 1664; also in his Disp. Theol. Page 175 sq.), A.D. 49. (See Achaia). Dr. Lardner has noticed the strict accuracy of Luke in giving him this designation, which is obscured in the Auth. Vers. by the use of the term Deputy (Credibility, part 1, book 1, chapter 1; Works, 1:34). (See Preconsul). He is said to have resigned the government of Achaia on account of the climate not agreeing with his health (see Sieieca, Ep. 104). (See Paul).
Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature 
Gal´lio. Junius Annaeus Gallio, elder brother of Seneca the philosopher. His name was originally M. Ann. Novatus, but changed to Jun. Ann. Gallio in consequence of his adoption by Jun. Gallio the rhetorician. Seneca dedicated to him is treatise De Vita Beata, and in the preface to the fourth book of his Naturales Quæstiones describes him as a man universally beloved; and who, while exempt from all other vices, especially abhorred flattery. According to Eusebius, he committed suicide before the death of Seneca; but Tacitus speaks of him as alive after that event, and Dion Cassius states that he was put to death by order of Nero. He was Proconsul of Achaia under the Emperor Claudius, when Paul first visited Corinth, and nobly refused to abet the persecution raised by the Jews against the Apostle. Dr. Lardner has noticed the strict accuracy of Luke in giving him this designation, which is obscured in the Auth. Vers. by the use of the term deputy.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia 
The Roman proconsul of Achaia in the days of St. Paul, before whom the Jews of Corinth brought an appeal against the latter, but which he treated with careless indifference as no affair of his, in consequence of which his name has become the synonym of an easy-going ruler or prince.
- Gallio from Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament
- Gallio from Fausset's Bible Dictionary
- Gallio from Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary
- Gallio from Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
- Gallio from Holman Bible Dictionary
- Gallio from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
- Gallio from Morrish Bible Dictionary
- Gallio from People's Dictionary of the Bible
- Gallio from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- Gallio from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- Gallio from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
- Gallio from Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature
- Gallio from The Nuttall Encyclopedia