|Town Clerk |
grammateus. An officer originally appointed to record the laws and decrees of the state, mid to read them in public; but in Asia Minor, under the Roman empire, authorized to preside over popular assemblies and submit questions to their vote, as inscriptions on marbles testify; in short, governors of single cities and districts, and named as such on the coins; sometimes also entitled "chief priests"; a kind of state secretary. The town clerk at, Ephesus appeased the mob gathered by Demetrius the silversmith against the gospel preachers (Acts 19:35-41).
His speech is a model of judiciousness, and perfectly carried his point. Such excitement, he reasons, is undignified in Ephesians, seeing that their devotion to Diana of Ephesus is beyond question. It is unreasonable, since the men apprehended are neither church robbers nor blasphemers, so ye ought to do nothing rashly; if even there were grounds against them, there are legal means of redress open, without resorting to illegal; lastly, we are in danger of being called in question by Roman authority for this uproar (see Proverbs 15:23). Boeckh mentions an Ephesian inscription, No. 2990 C. and H. ii. 80. "Munatius the townn clerk and ruler of Asia" (Asiarch).