Italian Cohors Prima Augusta
Acts 27:1 reports that after his long imprisonment in Caesarea and a hearing before the procurator Festus and king Agrippa II, Paul was handed over to Julius, a centurion of the cohors Augusta, to be transported to Rome. AE 1925, 121, a building inscription discovered in the Hauran mountains near the border of the modern Syria and Jordan, suggests that the cohort might have been garrisoned in that vicinity (IGR III 1136 records another inscription from the area that mentions "cohors Aug..."). The surviving part of the inscription informs the reader that Lucius Obulnius, centurion of the cohors Augusta, accomplished the work in the twenty-eighth year of "the great king Marcus Julius Agrippa, the lord, fried of the emperor, pious, friend of the Romans..." The twenty-eighth year of Agrippa corresponds to 84 or 89 C.E. There is also a similar text from the same region, which records a dedication to Zeus made by the same Lucius Obulinius, a "centurion of the Augustan cohort." It follows from the inscriptions that the cohort served in the army of the kingdom of Agrippa II in the northern Transjordan. It has been suggested that the Augustan cohort of Acts 27 is the cohors I Augusta Thracum equitata civium Romanorum, an originally infantry regiment recruited from the Thracians and later transformed into a partially mounted unit.
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