(γραμματεύς, a scribe, as elsewhere often rendered) is the title ascribed in the A. V. to the magistrate at Ephesus who appeased the mob in the theatre at the time of the tumult excited by Demetrius and his fellow- craftsmen (Ac 19:35). The other primary English versions translate in the same way, except those from the Vulg. (Wycliffe, the Rhemish), which render "scribe." A digest of Bockh's views, in his Staatshaushaltung, respecting the functions of this officer at Athens (there were three grades of the order there) will be found 'in Smith's Dict. of Class. Ant. s.v. "Grammateus." The γραμματεύς, or "town-clerk," at Ephesus was, no doubt, a more important person in that city than any of the public officers designated by that term in Greece (see Creswell, Dissertations, 4:152). The title is preserved on various ancient coins (Wettstein, Nov. Test. 2, 586; Akermann, Numismatic Illustrations, p. 53), which fully illustrate the rank and dignity of the office. It would appear that what may have been the original service of this class of men, viz. to record the laws and decrees of the state and to read them in public, embraced at length especially under the ascendancy of the Romans in Asia Minor, a much wider sphere of duty, so as to make them in some instances, in effect the heads or chiefs of the municipal government and even high-priests (Deyling, Observ. 3,. 383; Krebs, Decreta Rom. p. 362). They were authorized to preside over the 'popular assemblies and submit votes to them, and are mentioned on marbles as acting in that capacity. In cases where they were associated with a superior magistrate, they succeeded to his place and discharged his functions when the latter was absent or had died. "On the subjugation of Asia by the Romans," says Baumstark (Pauly, Encyclop. 3, 949), γραμματεῖς were appointed there in the character of governors of single cities and districts, who even placed their names on the coins of their cities, caused the year to be named from them, and sometimes were allowed to assume the dignity, or at least the name, of Α᾿ρχιερεύς. See Schwartz, Dissertatio de Γραμματεῦσι, Magistratis Civitatum Asiae Proconsulis (Altdorf, 1735); Van Dale, Dissertat. 5, 425; Spanheim, De Usu et Prcest. Numm. 1, 704'; New-Englander. 10:144;' Lewin, St. Paul, 1, 315. SEE ASIARCH.
It is evident, therefore, from Luke's account, as illustrated by ancient records, that the Ephesian town-clerk acted a part entirely appropriate to the character in which he appears. The speech delivered by him, it may be remarked, is the model of a popular harangue. He argues that such excitement as the Ephesians evinced was undignified, inasmuch as they stood above all suspicion in religious matters (Ac 19:35-36); that it was unjustifiable; since they could establish nothing against the men whom they accused (ver. 37); that it was unnecessary, since other means of redress were open to' them (ver. 38, 39); and, finally, if neither pride nor a sense of justice availed anything, fear of the Roman power should restrain them from such illegal proceedings (ver. 40). SEE EPHESUS; SEE PAUL.