Italian Band, Italian Cohort

ITALIAN BAND, ITALIAN COHORT (σπει̂ρα ̓Ιταλική). A unit of the Rom. army (Acts 10:1).

A unit called Cohors II Italica is known to have been in Caesarea, a.d. 69-157. It was composed of troops mustered in Italy and holding Rom. citizenship. Because there is no clear evidence for any such unit prior to a.d. 69 some have doubted the story of Cornelius. Ramsay, however, has ascertained the presence of such a unit in Syria in 69, which he maintains heightens the probability of one in Caesarea in 41-44. A centurion like Cornelius could have been in Caesarea at the time indicated, even though his cohort may have been on duty elsewhere.