Acts 22:28

Overview - Acts 22
Paul declares at large how he was converted to the faith,
17 and called to his apostleship.
22 At the very mentioning of the Gentiles the people exclaim on him.
24 He would have been scourged;
25 but claiming the privilege of a Roman, he escapes.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Acts 22:28  (King James Version)
And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.

It is extremely probable that the inhabitants of Tarsus, born in that city, had the same rights and privileges as Roman citizens, in consequence of a grant or charter from Julius Csar, from whom it was called Juliopolis. But if this were not the case, St. Paul's father, or some of his ancestors, might have been rewarded with the freedom of the city of Rome, for his fidelity and bravery in some military service, as Josephus says several of the Jews were; or his father might have obtained it by purchase, as in the instance of the chief captain.