(Pubʹli·us) [popular, common].
A wealthy land-owning resident of Malta who kindly entertained Paul and those with him for three days after their shipwreck on the island. Paul, in turn, healed Publius’ father of fever and dysentery.—Acts 28:7, 8.
Publius was “the principal man of the island.” In this instance such a designation appears to denote an official title comparable to governor, probably denoting the leading Roman officer on the island. Ancient inscriptions such as “Primate of Malta” confirm this commonly known titular use of the Greek expression “principal man” on Malta.