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In 26 CE Pontius Pilate succeeded Valerius Gratus as the Roman Prefect of Judea. An inscription found in Caesarea Maritima in 1961 provides the earliest direct evidence of the presence of Pontius Pilate, "praefectus" of Judea.
Pilate confirmed Caiaphas, who served as High Priest during his entire mandate. Both Philo of Alexandria and Josephus mention extensively Pilate and his political role. They present him as a ruthless governor, ready to use brutal force to repress any dissent and quite insensitive to Jewish religious practice. In 36 CE Marcellus took Pilate' place.
In the four gospels, Pilate plays a central role in the events surrounding the trial and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, a role confirmed by Tacitus in the only extant reference to Pilate in Roman sources. In the Gospel of Mark, Pilate shows an ambiguous attitude toward Jesus; he does not see anything wrong in him yet is eager to "please the crowd."
In Matthew, Pilate washes his hands and blames "all the people" of Jerusalem for their decision.
In Luke, Pilate is actively engaged in the attempt to save Jesus, whom he regards as innocent; Acts, however, blames both Pilate and Herod for gathering together against Jesus (4:27).
In John, Jesus and Pilate friendly converse and the governor appear as a docile instrument of God's plan.
Later Christian tradition
Later Christian tradition was mostly engaged to supply information about Pilate's life before and after his appointment in Judea. Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica II 7) claims that Pilate suffered misfortune in the reign if Caligula, was exiled to Gaul and eventually committed suicide in Vienne [France]. Christian writers went even further than the gospels in the direction of exonerating Pilate from any responsibility in the death of Jesus, to the extent of suggesting his eventual repentance and conversion to Christianity.
Pontius Pilate in scholarship
Pages in category "Pilate (subject)"
The following 55 pages are in this category, out of 55 total.
- Mocking of Christ (1306 Giotto), art
- Flagellation of Christ (1311 Duccio), art
- Pilate Washing His Hands (1311 Duccio), art
- Pilate's First Interrogation of Christ (1311 Duccio), art
- Pontius Pilatus (Pontius Pilate / 1854 Pyl), play
- Pilatos (Pilate / 1877 Zorrilla), play
- Pilato: saggio istorico (Pilate: Historical Essay / 1883 Maddaloni), non-fiction
- (+) Le procurateur de Judée (The Procurator of Judea / 1892 France), novel
- Ponce-Pilate (Pontius Pilate / 1928 Bretagne & Mercier), opera
- Caesar's Friend (1933 Dixon, Morrah), play
- Caesar's Friend (1939 BBC), TV film
- And Pilate Said: A New Study of the Roman Procurator (1939 Morison), non-fiction
- Caesar's Friend (1947 BBC), TV film
- Spark in Judea (1951 Delderfield), play
- Studio One: Pontius Pilate (1952 Schaffner), TV episode
- BBC Sunday-Night Theatre: Spark in Judea (1953 BBC), TV episode
- BBC Sunday-Night Theatre: Caesar's Friend (1954 Amyes), TV episode
- Robert Montgomery Presents: The Trial of Pontius Pilate (1957 Newland), TV episode
- Hear Me, Pilate! (1961 Blythe), novel
- Ponzio Pilato (Pontius Pilate / 1962 Callegari, Rapper), feature film
- Pilate (1963 Hovhaness), opera
- Pontius Pilatus (Pontius Pilate / 1966 Müller-Stahl), TV film
- The Master and Margarita (1967 Bulgakov / Glenny), novel (English ed.)
- Heeft geleden onder Pontius Pilatus (Suffered under Pontius Pilate / 1967 De Meester), TV film
- Pontius Pilate (1968 Maier), novel
- Hallmark Hall of Fame: Neither Are We Enemies (1970 Pressman), TV episode
- Teatterituokio: Pilatus (Theatre Sessions: Pilate / 1970 Wallin), TV episode
- Pilatus und andere (Pilate and Others / 1972 Wajda), TV film
- The Word and the Sword (1974 Lang), novel
- Swiadkowie Jezusa (1975 Malinski), novel
- The Gospel According to Pontius Pilate (1977 Mills), novel
- Pilatus (1979 Bresgen / Fussenegger), oratorio
- Pilate et le gouvernement de la Judée (Pilate and the Government of Judea / 1981 Lémonon), book
- Un gouverneur de Judée (1983 Amiot), novel
- Pilate (1984 Grosjean), novel
- Secondo Ponzio Pilato (According to Pontius Pilate / 1987 Branduardi), film music
- Secondo Ponzio Pilato (According to Pontius Pilate / 1987 Magni), feature film
- Sotto Ponzio Pilato (Under Pontius Pilate / 1987 Nardoni), book
- Der Ring des Pilatus (1988 Grund), novel
- Ponzio Pilato: storia e leggenda (Pontius Pilate: History and Legend / 1994 Centini), non-fiction
- The Road to Masada (1994 Elwood), novel
- Pontius Pilate in History and Interpretation (1998 Bond), book
- Hände in Unschuld: Pontius Pilatus in der Geschichte (Innocent Hands: Pontius Pilate in History / 1999 Demandt), book
- Pontius Pilate (1999 Wroe), non-fiction
- Memoirs of Pontius Pilate (2000 Mills), novel
- L'Evangile selon Pilate (2000 Schmitt), novel
- A Stone Laid in Zion (2003 Bynum), novel
- Pontius Pilate: Portraits of a Roman Governor (2003 Carter), book
- Невинни ръце: Понтий Пилат в историята = Hände in Unschuld: Pontius Pilatus in der Geschichte (Innocent Hands: Pontius Pilate in History / 2003 Demandt), book (Bulgarian ed.)
- A Truth like Wine (2004 Bynum), novel
- Ponzio Pilato: storia e interpretazione (2008 Bond / Firpo) = Pontius Pilate in History and Interpretation (1998 Bond), book (Italian ed.)
- Pilate (2008 Dohrmann), short film
- Pontius Pilate, Anti-Semitism, and the Passion in Medieval Art (2009 Hourihane), book
- The Passion (2012 Grifhorst), TV film
- The Bible (2013 Downey, Burnett), TV mini-series