Pontius Pilate (/m/0svr8)

Pontius Pilate was the fifth prefect of the Roman province of Judaea from AD 26–36. He served under Emperor Tiberius, and is best known from the biblical account of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. The sources for Pilate's life are an inscription known as the Pilate Stone, which confirms his historicity and establishes his title as prefect; a brief mention by Tacitus; Philo of Alexandria; Josephus; the four canonical gospels; the Gospel of Nicodemus; the Gospel of Marcion; and other apocryphal works. Based on these sources, it appears that Pilate was an equestrian of the Pontii family, and succeeded Valerius Gratus as prefect of Judaea in AD 26. Once in his post he offended the religious sensibilities of his subjects, leading to harsh criticism from Philo, and many decades later, Josephus. According to Josephus c. AD 93, Pilate was ordered back to Rome after harshly suppressing a Samaritan uprising, arriving just after the death of Tiberius which occurred on 16 March in AD 37. He was replaced by Marcellus. In all four gospel accounts Pilate lobbies for Jesus to be spared his eventual fate of execution, and acquiesces only when the crowd refuses to relent.
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