PONTIUS PILATE INSCRIPTION
It wasn't long back when
a lot of scholars were quizzical the real survival of a Roman
Governor with the name Pontius Pilate, the procurator who ordered
Jesus' crucifixion. In June 1961 Italian archaeologists led by
Dr. Frova were excavating an ancient Roman amphitheatre close
to Caesarea-on-the-Sea (Maritima) and unearthed this appealing
limestone block. On the face is a tombstone inscription which
is fraction of a bigger devotion to Tiberius Caesar which evidently
tells that it was from "Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea."
This is the only recognized happening of the name Pontius Pilate
in any very old inscription. Visitors to Caesarea's theater
today see a model; the unique is in the Israel Museum in
Jerusalem. It is appealing as well that there have been
a small amount of bronze coins found that were struck form
29-32 AD by Pontius Pilate.
Who was Pontius Pilate?
Pontius Pilate's family name, Pontius, points out that he was
of the clan of Pontii. It was one of the most well-known of the
ancient Samnite names. The family name or cognomen Pilatus points
out the familia or branch of the gens Pontius. The name is vague,
although a few think it may have destined "armed with the pilum"
(a spear or javelin). One appealing note is about a further man
in Roman history bearing the name. Lucius Pontius Aquila was a
pal of Cicero and one of the killers of Julius Caesar on the Ides
of March (44 BC) when the would-be king was murdered.
The only information concerning
Pontius Pilate is the new testimony and two Jewish writers: Josephus
and Philo of Alexandria. By distant our utmost amount of information
comes from the Jewish writer Flavius Josephus who serene his two
great works, the Antiquities of the Jews and the Jewish
War, towards the end of the first century. There are
also more than a few "less reliable" ethnicity and myths. One
early German legend tells that Pilate was an unlawful son of Tyrus,
king of Mayence, who had Pilate taken to Rome as a captive. After
he had in fact done a murder he was sent to Pontus, where he enrolled
in the Roman Army and bear out himself by endearing many success
in opposition to the barbarous tribes in the north.
Tacitus, when talking of
the unkind punishments imposed by Nero upon the Christians,
says us that Christ, from whom the name "Christian" was derived
was put to demise when Tiberius was monarch by the procurator
Pontius Pilate (Annals xv.44). Apart from this allusion and what
is told us in the new testimony, all our facts of him is taken
from two Jewish writers, Josephus the historian and Philo of
The first physical proof
linking to Pilate was found in 1961, when a hunk of limestone
was found in the Roman theatre at Caesarea Maritima,
the capital of the prefecture of Iudaea, bearing a dented commitment
by Pilate of a Tiberieum. This commitment mentions that he was
[...] ECTVS IUDA [...] (typically read as praefectus iudaeae),
that is, prefect/superintendent of Iudaea. The early governors
of Iudaea were of prefect rank, the later were of procurator rank,
starting with Cuspius Fadus in 44.
The inscription is at present
housed in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where
its Inventory number is AE 1963 no. 104. Dated to 26-37, it was
found in Caesarea (Israel) by a cluster led by
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