Inscription with name of Pontius Pilate | Photo: Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Partly preserved Roman inscription, which we can read as “[… a building in honor of] Tiberius … Pon[tius Pilate … Pref[ectus of Judea”. Object dated around 36 CE and is located in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
It is the only surviving inscription bearing the famous name of a Roman prefect. The inscribed stone was part of the building dedicated to Emperor Tiberius. Later, the building material was reused to build stairs in the Roman theatre in Caesarea Maritima.
We don’t know much about Pilate. It is certain that he served as the prosecutor of Judea from 26-36/37 CE. In keeping with the Christian Gospels and Josephushe led the trial of Jesus Christ and approved his sentence. The details of his life before his office in Judea are unknown, and after his governorship, they relate to a number of legends. Pilate was despised by the Jewish people, primarily because of their blatant disregard for their religious feelings and beliefs.