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The Pilate Stone.


The Pilate Stone is the name of a block of limestone with a carved inscription attributed to Pontius Pilate, a prefect of the Roman-controlled province of Iudaeamarker from 26-36. Pilate is infamous as being the man who condemned Jesus Christ to a painful scourging and death by crucifixion c. 33.

The partial inscription reads (conjectural letters in brackets):

[DIS AUGUSTI]S TIBERIEUM
[PO]NTIUS PILATUS
[PRAEF]ECTUS IUDA[EA]E
[FECIT D]E[DICAVIT]


This is the translation from Latin to English for the inscription, as conjecturally reconstructed:
"The prefect of Judaea, Pontius Pilate, erected the Tiberium (temple in honor of Tiberius Caesar) to the August Gods"


The 82 cm x 65 cm (2'.7") x (2'.1") limestone block, which was found in 1961 in an excavation of an ancient theater (built by decree of Herod the Great c. 30 BC), called Caesarea Maritimamarker in the present city of Caesarea-on-the-Seamarker (also called Maritima). On the partially damaged block is a dedication to Tiberius Caesar Augustus. It has been deemed as an authentic archaeological find due to the area in which it was discovered: the coastal town of Caesarea, which was the seat of power of Iudaea during the government of Pontius Pilate. Pilate also maintained a residence at Antonia Fortressmarker in Jerusalemmarker, but, outside of his annual trek to oversee the Passover celebration, he seldom visited Jerusalemmarker. During Passover, Jerusalem'smarker population swelled and the possibility of outbreaks of violence increased. Pilate's presence was to quell a rebellion before it started. Keeping the peace was of vital importance not only to Pontius Pilate, but to Yhosef Bar Kayafa , the high priest of Jerusalem's Jewish ruling council, the Sanhedrin. Caiaphas had been appointed high priest by Pilate's predecessor, Valerius Gratus c. 18, and Pilate retained him. [374876] The two men likely despised each other, but a rebellion would have done neither man any good. Thus, they shared a tenuous peace.

To date this is the only universally accepted archaeological find with an inscription mentioning the name "Pontius Pilatus".

The Pilate Stone is currently located at the Israelmarker Museummarker in Jerusalem.

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