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Pontius Pilate by Anne Wroe
#1
At first I was a bit skeptical about purchasing this book as it has been touted largely as an 'historical novel'- a title I feel does not do it justice whatsoever. However, on finding a good second hand copy on Amazon at a giveaway price, (considering it is a thick hardback housebrick of a book) i thought I'd risk it.
This was a risk well worth taking as I can honestly say I would have paid 100 x the £1.73 asking price for what can only be described as a masterpiece of research and interpretation of the largely shadowy existence of the seemingly ordinary, somewhat unfortunate governor of the political calamity known as ancient Judea, and his catapulting into eternal notoriety as the man who condemned another seemingly ordinary man- a son of a local carpenter who was also on that fateful day immortalised Wink
Anne Wroe understandibly has a lot to research. The many versions of Pilates origins; from a Samnite descendant of a good javelin thrower through to an illegitimate son of a king and a German tavern girl, with a Pictish/ Roman product of a 'fling' in between would in the beginning caused many researchers just to give up and throw their laptops out of the window before even embarking on the rest of his life.
Anne Wroe researches and interprets many sources of his life and career; from the Gospels, Jewish authors Philo and Josephus through to Roman writers including Ovid and Tacitus (unfortunately a lot of Tacitius which would likely have described him in detail are now lost,as well as much later contempary sources about him icluding detailing different versions of Passion plays including York and Coventry.
She has also done her background research, looking at the accounts, politics and laws regarding the Roman empire and her Jews both at home and provincial and the attitudes and prejudices of both sides.
All of this evidence is cleverly collated and produces a credible yet riveting account of the man who by association with Jesus' condemnation is now so indelibly recorded in history that no amount of hand washing can erase him.
Memmia AKA Joanne Wenlock.
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#2
Excellent review - thanks! This is one of those books I've often glanced over and considered reading, but never actually committed myself. Perhaps now I shall.


- Nathan
Nathan Ross
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#3
A better and more scholarly book (apart from a regrettable howler on p.2) is Helen K. Bond, Pontius Pilate in History and Interpretation, Cambridge, 1998. This is based upon her 1994 Durham University PhD thesis of the same title which can be downloaded from the British Library EThOS website.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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#4
Thanks!

I will check this out :-)
Memmia AKA Joanne Wenlock.
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