The facts about Pontius Pilate are very few. We know not when he was born or died. We know nothing of his career before he became Governor of Judea, and nothing of what happened to him after he was recalled by Tiberius. Everyone has his own Pilate, each symbolic of something, each a projection of his own idea of who this man actually was. Anne Wroe has supplied us with some surprises, and glimpses into his everyday life, a man actually walking on a marble floor in Caesarea, feeling his shoes pinch, clicking his fingers for a slave, while the clouds of lasting infamy gather over his head.
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(197mm x 129mm x 21mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
The subtitle of Wroe's splendid biography of Pontius Pilate reveals a profound truth and is a meticulous and eloquent description of the way Pilate has been perceived in history, literature and legend during the last 2000 years. For it has indeed been an 'invention'. The well-meaning Pilate of the Gospels bears little relation to the brutal portrait given by Philo of Alexandria, an older contemporary of Jesus Christ. Later tales become even more fanciful, demonstrating a blithe disregard for facts but an intense interest in the meaning of Jesus's trial and condemnation by the Roman governor of Judea. In the course of this account of a developing fantasy, the reader discovers in a new way that evil and good are often deeply and mysteriously complementary; that religion has little to do with history as we understand it today; and that Christianity's success as a world faith is due to the mythos of Jesus's death and resurrection depicting a timeless truth, which each generation has been able to apply to its own circumstances. Review by KAREN ARMSTRONG Editor's note: Karen Armstrong is the author of A History of God. (Kirkus UK)
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