The New Student's Reference Work/Pilate, Pontius

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Pi′late, Pon′tius, the Roman procurator of Judæa, who, after his most solemn assertions of the innocence of Christ, yielded to the demands of His accusers and gave Him up to be crucified. There are quite a number of traditions as to Pilate's end: He committed suicide; he was beheaded by Nero; he embraced Christianity. In the Ethiopic church he is celebrated as a saint. One legend tells how his body was thrown into the Tiber, making an overflow, another that the body was carried to Mount Pilatus and there sunk securely in the deep pool on its top. But here again it made storms arise, and every year the devil on Good Friday lifts him out of the pool and places him on the judgment-seat, where he washes his hands anew. In the Greek church Pilate's wife has been canonized as a saint. His era is the first half of the 1st century.