The only historic figure outside the early Christian tradition to whom the Gospels ascribe a dialogue with Jesus is the first-century Roman prefect Pontius Pilate. Presiding over the trial and execution of Jesus, Pilate is a figure who has straddled history and legend for over two thousand years. Now, Aldo Schiavone presents a comprehensive, revisionist biography of Pilate that meticulously reconstructs the social, religious and political context in which his fateful encounter with Jesus took place.
Drawing on a wealth of original research, Schiavone weaves together the sources, from epigraphs to the Gospels, from Josephus to Tacitus and Philon, to create a portrait that approaches its subject as if for the first time, without any other intent than to try to explain what happened.
Aldo Schiavone is the author of Spartacus and was a professor of Roman law at the Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane, which he founded. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he lives in Rome. Jeremy Carden lived in Italy from 1987 to 2014. Now based in the UK, he works as a freelance translator.