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The Apocryphal New Testament Easy to use collection of English translations of the New Testament Apocrypha.

Mors Pilati

Tischendorf's Latin text is that of a fourteeth‐century manuscript. The Legend is a late creation. As it is a medieval composition it merits only brief treatment here, with merely the conclusion translated.

Like the Vindicta (q.v.) the story tells of Tiberius who is ill and who sends his emissary Volusian to seek out the healer Jesus. After learning of Jesus' death Volusian meets Veronica whose handkerchief has the wonder‐working image of Jesus imprinted on it, and he takes her with him to Rome. Tiberius is thereby healed. Pilate is then punished and killed. In the Mors his dead body has several moves before finding its final resting place near Lake Lucerne. The bitter animosity shown to Pilate betrays not only a Western origin but also a late date.


  • Tischendorf, EA, pp. lxxxf., 456–8.

  • G. F. Abbott, ‘The Report and Death of Pilate’, FTS 4 (1903), 83–6 (Greek text differing from Tischendorf's).

Modern Translations


  • Cowper, 415–19.

  • Walker, 234–6.

  • Westcott, 131–5.

  • James, 157–8 (summary).


  • Migne, Dictionnaire, i, cols. 1177–80.


  • Erbetta i.2, 402–4.

  • Moraldi, i. 721–4.


  • González‐Blanco, ii. 361–9.

  • de Santos Otero, 495–500.


  • Variot, 122–4.

When Caesar knew of the death of Pilate, he said, ‘He has justly died a most disgraceful death, seeing that his own hand has not spared him.’ He was therefore bound to a great block of stone, and sunk in the river Tiber. However, malignant and filthy spirits, rejoicing in his malignant and filthy body, kept moving in the waters, and in a terrible manner caused lightning and tempests, thunder and hail, so that everyone was in constant fear. Therefore the Romans pulled him out of the river Tiber and carried him off in derision to Vienne, and sunk him in the river Rhône. Vienne means the Way of Gehenna, because it became a place of cursing. But evil spirits were at work and did the same things there too, so the people, unwilling to endure a plague of demons, removed that vessel of malediction and sent him to be buried in the territory of Losania. The inhabitants there were also troubled by the same visitations, so they removed him and sunk him in a lake, surrounded by mountains, where to this day, according to the tales of some, sundry diabolical machinations occur.

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