Prefect, also called, less accurately, procurator, of Judaea from 26 CE, commander of the army and chief justice. He appointed the high priests and had little sympathy with his Jewish subjects, having been associated with Sejanus, an anti‐Semitic conspirator in Rome. He seized funds from the Temple to build an aqueduct; for cruelty in Samaria he was recalled to Rome in 37 CE. In the gospels he is portrayed as doing his best for Jesus but as unable to resist the demands of the Jews, who could have denounced him to the emperor Tiberius. Later Christian anti-Semitism tended to exonerate Pilate altogether.
An inscription bearing his name was found at Caesarea in 1961.