Very little is known for certain about Pontius Pilate, the fifth prefect of Judea and the man who crucified Christ. This hasn't stopped writers in every age, from the evangelists onwards, from imagining his life. Each generation has unloaded on to Pilate its own hopes, fears, prejudices, and obsessions. Yet he was probably an average, even ordinary, Roman advisor.
This is the story, as far as it can be reconstructed from archaeology and from classical sources, of the man Pilate might have been: his likely background, his career, his duties, his failings, his fears, and the attitude he might have had to the various forms of thinking he encountered in Judea. This was, after all, only a man. But, according to much Christian theology, he was fingered by God to carry out the divine plan of salvation just as clearly as Christ was. Ann Wroe shows how, in his struggles with fate and free will, Pilate's story has also become the story of ourselves.