The facts about Pontius Pilate are very few. We don't know when he was born or when he died. We know nothing of his career before he became Governor of Judea, and nothing of what happened to him after he was recalled by Tiberius. Some say he came from Rome, others from Spain or Germany. Everyone - from the evangelists to the writers of the medieval mystery plays - has his own Pilate, each symbolic of something, each a projection of his own ideas and anxieties.
This extraordinary book is about all our Pilates, real, half-real and invented. Some are familiar, some surprising. They have depths and contrasts that are unexpected. They do remarkable things. Among these surprises, perhaps, are the glimpses we get of a man actually walking on a marble floor in Caesarea, feeling his shoes pinch, clicking his fingers for a slave, while the clouds of lasting infamy gather over his head.