Pontius Pilate is generally depicted as a very bad procurator. If we examine, however, the contemporary sources (Josephus, Philo of Alexandria and the Gospels), we shall discover that only one of them, the letter of Agrippa in Philo’s
Legatio ad Gaium
gives a really negative image of him. In my paper I try to show that this description of Pilate is an invective, directed not against Pilate, but against Caligula, therefore the image given of the Roman procurator is very far from being trustworthy. Having established this, we can presume that Pilate was a fairly good procurator, a true soldier, who was, however absolutely unable to understand and manage the religious sensibility of the Jews.
The exact meaning of Tiberiéum in the first line of Pontius Pilate's inscription has been studied since 1961. Epigraphists have generally explained it as "a building dedicated to Tiberius", although in view of the -iéum ending it could also be interpreted as "a festival dedicated to Tiberius". Imperial games called Tiberion and Tibereon are also known from other sources. If Tiberiérum is identified with games or festivals held in honour of Tiberius, the first word of the inscription can perhaps be the one - munus - proposed by Labbé. The occasion for holding these imperial games was most likely the fall of Seianus (October 18,31) that became an official holiday throughout the Imperium.