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Pontius Pilate

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An early crab with severe delusions of grandeur.

One of those historical characters name-dropped by the, "Old and Bold," to indicate length of service when making a point to a gobby nig - "I was soldiering when Pontius was a pilot...."

Pontius Pilate

”Stwike him!”

"Stwike him, Centuwion. Stwike him vewy wuffly!" - thus Michael Palin, of Monty Python fame as the Pilate in the Life of Brian.

Pontius Pilot (or Pilate) was, however, a very real historical character. He was Procurator (Income Tax Collector) of Judea from AD 26 to 36 (which is very useful in fixing the biblical Jesus to a particular point in time).

He was likely from central Italy, making him a, “natural,” Roman Citizen, although both Germany and Spain have put in claims for him, and he was a soldier.

This latter is important when considering the general opinion that he was something of a waverer who, proverbially, “washed his hands,” where difficult issues were concerned. He was more likely something of a pragmatist - his orders from Rome would have been to keep the revenues flowing and bearing in mind that, at the time, a posting to Judea would have been the equivalent of one to Barry Buddon he would not have been above stamping on restless natives. Indeed, he is recorded as having looted the Jewish revenues to build an aqueduct to which the civpop took exception and tried to sabotage. Whether the People’s Front of Judea or the Judean People’s Front is not specified, but Pilate immediately sent in his troops who pretty much ensured that there was no one left to do much sabotaging in the future. Problem sorted, decisively.

The British Army connection stems from a argument in later centuries between the Royal Scots (1 SCOTS these days) and the Picardy Regiment from France:

When 1 SCOTS, then, Le Régiment de Douglas, was in French service a dispute arose with Le Régiment de Picardie regarding seniority. Monsieur le Crapaud contending that his regiment had been on duty at the crucifixion. Monsieur le Jock responded (with regard to Jesus having the temerity to re-incarnate and depart the tomb) that if his mob had been on duty, he, Jesus, would not have escaped the Guardroom - or some words to that effect.

The Royal Scots thereafter taking the nickname, “Pontius Pilate’s Bodyguard.”

External Links

Regiment de Picardie