Does historical Fortingall have any claim to fame? There is a myth that the village was the site of a Roman encampment during one of their very early incursions into Scotland. A local girl "fell pregnant" after a liaison with a Roman soldier. Their child's name? Pontius Pilate. An attractive story, but one that is difficult to square with the timing of known Roman incursions into Scotland.
Name : Pontius Pilate
Born : ?
Died : d.AD 36
Category: Infamous Scots
Finest Moment : Conversion to Christianity
Very little is known about this man; there is a story that he was born in Scotland. What is known is that he was the Roman prefect, or governor of Judaea from AD 26-36, under the emperor Tiberius. He presided at the trial of Jesus and ordered his crucifixion.
As to his character, we must make guesses based on later writings; both Jewish and Christian. If we go with Josephus, he was a strong-willed but rational and practical Roman leader, who knew how far to go in his dealings with the Jews. If we go with the New Testament, he was weak and indecisive. He was probably more of the former.
Again, as to the end of his life there are two accounts. In Christian tradition, Pilate and his wife became converts, with his wife a saint in the Eastern Church. If we take the route of an uncertain 4th-century story, he killed himself on orders from the emperor Caligula, in AD 39.
Further possible evidence that Romans once occupied this part of Scotland can be found at Caesaria in Palestine. An ancient stone slab which is called the Pilate Stone has the Latin inscription inscribed upon it which appears to read "Hiberieum Pontius Pilatus". At the time of Pontius Pilate gaelic Scotland's northerly regions, including Ireland, were known to the Romans as Hibernia. Should we accept this Latin inscription to reinforce the story that Pontius Pilate originally came from Scotland according to the old Glen Lyon myth?
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