Bridgeman Images & Dr. Mark A. Staal Collection

PAGAN SYMBOLS stamped on Pontius Pilate’s coinage included the curved wand (Latin lituus; toppictured here) and ladle (simpulum)—both ritual instruments associated with the Roman imperial cult. The Greek inscription on the obverse side of the coin pictured here reads “of Tiberius Caesar.” Minted in Jerusalem, these small bronze coins bear witness to Pilate’s dedication to promoting Roman religion in Judea—an effort no governor of Judea after him repeated.