Location of Pilate's praetorium



Since the discussion got derailed by the location of Jesus’ trial, I posted a new thread on the subject.


Wouldn’t that have in been in or near the old Antonia?


Definitely so !


So therefore, in or next to, or rather under, the modern “Ecce Homo” church on the modern level?



Well, there’s at least three places in 1st century Jerusalem that could qualify as candidates historically: the Antonia fortress / tower, Herod the Great’s old palace in the Upper City (near the site of the traditional Golgotha), and a third, Hasmonean palace (just west of the Temple Mount).

During the Byzantine period, there was a church built over what was then claimed to be the Praetorium: the church of Hagia Sophia, somewhere in the eastern part of the Old City near the New church of St. Mary (aka the Nea church). We can assume the church was destroyed during the Persian sack of Jerusalem in 614 because it is no longer mentioned after that date. After that time up to at least the Crusader period, the location of the Praetorium was moved to the Western Hill (aka Mount Zion), near where the Church of the Dormition and the Upper Room is. Finally, by the Crusader period, the Praetorium’s location was shifted once again to the current site, where the Via Dolorosa begins.


Well actually, that’s one of the issues we’ve been arguing about: where exactly did the Antonia stand in the 1st century. PNEUMA claims IIRC that it’s where the Dome of the Rock now stands.

The other issue was: where was the Hagia Sophia church, the Byzantine era Praetorium, located. PNEUMA again claims that it stood where he (?) believes the Antonia stood in the 1st century - ergo, the Dome of the Rock.


If I may be so bold as to ask: if you’re gonna post pictures, please don’t post big ones. Either shrink them first (if you’re using Windows you can do so via Paint) and upload them on an image hosting site (for example imgur), or if you find that cumbersome, just directly link to the pic.

I mean it’s very hard to navigate through the thread when I’ve got a picture that’s bigger than my monitor resolution. :stuck_out_tongue: OK?


Thomas Lewin (in his book Siege of Jerusalem by Titus) says the main tower of Antonia is now the site of the Dome of the Rock.

The same does this map > oi68.tinypic.com/2s7c080.jpg

As you can see the Jews pray in front of the lower platform, where the rectangular building is.
Tower Antonia was on the higher platform where the octagonal building is.



Well, another mystery would be the relation of the Antonia to the temple, non? And other than the temple site is now occupied by the Dome of the Rock (golden dome), we don’t know exactly where things were, because it was razed down to the foundations, and we have no blueprints.

The Western Wall is the last remnant of the once mighty Temple structure, which is why it is the current sacred spot.


Great pix, BTW!


Well, the priests vestments, where for safety reasons kept inside the tower Antonia, according to Josephus. The tower Antonia was a guard for the Temple.


Nope. In the Bible, the Antonia is called the Greek word for castle. Excavations have been done recently in 2003 that highlight Herod’s palace as the praetorium. Most of the structure you see as the Antonia was rebuilt by Hadrian after Titus destroyed it. We also have Philo indicating that

*Tradition dating back to the medieval period places the praetorium—where the trial of Jesus was held, according to the Gospels2—in the Antonia Fortress in the northeastern part of the Old City. The Antonia Fortress, however, would have been too small to be the residence and headquarters of the governor; its main purpose, furthermore, was to serve as a military observation tower. Scholarly consensus today associates the praetorium with Herod’s palace on the western side of the city.3
“Herod’s palace was not a building—it was a compound,” Shimon Gibson told Bible History Daily. “The compound was ideal for Roman governors.”

In The World of Jesus, Gibson explains why it’s likely the praetorium was located in Herod’s palace complex:

[T]here can be no doubt that on the occasions when [Pilate] stayed in Jerusalem, particularly during the Jewish festivities, he took up residence at Herod’s old palace situated on the west side of the city, also known as the praetorium. The word praetorium might refer to a palace or a judicial military seat, but it is likely that in Jerusalem it referred to the entire palace compound, which on the north included palatial buildings used for residential purposes and on the south, military barracks.

*raditionally, it has been thought that the vicinity of the Antonia Fortress later became the site of the Praetorium, and that this latter building was the place where Jesus was taken to stand before Pilate (see Pilate’s court). However, this tradition was based on the mistaken assumption that an area of Roman flagstones, discovered beneath the Church of the Condemnation and Imposition of the Cross and the Convent of the Sisters of Zion, was the pavement (Greek: lithostratos) which the Bible describes as the location of Pontius Pilate’s judgment of Jesus;[5] archaeological investigation now indicates that these slabs are the paving of the eastern of two 2nd century Forums, built by Hadrian as part of the construction of Aelia Capitolina.[4] The site of the Forum had previously been a large open-air pool, the Struthion Pool, which was constructed by the Hasmoneans, is mentioned by Josephus as being adjacent to the Fortress in the 1st century,[6] and is still present beneath Hadrian’s flagstones; the traditional scene would require that everyone was walking on water.

Like Philo, Josephus testifies that the Roman governors stayed in Herod’s Palace while they were in Jerusalem,[7] and carrying out their judgements on the pavement immediately outside it;[8] Josephus indicates that Herod’s palace is on the Western Hill (Upper City)[9] and it has recently (2001) been rediscovered under a corner of the Jaffa Gate citadel. Archaeologists now therefore conclude that in the 1st century, the Praetorium – the residence of the governor (Praefectus – later Procurator) – was on the Western Hill, rather than the Antonia Fortress, on the diametrically opposite side of the city.[4]*


Pilat’s pre-supposition is absolutely absured, since all he does is to manage his intellect until it disintegrates. In other words, Pilate’s decision to crucify is against God’s divinity.


Nonsense, Fort Antonia was a Roman castellum, that’s why it’s called a castle. Has nothing to do with Herod’s palace.



So everyone was floating on water then…hmmm…?:rolleyes:

Is aule ever used to describe the Antonia?


So everyone was floating on water then…hmmm…?:rolleyes:

Is aule ever used to describe the Antonia?


Wikipedia: " The Latin word castellum …is the source of the English word “castle”. "



Is the Greek word for palace ever used to describe the Antonia?


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