“The Procurator of Judea” Anatole France


“Long did I seek her in disreputable alleys and taverns. It was more difficult to learn to do without her than to lose the taste for Greek wine. Some months after I lost sight of her, I learned by chance that she had attached herself to a small company of men and women who were followers of a young Galilean thaumaturgist. His name was Jesus; he came from Nazareth, and he was crucified for some crime, I don’t quite know what. Pontius, do you remember anything about the man?””  Anatole France



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18 Responses to “The Procurator of Judea” Anatole France

  1. Mar Magdalene an enigma for the ages. Best scholarly biblical New /testament analysis?

  2. rjj says:

    I prefer this image. Would bet a lot that Bosch made the drawings for the lower right quadrant of the painting at a public execution, and his title for the painting is “Behold Man,” not “Behold the Man” (Latin does not use articles).
    Had there been enough decent right thinking people with courage and moral clarity, the whole nasty business would have been stopped at the Give-us-Barabbas stage. Then where would we be?

  3. Thomas says:

    “It is a knotty point,” said Lamia, “how far one is justified in devising things for the commonweal against the will of the populace.”
    As the saying goes “the more things change…”

  4. MRW says:

    Great. Now known word.

  5. Fred says:

    “At the idea of a god coming out of Judaea, a fleeting smile played over the severe countenance of the Procurator.”

  6. Croesus says:

    Dante’s understanding of Mary Magdalene recasts medieval thinking about Purgatorio
    Georgetown U. MOOC on Purgatorio/Mary Magdalene
    http://dante.georgetown.edu/pages/schedule/#welc The Face of Repentence
    Donatello’s Mary Magdalene

  7. optimax says:

    That part of the story reminds me of a quote be Nietzsche: “Christianity is a Jewish conspiracy.”

  8. Diana Croissant says:

    I was awakened early by the chirping of the birds in the trees outside my bedroom window. There was a slight red sky to the east. Then I heard the loud whistles of the train that was racing north on the the tracks that are so familiar to me, as I had, as a small girl, lived only blocks away from them. I love the sound of trains.
    I was, therefore, awakened with hope for the end to our “captivity” by this oriental virus. Why should I worry?
    I could not attend a Good Friday service; and I will not be able to attend an Easter service at my church. But, I realized that I can always attend the service provided by God’s love for us since I do always have the Advocate and Comforter with me and in me.
    I enjoyed the chance to read this work by Anatole France.
    I enjoyed the irony of the ending. As a young girl I read all I could find about ancient Rome and ancient Greece. Where now is the “glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome”?
    On Sunday, many people all across the world will remember that man’s name.

  9. Diana Croissant says:

    My previous comment was not posted. I hope, however, this one will be:
    There is no evidence in the Bible or other early writings that Mary Magdalene had been a prostitute.
    Anatole France’s work reflects the pessimism of most writes of his time. He is often considered the person on whom Marcel Proust based his narrator in (English title:) Remembrance of Times Past (which I have read in English translation.)
    For an example of an English writer in approximately the same time period, think of Somerset Maughan’s Of Human Bondage, and the main character’s fascination for a despicable woman named Mildred.
    The characterization of Pilate is the important thing to consider in this story: the hubris, the self-absorption, and his inability to see his own failings, and the irony in how he presents himself as admirable in his decision to “wash his hands” of the verdict in regard to Christ.

  10. English Outsider says:

    Diana Croissant – WordPress does odd things to the Colonel’s site. Often sections of the comment thread are missing when one clicks “recent posts” but turn out to be there when one clicks on the same thread via “recent comments”. Some sort of WordPress bug, I guess.
    But it seems to be behaving well in this instance. Both your comments were there when I clicked on the site just now and I read them with pleasure.
    I hope there’s an end to your “captivity” soon. It’s been the reverse for me. For a short time traffic almost ceased along a little lane where I had some trees that needed felling. I seized the opportunity and got them down without having to hold anyone up. It’s an ill wind …

  11. johnf says:

    On the “He is Risen/Halleluljah” posting – which doesn’t have comments – the finest recording I know of The Chorus is this one by a Ghanaian group. Listen especially to the magbnificent climb of the sopranos towards the end to finally hit the high note.
    (Its best because it sung by Christians who believe, unlike most Western recordings.) It has a two minute intro by the preacher.
    I also like the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir version – especially the Worthy Is The Lamb intro.
    There are recordings on YouTube from virtually every country on earth. The Japanese are quite good at it and the Singaporeans.
    One I found a few years ago seems to have been performed in a crowded Philipines tiled corridor on the way to a shopping mall filled with hurrying shoppers. There’s six of them with amplifiers, drums, keyboard and four soloists belting out the four parts of the chorus. The crowd largely ignore them but they just sing it out in an act of pure faith. Its no longer unfortuately on Youtube.
    Also I remember the so-called Millenium celebrations in 2000 when aetheists around the world let off fireworks and tedious other things without a single mention of what actually happened 2,000 years ago. The TV went round the world orgasming over various firework explosions, following the clock. The first to be broadcast, somewhere deep in the South Pacific, was from a humble island where the islanders were asked what they’d like to contribute to the worldwide celebrations and they had thought very hard and decided unanimously that only one thing could be celebrated on the two thousandth anniversary of the birth of Our Saviour and that was them, in their humble everyday clothes, standing in the middle of an ordinary field of theirs and belting out the Halleluljah Chorus. It was magificent.
    I’ve never been able to trace this recording (probably considered too embarassing to be included in the official DVDs).
    There are however quite a few great Tongan recordings of the chorus.

  12. turcopolier says:

    “which doesn’t have comments” Amazing cheek.

  13. JamesT says:

    Can you provide a reference for that quote?

  14. JamesT says:

    Diana Croissant,
    Bulgakov presents a much more sympathetic fictional depiction of Pilate in The Master and the Margarita. It is pretty brilliant in my opinion.

  15. English Outsider says:

    Johnf – I really liked that recording of the Hallelujah Chorus and linked to it on an English web site.
    Unfortunately I cannot find out the name of the group. Might I ask – do you have it?

  16. johnf says:

    English Outsider
    They’re called, obscurely, the Gramophone Chorus.
    Their whole recording of The Messiah is on YouTube, Part 1:
    Parts 2&3:

  17. English Outsider says:

    Thank you very much. Have a relative who worked down that way. Had a good time there but never reported back on that particular scene, so that’s quite a find.
    There’s some warrant, apparently, for a countertenor at the first (Dublin) performance –
    Works for me. That countertenor was pretty good. I was bowled over by the soprano, of course, and the group’s quite something. Thanks again.

  18. Fourth and Long says:

    Uncle Dave Macon & McGee Brothers:

    When The Train Comes Along


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