Italian writer Michele Sanvico to release comprehensive research on the myth of the Lakes of Pilate
An exciting journey across classical writers, early-Christian authors, apocryphal gospels and medieval sources; an investigation into the legendary tale of Pontius Pilate and his connection to the Sibillini Mountain Range in Italy
By: Michele Sanvico - Italian Writer
As reported in a fifteenth-century account provided by Antoine de la Sale in his "The Paradise of Queen Sibyl", the sinister Lakes of Pilate have been visited for many centuries by necromancers coming from all over Europe, in search of an eerie, magical setting where to consecrate their spellbooks: a cursed place of gloomy waters, in which the body of Pontius Pilate would have been cast in antiquity, according to an ancient legend.
Pontius Pilate was the prefect of Roman-occupied Judaea, and the man who played a fundamental role in the events of the Passion: it was he who sentenced Jesus Christ to a harrowing death on the Cross. What is the connection between Pilate and the lakes hidden amid the remote peaks of the central Apennines, in Italy? For what reason were these crystal-like surfaces named after his own name? Why would his corpse have been buried into the gelid waters surrounded by the precipitous crests of Mount Vettore?
Following the marks left by the historical character of Pontius Pilate in the ancient literature of the Roman and early-Christian age, Michele Sanvico will probe into the many apocryphal texts which enshroud the prefect's legendary figure, subsequently confronting with the amazing medieval sources that built up the myth concerning the final days of Pilate and the curse which fell on his burial place.
«It sounds so remarkably odd to have a legend concerning Pontius Pilate at a location set in the middle of the Sibillini Mountain Range, in Italy», said Michele Sanvico, an Italian writer of literary fiction and creative nonfiction. «Legendary accounts about the Roman prefect and his ultimate destiny follow one another for more than a thousand years, starting from the earliest centuries of Christianity. The figure of Pontius Pilate is so controversial as to have been considered in opposite ways altogether across different regions and ages: it is amazing to know that in some Orthodox churches Pilate is revered as a holy man and saint, while in the Western tradition Pope St. Gregory the Great wrote that he was 'a limb of the Fiend'. And it is this latter tradition and lore that gave rise to many legends on the prefect's cursed resting places. One of such places», added Michele Sanvico, «is set in the Sibillini Mountain Range. But the enigma of the final days of Pontius Pilate appears to be veiled by a dark, sinister legend: because his body was actually cast in more than one site».
This comprehensive research work has been carried out by Michele Sanvico on a large number of literary sources dating to the late classical period and the Middle Ages, including several manuscripts preserved at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and other prominent institutions around the world. Stunning pictures of the relevant portions of the manuscripts will be shown to the readers for the first time ever, so as to convey the feeling of a full, extraordinary immersion into the words written on vellum by the ancient scribes.
This thorough investigation, independently conducted by Michele Sanvico, benefits from a number of scientific papers written on the same subject by illustrious specialists, from nineteenth-century scholars Arturo Graf and Constantin Tischendorf to the recent works published by renowned researchers such as Anne-Catherine Baudoin and Jacques Berlioz. Their results are fully re-elaborated and integrated with the original, unprecedented research conducted by Michele Sanvico on the specific legendary material pertaining to the Lakes of Pilate and the Sibillini Mountain Range.
«The goal of my enquiry», said Michele Sanvico, «is to uncover the real essence of the myth of the Lakes of Pilate, the inner core of this ancient legend. I intend to highlight the true origin of this legendary tale which establishes an odd connection between the lakes and the Roman prefect who was mentioned in the Gospels, by fully retracing the literary path that led to this remarkable association. The daring aim of all this is to cast an illuminating light on the mythical core of the legend that inhabits the place which we call today as the Lakes of Pilate, but was once known as the Lake of Norcia or the Lake of the Sibyl».
The research plan envisaged by Michele Sanvico does not end here. The upcoming publication is the third step of a long journey into the myths of the Apennine Sibyl and the Lakes of Pilate which began with two papers already released a few months ago ("The Apennine Sibyl: a journey into history in search of the oracle", "Birth of a Sibyl - The medieval connection"), and will continue with a further series of articles which will get to the inner core of both legends.
The final scientific target of the whole investigation is to strip the listed legends of all their additional literary disguises so as to be able to behold, at the very end of the search, the genuine, antique semblance of the Sibyl and Lakes: the true nature of the myth which lives in the Sibillini Mountain Range.
For more information, visit Michele Sanvico's website dedicated to the mystery of Mount Sibyl and the Lakes of Pilate (http://www.italianwriter.it/
Michele Sanvico - Italian Writer