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Pilatus

(Mount) in Switzerland. The similarity of the word with the name of Pontius Pilate has given rise to the tradition that the Roman Governor, being banished to Gaul by Tiberius, wandered to this mount and threw himself into a black lake on its summit. But Mont Pileatus means the “hatted mountain,” because it is frequently capped with clouds.

The story goes, that once a year Pilate appears in his robes of office, and whoever sees the ghost will die before the year is out. In the sixteenth century a law was passed forbidding anyone to throw stones in the lake, for fear of bringing a tempest on the country.

There is a town called Pilate in the island of Hispaniola, and a Mont Pilate in France.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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