VALERIUS GRATUS °, Roman *procurator of Judea, 15–26 c.e., appointed by the emperor Tiberius. Little is known of his administration, but his frequent replacement of the high priest is indicative of his attitude toward the Jews. After deposing Anan b. Seth, he appointed in turn Ishmael b. Phabi i, Eleazar b. Ananius, and Joseph Caiaphas. That his motive was bribery is hinted in the Talmud: "Because money was paid for the purpose of obtaining the position of high priest, [they]were changed every 12 months," and "Since they used to hire it [the office of high priest] out for money, their days were shortened" (Sif. Num. 131).
Schuerer, Hist. 198: Klausner, Bayit Sheni, 4 (19502), 203f.