What is the X in X-mas?
It was the custom of the Roman governors to erect their tribunals in open places, as the market-place, the circus, or even the highway. Pilate caused his seat of judgment to be set down in a place called "the Pavement" (John 19:13) i.e., a place paved with a mosaic of coloured stones. It was probably a place thus prepared in front of the "judgment hall." (See GABBATHA.)