A crown of thorns (stepanon ex akanqwn). They wove a crown out of thorns which would grow even in the palace grounds. It is immaterial whether they were young and tender thorn bushes, as probable in the spring, or hard bushes with sharp prongs. The soldiers would not care, for they were after ridicule and mockery even if it caused pain. It was more like a victor's garland (stepanon) than a royal diadem (diadhma), but it served the purpose. So with the reed (kalamon), a stalk of common cane grass which served as sceptre. The soldiers were familiar with the Ave Caesar and copy it in their mockery of Jesus: Hail, King of the Jews (caire, Basileu twn Ioudaiwn). The soldiers added the insults used by the Sanhedrin ( Matthew 26:67 ), spitting on him and smiting him with the reed. Probably Jesus had been unbound already. At any rate the garments of mockery were removed before the via dolorosa to the cross (verse Matthew 31 ).