Early eighteenth-century sources identify the three men in the foreground as contemporaries of the painter. There is a late sixteenth-century portrait of Oddantonio, now in Urbania, and a slightly later portrait in the same collection in Urbania also harks back to Piero's example. All of which has led some scholars to discredit the idea that there are portraits in Piero's Flagellation. The figure of Pilate, in the left half of the painting, is a portrait of a contemporary, the Byzantine Emperor John VIII Palaeologus. It appears in a Ferrarese drawing of some of the Byzantine delegates who came to the Italian peninsula on the occasion of the Council, as well as in a drawing by Pisanello of the men in Palaeologus's entourage, now in the Louvre. Some contemporaries qualified better than others to serve as models for ancient figures. Vero can mean both truth and reality.