Who was the first pontifex maximus

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who was the first pontifex maximus

Pontifex Maximus: A Short History of the Popes by Christopher Lascelles

“Lascelles has achieved the seemingly impossible: a concise and highly readable history of Catholic Popes that manages to be extremely entertaining and informative at the same time.” 
– Gerald Posner, author of God’s Bankers

A brilliant book on a number of different levels. Lascelles has an engaging prose style and an amazing eye for detail and apposite anecdote. Surely only purblind Catholic zelanti will object to this outstanding analysis.”
– Frank McLynn, author of Genghis Khan, Napoleon and 1066

“Lascelles has taken an overwhelming subject, and not been overwhelmed by it in any way. A highly enjoyable read.”
– Paul Strathern, author of The Medici

“Pontifex Maximus is a subtle and convincing explanation of how the successors of an impoverished fisherman from Galilee became a globally powerful monarch - all without getting lost in the bewildering historical weeds. Lascelles writes with both verve and humor; once started it’s hard to put down.”
– Lars Brownworth, author of The Normans and The Sea Wolves

For many people, the popes are an irrelevance: if they consider them at all, it may be as harmless old men who preach obscure sermons in Latin. But the history of the popes is far from bland. On the contrary, it is occasionally so bizarre as to stretch credulity. Popes have led papal armies, fled in disguise, fathered children (including future popes), and authorised torture. They have been captured, assaulted and murdered. While many have been admired, some have been hated to such a degree that their funeral processions have been disrupted and statues of them torn down after their deaths. Many have been the enemies of freedom and progress – divisive rather than unifying figures.

In a fascinating read for Catholics and non-Catholics alike, Christopher Lascelles examines the history of the popes through the ages, laying bare the extent to which many of them fell so very short of the Christian ideals they supposedly represented. He explains how it was that, professing to follow a man who said ‘My kingdom is not of this world’ and Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth’, they nevertheless became heads of a rich state that owned more land in Europe than any king, relying on foreign military aid to keep power; and how pride, greed and corruption became commonplace in an institution founded on love, faith and forgiveness.

This book is aimed at the general reader who is short on time and seeks an accessible overview unencumbered by ecclesiastical jargon and scholarly controversies.
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Pontifex Maximus - Wikipedia audio article

This was the most important position in the ancient Roman religion, open only to patricians until B.
Christopher Lascelles

Pontifex Maximus

The college, or collegium, of the pontifices was the most important Roman priesthood , being especially charged with the administration of the jus divinum i. Whether the literal meaning of the name indicates any special connection with the sacred bridge over the Tiber Pons Sublicius cannot now be determined. The college existed under the monarchy, when its members were probably three in number; they may be considered as having been legal advisers of the rex in all matters of religion. During the republican period the number of pontifices increased until by the time of Julius Caesar there were Included in the collegium were also the rex sacrorum, the flamines, three assistant pontifices minores , and the Vestal Virgins , who were all chosen by the pontifex maximus.


In Revelation 13 the prophet foretells the rise of a new politico-religious power in the world—represented by the symbol of the ten-horned beast—and points out that "the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and gfeat authority. Here is plainly indicated a transfer of prerogatives from the one power to his successor. - In the same year, Agrippa, too, died.

Religion in ancient Rome Imperial cult Glossary of ancient Roman religion. The names of Pontifices Maximi for the Roman Republic are listed below as known. The last Pontifex Maximus of the Republican era was Lepidus , the triumvir. Upon his death, Augustus acquired the office, consolidating an additional source of power and authority for the princeps. In the Imperial era , it was customary for the emperor to serve as Pontifex Maximus. The Pontifex Maximus held his office for life, but the date of death is not known for every man who held the office, and the name of the Pontifex is not recorded for every period. Unless otherwise noted, dates and citations of primary sources are from T.

Cookies help us to give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings if you wish. Otherwise we'll assume you're OK to continue. OK See our policy. March 6, , by Will Leveritt.

The pontifex maximus was not a real magistrate: he did not serve for a fixed period but for life, and he remained, officially, a citizen. As the title suggests, the pontifex maximus was 'the greatest' or chairman of the college of the pontifices , 'priests'. They were responsible for the Roman state cult as a whole and for several cults in particular, viz. The number of pontifices continued to grow. Another member was the rex sacrorum 'king of the sacrifices' who performed the religious acts that the king had usually done. There were three later 15 flamines, special priests for the main gods, and there were three mysterious pontifices minores. Finally, the high priest was also responsible for the eighteen priestesses of the goddess Vesta.


  1. Gradasso L. says:

    2027 years ago today: Augustus took the title Pontifex Maximus

  2. Vernon D. M. says:

    Quotes about freedom of information you re a badass book review

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