pontifex maximus


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pontifex maximus

(pŏn`tĭfĕks măk`sĭməs), highest priest of Roman religion and official head of the college of pontifices. As the chief administrator of religious affairs he regulated the conduct of religious ceremonies, consecrated temples and other holy places, and controlled the calendar. During the time of the empire, and until Christianity became firmly established, the emperor was designated pontifex maximus. After the supremacy of Christianity, the popes assumed the title.
References in periodicals archive ?
Caesar, his calendar, and his deification are all being causally linked, and we learn now that it was for the attack on him as Pontifex Maximus (implying the calendrical reforms he undertook in that role), that his son Caesar demonstrated pietas and exacted revenge (705-10).
Pontiff, of course, is the anglicization of the Latin Pontifex Maximus, the title adopted by the self-deified Roman emperors and subsequently appropriated by a long succession of leaders (popes, "Holy Fathers") of the Roman Catholic church to mean the "bridge between heaven and earth.
Water and engineering were integral to Roman culture: the chief priest(4) was called Pontifex Maximus, greatest bridge builder, the man who made links over water.
Next, that Mary is a true pontifex maximus, for her symbol functions as a bridge (pons) between diverse cultures and traditions, linking Judaism and Christianity, Christianity and Islam (Maryam as the most important female figure in the Qur'an), Eastern and Latin Christianity, rich and poor, and different races (Guadalupe, the Black Madonnas).