pontifex maximus

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PONTIFEX MAXIMUS

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PONTIFEX MAXIMUS. The Pontifex Maximus was the chief or high priest in Roman society. In the early republic, the Pontifex Maximus was elected by the priests themselves. The position eventually became politicized: after the 3rd century BC, the office was publicly elected. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Page 2: PONTIFEX MAXIMUS

The Pontifex Maximus was the chief or high priest in Roman society.

In the early republic, the Pontifex Maximus was elected by the priests themselves.

The position eventually became politicized: after the 3rd century BC, the office was publicly elected.

Julius Caesar actively sought and won the office early in his career.

Page 3: PONTIFEX MAXIMUS

Augustus also became pontifex maximus as did all emperors after him. He had many religious duties:

“I have been Pontifex Maximus, augur, a member of the College of fifteen for performing sacrifices, a member of

the College of seven for conducting banquets and a member of the Arval brotherhood”.

(The achievements of the deified Augustus:7)

Page 4: PONTIFEX MAXIMUS

This marble relief from Rome depicts a triple sacrifice known as a ‘suovetaurilia’ from the Latin words:

sus - pig ovis - sheep taurus - bullIt was a special offering to the god Mars

The emperor with his toga drawn over his head, is sprinkling incense onto an altar. An attendant holds an incense box with lid

open.The ‘popa’ stands with axe at left.

Page 5: PONTIFEX MAXIMUS

“The peoples in the eastern Roman empire had always thought of their rulers as divine, and so it seemed natural to worship the Roman Emperor as God”.

EMPEROR WORSHIP

The Emperor Augustus represented as Jupiter