Chapter

Pontifex Maximus

Edited by Luciano Canfora and Julian Stringer

in Julius Caesar

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780748619368
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670734 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748619368.003.0004
Pontifex Maximus

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The démarche that led to the surprise capture of the office of pontifex maximus (high priest) in 63 bc was one of Caesar's most successful. Thanks to his efforts, the pontificate had again become an elected office — another blow against Sulla's constitutional reforms. This sacred office carried with it immense importance in Roman politics. Caesar, a sceptic ever close to the Epicureans in his beliefs, clearly did not hesitate for an instant to compete for the role of supreme guardian of the religion of the state, a post that by its nature stood above everyday political squabbles.

Keywords: Julius Caesar; pontifex maximus; high priest; pontificate; Roman politics; religion

Chapter.  1268 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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