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On this page: Pontificium Jus – Populus



called tutulus or gal ems, with an apex upon it, and the toga praetexta.

The pontifex maximus was the president of the college and acted in its name, whence he alone is frequently mentioned in cases in which he must be considered only as the organ of the college. He was generally chosen from among the most dis­tinguished persons, and such as had held a curule magistracy, or Avere already members of the col­lege. (Liv. xxxv. 5, xl. 42.) Two of his especial duties were to appoint (capere) the Vestal virgins and the flamines [vestales ; flamen], and to be present at every marriage by conferreatio. When festive games were vowed or a dedication made, the chief pontiff had to repeat over before the persons who made the vaw or the dedication, the formula with which it was to he performed (praeire verla, Liv. v. 40, ix. 46, iv. 27). During the period of the republic, when the people exer­cised sovereign power in every respect, we find that if the pontiff on constitutional or religious grounds refused to perform this solemnity, he might be compelled by the people.

A pontifex might, like all the members of the great priestly colleges, hold any other military, civil or priestly office, provided the different offices did not interfere with one another. Thus we find one and the same person being pontiff, augur, and decemvir sacrorum (Liv. xl. 42) ; instances of a pontifex maximus being at the same time consul, are very numerous. (Liv. xxviii. 30 Cic. de Harusp. Resp. 6 ; compare Ambrosch, Studien und Andeutungen^ p. 229, note 105.) But whatever might be the civil or military office which a ponti­fex maximus held beside his pontificate, he was not allowed to leave Italy. The first who violated this law was P. Licinius Crassus, in b. c. 131 (Liv. Epit. 59 ; Val. Max. viii. 7. 6 ; Oros. v. 10) ; but after this precedent, pontiffs seem to have frequently transgressed the law, and Caesar, though pontifex maximus, went to his province of Gaul.

The college of pontiffs continued to exist until the overthrow of paganism (Arnob. iv. 35 ; Sym-mach. Epit. ix. 128, 129) ; but its power and in­fluence were considerably weakened as the em­perors, according to the example of Caesar, had the right to appoint as many members of the great colleges of priests as they pleased. (Dion Cass. xlii. 51, xliii. 5], li. 20, liii. 17 ; Suet. Caes. 31.) In addition to this, the emperors themselves were always chief pontiffs, and as such the presidents of the college ; hence the title of pontifex maximus (P. M. or PON. M.) appears on several coins of the emperors. If there were several emperors at a time, only one bore the title of pontifex maxi­mus ; but in the year a. d. 238, we find that

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each of the two emperors Maximus and Balbinus assumed this dignity. (Capitol. Maxim, et Balb. 8.) The last traces of emperors being at the same time chief pontiffs are found in inscriptions of Valentinian, Valens, and Gratianus. (Orelli, Inscript. n. 1117, 1118.) From the time of Theodosius the emperors no longer appear in the dignity of pontiff ;- but at last the title was as­sumed by the Christian bishop of Rome.

There were other pontiffs at Rome who were distinguished by the epithet minores. Various opinions have been entertained as to what these pontifices minores were. Niebuhr (i. p. 302. n. / 7£) thinks that they were originally the pontiffs


of the Lucercs ; that they stood in the same re­lation to the other pontiffs as the patres minomm gentium to the patres jnajorum gentium ; and that subsequently, when the meaning of the name was forgotten, it was applied to the secretaries of the great college of pontiffs. In another passage (iii. p. 411) Niebuhr himself demonstrates that the Luceres were never represented in the college of pontiffs, and his earlier supposition is contradicted by all the statements of ancient writers who men­tion the pontifices minores. Livy (xxii. 57 ; compare Jul. Capitol. Opil. Macrin. 7), in speak­ing of the secretaries of the college of pontiffs, adds, " quos mine minores pontifices appellant ; " from which it is evident that the name pontifices minores was of later introduction, and that it was given to persons who originally had no claims to it, that is, to the secretaries of the pontiffs. The only natural solution of the question seems to be this. At the time when the real pontiffs began to neglect their duties, and to leave the principal business to be done by their secretaries, it became customary to designate these scribes by the name of pontifices minores. Macrobius (Sat. i. 15), in speaking of minor pontiffs previous to the time of Cn. Flavins, makes an anachronism, as he transfers a name customary in his own days to a time when it could not possibly exist. The number of these secretaries is uncertain ; Cicero (de Harusp. Resp. 6) mentions the name of three minor pontiffs. The name cannot have been used long before the end of the republic, when even chief pontiffs began to show a disregard for their sacred duties, as in the case of P. Licinius Crassus and Julius Caesar. Another proof of their falling off in comparison with former days, is that about the same time the good and luxurious living of the pontiffs became proverbial at Rome. (Horat. Carm. ii. 14. 26, &c. ; Mart. xii. 48. 12 ; Macrob. Sat. ii. 9.) [L. S.] PONTIFICATES LUDI. [ludi pontifi-


PONTIFICIUM JUS. [Jus, pp. 656, 657.] POPA. [caupona ; sacrificium.] POPI'NA. [caupona.] POPULATES. [nobiles, p. 799, b.] POPULA'RIA. [amphitheatrum, p. 88, b.] POPULIFU'GIA or • POPLIFU'GIA, the day of the people's flight, was celebrated on the Nones of July, according to an ancient tradition preserved by Varro (De Ling. Lett. vi. 18, ed. Miilier), in commemoration of the flight of the people, when the inhabitants of Ficulea, Fidenae, and other places round about, appeared in arms against Ptome shortly after the departure of the Gauls, and produced such a panic that the Romans suddenly fled before them. Macrobius (Saturn. iii. 2), however, says that the Populifugia was cele­brated in commemoration of the flight of the people before the Tuscans, while Efionysius (ii. 76) refers its origin to the flight of the people on the death of Romulus. Niebuhr (Hist, of Rome, vol. ii, p. 573) seems disposed to accept the tradition pre­served by Varro ; but the different accounts of its origin given by Macrobius and Dionysius render the story uncertain.

POPULUS. [patrick.] PORISTAE (Tropicrrcu), were magistrates at Athens, who probably levied the extraordinary supplies. (HopLarai zlffiv apxv TLs 3A0r]j/r?cnj/, i'jTis Tropovs e'^rei, Bckker, Anec. p. 294. 19.) Antiphon (De C/ior. p. 791, Reiske) classes them

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