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Julius CaesarThe People's Dictator$
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Luciano Canfora

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748619368

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748619368.001.0001

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Pontifex Maximus

Pontifex Maximus

(p.23) Chapter 4 Pontifex Maximus
Julius Caesar
Luciano Canfora, Julian Stringer
Edinburgh University Press

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

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