Talk:Pontifex Maximus

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Untitled[edit]

do you think we could have this first paragraph rewritten for the everyday person to understand? :) Kingturtle 05:27, 4 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Bad Prose Prize[edit]

Likewise, the sovereign of England is Supreme Governor of the Church of England since the Tudor schisma extracted Anglicanism from the papal authority, re-awarding itself the title Defender of the Faith (originally awarded by the Pope to the young Henry VIII rewarding a book written before his schism) but now for the new, Protestant version - while it is the Established Church in England and Wales, in Scotland Presbyterianism is.

Yuck!

11:41, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

It is a little heavy going I agree

OK, in the spirit of friendly amendment, how about Britain's King or Queen became in a similar fashion Supreme Governor of the Church of England after he or she rejected the Pope, while remaining Defensor Fidei as that same he or she (Henry VIII) had been first named by the Supreme Pontiff for having written a book in defense of that faith, whichever it was, while it is the Established Church in England and Wales, in Scotland Presbyterianism is. Bill 19:56, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Could not any of you intellectuals ever consider the "Supreme Bridge Builder" is the person who "bridges the gap between Heaven and Earth?" And if you can follow me, then the Pope/Papa through the powers of Peter and John, etc., were a great part of "bridging" the gap between Jews and Pagans or early Jewish believers in the Christ? Regards, 96.19.159.196 (talk) 03:38, 4 October 2013 (UTC)Ronald L. Hughes

office[edit]

Is this the oldest longest surviving legal office? If so should it be mentioned in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by JvlivsCaesar (talkcontribs) 10:07, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Dr M's reversion[edit]

Please, Dr M, why have you reverted everything out of hand and without explanation? There are many points on which an explanation is needed. Why, for instance, do you insist that the article should say:

The title Pontifex Maximus was briefly usurped,1902–1906, by the head of the Filipino sect Aglipayanism.

rather than:

The title Pontifex Maximus was briefly used, from 1902 to 1906, by the head of the Philippine Independent Church.

That is just one very simple example. Lima (talk) 18:38, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

"improve quality" seems to be a new way of saying "revert".
Is it correct to say, without qualification, that the pope is the high priest of the Catholic Church, in spite of what CCC (not to mention the Letter to the Hebrews) says? Lima (talk) 17:26, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
First of all, your writing style is awful like a teenager. Second of all, the article is written from an objective point of view. It is historically consistent by virtue of heavy circumstantial evidence, usage and deference to the office of PM during the late Roman Empire and early Byzantine that the presumption of the popes being inheritors of the office can be upheld. Sources provided are sufficient to maintain this position. It is unfortunate that documentary evidence from that period have succumbed to losses, pillage and destruction. Nevertheless, like most people, you are prone to lose sight of the forest from the trees.
In historical articles such as these, it would be profitable for you not to lose sight of the whole context. It is known that Damasus was not very subtle in appropriating symbols and titles of the empire to advance the profile of Catholic Christianity. Between Gratian and Theodosius, only Maximus was the credible usurper until he was killed. The fact that De Fide Catolica of Feb 27, 380 calls Damasus pontifex is significant, indicating that the office itself was never abolished during this period or after. Furthermore, it indicates common usage during this time and should be considered as a shorthand for the full title of PM. (Assuming we are left with minimal records or documents in the far-off future, in the same way, that people would most commonly say President Bush instead of President of the United State, George Bush - it is a shorthand, but the meaning couldn't be clearer, an incorrigible revisionist historian in the future might pointlessly argue and use the same tactic to say that George Bush wasn't the President of the United States because the full title doesn't appear to be used - you get the analogy?) Damasus was styled pontifex whereas Peter was styled episcopus, bear that in mind. Moreover, as a historical title of the emperors, ask yourself why Theodosius never took back the title/office of PM. Or, later on, why didn't the Byzantine emperors who were at odds with the Bishop of Rome not even pretend to usurp the title of PM when clearly Constantine to Gratian held it? Because the holder of the office has been established, and fixed. The Archbishop of Constantinople had to invent for himself the title of Ecumenical Patriarch to get one leg up above the Bishop of Rome.
The popes have always established that their power comes from their office as Bishop of Rome and Successor of Peter, all other dignities are secondary or subsidiary. But non-usage of a title/office doesn't mean he doesn't own it. On the contrary, the dignity of the Bishop of Rome as Pont. Max. was sure enough that people during the late Roman empire onwards never gave it a second thought. Think about it.
The transformation of the office and title is a natural process. The title of the Roman emperors became quite different by the time of the Byzantines, however the office of the emperor remained the same. The same with the PM. That is why the pope is addressed as summus pontifex now.
The popes and Damasus particularly were quite brilliant in making sure that the Bishop of Rome maintained the office of PM through this accident of history. This gave them an unquestioned platform to regulate worship within the empire, or at least attempted to most of the time with varying levels of success. It gave them the legal foundation to control and propagate Christianity, so to speak. Just as the persecutors of the Christians (Romans) became Christians themselves, by exercising the office of chief priest of all the gods of the pagans(Pont. Max.), they were able to say by association and default that the Christian god and his Church are now their master. Since all the pagan gods and their worship eventually end up under the regulation of the Pont Max as in the days of old, if you were a pagan during this period, the meaning of this transfer of power and dignity to the pope would have an incalculable impact and the message is abundantly clear.
Gratian, therefore may have declined the robes of the PM but obviously the office itself was never abolished. This is clear unless you are a revisionist historian. And as the Encyc. Brit. points out, the Roman Church and the popes were quite satisfied in appropriating the civic and religious structures, offices and organization of the Roman empire. This is why the EB is correct to point out that the Roman Catholic Church is the oldest western office in existence.
I wonder if a pope would be stupid enough to repudiate the office of PM, knowing the historical assets this office possess. Sources are a dime a dozen. If the Archbishop of Constantinople had this office instead of the pope, the consequences would have put the Bishops of Rome at an incredible disadvantage.
Citing references blindly are not enough.

Dr mindbender (talk) 19:14, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

By the way, I'm doing this as a hobby on my spare time. As for Aglipayanism, I didn't put that there in the first place and I'm too lazy right now to figure that one out. Dr mindbender (talk) 20:54, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
  1. If you don't think calling the Aglipayans a sect is NPOV, why have you kept putting that offensive description back in the article? And what about the other distortion I have mentioned above? I could mention others too, but you have made so many curious statements here on the Talk page that I will confine myself for now to commenting on them.
  2. "What I want is that the article should be written from an objective point of view." Just what I want: the article should not present "presumptions", to use your own word, as if they were facts.
  3. "It is known that Damasus was not very subtle in appropriating symbols and titles of the empire". To this I would append "[citation needed]".
  4. "The fact that De Fide Catolica of Feb 27, 380 calls Damasus pontifex is significant". What reason is there for supposing that, while several members of the pagan college of pontifices were doubtless still alive and active, the emperor would use the common word "pontifex" to mean instead "Pontifex Maximus"? Besides, the Christians were using the word "pontifex" in their Latin translation of the Scriptures to refer to the Jewish high priest and were applying it to bishops in general, like the word "episcopus".
  5. If you are so sure Damasus used the title of Pontifex Maximus how do you explain the belief of the author of the Encyclopaedia Britannica article that the first Pope to do so was Leo the Great?
  6. Do you really think that Damasus would take over a function that, until that very moment, involved "administration of the law of adoption and of testamentary succession", not to mention "the worship of the Manes or dead ancestors" etc.? In other words, pagan functions, which not even a lay Christian like Gratian felt he could conscientiously carry out.
  7. "Why Theodosius never took back the title/office of PM. Or, later on, why didn't the Byzantine emperors?" Surely for the same reason that Gratian rejected the title/office.
  8. "The dignity of the Bishop of Rome as Pont. Max. was sure enough that people during the late Roman empire onwards never gave it a second thought."[citation needed]
  9. The paragraph "The popes and Damasus particularly were quite brilliant …." Petitio principii.
  10. "Gratian, therefore may have declined the robes of the PM but obviously the office itself was never abolished. This is clear unless you are a revisionist historian."[citation needed] It is far from clear. Wasn't the office a pagan religious one? Why should the office be kept by Christians? The title, which could be and was given a different meaning, was (later?) reused.
  11. Wherever it is - and I don't know where it is - that EB says that the Roman Catholic Church is the oldest western office in existence, it is only repeating what Macaulay said in a famous passage. The Roman Catholic Church does not need to be identified with the college of the ancient Roman pontifices to be considered as such.
  12. "If the Archbishop of Constantinople had this office instead of the pope, the consequences would have put the Bishops of Rome at an incredible disadvantage." On the contrary, the use of this title, which once referred to pagan religious functions, would deprive certain Easterners of ammunition (used also by Protestants) against the allegedly arrogant overweening bishop of Rome, whom they also attack for using such titles – official ones, unlike "Pontifex Maximus" – as "Vicarius Iesu Christi". And why do you say "office" rather than "title"? What evidence (not just presumptions) have you that the Popes have in fact performed any functions on the basis of an alleged office of "Pontifex Maximus" rather than as Bishop of Rome, Successor of Peter, Chief Bishop of the Universal Church (summus pontifex Ecclesiae universalis)?

I'll see tomorrow if you will have been able to back up any of your presumptions. Whether I write like some teenager you know or not, I think it is a duty, not just a hobby, to draw attention to the absence of solid ground for such presumptions. Citing references is a good thing; placing in Wikipedia the conclusions, the presumptions, that you personally draw from them, is not a good thing.

Finally, do you realize you have reverted three times today? I will not tempt you, by doing a third revert myself, to go again beyond that limit. But I may have to revert tomorrow. Lima (talk) 21:23, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Pope[edit]

According Pope Pontifex Maximus is included in the official list of titles.--Dojarca (talk) 07:59, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

"Summus Pontifex (Ecclesiae Universalis)" is an official title, not "Pontifex Maximus". Lima (talk) 19:51, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Article needs comparisons[edit]

In this discussion of what needs to be in the main article, there also needs to be a comparision of the overall titles and real ppower of religion, back in time; e.g. to include

  • 1) Israeli High Priests
  • 2) Egyptian High Priests
  • 3) Melcheziak HIGHIEST PRIESTS
  • 4) Pontifex Maximus (esp via Zerah, Phares twin, royal

line of Israeli royals)

  • 5 Power via Trick of Constantine
  • 6) Sucession from Christ to Peter to Popes

as today's Popes claim ALL of the above as their RIGHT and their office....BUT ONLY #3 matters as that office has been conferred only twice before - to Melcheziak and to Christ...DIRECTLY FROM GOD> /s/ no.3 lil mel - Psalms 2 & 110 69.121.221.97 (talk) 18:20, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Pagan[edit]

Pagan, while entirely correct in usage, is somewhat pejorative, reflecting Judaio Christian chauvinism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.150.48.222 (talk) 17:11, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Actually, 'pagan' is anachronistic and thus incorrect to refer to the traditional religion of Rome, because the term didn't come into use until around the time of Tertullian. During the rise of Christianity, it would indeed have been a pejorative, but that isn't necessarily the point. See Religion in ancient Rome; public or state religion in Rome is just one form of religion that later fell upon the rubric 'paganism,' which didn't exist in antiquity as some kind of religious system. It's just a false and misleading concept to use in explaining pontifex maximus. Cynwolfe (talk) 23:41, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Number[edit]

The original number of pointiffs was three, not fiveAldrasto (talk) 08:38, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

SPQR infobox[edit]

What is the relevance of an infobox on the fall of the Republic to pontifex maximus? As the article indicates, Augustus took over the role for the emperor, and it pops up again in Christian usage, so the infobox seems like a not very helpful piece of clutter. I'll wait a couple of days, however, to see whether there are any objections before deleting it. Cynwolfe (talk) 23:46, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Pont[edit]

Pont meaning road is IE, not Etruscan. The author cited is wrong. Cf. WH p. 336, EM p. 521.Aldrasto11 (talk) 04:57, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

Etymology -- Transliterations of Greek[edit]

If the Greek expressions are relevant to the etymology of pontifex maximus, it would be helpful to add their transliterations into the English/Latin alphabet to make the connections with the Latin words more apparent. Thanks.

Frans Fowler (talk) 07:40, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

I don't think including transliterations would be in any way helpful. The Greek words are not the etymological origin of the Latin words. They serve only to show the concrete meaning that the Latin words had by means of a translation in the language of a contemporary civilization. If you think the transliterations are helpful, put them in yourself: they are ἀρχιερεὺς archiereus and μέγιστος megistos. Esoglou (talk) 14:40, 14 October 2013 (UTC)