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Pontifex Maximus List

Roman Office of the Pontifex Maximus




712 BC

Numa Pompilius

The office was said to begin during the tenure of the Kings of Rome. However, very little recorded evidence exists. This name has been recorded as Numa Marcius and it is difficult to determine if it was a different person, or the actual second king of Rome.

509 BC


Complete dates in office unknown.

449 BC


Complete dates in office unknown.

431 BC

Cornelius Cossas

Complete dates in office unknown.

420 BC


Complete dates in office unknown.

390 BC

Follius Flaccinator

Complete dates in office unknown.

332 - 304 BC

Cornelius Callissa


304 - ? BC

Cornelius Scipio Barbatus

Complete dates in office unknown.

254 - 243 BC

Tib. Coruncanius

First Plebeian Pontifex Maximus

243 - 221 BC

Caecilius Metellus


217 - 213 BC

Cornelius Lentulus Caudinus


212 - 183 BC

Licinius Crassus Dives


183 - 180 BC

Servilius Geminus


180 - 152 BC

Aemilius Lepidus


152 -150 BC

No Pontifex Maximus


150 - 141 BC

Cornelius Scipio Nasica Corculum


141 - 132 BC

Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica Serapio

Described by Plutarch as the first Pontifex to break the religious law not allowing him to leave Italy.

132 - 130 BC

Licinius Crassus Dives Mucianus

Also noted as the first to leave Italy, during the social disorder of the Gracchi Brothers. After which, it became increasingly common and certainly not against the law for the Pontifex to leave Italy.

? - 115 BC

P. Mucius Scaevola

Complete dates in office unknown, but assumedly shortly after his predecessor.

114 - 103 BC

Caecilius Metellus Delmaticus


103 - 89 BC

Domitius Ahenobarbus


89 - 82 BC

Q. Mucius Scaevola


81 - 63 BC

Caecilius Metellus Pius


63 - 44 BC

Gaius Julius Caesar


44 - 13 BC

Aemilius Lepidus


12 BC


With the accession of Augustus, the election of the Pontifex Maximus ceased as each successive emperor held the office. (Emperor list) In 382 AD, when the Eastern emperor Theodosius established Christianity as the official religion of the empire, the Western Emperor Gratian relinquished the office to the Christian Popes of Rome, who have held it since that time.

Did you know?

In the Roman Republic, the Pontifex Maximus was the head of the Roman religion. He was the most important of the Pontifices (plural of Pontifex), which were positions in the main sacred college (Collegium Pontificum), which was directed by the Pontifex Maximus.


Pontifex Maximus - Related Topic: Roman Emperors


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