A pontiff (from Latin pontifex) was, in Roman antiquity, a member of the most illustrious of the colleges of priests of the Roman religion, the College of Pontiffs.The term "pontiff" was later applied to any high or chief priest and, in Roman Catholic ecclesiastical usage, to a bishop and more particularly to the Bishop of Rome, the Pope or "Roman Pontiff".
Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.
Religion in Ancient Rome includes the ancestral ethnic religion of the city of Rome that the Romans used to define themselves as a people, as well as the religious practices of peoples brought under Roman rule, in so far as they became widely followed in Rome and Italy. The Romans thought of themselves as highly religious, and attributed their success as a world power to their collective piety (pietas) in maintaining good relations with the gods. The Romans are known for the great number of deities they honored, a capacity that earned the mockery of early Christian polemicists.
The College of Pontiffs was a body of the ancient Roman state whose members were the highest-ranking priests of the state religion. The college consisted of the Pontifex Maximus and the other pontifices, the Rex Sacrorum, the fifteen flamens, and the Vestals. The College of Pontiffs was one of the four major priestly colleges; originally their responsibility was limited to supervising both public and private sacrifices, but as time passed their responsibilities increased. The other colleges were the augurs, the quindecimviri sacris faciundis , and the Epulones.
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The English term derives through Old French pontiffrom Latin pontifex, a word commonly held to come from the Latin root words pons (bridge) + facere (to do, to make), and so to have the literal meaning of "bridge-builder", presumably between mankind and the deity/deities. The role of bridges in ancient religions, associated with resurrection, redemption and the Judgement Day is already too well known. Uncertainty prevailing, this may be only a folk etymology, but it may also recall ancient tasks and magic rites associated with bridges.
French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.
Resurrection or anastasis is the concept of coming back to life after death. In a number of ancient religions, a dying-and-rising god is a deity which dies and resurrects.
Redemption may refer to:
There were four chief colleges of priests in ancient Rome, the most illustrious of which was that of the pontifices.The others were those of the augures , the quindecimviri sacris faciundis , and the epulones . The same person could be a member of more than one of these groups. Including the pontifex maximus , who was president of the college, there were originally three or five pontifices, but the number increased over the centuries, finally becoming 16 under Julius Caesar. By the third century B.C., the pontiffs had assumed control of the state religious system.
A collegium was any association in ancient Rome with a legal personality. Such associations had various functions.
In ancient Rome, the quindecimviri sacris faciundis were the fifteen (quindecim) members of a college (collegium) with priestly duties. Most notably they guarded the Sibylline Books, scriptures which they consulted and interpreted at the request of the Senate. This collegium also oversaw the worship of any foreign gods which were introduced to Rome.
The epulones arranged feasts and public banquets at festivals and games (ludi) They constituted one of the four great religious corporations of ancient Roman priests.
The word "pontiff", though now most often used in relation to a Pope, technically refers to any bishop. The phrase "Roman Pontiff" is not tautological, but means "Bishop of Rome", as "Alexandrian Pontiff" means Bishop of Alexandria.In the same way, the adjective "pontifical" does not refer exclusively to the Pope: a Pontifical Mass is a Mass celebrated by a bishop, not necessarily by a pope. From the adjective have been formed the nouns "the Pontifical" (the liturgical book containing the prayers and ceremonies for rites used by a bishop) and "pontificals" (the insignia of his order that a bishop uses when celebrating Pontifical Mass, not papal insignia, such as the papal tiara). Furtheron, while the pontificals primarily belong to bishops (as the name implies), they have also been granted by Papal favour or legally established Church custom to certain presbyters (e. g., abbots), and so (say) an abbot who (say) confers the Sacrament of Confirmation as extraordinary distributor, celebrating a Pontifical Mass at the occasion, might also be referred to as "the pontiff" (that is, celebrant of the Pontifical Mass) in this respect.
The pope, also known as the supreme pontiff, is the bishop of Rome and ex officio leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. Since 1929, the pope has also been head of state of Vatican City, a city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. The current pope is Francis, who was elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI.
The Patriarch of Alexandria is the archbishop of Alexandria, Egypt. Historically, this office has included the designation "pope".
Mass is the main eucharistic liturgical service in many forms of Western Christianity. The term Mass is commonly used in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, as well as in some Lutheran, Methodist, Western Rite Orthodox, and Old Catholic churches.
Inspiration for the Christian use of the name "pontiff" for a bishop could be found in the use of the same word (in Latin, pontifex, not "pontifex maximus") for the Jewish High Priest in the Vulgate Latin translation of the Scriptures, where it appears 59 times. For example, in the Vulgate Mark 15:11, "pontifices" (plural) is the Latin term used for "The Chief Priests",and in the Letter to the Hebrews "pontifex" (singular) is repeatedly used with reference to the Jewish High Priest and analogously to Jesus as the High Priest of Christians.
The Vulgate is a late-4th-century Latin translation of the Bible that was to become the Catholic Church's officially promulgated Latin version of the Bible during the 16th century. The translation was largely the work of Jerome, who in 382 had been commissioned by Pope Damasus I to revise the Vetus Latina Gospels then in use by the Roman Church. Jerome, on his own initiative, extended this work of revision and translation to include most of the books of the Bible; and once published, the new version became widely adopted; and over succeeding centuries eventually eclipsed the Vetus Latina, so that by the 13th century it had taken over from the former version the appellation of versio vulgata or vulgata for short, and in Greek as βουλγάτα ("Voulgata").
The word has been employed in English also for caliphs (Islam) and swamis and jagadgurus (Hinduism).
Islam is an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God, and that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world's population, most commonly known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful, and unique, and has guided humankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs. The primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, claimed to be the verbatim word of God, and the teachings and normative examples of Muhammad.
In Hinduism, a swami is an ascetic or yogi who has been initiated into a religious monastic order. The meaning of the Sanskrit root of the word is '[he who is] one with his self'. The term is applied to religious gurus as well as yogis, with or without disciples. The term is also used in Advaita Vedanta. As a direct form of address, or as a stand-in for a swami's name, it is often rendered Swamiji.
Jagadguru, literally meaning the Guru of the universe, is a title used in Sanātana Dharma. Traditionally, it has been bestowed upon or used for Ācāryas belonging to the Vedānta school who have written Sanskrit commentaries on the Prasthānatrayī – the Brahma sūtras, the Bhagavad-gītā and the principal Upaniṣads. Historically, Jagadgurus have established a lineage, established an institution to spread Dharma, who have been based in Varanasi, famous for being the centre of Sanskrit study and the "Capital of All Knowledge".
A cardinal is a leading bishop and prince of College of Cardinals in the Catholic Church. Their duties include participating in Papal consistories, and Papal conclaves, when the Holy See is vacant. Most have additional missions, such as leading a diocese or a dicastery of the Roman Curia, the equivalent of a government of the Holy See. During the sede vacante, the day-to-day governance of the Holy See is in the hands of the College of Cardinals. The right to enter the Papal conclave of cardinals where the pope is elected is limited to those who have not reached the age of 80 years by the day the vacancy occurs.
Pope Siricius was Pope from December 384 to his death in 399. He was successor to Pope Damasus I and was himself succeeded by Pope Anastasius I.
The Latin word basilica has three distinct applications in modern English. Originally, the word was used to refer to an ancient Roman public building, where courts were held, as well as serving other official and public functions. It usually had the door at one end and a slightly raised platform and an apse at the other, where the magistrate or other officials were seated. The basilica was centrally located in every Roman town, usually adjacent to the main forum. Subsequently, the basilica was not built near a forum but adjacent to a palace and was known as a "palace basilica".
The Pontifex Maximus was the chief high priest of the College of Pontiffs in ancient Rome. This was the most important position in the ancient Roman religion, open only to patricians until 254 BC, when a plebeian first occupied this post. A distinctly religious office under the early Roman Republic, it gradually became politicized until, beginning with Augustus, it was subsumed into the Imperial office. Its last use with reference to the emperors is in inscriptions of Gratian who, however, then decided to omit the words "pontifex maximus" from his title. Although in fact the most powerful office of Roman priesthood, the pontifex maximus was officially ranked fifth in the ranking of the highest Roman priests, behind the rex sacrorum and the flamines maiores.
A prelate is a high-ranking member of the clergy who is an ordinary or who ranks in precedence with ordinaries. The word derives from the Latin prælatus, the past participle of præferre, which means 'carry before', 'be set above or over' or 'prefer'; hence, a prelate is one set over others.
An episcopal see is, in the usual meaning of the phrase, the area of a bishop's ecclesiastical jurisdiction.
Seminary, school of theology, theological seminary, and divinity school are educational institutions for educating students in scripture, theology, generally to prepare them for ordination to serve as clergy, in academics, or in Christian ministry. The English word is taken from the Latin seminarium, translated as seed-bed, an image taken from the Council of Trent document Cum adolescentium aetas which called for the first modern seminaries. In the West, the term now refers to Catholic educational institutes and has widened to include other Christian denominations and American Jewish institutions.
An encyclical was originally a circular letter sent to all the churches of a particular area in the ancient Roman Church. At that time, the word could be used for a letter sent out by any bishop. The word comes from Late Latin encyclios.
In the context of the Tridentine Mass of the Roman Catholic Church, a Pontifical High Mass, also called Solemn Pontifical Mass, is a Solemn or High Mass celebrated by a bishop using certain prescribed ceremonies. The term is also used among Anglo-Catholic Anglicans. Although in modern English the word "pontifical" is almost exclusively associated with the Pope, any bishop may be properly called a pontiff. Thus, the celebrant of a Pontifical High Mass may be any bishop, and not just a pope.
Ecclesiastical Latin, also called Church Latin, Liturgical Latin or Italian Latin, is a form of Latin initially developed to discuss Christian thought and later used as a lingua franca by the Medieval and Early Modern upper class of Europe. It includes words from Vulgar Latin and Classical Latin re-purposed with Christian meaning. It is less stylized and rigid in form than Classical Latin, sharing vocabulary, forms, and syntax, while at the same time incorporating informal elements which had always been with the language but which were excluded by the literary authors of classical Latin. Its pronunciation is based on Italian.
Papal primacy, also known as the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, is an ecclesiastical doctrine concerning the respect and authority that is due to the pope from other bishops and their episcopal sees.
A Papal Mass is the Solemn Pontifical High Mass celebrated by the Pope. It is celebrated on such occasions as a papal coronation, an ex cathedra pronouncement, the canonization of a saint, on Easter or Christmas or other major feast days.
An apostolic constitution is the most solemn form of legislation issued by the Pope. The use of the term constitution comes from Latin constitutio, which referred to any important law issued by the Roman emperor, and is retained in church documents because of the inheritance that the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church received from Roman law.
Quintus Mucius Scaevola Pontifex was a politician of the Roman Republic and an important early authority on Roman law. He is credited with founding the study of law as a systematic discipline. He was elected Pontifex Maximus, as had been his father and uncle before him. He was the first Roman Pontifex Maximus to be murdered publicly, in Rome in the very Temple of the Vestal Virgins, signifying a breakdown of historical norms and religious taboos in the Republic.
A pontifex was an official in a Roman priesthood of the pre-Christian era, headed by the Pontifex Maximus, and now one of the titles of the Pope.
The Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice decoration is an award of the Roman Catholic Church. It is also known as the "Decoration of Honour". It is currently conferred for distinguished service to the church by lay people and clergy.
The Roman Pontifical, in Latin the Pontificale Romanum, is the Latin Catholic liturgical book that contains the rites performed by bishops.