Pontifex means pope? So, when Gaius Julius Caesar was named Pontifex Maximus in 64 BC, he was the Greatest Pope?
I thought that the derivation of Pope came from Pape, meaning father.
Pontifex was chosen because it not only means pope in Latin, but also bridge-builder, suggesting unity.Maybe he was the Greatest bridge-builder.
Pontifex Maximus? Sounds like a brand of condoms....
Pontifex was a title for the priests of the pagan Romans. I think the emperor took for himself the title Pontifex Maximus--chief bridge-builder.
With the triumph of Christianity over paganism, the bishops of Rome lay claim to the title as the chief priest of the City of Rome.
I liken it to the cross that surmounts the obelisk in St. Peter's Square.