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Lewis : pontifex

pontifex pontĭfex (pontŭ-), fĭcis doubtless from pons-facio; but the original meaning is obscure, m., a Roman high-priest, a pontiff, pontifex (cf.: antistes, sacerdos): pontifices, ut Q. Scaevola pontifex maximus dicebat, a posse et facere, Varr. L. L. 5, § 83 Müll.; Cic. Leg. 2, 8, 20, on the laws of the Twelve Tables; id. de Or. 3, 19, 73; id. Rep. 2, 14, 26; Liv. 1, 20; Ov. F. 6, 454; Hor. C. 3, 30, 9; 2, 14, 28; 3, 23, 12; id. Ep. 2, 1, 26; Juv. 6, 604. Their chief or president was called Pontifex Maximus, Cic. Agr. 2, 7, 18; id. de Or. 2, 12, 51; Liv. 3, 54; 25, 5 et saep.: MAIOR VESTAE, Inscr. (a. 353 p. Chr. n.) Orell. 3184: pontifices minores, a lower class of pontiffs, minor or sub- pontiffs: scribae pontificis, quos nunc minores pontifices appellant, Liv. 22, 57, 3; Cic. Har. Resp. 6, 12; Verr. Fl. Fast. ap. Inscr. Orell. 2, p. 408; Inscr. Cenot. Pisan. ap. Orell. 643: pontifices seu minores seu maximi, Lact. 5, 19, 12.

Transf. The Jewish high-priest: Pontifex, id est, sacerdos maximus, Vulg. Lev. 21, 10: Caiapham pontificem, id. Johan. 18, 24.—Hence, In the Christian period, a bishop, Sid. Carm. 16, 6.