I wonder how you could have missed that, Zixinus.
More on the Pontifex Maximus Subject: Mark's words will be in purple font. The words of Jacob will be in black font and the words of Charles in darkgreen. Any sources Mark quotes will be in blue font.
Just so we're all clear on that. Actually, it's not as simply and cut-and-dry as that. While modern historians give the year as a convenient end of the Western Roman Empire, contemporary people simply did not see it that way.
As I pointed out before, Italy itself under the barbarian king Odoacer, and then under the Ostrogothsas well as other Western provinces like Spain, Gaul, and Africa, continued to recognize the ultimate authority of the Emperor of Constantinople; and the Byzantines then re-conquered almost all of the West during the reign of Justinian the Great, continuing to directly rule a sizable portion of Italy for the next years.
In all this time, the imperial perrogatives of the Pope as imperial Pontifex Maximus were recognized, and that role blended seemlessly into the creation of the Holy Roman Empire, which continued to speak of the Pope as "Pontiff" "Pontifex" out of a concern for preserving the imperial institutions of old Rome.
For example, as late as A. Methodius speaking thusly about the Pope of Rome: Methodius is making a reference to binding imperial law. As for this Pontifex's dealings with pagan institutions, This would have extended from the yearwhen Gratian then co-Western Emperor with his father Valentinian first gave Pope Damasus the job, through the year the traditional date for the end of the Western Empireand well into the late 's, when pagan institutions were still tolerated among the wealthier Roman familes in Italy and in many other provinces.
That gives us about years. Then, let us not forget that Italy was populated by a large Jewish community and by a number of ruling Arian tribes i. Maximus, the Pope would be responsible for the care and legal administration of their insitutions e. Add to this the fact that, with Charlemage's Holy Roman Empire established in the yearthe north of Europe that is, a good portion of Charlemagne's realm --was still populated by pagans e.
And, while the Catholic Franks attempted to convert these pagans by force, the policy of the Papacy per its instructions to St. Boniface and the other apostles to the German lands was one of toleration and accomodation --a slow Christianization of pagan rituals e. This, again, would be the sage approach of a Pontifex Maximus who was used to dealing diplomatically with pagans.
Do we have any examples of such letters? We have the nature of the office. The office did not change. Before it was taken over by the Papacy, the office of Pontifex Maximus was responsible for managing the imperial calendar.The Rules of Engagement - Understanding the Principles That Govern the Spiritual Battles in Our Lives, Charles H.
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