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Headword: *ponti/fic
Adler number: pi,2047
Translated headword: pontifex
Vetting Status: high
The high priest amongst Romans. Numa the Romans' lawgiver[1] established him, at a time when the Tiber[2] was flowing with a strong current and carried away the oldest pontoon-bridge. This [priest] directed soothing prayers at the river, to prevent the bridge being severed, and he persuaded the river to behave in a calm and orderly manner. And [sc. Numa] added the so-called pontifices and flamines[3] to the [sc. already-existing] priests.
Greek Original:
*ponti/fic: o( me/gas para\ *(rwmai/ois i(ereu/s, o(\n *noma=s o( *(rwmai/wn nomoqe/ths kate/sthsen, h(ni/ka biai/w| r(eu/mati fero/menos o( *qu/bris to\ presbu/taton zeu=gma e)la/mbanen. eu)xa\s ou(=tos pro\s tw=| potamw=| meilikthri/ous poihsa/menos, mh\ diach=nai th\n ge/furan, e)/peise to\n potamo\n h(suxh= kai\ eu)ta/ktws a)nasxe/sqai tou= pra/gmatos. kai\ tou\s legome/nous *ponti/fikas kai\ *flamini/ous toi=s i(ereu=sin e)pe/sthse.
See generally John North in OCD4 s.v. pontifex/pontifices; and Livy 1.20 (web address 1) for the Suda material (but without the aetiology).
[1] nu 456, nu 515.
[2] cf. under omega 246.
[3] cf. under phi 517.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: aetiology; biography; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; geography; historiography; history; religion
Translated by: David Whitehead on 28 February 2010@07:09:41.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added link, set status) on 16 April 2010@00:43:00.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 16 April 2010@03:45:49.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 26 October 2011@07:19:09.
David Whitehead on 10 August 2014@06:23:17.


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