The gods were consulted for direction in the event of majorproblems.
The first Christian emperor, Constantine, took the title of pontiffbut soon refused to perform the most important duties of the paganpontiff. He completely controlled the Christian bishops and choseevery bishop when a vacancy arose. His Christian successorsretained the title of pontiff, but considered it to be a Christianduty. Gradually, the bishop of Rome took on the title ofpontiff, although imperial influence continued.

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