The Collegium Pontificum was in antiquity and continues today to be the most illustrious of the priestly colleges. The Collegium Pontificum was founded by the Roman king Numa. Originally four priests were appointed by Numa to this college. The number of priests gradually increased throughout the ancient republic until fifteen priests plus the Vestal Virgins were members by the first century BCE. Today the College contains a maximum of twenty one individuals including the Vistal Virgins. The head of the College is the Pontifex Maximus.
As in antiquity, the Collegium Pontificum advises the senate on matters pertaining to the gods. It also regulates the calender determing days of religious observance and when public meetings can be held. This college also supervises public ceremonies and maintains the pontifical records, annals, and core public cultus deorum documents of the res publica. This body can also issue pontifical edicts on matters pertaining to public practice of the Religio Romana.
The Collegium Pontificum also has some additional modern duties due to the need to restore and reconstruct the Religio Romana. The modern College plays a key role in conducting academic inquiry and interpritation into all matters pertaining to the gods and the ancient practice of the Roman religion. Due to this important activity these priests play a vital leadership role in educating and informing curious citizens on both private and public Roman means of worship and the core concepts of the Roman Religion. They also assist and oversee the training of new priests to insure knowlegble citizens are always available to provide assistance and guidence as the Religio Romana grows.
If you are interested in asking the priests of the Res publica a question please feel free to send a message to any of the individuals below, or post a public message in the Cultus Deorum message board. If you are interested in becoming a priest please click here
If you are new to the Religio Romana, or would like more information about the priests who are members of the Collegium Pontificum please see our Religio Romana guide book
Members of the Collegium Pontificum