National Roman Museum
The National Roman Museum is a museum, with several branches in separate buildings throughout the city of Rome, Italy. It shows exhibits from the pre- and early history of Rome, with a focus on archaeological findings from the period of Ancient Rome. Founded in 1889 and inaugurated in 1890, the museum's first aim was to collect and exhibit archaeologic materials unearthed during the excavations after the union of Rome with the Kingdom of Italy; the initial core of its collection originated from the Museo Kircheriano, archaeologic works assembled by the antiquarian and Jesuit priest, Athanasius Kircher, housed within the Jesuit complex of Sant'Ignazio. The collection was appropriated after the suppression of the Society of Jesus. Renamed as the Royal Museum, the collection was intended to be moved to a Museo Tiberino, never completed. In 1901 the Italian state granted the National Roman Museum the acquired Collection Ludovisi as well as the important national collection of Ancient Sculpture. Findings during the urban renewal of the late 19th century added to the collections.
In 1913, a ministerial decree sanctioned the division of the collection of the Museo Kircheriano among all the different museums, established over the last decades, such as the National Roman Museum, the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia and the Museum of Castel Sant'Angelo. Its seat was established in the charterhouse designed and realised in the 16th century by Michelangelo within the Baths of Diocletian, which houses the epigraphic and the protohistoric sections of the modern museum, while the main collection of ancient art was moved to the nearby Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, acquired by the Italian state in 1981; the reconversion of the area of the ancient bath/charterhouse into an exhibition space began on the occasion of the International Exhibition of Art of 1911. The palace was built on the site once occupied by the Villa Montalto-Peretti, named after Pope Sixtus V, born Francesco Peretti; the present building was commissioned by Prince Massimiliano Massimo, so as to give a seat to the Jesuit Collegio Romano within the convent of the church of Sant'Ignazio.
In 1871, the Collegio had been ousted from the convent by the government which converted it into the Liceo Visconti, the first public secular high school of Italy. Erected between 1883 and 1887 by the architect Camillo Pistrucci in a neo-cinquecentesco style, it was one of the most prestigious schools of Rome until 1960. During World War II, it was used as a military hospital, but it returned to scholastic functions until the 1960s, when the school was moved to a newer seat in the EUR quarter. In 1981, lying in a state of neglect, the Italian government acquired it for 19 billion lire and granted it to the National Roman Museum, its restoration and adaptation began in 1983 and was completed in 1998. The palazzo became the main seat of the museum as well as the headquarters of the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma; the museum houses the ancient art as well as the numismatic collection, housed in the Medagliere, i.e. the coin cabinet. The ground floor features the notable bronze statues of the Boxer at the Athlete.
One room is devoted to the mummy, found in 1964 on the Via Cassia, inside a richly decorated sarcophagus with several artefacts in amber and pieces of jewellery on display. Sculptures of the period between the late Roman Republic and the early imperial period, include Tivoli General Tiber Apollo Via Labicana Augustus Aphrodite of Menophantos Hermes Ludovisi from Anzio Torlonia Vase Sleeping Hermaphroditus Dionysus Sardanapalus Portonaccio sarcophagus Frescoes and mosaics, including those from the villa of Livia, wife of Augustus, at Prima Porta on the Via Flaminia, it begins with the summer triclinium of Livia's Villa ad Gallinas Albas. The frescoes, discovered in 1863 and dating back to the 1st century BC, show a luscious garden with ornamental plants and pomegranate trees; the Museum's numismatic collection is the largest in Italy. Among the coins on exhibit are Theodoric’s medallion, the four ducats of Pope Paul II with the navicella of St Peter, the silver piastre of the Pontifical State with views of the city of Rome.
The building was designed in the 15th century by Melozzo da Forlì for Girolamo Riario, a relation of Pope Sixtus IV. There is still a fresco on one wall of the rooms in the palazzo that celebrates the wedding of Girolamo to Caterina Sforza in 1477, showing the silver plates and other wedding gifts given to the couple; when the Riario family began to decline after the death of Pope Sixtus IV, the palazzo was sold to Cardinal Francesco Soderini of Volterra, who commissioned further refinements from the architects Sangallo the Elder and Baldassarre Peruzzi. When the Soderini family fell on hard times, he in turn sold it in 1568 to the Austrian-born cardinal Mark Sittich von Hohenems Altemps, the son of the sister of Pope Pius IV. Cardinal Altemps commissioned the architect Martino Longhi to improve the palazzo. Cardinal Altemps accumulated a large collection of ancient sculpture. Though his position as the second son in his family meant Marco Sittico Altemps became a cleric, he was not inclined to priesthood.
His mistress bore him a son, made Duke of Gallese. Roberto Altemps was executed for ad
Roman portraiture was one of the most significant periods in the development of portrait art. Originating from ancient Rome, it continued for five centuries. Roman portraiture is characterised by unusual realism and the desire to convey images of nature in the high quality style seen in ancient Roman art; some busts seem to show clinical signs. Several images and statues made in marble and bronze have survived in small numbers. Roman funerary art includes many portraits such as married couple funerary reliefs, which were most made for wealthy freedmen rather than the patrician elite. Portrait sculpture from the Republican era tends to be somewhat more modest and natural compared to early Imperial works. A typical work might be one like the standing figure "A Roman Patrician with Busts of His Ancestors". By the imperial age, though they were realistic depictions of human anatomy, portrait sculpture of Roman emperors were used for propaganda purposes and included ideological messages in the pose, accoutrements, or costume of the figure.
Since most emperors from Augustus on were deified, some images are somewhat idealized. The Romans depicted warriors and heroic adventures, in the spirit of the Greeks who came before them; the origin of the realism of Roman portraits may be, according to some scholars, because they evolved from wax death masks. These death masks were kept in a home altar. Besides wax, masks were made from bronze and terracotta; the molds for the masks were made directly from the deceased, giving historians an accurate representation of Roman features. In the days of the Republic, full-size statues of political officials and military commanders were erected in public places; such an honor was provided by the decision of the Senate in commemoration of victories and political achievements. These portraits were accompanied by a dedicatory inscription. If the person commemorated with a portrait was found to have committed a crime, the portrait would be destroyed. Development of the Roman portrait was associated with increased interest in the individual, with the expansion of the social circle portrayed.
At the heart of the artistic structure of many Roman portraits is the clear and rigorous transfer of unique features of the model, while still keeping the general style similar. Unlike the ancient Greek portraits that strived for idealization, Roman portrait sculpture was far more natural and is still considered one of the most realistic samples of the genre in the history of art. Roman portraiture of the Imperial period includes works created throughout the provinces combining Greek and local traditions, as with the Fayum mummy portraits. Imagines Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli, Il problema del ritratto, in L'arte classica, Editori Riuniti, Rome 1984. Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli e Mario Torelli, L'arte dell'antichità classica, Etruria-Roma, Turin 1976. Pierluigi De Vecchi & Elda Cerchiari, I tempi dell'arte, volume 1, Milan 1999 http://www.getty.edu/publications/virtuallibrary/0866590048.html?imprint=jpgt&pg=6&res=20
Augustus of Prima Porta
Augustus of Prima Porta is a 2.03 m high marble statue of Augustus Caesar, the first and one of the most significant emperors of Ancient Rome, discovered on April 20, 1863 in the Villa of Livia at Prima Porta, near Rome. Augustus Caesar's wife Livia Drusilla, now known as Julia Augusta, retired to the villa after his death; the sculpture is now displayed in the Braccio Nuovo of the Vatican Museums. The dating of the Prima Porta piece is contested because there is a representation on the breast plate signifying the Roman eagles' return by the Parthians in 20 B. C, it is thought to be a copy of a bronze original. The sculptor may have been Greek; this original, along with other high honors, was vowed to Augustus by the Senate in 20 BC and set up in a public place. The marble statue, was found in the villa of his wife, Livia, it is contested that this particular sculpture is a reworking of a bronze original a gift from Tiberius Caesar to his mother Livia after Augustus' death and in honor of the woman who had campaigned so long for him to become the next Caesar.
This would explain the divine references to Augustus in the piece, notably his being barefoot, the standard representation of gods or heroes in classical iconography. The reliefs in the heroic cuirass depict the retrieval of Crassus' standards captured by the Parthians, an event in which the young Tiberius himself took a part, serving as an intermediary with the Parthian king, in the act, shown in the central scene of the armor his grandest service to his adoptive father Augustus. With the introduction of Tiberius as the figure responsible for the retrieval of the standards, he associates himself with Augustus, the emperor and the new god, as Augustus himself had done with Julius Caesar. Under this hypothesis, the dating of the statue can be placed during the first years of Tiberius' reign as emperor. Augustus is shown in this role of "Imperator", the commander of the army, as thoracatus —or commander-in-chief of the Roman army —meaning the statue should form part of a commemorative monument to his latest victories.
The bas-reliefs on his armored cuirass have a complex allegorical and political agenda, alluding to diverse Roman deities, including Mars, god of war, as well as the personifications of the latest territories he conquered: Hispania, Germania, Parthia. The statue is an idealized image of Augustus showing a standard pose of a Roman orator and based on the 5th-century BC statue of the Spear Bearer or Doryphoros by the sculptor Polykleitos; the Doryphoros's contrapposto stance, creating diagonals between tense and relaxed limbs, a feature typical of classical sculpture, is adapted here. The pose of the statue's legs is similar to Doryphoros; the right leg is taut. The misidentification of the Doryphoros in the Roman period as representing the warrior Achilles made the model all the more appropriate for this image. Despite the Republican influence in the portrait head, the overall style is closer to Hellenistic idealization than to the realism of Roman portraiture; the reason for this style shift is the acquisition of Greek art.
Following each conquest, the Romans brought back large amounts of Greek art. This flow of Greek artifacts changes Romans' aesthetic tastes. Despite the accuracy with which Augustus' features are depicted, the distant and tranquil expression of his face has been idealized, as have the conventional contrapposto, the anatomical proportions and the draped paludamentum or "cloth of the commander". On the other hand, Augustus's barefootedness and the inclusion of Cupid riding a dolphin as structural support for the statue reveals his mythical connection to the goddess Venus by way of his adopted father Julius Caesar; the clear Greek inspiration in style and symbol for official sculptural portraits, which under the Roman emperors became instruments of governmental propaganda, is a central part of the Augustan ideological campaign, a shift from the Roman Republican era iconography where old and wise features were seen as symbols of solemn character. Therefore, the Prima Porta statue marks a conscious reversal of iconography to the Greek classical and Hellenistic period, in which youth and strength were valued as signs of leadership, emulating heroes and culminating in Alexander the Great himself.
Such a statue's political function was obvious—to show Rome that the emperor Augustus was an exceptional figure, comparable to the heroes worthy of being raised to divine status on Olympus, the best man to govern Rome. It is certain that the Augustus was painted, but so few traces remain today that historians have had to fall back on old watercolors and new scientific investigations for evidence. Vincenz Brinkmann of Munich researched the use of color on ancient sculpture in the 1980s using ultraviolet rays to find traces of color. Today, the Vatican Museums have produced a copy of the statue so as to paint it in the theorized original colors, as confirmed when
Augustus was a Roman statesman and military leader, the first emperor of the Roman Empire, reigning from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate has consolidated an enduring legacy as one of the most effective and controversial leaders in human history; the reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana. The Roman world was free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries, despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and the year-long civil war known as the "Year of the Four Emperors" over the imperial succession. Augustus was born Gaius Octavius Thurinus into an old and wealthy equestrian branch of the plebeian gens Octavia, his maternal great-uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, Octavius was named in Caesar's will as his adopted son and heir. Along with Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus, he formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of Caesar. Following their victory at the Battle of Philippi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators.
The Triumvirate was torn apart by the competing ambitions of its members. Lepidus was driven into exile and stripped of his position, Antony committed suicide following his defeat at the Battle of Actium by Octavian in 31 BC. After the demise of the Second Triumvirate, Augustus restored the outward façade of the free Republic, with governmental power vested in the Roman Senate, the executive magistrates, the legislative assemblies. In reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator. By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including supreme military command, those of tribune and censor, it took several years for Augustus to develop the framework within which a formally republican state could be led under his sole rule. He rejected monarchical titles, instead called himself Princeps Civitatis; the resulting constitutional framework became known as the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire. Augustus enlarged the Empire, annexing Egypt, Pannonia and Raetia, expanding possessions in Africa, completing the conquest of Hispania, but suffered a major setback in Germania.
Beyond the frontiers, he secured the Empire with a buffer region of client states and made peace with the Parthian Empire through diplomacy. He reformed the Roman system of taxation, developed networks of roads with an official courier system, established a standing army, established the Praetorian Guard, created official police and fire-fighting services for Rome, rebuilt much of the city during his reign. Augustus died in AD 14 at the age of 75 from natural causes. However, there were unconfirmed rumors, he was succeeded as emperor by his adopted son Tiberius. As a consequence of Roman customs and personal preference, Augustus was known by many names throughout his life: Gaius Octavius Thurinus: He received his birth name, after his biological father, in 63 BC. "Gaius" was his praenomen, "Octavius" was his nomen, "Thurinus" was his cognomen. His rival Mark Antony used the name "Thurinus" as an insult, to which Augustus replied, surprised that "using his old name was thought to be an insult".
Gaius Julius Caesar: After he was adopted by Julius Caesar, he adopted Caesar's name in accordance with Roman naming conventions. While he dropped all references to the gens Octavia, people colloquially added the epithet Octavianus to his legal name, either to differentiate him from his adoptive father or to highlight his more modest origins. Modern historians refer to him using the anglicized form "Octavian" between 44 BC and 27 BC. Gaius Julius Caesar Divi Filius: Two years after his adoption, he founded the Temple of Caesar additionally adding the title Divi Filius to his name in attempt to strengthen his political ties to Caesar's former soldiers, following the deification of Caesar. Imperator Caesar Divi Filius: From 38 BC, Octavian opted to use Imperator, the title by which troops hailed their leader after military success, his name is translated as "Commander Caesar, Son of the Divine". Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus: Following his 31 BC defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra on his own insistence, the Roman Senate granted him the additional name, "Augustus", which he added to his previous names thereafter.
Historians use this name to refer to him from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. While his paternal family was from the town of Velletri 40 kilometres from Rome, Augustus was born in the city of Rome on 23 September 63 BC, he was born at Ox Head, a small property on the Palatine Hill close to the Roman Forum. He was given the name Gaius Octavius Thurinus, his cognomen commemorating his father's victory at Thurii over a rebellious band of slaves. Suetonius wrote: "There are many indications that the Octavian family was in days of old a distinguished one at Velitrae; this man was leader in a war with a neighbouring town..." Due to the crowded nature of Rome at the time, Octavius was taken to his father's home village at Velletri to be raised. Octavius mentions his father's equestrian family only in his memoirs, his paternal great-grandfather Gaius Octavius was a military tribune in Sicily during the Second Punic War. His grandfather had served in several lo
The Via Labicana was an ancient road of Italy, leading east-southeast from Rome. It seems possible that the road at first led to Tusculum, that it was extended to Labici, still became a road for through traffic. After their junction it is probable; the course of the road after the first six miles from Rome is not identical with that of any modern road, but can be traced by remains of pavement and buildings along its course. Via Labicana entered Rome through the Aurelian walls via the ancient monumental gate of Porta Prenestina, reached, after an internal part, the Servian Wall, entering through the Porta Esquilina, decorated with the arch of Gallienus; the section of the road near Rome is now known as the Via Casilina. A statue of Augustus as pontifex maximus found at a villa of Livia on this road is known as the "Via Labicana type" and is housed at the National Roman Museum; the Roman Emperor Didius Julianus was buried by the fifth milestone on the Via Labicana, after being executed in 193. The ancient church of Santi Marcellino e Pietro al Laterano was built at the intersection with via Merulana near the catacombs where the remains of St Marcellino and St Pietro were found.
For an overview of the location of Roman bridges, see List of Roman bridges. There are the remains of at least one Roman bridge along the road, which crosses the Fosso del Giardinetto 11 kilometres east of Rome. Roman road Roman bridge Roman engineering Omnes Viae: Via Labicana on the Peutinger map
Res Gestae Divi Augusti
Res Gestae Divi Augusti is the funerary inscription of the first Roman emperor, giving a first-person record of his life and accomplishments. The Res Gestae is significant because it gives an insight into the image Augustus portrayed to the Roman people. Various portions of the Res Gestae have been found in modern Turkey; the inscription itself is a monument to the establishment of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, to follow Augustus. The text consists of a short introduction, 35 body paragraphs, a posthumous addendum; these paragraphs are conventionally grouped in four sections, political career, public benefactions, military accomplishments and a political statement. The first section is concerned with Augustus' political career. Augustus lists numerous offices he refused to take and privileges he refused to be awarded; the second section lists Augustus' donations of money and grain to the citizens of Italy and his soldiers, as well as the public works and gladiatorial spectacles that he commissioned.
The text is careful to point out. The third section describes his military deeds and how he established alliances with other nations during his reign; the fourth section consists of a statement of the Romans' approval for the reign and deeds of Augustus. The appendix is written in the third person, not by Augustus himself, it summarizes the entire text, lists various buildings he renovated or constructed. Ancient currencies cannot be reliably converted into modern equivalents, but it is more than anyone else in the Empire could afford. Augustus consolidated his hold on power by reversing the prior tax policy beginning with funding the aerarium militare with 170 million sesterces of his own money. According to the text it was written just before Augustus' death in AD 14, but it was written years earlier and went through many revisions. Augustus left the text with his will; the original, which has not survived, was engraved upon a pair of bronze pillars and placed in front of Augustus' mausoleum.
Many copies of the text were made and carved in stone on monuments or temples throughout the Roman Empire, some of which have survived. By its nature the Res Gestae is propaganda for the principate that Augustus instituted, it tends to gloss over the events between the assassination of Augustus' adoptive father Julius Caesar and the victory at Actium when his foothold on power was undisputed. Augustus' enemies are never mentioned by name. Caesar's murderers Brutus and Cassius are called "those who killed my father". Mark Antony and Sextus Pompey, Augustus' opponents in the East, remain anonymous; the text fails to mention Augustus' imperium maius and his exceptional tribunicial powers. Quoted is Augustus' official position on his government: "From that time I surpassed all others in influence, yet my official powers were no greater than those of my colleague in office." This is in keeping with a reign that promoted itself from the beginning as a "restoration" of the old republic, with a leader, nothing more than "first among equals", but was akin to absolute monarchy by divine right, backed by the swords of the legions.
The Res Gestae was a unique public relations move for the first emperor of the Roman Empire, whose political career was in many ways experimental. If their frequent use as "history" by historians who characterized Augustus' rule according to categories he himself constructed in the Res Gestae is any indication, it is a rather successful piece of propaganda. On the other hand, it would be absurd to overlook the usefulness to historians of what is a first-person account of his rule. Lucius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus, whose sarcophagus carries a short inscription in Saturnian metre commemorating his deeds Behistun Inscription, commissioned by Darius I of Persia Res Gestae References SourcesBarini, Concetta, / Res Gestae Divi Augusti ex Monumentis Ancyrano, Apolloniensi, Rome. Cooley, Res Gestae divi Augusti: Text and Commentary, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-521-84152-8 Gagé, Res gestae divi Augusti ex monumentis Ancyrano et Antiocheno latinis, Paris. Mommsen, Theodor. Res gestae Divi Augusti ex monumentis Ancyrano et Apolloniensi.
Berolini: Weidmannos, 1865. Scheid. John. Res Gestae Divi Augusti: hauts faits du divin Auguste. Paris: Belles Lettres, 2007. ISBN 978-2-251-01446-3 Volkmann, Res gestae Divi Augusti Das Monumentum Ancyranum, Leipzig; the Res Gestae at LacusCurtius, in Latin and English The Res Gestae at The Latin Library The Res Gestae at the Internet Classics Archive Life and deeds of Augustus
The Pontifex Maximus or pontifex maximus was the chief high priest of the College of Pontiffs in ancient Rome. This was the most important position in the ancient Roman religion, open only to patricians until 254 BC, when a plebeian first occupied this post. A distinctly religious office under the early Roman Republic, it became politicized until, beginning with Augustus, it was subsumed into the Imperial office, its last use with reference to the emperors is in inscriptions of Gratian who, however decided to omit the words "pontifex maximus" from his title. Although in fact the most powerful office of Roman priesthood, the pontifex maximus was ranked fifth in the ranking of the highest Roman priests, behind the rex sacrorum and the flamines maiores; the word "pontifex" and its derivative "pontiff" became terms used for Catholic bishops, including the Bishop of Rome, the title of "Pontifex Maximus" was applied within the Catholic Church to the Pope as its chief bishop and appears on buildings and coins of popes of Renaissance and modern times.
The official list of titles of the Pope given in the Annuario Pontificio includes "Supreme Pontiff" as the fourth title, the first being "Bishop of Rome".. The etymology of "pontifex" is uncertain, has been since Roman times; the word appears to consist of the Latin word for "bridge" and the suffix for "maker". However, there is a possibility that this definition is a folk etymology for an Etruscan term, since Roman religion was influenced by Etruscan religion, little is known about the Etruscan language, not Indo-European. According to the common interpretation, the term pontifex means "bridge-builder"; this was originally meant in a literal sense: the position of bridge-builder was indeed an important one in Rome, where the major bridges were over the Tiber, the sacred river: only prestigious authorities with sacral functions could be allowed to "disturb" it with mechanical additions. However, it was always understood in its symbolic sense as well: the pontifices were the ones who smoothed the "bridge" between gods and men.
The interpretation of the word pontifex as "bridge-builder" was that of Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Marcus Terentius Varro. Plutarch pointed out that the term existed before there were any bridges in Rome and derived the word from Old Latin pontis meaning a powerful or absolute master, while others derived it from potis facere in the sense of "able to sacrifice"; the last derivation is mentioned by Varro, who rejected it, but it was the view of Pontifex Maximus Quintus Scaevola. Others have held that the word was pompifex; the word pons meant "way" and pontifex would thus mean "maker of roads and bridges". Another opinion is that the word is a corruption of a similar-sounding but etymologically unrelated Etruscan word, yet another hypothesis considers the word as a loan from the Sabine language, in which it would mean a member of a college of five, from Osco-Umbrian ponte, five. This explanation takes into account the fact that the college was established by Sabine king Numa Pompilius and the institution is Italic: the expressions pontis and pomperias found in the Iguvine Tablets may denote a group or division of five or by five.
The pontifex would thence be a member of a sacrificial college known as pomperia. The Roman title "Pontifex Maximus" was rendered in Greek inscriptions and literature of the time as "ἀρχιερεύς" or by a more literal translation and order of words as "ἀρχιερεὺς μέγιστος" (literally, "greatest high priest"; the term "ἀρχιερεύς" is used in the Septuagint text of the Old Testament and in the New Testament to refer to the Jewish high priest in 2Mac 4, 7. The Collegium Pontificum was the most important priesthood of ancient Rome; the foundation of this sacred college and the office of Pontifex Maximus is attributed to the second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius. Much of what is known about the Regal period in Roman history is mythical; the Collegium acted as advisers to the rex in religious matters. The collegium was headed by the pontifex maximus, all the pontifices held their office for life, but the pontifical records of early Rome were most destroyed when the city was sacked by the Gauls in 387 BCE, the earliest accounts of Archaic Rome come from the literature of the Republic, most of it from the 1st century BC and later.
According to the Augustan-era historian Livy, Numa Pompilius, a Sabine, devised Rome's system of religious rites, including the manner and timing of sacrifices, the supervision of religious funds, authority over all public and private religious institutions, instruction of the populace in the celestial and funerary rites including appeasing the dead, expiation of prodigies. Numa is said to have founded Roman religion after dedicating an altar on the Aventine Hill to Jupiter Elicius and consulting the gods by means of augury. Numa wrote down and sealed these religious instructions, gave them to the first Pontifex Maximus, Numa Marcius. In the Roman Republic, the Pontifex Maximus was the highest office in the state religion of ancient Rome and directed the College of Pontiffs. According to Livy, after the overthrow of the monarchy, the Romans created the priesthood of the rex sacrorum, or "king of sacred rites," to carry out certain religious duties and rituals performed by the king; the rex sacrorum was explicitly deprived of military and political power, but the pontifices were permi