The status of Pontifex Maximus during the Roman Republic
As part of the Roman public life, religion had always been involved in the political struggle of the city. Thus, the claim to political power was viewed by the Roman people as an equally important claim on the religious authority, and this was a concept that Gaius Julius Caesar understood and applied with brilliance during his governorship in the time of the late Republic. Religious superstition constituted the basis of the cohesion of the Roman state since the lazy and lustful masses could not be controlled anymore except by using the fear of divine punishment. Thus, one of the most successful political maneuvers of Julius Caesar was to obtain the title of Pontifex Maximus in the year 63 B.C.