One of the non official names of the pope. It was used in medieval era not only for popes but also for bishops. It has a similar story as Pontifex Maximus (greatest Pontiff) used today to call the pope. The origin of the word pontiff or pontifex comes from Roman pagan times where the highest priest was considered a ‘bridge builder’ between men and gods. It also had a significance anchored in reality since ancient Rome needed bridges over the Tiber which was itself a deity. The priest might have also been involved in bridge building.
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