„Apart from the rites and worship peculiar to each family, gens, curia, and tribe, the Romans recognised a vast number of gods and goddesses whose worship was the concern of the whole state. The necessary ceremonies were, in many cases, placed in the charge of sodalicia or clubs… which elected their own members. But the worship of all deities not otherwise provided for was superintended by the pontifices.
The College of Pontifices is said to have been founded by Numa, and was in regal times, presided over by the king himself. But when kings were abolished, their religious functions were divided between two officers, the Pontifex Maximus and the Rex Sacrorum or Sacrificulus. The latter, though he was sometimes treated as the chief priest, in reality only offered some of the sacrifices which the king formerly offered… The general supervision of the state religion belonged to the Pontifex Maximus.
The Pontifex Maximus lived in the Regia, the ancient palace.“
— James Gow (scholar)
A Companion to School Classics (1888)