For the earlier period their authorities were state and family records - above all, the annales maximi (or annales pontificum), the official chronicle of Rome, in which the notable occurrences of each year from the foundation of the city were set down by the pontifex maximus.
Included in the collegium were also the rex sacrorum, the flamines, three assistant pontifices (minores), and the vestal virgins, who were all chosen by the pontifex maximus.
He prohibited heathen worship at Rome; refused to wear the insignia of the pontifex maximus as unbefitting a Christian;.
His imperium was renewed, again for five years, and in 12 B.C., on the death of his former fellow-triumvir Lepidus, he was elected Pontifex Maximus.
Cicero states that from the earliest period down to the pontificate of Publius Mucius Scaevola (c. 131 B.C.), it was usual for the pontifex maximus to record on a white tablet (album), which was exhibited in an open place at his house, so that the people might read it, first, the name of the consuls and other magistrates, and then the noteworthy events that had occurred during the year (per singulos dies, as Servius says).
Ancus Marcius is merely a duplicate of Numa, as is shown by his second name, Numa Marcius, the confidant and pontifex of Numa, being no other than Numa Pompilius himself, represented as priest.
The immense authority of the college centred in the pontifex maximus, the other pontifices forming his consilium or advising body.
Mucius Scaevola, the pontifex maximus, a still more famous jurisconsult, nephew of the augur.
Two individuals are of some importance: (i) Marcus Cornelius Cethegus, pontifex maximus and curule aedile, 213 B.C. In 211, as praetor, he had charge of Apulia; later, he was sent to Sicily, where he proved a successful administrator.
In 63 B.C., at Caesar's instigation, he prosecuted Gaius Rabirius for treason; in the same year, as tribune of the plebs, he carried a plebiscite which indirectly secured for Caesar the dignity of pontifex maximus (Dio Cassius xxxvii.