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The first Pope to receive the title “Pontifex Maximus” was the 37th one, who was Damasus I in 378 AD.  2 years after that title was refused for the first time by the Roman Emperor Gratian.  That title had been passed down through all emperors from the time of Julius Caesar, who took it over from the Babylonian priests’ descendants in 63 BC.  This made him head priest of the pagan Babylonian Religion while remaining head of the Christian Church in Rome.