Equal success did not attend the efforts of other administrators; in 1891-1892 Karl Peters had great trouble with the tribes in the Kilimanjaro district and resorted to very harsh methods, such as the execution of women, to maintain his authority.
He owed the signal successes of his reign partly to his skilful choice of advisers and administrators, to his chancellors Jean and Guillaume de Dormans and Pierre d'Orgemont, to Hugues Aubriot, provost of Paris, Bureau de la Riviere and others; partly to a singular coolness and subtlety in the exercise of a not over-scrupulous diplomacy, which made him a dangerous enemy.
Rich and powerful chiefs, they were administrators as much as priests:
In the 7th century the Merovingian kings adopted the custom of summoning them all, and not merely the officials of their Palatium, to discuss political affairs; they began, moreover, to choose their counts or administrators from among the great landholders.
With the decay of the empire the title very naturally fell to the popes, whose functions as administrators of religious law closely resembled those of the ancient Roman priesthood, hence the modern use of "pontiff" and "pontifical."