Head of all priests had special rights and privileges.
There are echoes of this in the statement of the Mishnah (Horayot 3:8) that a mamzer (bastard) who is a scholar takes precedence over an ignorant High Priest and in the Talmudic statement attributed to Rabbi Meir (Bava Kama 38a) that even a Gentile who occupies himself with the Torah is equal to the High Priest. In other words, a new aristocracy, that of learning, was established. With the destruction of the Temple, the office of High Priest vanished entirely from Jewish life.
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