Nova Roma

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For criticism see Criticism of Nova Roma

Nova Roma is a Roman revivalist group created in 1998 (or MMDCCLI a.u.c. by the Roman calendar) by Joe Bloch and William Bradford, later incorporated in Maine as a non-profit organisation with an educational and religious mission.[1] Nova Roma is "dedicated to the restoration of Classical Roman virtues, culture, and religion".

Because it has a structure based loosely on the Roman Republic, with a Senate, magistrates, and laws enacted by vote of Comitia, and because the Nova Roma Wiki [1] explicitly states that the group self-identifies as a "sovereign nation", most outside observers classify it as a micronation. However, some members of Nova Roma assert that the state modeling aspects of the organization are less important than its educational and religious goals.

Nova Roma is somewhat similar to the Society for Creative Anachronism, though much smaller, and many of its citizens are members of both. Like the SCA, Nova Roma hosts events which members attend, often in historical costume, to discuss ancient culture as well as internal matters, to practice Latin conversation, to visit historic sites (if the event takes place in lands known to the Romans), and to partake in the cuisine of ancient cultures.

Members of Nova Roma also take Roman names, often mixing parts of the names of several great Romans to create a unique identity. These names are used at events and also when conducting business or participating in the various Internet-based community forum. For newcomers, guidance in choosing an appropriate name is provided by the Censors.

As of July 2006, Nova Roma has approximately 1000 active members. There are a further 1600 who have been out of contact with the group during the current year, but who may resume active membership at will by contacting the Censors.

Administrative structure

The officers and directors of Nova Roma adhere to the forms and titles of the government of the Roman Republic. These consist of magistrates, who are elected to terms of one or two years, and the Senate, who are appointed to indefinite terms.

The Senate is legally the Board of Directors of Nova Roma, Inc. Senators are chosen by the Censores, and once appointed, may remain until voluntarily relinquishing the position. The Senate sets policy for the group, but the day-to-day administration is in the hands of the magistrates.

The Magistrates are the officers of Nova Roma, whose titles and responsibilities are modeled upon those of the magistrates of the Roman Republic. They are elected to one-year terms, save for the Censors, who serve two-year terms. Magistrates are elected by three Comitia, divisions of the membership in which all adult citizens may vote. Vote counting is done according to a complex method approximating that used in the Roman Republic, in which citizens are divided into tribes and centuries, in a matter somewhat similar to an electoral college.

The Magistrates are as follows:

  • Two Consuls, or co-Presidents, who set the Senate agenda, call for public voting, issue edicts, and perform other executive functions;
  • Two Praetors, or co-Vice-Presidents, deputies for the Consuls;
  • Two Censors, or membership directors, who admit new members and choose Senators;
  • Four Aediles, who administrate public events such as games and reenactments;
  • Eight Quaestors, control the Treasury and the budget;
  • Five Plebeian Tribunes, who have the power of veto when note any violation of public rights;
  • Vigintisexviri, a large group of specialized magistrates who maintain the website and newsletter, and conduct elections.

As Nova Roma is a worldwide organization, in order to provide local contacts, provinciae have been created. Each provincia is headed by a propraetor or proconsul who is appointed by the Senate. In many provincia, annual events take place, in which members may meet (often in costume), observe military reenactments by affiliated legions, perform religious rituals, and consume Roman meals. Recurring events include Roman Days in Maryland and the 2006 Conventus Novae Romae in Europa, which took place in August near Hadrian's Wall in the north of England.

Languages and language policy

Nova Roma recognizes two official languages, English and Latin. The use of Latin is consistent with a general revival of the study of this language, and is in keeping with Nova Roma's roman historical background. Provinces in non-English speaking countries generally use the local vernacular for provincial administration. The Latin used in Nova Roma is a good example of Recent Latin, and the presence of a relatively large percentage of classicists has resulted in the appearance of a normative trend toward Classical Latin.

Mailing lists and Sodalitates

Because of the huge geographical distances between members of Nova Roma, living in several countries through over the world, most communication happens on the e-mail discussion lists or groups, where all the citizens are able to explore a variety of subjects related to Ancient Rome. The most important discussion list is the "Main List", where Nova Roman citizens and non-citizens discuss topics of general interest and where official announcements are made.

There are also the so-called sodalitates, that are special interest groups. For example, there are the Sodalitas Latinitatis, dedicated to the study of the Latin language, Sodalitas Militarum, related to military subjects, Sodalitas Coquorum et Cerevisiae Coctorum, for ancient food and drink discussions etc.

Live events

Nova Roma citizens meet each year at the annual "Conventus Novae Romae in Europa" in August. Nova Roma also participates in such events as Roman Market Day in Wells Harbor Park, Maine and Forum Fulvii in Italy. While not a re-enactor group itself, Nova Roma sponsors a number of re-enactor "legions". These groups participate in re-enactor events, visit schools to put on educational presentations and are sometimes used as "extras" in films.

"Vox Romana" Podcast

Vox Romana is the free bi-monthly podcast of Nova Roma about all things Roman. The Vox Romana editorial staff is an international team of people from different cultural backgrounds, with diverse talents, interests, and expertise, who all share in a common love of Roman culture. Their mission is to become a voice for the modern Romanitas.

Academia Thules

Academia Thules, while staffed by members of Nova Roma, has no official ties to Nova Roma. This virtual university offers online courses on History, Philosophy, Archeology, Religion, Language, Military Arts, Law.

Roman religion

Nova Roma has adopted the ancient Roman religion as its state cult, but also maintains the freedom of religion of its citizens, although in order to hold office in Nova Roma they do have to swear allegiance to the Religio Romana, or in the case of non pagans must swear to respect the Religio Romana. The appearance of an organized revival of the "Religio Romana" reflects trends noted in American society by the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. [2] reflecting greater diversity of religious expression in the United States.

Magna Mater Project

In 2002, Nova Roma dedicated themselves to help financially facilitate the archaeological dig and preservation of the Temple of the Roman goddess Magna Mater, also known as Cybele located on the Palatine Hill in Rome.[2] This joint effort between Nova Roma and the University of Rome is part of a larger project presented to UNESCO to preserve the entire South-Western section of the Palatine Hill in light of its religious importance in antiquity. [3] [4] As of November 2007, Nova Roma and its citizens are the largest investors in the ongoing restoration of the temple. [5] It should be noted however that there is no actual religious worship at the execavation due to the extensive work still needed at and around the Temple. [2]

References

  • American Religious Identification Survey," by The Graduate Center of the City University of New York: [3] (pdf)
  1. 2.0 2.1
  2. Giavarini C., et al. (2001). [www.unesco.org/archi2000/pdf/giavarini4.pdf "South-West substructions of the Palatine hill in Rome"]. UNESCO. www.unesco.org/archi2000/pdf/giavarini4.pdf. 

External links

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Nova Roma.
The list of authors can be seen in the page history. The text of this Wikinfo article is available under the GNU Free Documentation License and the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.