Nova Roma

From DoveArchives
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The flag of Nova Roma, based on the colours and symbols of the Roman Empire

Nova Roma (Latin for 'New Rome") is an international[1][2] Roman revivalist and reconstructionist organization[3] created in 1998 by Joseph Bloch and William Bradford, later incorporated in Maine as a non-profit organization with an educational and religious mission.[4] Nova Roma claims to promote "the restoration of classical Roman religion, culture, and virtues" and "shared Roman ideals".[5][6]

Reported to provide online resources about Roman culture, Latin, ancient Roman costuming and reenactment guidelines,[6][7][8] Nova Roma aims to be more than a community of reenactors or history study group. Strimska,[3] Davy,[9] Adler,[10] Gallagher-Ashcraft,[11] and recently Chryssides[12] refer to it as a polytheistic reconstructionist community. Because it has a structure based on the ancient Roman Republic,[13] with a senate, magistrates and laws enacted by vote of the comitia,[14] and with its own coinage,[15][16] and because the Nova Roma Wiki states that the group self-identifies as a "sovereign nation", some outside observers[5][16][17][18] classify it as a micronation.

Revival of Roman religion

Nova Roma has adopted[10][19] the ancient Roman religion as its state cult, but also maintains the freedom of religion of its citizens. Religious studies scholar Michael York noted that the traditional Roman way of thinking, Roman philosophy, provides the moral code for Nova Romans in their New Roman belief system.[20]

Both the domestic religious traditions and the so-called state religion (sacra publica) are represented in the practices of Nova Roma,[9] including the restoration[21] of the ancient priestly collegia, including the offices of pontifex and Vestal Virgin,[22] and the honoring of the full cycle of Roman holidays throughout the year.[23] According to the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, at the time of Christmas, Nova Romans celebrate the Roman holiday Saturnalia.[24][25][26][27]

In 2006 Margot Adler noted the organization's plan to restore a Magna Mater shrine in Rome.[28]

Live events, conventions and reenactments

Nova Romans performing a Roman religious ceremony in Aquincum (Budapest), 2008.

Nova Roma holds its own local and international conventions and regularly participates with its affiliated reenactment groups[29] in such history festivals and public events as the Festival of Ancient Heritage[30] in Svishtov, Bulgaria, the Roman Market Day[31][32][33] in Wells, Maine's Harbor Park, and Forum Fulvii in Italy, Ludi Savarienses Historical Carnival, the Aquincum Floralia Spring Festival[34][35][36] in Budapest, Hungary, or the Natale di Roma (the historical festival of the birthday of Rome) in Rome, Italy,[37] where Nova Roma celebrated its twentieth anniversary.

Cultural competitions and games

Among the cultural activities of Nova Roma, competitions and games associated with various Roman festivals have an important place. They can include a wide range of various programs from humorous online games up to serious art-competitions like the Certamen Petronianum,[38][39] a literary contest of historical novel writing first held in 2005, where the jury was composed of notables including Colleen McCullough, author of many Roman-themed best-selling novels, and T. P. Wiseman, university professor of Roman history and former vice-president of the British Academy, or the second edition of the same competition, where the jury was Jo Walton, World Fantasy Award-winning novelist and poet.[40] Kristoffer From was the winner of the first Certamen Petronianum.[41]

Coinage and sponsorship of Roman cultural projects

Nova Roma has minted two coins with the denomination of sestertius, one in bronze, issued in 2000, and another in brass, dating from 2005. Each bears the letters SPQR and has a diameter of 32mm, a thickness of 1.8 mm. These sesterces are convertible into 50 US cents,[42] if sent back to the treasury of the organization, thus they can be used in place of real currency between members of the community.

Regarding the monetary policies of Nova Roma, as not-for-profit organization its treasury is dedicated to sponsor various Roman cultural projects, including experimental archaeology initiatives, reenactment events, or building Roman temple reconstructions, altars or other reconstructed religious accessories or any items from the ancient Roman period.

Global chapters and subsidiaries

The international governance of Nova Roma permits[43] the Nova Roman communities of each country to create their national subdivision of Nova Roma, called provincia, and to form their own not-for-profit or incorporated organizations, established under the respective legislation of their local country.[44] This enables better local recognition and management, as well as provides the means for legal and insurance coverage, such as that offered by the Australasian Living History Federation (ALHF).[45]

Historical contexts

Revival of things Roman and their co-option for symbolic importance have a long history. Nova Roma (in Latin, literally "New Rome") in its deliberate revival of grandiose remnants of the past thus parallels and echoes other New Romes such as:

See also


  1. Palacios, Juan José: "Corporate citizenship and social responsibility in a globalized world". Citizenship Studies 8(4):383-402. Routledge, 2004
  2. Danese, Roberto/Bacianini, Andrea/Torino, Alessio: Weni, widi, wici: tra 'volumen" e byte. p. 133. Guaraldi, 2003"
  3. 3.0 3.1 Strmiska, Michael: Modern Paganism in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives, pp. 335-36. ABC-CLIO, 2005
  4. "Interactive Corporative Services Information on Nova Roma". Maine Department of the Secretary of State, Bureau of Corporations, Elections, and Commissions. Archived from the original on 2013-10-17. Retrieved 2007-11-27.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dixon, Suzanne: Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi, page 64. Routledge, 2007
  6. 6.0 6.1 Trinkle, D. A./Merriman, S. A: The history highway: a 21st century guide to Internet resources, p. 464. M.E. Sharpe, 2006
  7. Burgan, Michael: Empire of Ancient Rome, p. 122. Infobase Publishing, 2004
  8. "Nova Roma: Organization Dedicated to Ancient Roman Culture". Center for Applied Second Language Studies (CASLS), University of Oregon. 13 November 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Davy, Barbara Jane: Introduction to Pagan Studies, pp. 156, 163, 233. Rowman Altamira, 2007
  10. 10.0 10.1 Adler, Margot: Drawing down the moon: witches, Druids, goddess-worshippers, and other pagans in America, p. 549. Penguin Books, 2006
  11. Eugene V. Gallagher, W. Michael Ashcraft: Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America: Metaphysical, New Age, and neopagan movements. p. 220. Greenwood Press, 2006
  12. George D. Chryssides, Historical Dictionary of New Religious Movements (2011, 2nd ed.)
  13. Auffarth, Chr./Bernard, J./Mohr, H.: Metzler Lexikon Religion: Gegenwart - Alltag - Medien, pp. 211-12. Metzler, 2002
  14. Danese, Roberto/Bacianini, Andrea/Torino, Alessio: Weni, widi, wici: tra 'volumen" e byte. p. 134. Guaraldi, 2003"
  15. "Sestertius signum". Archived from the original on 2009-03-22. Retrieved 2009-03-09.
  16. 16.0 16.1 American Numismatic Association: The Numismatist, page 19. American Numismatic Association, 2003
  17. Caporaso, Giovanni: Cambiare Identitá.: É possibile, ecco le Prove, Offshore World Inc., 2006
  18. Vobruba, Georg: Grenzsoziologie: die politische Strukturierung des Raumes, p. 210. VS Verlag, 2006
  19. McColman, Carl: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Paganism, pages 71 and 347. Alpha Books, 2002
  20. York, Michael: Pagan Ethics: Paganism as a World Religion, p. 396. Springer, 2015
  21. Strmiska, Michael: Modern Paganism in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives, p. 335. ABC-CLIO, 2005
  22. ""Roman religion"". Archived from the original on 2018-08-04. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  23. Joyce Higginbotham, River Higginbotham: ChristoPaganism: An Inclusive Path, p. 230. Llewellyn Worldwide, 2009
  24. "The Christmas wars / December dilemma". Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Archived from the original on 2012-11-14. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
  25. "Celebrations by various faiths near year end". Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Archived from the original on 2012-01-28. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
  26. "Conflicts at Christmas time: What is the original "reason for the season"". Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Archived from the original on 2012-01-13. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
  27. "Annual secular and religious celebrations near Christmas time". Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Archived from the original on 2012-03-18. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
  28. Adler, Margot (2006) [1979]. Drawing down the moon: witches, Druids, goddess-worshippers, and other pagans in America. Penguin Books. p. 549. ISBN 978-0-14-303819-1. Retrieved 2011-12-18. [...] Nova Roma is currently raising money to restore a shrine of Magna Mater in Rome.
  29. Vescia, Monique: Battle Reenactments, p. 38. The Rosen Publishing Group, 2015
  30. "The second Festival of Ancient Heritage in Svishtov". Council of Tourism - Svishtov. Archived from the original on 2012-05-22. Retrieved 2009-09-08.
  31. "GLADIATORS TO BATTLE ON ROMAN MARKET DAY". Portland Press Herald. Archived from the original on 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2002-08-12.
  32. "Great Caesar's ghost ...; A celebration of ancient Roman culture takes place this weekend in Hollis". Portland Press Herald. Archived from the original on 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2003-09-11.
  33. "Roman days, Roman nights; Gladiators, armor and other displays are a few highlights of Wells' annual Roman Market Days". Portland Press Herald. Archived from the original on 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2004-09-16.
  34. "Budapesti Történeti Múzeum - Aquincumi Múzeum - FLORALIA". Kultúra az Interneten Alapítvány. Archived from the original on 2009-05-27. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
  35. "Programajánló: Floralia – Római tavaszünnep Aquincumban". National Geographic (Hungary). Archived from the original on 2019-03-06. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
  36. "AQUINCUMI JÁTÉKOK 2010" (PDF). Museum of Aquincum. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
  37. "Participants in the Natale di Roma procession". Gruppo Storico Romano. Archived from the original on 2021-09-25. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  38. "Certamen Petronianum". Nova Roma, Inc. Archived from the original on 2011-07-09. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
  39. "Il CERTAMEN PETRONIANUM, un nuovo concorso per i latinisti". SuperEva. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
  40. "Certamen Petronianum II". Nova Roma, Inc. Archived from the original on 2019-01-04. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  41. "Certamen Petronianum". Archived from the original on 2021-02-27. Retrieved 2021-02-08.
  42. Sestertius Signum,, accessed 13 December 2021
  43. "Lex Vedia provincialis (Nova Roma) - NovaRoma". Archived from the original on 2020-07-05. Retrieved 2020-09-09.
  44. "Provincial websites - NovaRoma". Archived from the original on 2021-01-22. Retrieved 2020-09-09.
  45. "Home Page - The Australasian Living History Federation Inc - ALHF". Archived from the original on 2020-09-23. Retrieved 2020-09-09.
  46. For example: Mommsen, Theodor (1999). A History of Rome Under the Emperors. Routledge Key Guides. Barbara Demandt, Alexander Demandt, Thomas E. J. Wiedemann. Routledge. p. 381. ISBN 978-0-415-20647-1. Archived from the original on 2016-06-03. Retrieved 2011-12-16. The result of Constantinople's founding was the end of a national basis for the Empire [...] Milan and Ravenna had been unable to compete with Rome, though they were court residences, but Nova Roma could.
  47. Note for example Kantorowicz, Ernst Hartwig (1957). The King's two bodies: a study in mediaeval political theology (7 ed.). Princeton University Press. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-691-01704-4. Retrieved 2011-12-16. Thus it happened that 'Rome' migrated from incarnation to incarnation, wandering first to Constantinople and later to Moscow, the third Rome, but also to Aachen where Charlemagne built a 'Lateran' and apparently planned to establish the Roma futura. [...] Constantinople and Aachen and others claimed to be each a nova Roma[...]
  48. Neville, Peter (2004). Mussolini. Historical Biographies Series. Routledge. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-415-24989-8. Retrieved 2011-12-16. Mussolini made immense efforts to portray an image of Italian greatness, and the memory of Ancient Rome was constantly traded on in the régime's propaganda. Thus the normal handshake [...] was replaced by the 'Roman Salute' and the Mediterranean became 'our sea'. [...] Some streams in Fascism demanded spiritual revival based on the concept of a 'New Rome'.


External links