Nova Roma

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The flag of Nova Roma, based on the colours and symbols of the Roman Empire

Nova Roma is an international[1][2] Roman revivalist and reconstructionist organization[3] created in 1998 (or MMDCCLI AUC, 2751 AUC by the Roman calendar) 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 language, 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.

Roman religion[edit]

Nova Roma has adopted[10][19] the ancient Roman religion as its state cult, but also maintains the freedom of religion of its citizens. As a polytheistic reconstructionist practice, the religio Romana or cultus deorum Romanorum (Latin designations used by Nova Roma adherents when referring to their religion) reportedly attracts people especially of military background.[3][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, and the honoring of the full cycle of Roman holidays throughout the year.[22] According to the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, at the time of Christmas, Nova Romans celebrate the Roman holiday Saturnalia.[23][24][25][26]

In 2006 Margot Adler noted the organization's plan to restore a Magna Mater shrine in Rome.[27]

Live events[edit]

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

Nova Roman citizens participate in such events as the Festival of Ancient Heritage[28] in Svishtov, Bulgaria, the as of 2011 defunct Roman Market Day[29][30][31] in Wells Harbor Park, Maine and Forum Fulvii in Italy, Ludi Savarienses Historical Carnival or the Aquincum Floralia Spring Festival[32][33][34] in Hungary.

Cultural competitions and games[edit]

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,[35][36] a literary contest of historical novel writing, where the jury was composed of notables including world-famous novelist Dr. Colleen McCullough, author of many Roman-themed best-selling novels, and Prof. Dr. T. P. Wiseman, university professor of Roman history and former vice-president of the British Academy.

Historical contexts[edit]

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[edit]


  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. ^ a b c 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. Retrieved 2007-11-27. 
  5. ^ a b Dixon, Suzanne: Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi, page 64. Routledge, 2007
  6. ^ a b 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. Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  9. ^ a b Davy, Barbara Jane: Introduction to Pagan Studies, pp. 156, 163, 233. Rowman Altamira, 2007
  10. ^ a b 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
  16. ^ a b 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. ^ "Pagan Soldier Killed Due to Shoddy Equipment?". The Wild Hunt (Patheos, Inc.). Retrieved 2011-12-13. 
  21. ^ Strmiska, Michael: Modern Paganism in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives, p. 335. ABC-CLIO, 2005
  22. ^ Joyce Higginbotham, River Higginbotham: ChristoPaganism: An Inclusive Path, p. 230. Llewellyn Worldwide, 2009
  23. ^ "The Christmas wars / December dilemma". Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Retrieved 2011-12-13. 
  24. ^ "Celebrations by various faiths near year end". Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Retrieved 2011-12-13. 
  25. ^ "Conflicts at Christmas time: What is the original "reason for the season"". Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Retrieved 2011-12-13. 
  26. ^ "Annual secular and religious celebrations near Christmas time". Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Retrieved 2011-12-13. 
  27. ^ 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. 
  28. ^ "The second Festival of Ancient Heritage in Svishtov". Council of Tourism - Svishtov. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  29. ^ "GLADIATORS TO BATTLE ON ROMAN MARKET DAY". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 2002-08-12. 
  30. ^ "Great Caesar's ghost ... ; A celebration of ancient Roman culture takes place this weekend in Hollis". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 2003-09-11. 
  31. ^ "Roman days, Roman nights ; Gladiators, armor and other displays are a few highlights of Wells' annual Roman Market Days". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 2004-09-16. 
  32. ^ "Budapesti Történeti Múzeum - Aquincumi Múzeum - FLORALIA". Kultúra az Interneten Alapítvány. Retrieved 2009-05-01. 
  33. ^ "Programajánló: Floralia – Római tavaszünnep Aquincumban". National Geographic (Hungary). Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  34. ^ "AQUINCUMI JÁTÉKOK 2010" (PDF). Museum of Aquincum. Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  35. ^ "Certamen Petronianum". Nova Roma, Inc. Retrieved 2011-11-17. 
  36. ^ "Il CERTAMEN PETRONIANUM, un nuovo concorso per i latinisti". SuperEva. Retrieved 2011-11-17. 
  37. ^ 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. 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. 
  38. ^ 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[...] 
  39. ^ 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'. 


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