Nova Roma is an international Roman revivalist and reconstructionist organization 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. Nova Roma claims to promote "the restoration of classical Roman religion, culture, and virtues" and "shared Roman ideals".
Reported to provide online resources about Roman culture, Latin language, ancient Roman costuming and reenactment guidelines, Nova Roma aims to be more than a community of reenactors or history study group. Strimska, Davy, Adler, Gallagher-Ashcraft, and recently Chryssides refer to it as a polytheistic reconstructionist community. Because it has a structure based on the ancient Roman Republic, with a senate, magistrates and laws enacted by vote of the comitia, and with its own coinage, and because the Nova Roma Wiki states that the group self-identifies as a "sovereign nation", some outside observers classify it as a micronation.
In 2015, Nova Roma members Robert Woolwine and Nigel Kell declared that a state of emergency existed within Nova Roma, justifying the establishment of a dictatorship The dictatorship was established in the style of a Roman dictatorship from the days of the Roman Republic, with Mr. Kell (Gnaeus Iulius Caesar) serving as Dictator and Mr. Woolwine (Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix) serving as Magister equitum. The dictator decreed several edicts which expelled several members and removed several magistrates and senators from office. As a result, several of the expelled members and demoted officers are threatening the dictator and the magister equitum with legal action, contending that the establishment of a dictatorship is not lawfully compatible with Nova Roma's status as a non-profit organization.
Nova Roma has adopted 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. Both the domestic religious traditions and the so-called state religion (sacra publica) are represented in the practices of Nova Roma, including the restoration of the ancient priestly collegia, and the honoring of the full cycle of Roman holidays throughout the year. According to the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, at the time of Christmas, Nova Romans celebrate the Roman holiday Saturnalia.
Nova Roman citizens participate in such events as the Festival of Ancient Heritage in Svishtov, Bulgaria, the as of 2011[update] defunct Roman Market Day in Wells Harbor Park, Maine and Forum Fulvii in Italy, Ludi Savarienses Historical Carnival or the Aquincum Floralia Spring Festival in Hungary.
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, 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.
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:
- the Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire as a surviving embodiment of Roman ideals based on Constantinople (sometimes chartacterised as "New Rome" or the "Second Rome") after the decline of the Roman imperium in the West.
- the doctrine of the Third Rome as justification for imperial Muscovite and Russian ambitions from the 15th century onwards
- Mussolini's attempted construction of a Mediterranean-based New Roman Empire (compare Imperial Italy) in the early 20th century
- Palacios, Juan José: "Corporate citizenship and social responsibility in a globalized world". Citizenship Studies 8(4):383-402. Routledge, 2004
- Danese, Roberto/Bacianini, Andrea/Torino, Alessio: Weni, widi, wici: tra 'volumen" e byte. p. 133. Guaraldi, 2003"
- Strmiska, Michael: Modern Paganism in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives, pp. 335-36. ABC-CLIO, 2005
- "Interactive Corporative Services Information on Nova Roma". Maine Department of the Secretary of State, Bureau of Corporations, Elections, and Commissions. Retrieved 2007-11-27.
- Dixon, Suzanne: Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi, page 64. Routledge, 2007
- Trinkle, D. A./Merriman, S. A: The history highway: a 21st century guide to Internet resources, p. 464. M.E. Sharpe, 2006
- Burgan, Michael: Empire of Ancient Rome, p. 122. Infobase Publishing, 2004
- "Nova Roma: Organization Dedicated to Ancient Roman Culture". Center for Applied Second Language Studies (CASLS), University of Oregon. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
- Davy, Barbara Jane: Introduction to Pagan Studies, pp. 156, 163, 233. Rowman Altamira, 2007
- Adler, Margot: Drawing down the moon: witches, Druids, goddess-worshippers, and other pagans in America, p. 549. Penguin Books, 2006
- 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
- George D. Chryssides, Historical Dictionary of New Religious Movements (2011, 2nd ed.)
- Auffarth, Chr./Bernard, J./Mohr, H.: Metzler Lexikon Religion: Gegenwart - Alltag - Medien, pp. 211-12. Metzler, 2002
- Danese, Roberto/Bacianini, Andrea/Torino, Alessio: Weni, widi, wici: tra 'volumen" e byte. p. 134. Guaraldi, 2003"
- Sestertius signum
- American Numismatic Association: The Numismatist, page 19. American Numismatic Association, 2003
- Caporaso, Giovanni: Cambiare Identitá.: É possibile, ecco le Prove, Offshore World Inc., 2006
- Vobruba, Georg: Grenzsoziologie: die politische Strukturierung des Raumes, p. 210. VS Verlag, 2006
- "Dictatorial edicta MMDCCLXVIII". NOVA ROMA. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
- "CALL TO ORDER - FORMAL MEETING OF THE SENATE IN SESSION 07-19 Jan 2769". NOVA ROMA. Retrieved 2016-01-07.
- McColman, Carl: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Paganism, pages 71 and 347. Alpha Books, 2002
- "Pagan Soldier Killed Due to Shoddy Equipment?". The Wild Hunt (Patheos, Inc.). Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- "Mom searching for answers in soldier's death". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- Strmiska, Michael: Modern Paganism in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives, p. 335. ABC-CLIO, 2005
- Joyce Higginbotham, River Higginbotham: ChristoPaganism: An Inclusive Path, p. 230. Llewellyn Worldwide, 2009
- "The Christmas wars / December dilemma". Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- "Celebrations by various faiths near year end". Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- "Conflicts at Christmas time: What is the original "reason for the season"". Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- "Annual secular and religious celebrations near Christmas time". Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
- Adler, Margot (2006) . 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.
- "The second Festival of Ancient Heritage in Svishtov". Council of Tourism - Svishtov. Retrieved 2009-09-08.
- "GLADIATORS TO BATTLE ON ROMAN MARKET DAY". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 2002-08-12.
- "Great Caesar's ghost ... ; A celebration of ancient Roman culture takes place this weekend in Hollis.". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 2003-09-11.
- "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.
- "Budapesti Történeti Múzeum - Aquincumi Múzeum - FLORALIA". Kultúra az Interneten Alapítvány. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
- "Programajánló: Floralia – Római tavaszünnep Aquincumban". National Geographic (Hungary). Retrieved 2011-12-05.
- "AQUINCUMI JÁTÉKOK 2010" (PDF). Museum of Aquincum. Retrieved 2011-12-05.
- "Certamen Petronianum". Nova Roma, Inc. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
- "Il CERTAMEN PETRONIANUM, un nuovo concorso per i latinisti". SuperEva. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
- 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.
- 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[...]
- 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'.
- American Religious Identification Survey," by The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (pdf)
- McColman, Carl. 2002. The Complete Idiot's Guide (R) to Paganism, Alpha Books. ISBN 0-02-864266-X
- Dennis A. Trinkle, Scott A. Merriman. M.E. Sharpe, 2002. US history highway, Volume 1. ISBN 0-7656-0907-X
- Danese, Roberto/Bacianini, Andrea/Torino, Alessio. 2003. Weni, widi, wici: tra 'volumen" e byte, Guaraldi. ISBN 88-8049-209-8
- Strmiska, Michael. 2005. Modern Paganism in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives, ABC-CLIO. ISBN
- Davy, Barbara Jane. 2006. Introduction to Pagan Studies, Rowman Altamira. ISBN 0-7591-0819-6
- Dennis A. Trinkle, Scott A. Merriman. M.E. Sharpe, 2006. The history highway: a 21st-century guide to Internet resources. ISBN 0-7656-1631-9
- Dixon, Suzanne. 2007. Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi, Routledge. ISBN 0-415-33148-X