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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] Roman revivalist movement[2] created in 1998 (or MMDCCLI 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.[3] Nova Roma is dedicated "to the restoration of classical Roman religion, culture and virtues" and promotes "shared Roman ideals".[4][5]

Because it has a structure based strictly on the ancient Roman Republic,[6] with a Senate, magistrates and laws enacted by vote of Comitia, and with its own coinage[7 ], and because the Nova Roma Wiki explicitly states that the group self-identifies as a "sovereign nation", most outside observers[4][7 ][8][9] 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. 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 that are used at events and also when conducting business or participating in the various Internet-based community fora.

As of December 2009, Nova Roma has approximately 1000 registered members all over the world, and 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.


Roman religion

Nova Roma has adopted[10][11] 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 Roman religion, or in the case of non practitioners must swear to respect the Roman religion. According to its own constitution, the primary function of Nova Roma is to promote the study and practice of the ancient faith of the people of Rome. Both the domestic religious traditions and the so-called state religion (sacra publica) are represented in the practices of Nova Roma[12], including the restoration[13] of the ancient priestly collegia, and the honoring of the full cycle of Roman holidays throughout the year.

All religious activities and rituals are overseen by the College of Pontiffs that appoints all sacred offices, the Pontifex Maximus and the rest of Potiffs, the Flamens, Augurs and the minor priesthoods.


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.[14] 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.[15][16] As of November 2007, Nova Roma and its citizens are the largest investors in the ongoing restoration of the temple.[17] It should be noted however that there is no actual religious worship at the excavation due to the extensive work still needed at and around the Temple.[14]

In April 2009, there was some controversy regarding the project, as one of the directors of Nova Roma, Robert Woolwine, claimed that it was being investigated for potential wire fraud; in response the project's website had been taken down, and one of Nova Roma's magistrates had issued a decree demanding that it be put back up.[18] Its ultimate fate has remained uncertain as of July 2009.

Living Latin and language policy in Nova Roma

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.

Live events

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

Besides several local events in the provinciae (regional subdivisions of the organization), Nova Roman citizens meet each year at the annual Conventus Novae Romae in Europa, which took place the last time in August, 2008, in Băile Herculane and Bucharest, in the south of Romania. Nova Roma also participates in such events as the Festival of Ancient Heritage[19] in Svishtov, Bulgaria, , now-defunct Roman Market Day[20][21][22] in Wells Harbor Park, Maine and Forum Fulvii in Italy, Ludi Savarienses Historical Carnival or the Aquincum Floralia Spring Festival[23][24] in Hungary. 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 a free irregularly-scheduled podcast of Nova Roma about all things Roman.[25] 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. According to their statement[26], their mission is to become a voice for the modern Romanitas.

Academia Thules

Academia Thules[27] is staffed by members of Nova Roma, but has no official ties to it. This virtual university offers online courses on Greek and Roman History, Ancient Philosophy, Roman Archeology, Roman Religion, Latin Language, Ancient Military Arts and Roman Law.

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 Militaris, related to military subjects, Sodalitas Coquorum et Cerevisiae Coctorum, for ancient food and drink discussions etc.



  1. ^ Palacios, Juan José: "Corporate citizenship and social responsibility in a globalized world". Citizenship Studies 8(4):383-402. Routledge, 2004
  2. ^ Strmiska, Michael: Modern Paganism in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives, pp. 335-36. ABC-CLIO, 2005
  3. ^ "Interactive Corporative Services Information on Nova Roma". Maine Department of the Secretary of State, Bureau of Corporations, Elections, and Commissions. Retrieved 2007-11-27.  
  4. ^ a b Dixon, Suzanne: Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi, page 64. Routledge, 2007
  5. ^ Trinkle, D. A./Merriman, S. A: The history highway: a 21st century guide to Internet resources, p. 464. M.E. Sharpe, 2006
  6. ^ Auffarth, Chr./Bernard, J./Mohr, H.: Metzler Lexikon Religion: Gegenwart - Alltag - Medien, pp. 211-12. Metzler, 2002
  7. ^ a b American Numismatic Association: The Numismatist, page 19. American Numismatic Association, 2003
  8. ^ Caporaso, Giovanni: Cambiare Identitá.: É possibile, ecco le Prove, Offshore World Inc., 2006
  9. ^ Vobruba, Georg: Grenzsoziologie: die politische Strukturierung des Raumes, p. 210. VS Verlag, 2006
  10. ^ Gallagher E. V./Ashcraft, W. M.: Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America: History and controversies, Volume 1, p. 220. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006
  11. ^ McColman, Carl: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Paganism, pages 71 and 347. Alpha Books, 2002
  12. ^ Davy, Barbara Jane: Introduction to Pagan Studies, pp. 156, 163, 233. Rowman Altamira, 2007
  13. ^ Strmiska, Michael: Modern Paganism in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives, p. 335. ABC-CLIO, 2005
  14. ^ a b "Magna Mater Project". Nova Roma. Retrieved 2007-11-28.  
  15. ^ "Scavi e ricerche nell'area sud-occidentale del Palatino a Roma (Excavations and research in the southwest of the Palatine in Rome)". Dipartimento di Scienze Storiche, Archeologiche e Antropologiche dell'Antichità -- Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza" (Department of Science historical, archaeological and anthropological antiquity of the University of Rome). Retrieved 2007-11-28.  
  16. ^ Giavarini C., et al. (2001). "South-West substructions of the Palatine hill in Rome". UNESCO.  
  17. ^ "Magna Mater Project Investors". Magna Mater Project. Retrieved 2007-11-27.  
  18. ^ Nova Roma yahoogroups message
  19. ^ "The second Festival of Ancient Heritage in Svishtov". Council of Tourism - Svishtov. Retrieved 2009-09-08.  
  20. ^ "GLADIATORS TO BATTLE ON ROMAN MARKET DAY". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 2002-08-12.  
  21. ^ "Great Caesar's ghost ... ; A celebration of ancient Roman culture takes place this weekend in Hollis.". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 2003-09-11.  
  22. ^ "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.  
  23. ^ "Budapesti Történeti Múzeum - Aquincumi Múzeum - FLORALIA". Kultúra az Interneten Alapítvány. Retrieved 2009-05-01.  
  24. ^ "XX. Floralia - Roman spring festival". Museum of Aquincum. Retrieved 2009-04-10.  
  25. ^ "Haverford College: Podcasts". Haverford College. Retrieved 2009-11-20.  
  26. ^ "Vox Romana". Vox Romana. Retrieved 2009-11-20.  
  27. ^ A. Gratius AVITUS (July 2006). Teaching living Latin through the web. Academia Latinitati Fovendae. (Paper delivered at ALF Conventus XI)  

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