Fors Fortuna 2023

Our Fors Fortuna celebration in June is taking shape. Thanks to everyone who completed the original survey!

Now we are getting to the point where things need to start getting finalized, and we have more details.

This is an official event sponsored by Provincia Mediatlantica of Nova Roma. All Nova Roman citizens, allies, and interested persons are invited to attend.

The event will run from Friday, June 23 through Sunday, June 25. Arrival will be Friday evening, and departure will be Sunday morning. The event will be at a rental property near Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

For those interested in staying for the whole event, we are asking $125, including Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast/lunch/dinner, and Sunday breakfast. Menus are TBD, but we hope to have a Roman menu at least for Saturday dinner. 

For those who just wish to attend for Saturday, we are asking $35, which includes lunch and dinner. 

Events will include a ritual honoring Fortuna, goddess of good luck, as well as a celebration of Concordia, in keeping with the 25th anniversary theme all of Nova Roma is enjoying. The (very preliminary) schedule is as follows:

Friday night: Dinner, Roman-themed movie night (check in 2 PM)

Saturday morning: Breakfast, A. Tullia Scholastica presentation on Roman clothing, Q&A with Senators and magistrates on Nova Roma

Saturday afternoon: Lunch, ritual to Concordia, Gallio Velius Marsallas Legion XXIV lecture/demo on Roman Military kit and life, A. Tullia Scholastica Latin class

Saturday night: Dinner, ritual to Fortuna, fun!

Sunday morning: Breakfast, clean-up (checkout 10 AM)

More classes and workshops are welcome. Please contact if you would like to do a talk or class.

As Fors Fortuna was historically accompanied by drinking toasts in honor of Fortuna, those over 21 are encouraged to bring a bottle or two of their favorite wine for all to share. Day-trippers will not be permitted to drive if it is deemed they have imbibed too much.

All details are subject to change. Waivers will be required of all attendees.

Space in the house will be on a first-come, first-served basis. If you would like to reserve your spot, please send your fees to via PayPal. Day-trippers are encouraged to pre-register as well, but walk-ins will be welcome as well.

We’re super excited for this event, and hope you will try to attend if you’re in the area!

Hey You in New Jersey!

If you live in or around New Jersey (USA), you are cordially invited to a get-together in Parsippany on Februrary 8 at 1 PM. I’m looking to see how many Nova Romans might be interested in forming a local group, to meet on a regular basis for all sorts of Roman activities. This will be something of a get-to-know-you and planning session.

For those who are on Facebook, here is the link to the event:

And for those who are on Meetup, here it is again:

Hopefully we can get a vibrant community of Romans together to worship, study, do some reenactment, learn Latin, cook from Apicius, and/or generally have a fun time. You don’t have to be interested in all of those, just one or more. 🙂

Please email me at if interested, or hit one of the links above. Hope to see you there!



Towards a Theory of Reconstructionist Religion (Part One)

It is often said that the Religio Romana is a “reconstructionist” faith, meaning that it attempts to reconstruct the ancient faith of the pre-Christian Roman peoples. While this vague description is sufficient to distinguish it from more modern eclectic and inventive religions such as Wicca in casual conversation, it is not satisfactory when one considers the details.

I’d like to begin exploring a more systematic approach to reconstructionism in general, which would apply to many faiths which fall under that banner, including Asatru (Norse paganism), Celtic Reconstructionism, the Religio Romana (Roman), Hellenismos (Greek), Romuva (Baltic), etc. While I’m mostly going to be using Roman/Religio Romana, and to a lesser extent, Norse/Asatru examples, the general principles involved should apply across the board.

At the outset, two fundamental issues must be recognized. The first is that, thanks mostly to the efforts of Christian supremacists to eradicate pagan and heathen religions, and the general ravages of time, we are often confronted with the fact that we have an incomplete record. Even the Religio Romana (Roman paganism), while blessed with a number of excellent contemporary primary sources, is lacking in many details. The situation is far worse with Asatru, where the literary corpus is almost entirely Christian in its provenance, and is almost entirely lacking in details (such as what rituals looked like, what words were spoken, etc.).

The second is that, by the nature of history and social evolution, it is fallacious to refer to “the Religio Romana” or “Germanic paganism” as if they were monolithic and never-changing edifices spanning centuries and hundreds or thousands of miles. We find, for instance, new gods introduced over the course of years, sometimes by instructions from the Sibylline Books, sometimes because of popular pressure. New religious ceremonies are introduced over the centuries, and old ones are maintained but their significance is completely lost. The religion in Rome itself is used as a template for the religions of allied and conquered peoples, so we see “Romanized” versions of Celtic, Germanic, and Semitic deities across the Mediterranean and Europe. The changes in Roman religion are legion and well documented.

In the Germanic corpus, we see much the same thing, including two distinct versions of the myth of the death of the Norse god Baldur, and the compete lack of the god Loki in the Anglo-Saxon corpus, among many, many other examples.

Given those two basic premises, we find ourselves faced with fundamental choices to make based thereon:

  • How do we identify gaps in the record?
  • How do we properly vet the material that we do have?
  • How do we go about filling in those gaps?
  • How do we identify Christian (or other) influences?
  • What do we do once we’ve identified it? Do we ignore it, or “de-Christianize” it, or something else?
  • Do we focus on a particular point in time and space, or do we use a more syncretic approach?
  • How do we set the boundaries of eclecticism and invention in a reconstructionist context?

I don’t pretend that my answers to these questions will be universally accepted, but I hope to demonstrate that attention to them will result in a much more robust and viable reconstructionist experience. Those questions will be explored in subsequent articles in this series.

Action from Below, Help from Above

I would like to discuss an organizational principle which I think should be central to our Res Publica.

That is the principle of Action from Below, Help from Above.

Many Nova Romans have a habit of waiting for permission (or, worse, instruction) before actually doing anything. This is crippling us, and it’s something which I want to see reversed if elected Consul.

Everyone who considers themselves an active member of Nova Roma, and whose circumstances allow it, should be looking to organize, attend, and publicize meetings of our citizens. Not everyone has the interest or wherewithal to create a reenactment legion or gladiator ludus, of course, but is there a museum near you with a Roman exhibit? Can you do a movie night in your home? Do you want to try your hand at Roman cooking, and share the results with some friends? Are you a gamer and want to play Roman-themed board games or miniatures wargames? Do you enjoy costuming? Want to put on a play (even if it’s just for you and your friends)? Want to learn Latin? Want to start a book club? Are you a cultore, and want to hold local rituals?

There are literally hundreds of ideas that people could do to get active, to get together, and everyone doing so moves Nova Roma forward in a way that squabbling on an email list could never do.

You don’t need to have an official group, sanctioned by the Senate, in order to get together. You’re free Citizens, come here to our Res Publica by your mutual love of Rome and all things Roman. That’s enough! If, after some time, you have a steady or growing group and want to do something more official, awesome! If you just want to keep it informal, that’s awesome too! But don’t wait for someone to set up an officially sanctioned municipium or whatever before you get together.

And that’s where Nova Roma could help. I want to see a locator on the website. Something completely voluntary, where people can say, “Yes, I’m interested in meeting other Nova Romans in my area.” And if someone is nearby, they can send you a message, and start working on setting something up. And then go public! Put it on here, and FaceBook, and Meetup, and wherever else you can think to find people. And use this as a way to find new people, too! Nova Roma doesn’t have a monopoly on great people who love Rome. Use this as a way to grow our Republic.

I’m doing this right now. In New Jersey (and northeast Pennsylvania, and Southeast New York); if you’re interested in getting together and getting to know your fellow Nova Romans, and maybe do some fun things, PM me!

If I am elected Consul, I’ll work to make this happen across our Republic.


Flavius Vedius Germanicus

My Campaign Statement

Although I have been posting over the last few weeks concerning some of my ideas for how Nova Roma should proceed in the coming year, now that the elections are formally open it seems meet to do something of a recap.

First, for those who might not know me, I have the honor of bearing the title of Pater Patriae, as I founded our fair Res Publica along with Marcus Cassius Julianus, who is also running for Consul this year and for whom I wholeheartedly hope you will also cast your vote. Over the years I have served our Republic in a variety of offices.

The candidates for offices at all levels have many things in common as part of their platforms, which is a testament to the nature of the problems which face Nova Roma in the coming year. With such commonality among the candidates, it could be difficult to choose. Everyone wants to resolve the lawsuit, to have more real-world activities, to get the website back up and running properly, and so forth. Myself among them.

However, there is one issue which does differentiate me and my colleague Marcus Cassius Julianus from some of the others running for office this year. That is our commitment to reconciliation of the opposing sides in the recent strife. Settle the lawsuit and bring the members of both sides back into the fold with a true amnesty that doesn’t inflict any stigma or shame on either side. If we try to curb our anger, we can move forward with the mission of Nova Roma.

And that’s the other way Marcus Cassius Julianus and I differ from our fellow candidates. Nova Roma’s mission.

All of the candidates for office have lots of great qualifications, and most would probably serve well. But we remember the heady days of the founding, when everything was possible and the energy and creativity seemed boundless. We want to bring that energy, optimism, and sense of purpose back to Nova Roma.

I ask for your vote as Consul to set aside the animosity of the past and to bring back that feeling of pride and amazing possibility in what Nova Roma can be.

Reconciliation is not Inaction

I hope that everyone who subscribes to Nova Roma’s email list (the Forum Romanum) has learned the lesson of the past week. The endless bickering, recrimination, name-calling (and even name-cursing!!!), and over and over and over recitation of the law suit are just miserable. Nobody save the hardest of the hard core partisans wants to see this stuff in their inbox over and over. Nothing was gained, and a week of what could have been a great week of Nova Romans sharing and talking about cool stuff and planning activities was squandered while a few people reiterated their hatred for The Enemy, and how They were Wrong, once again.

I’m sure I’m not the only person who looked in his inbox, saw yet another email from Nova Roma, and thought “ugh” rather than “Cool!” I remember when it used to be the reverse.

That’s why I, and my fellow candidate for Consul, Marcus Cassius Julianus, are calling for reconciliation, a true amnesty, and a resolution of the lawsuit as swiftly as possible.

Many people seem to miss that last point, but I think it’s worth emphasizing.

Neither Marcus Cassius nor I want to do nothing about the lawsuit, nor do we advocate ignoring it or the law or any such thing. We want to see an agreement between the two parties, a compromise that can be set before the judge and put into effect as a settlement. Something that places the assets currently in the control of the corporation back at the disposal of the government of Nova Roma, and a replacement of the corporation with something more suited to our needs.

That happens all the time in civil lawsuits in the United States; only 2% of civil lawsuits actually end in a trial, and there is absolutely no reason this one should be in that category. It’s part of the normal process of litigation. It’s the best way to end it.

That seems a simple enough goal; end the lawsuit with a settlement, stop re-litigating the lawsuit ad nauseum, stop insulting one another, and get on with talking about things Roman, holding real-world events, and honoring the Gods of Rome.

Some people seem to think those aren’t good goals. Marcus Cassius and I think otherwise, and if you do, too, we ask for your vote for Consul.

Grata Reconciliationis

One of the things that Marcus Cassius Julianus and I included as part of our election platform was the need for both sides in the current unpleasantness to come together in the spirit of Concordia. I would like to expand on this theme.

I’ve had very recent conversations with friends on both sides of the divide that have demonstrated that feelings are still running intensely high, and that both sides are not only utterly convinced of the rightness of their own side, but the utter wrongness of the other side. Both sides can present long, involved explanations of why they’re right and the other side is wrong. And both seem utterly convincing.

In fact, I’m very sure that there are people reading this who instantly thought to themselves, “Yes, but we’re actually right!”

I’m here to say that if Nova Roma is going to move forward, both sides are going to have to yield.

That means the corporate side is going to have to stop saying the government side is illegitimate. Stop saying the Senate and magistrates have no legal standing, and put the bank account, internet infrastructure, and registered trademarks back at the disposal of the government.

That also means the government side is going to have to stop saying that the corporation is illegally constituted, that any actions taken by the corporation and its officers are illegal, and that people who backed the corporation or voted for the dictatorship have to post some public and degrading mea culpa in order to rejoin Nova Roman life.

In short, both sides have to realize and agree that reconciliation does not mean capitulation.

Both sides are going to have to reach out and embrace the other. The dictatorship is a non-issue at this point; the dictator has left Nova Roma, and the Master of Horse is (literally) dead. The issue that sparked the conflict is moot. Stop re-litigating the lawsuit every time someone on the other side mentions something you don’t like. Just stop picking at “The Enemy” for the sake of propping up your own ego.

And let me be frank; that does not mean there aren’t issues that need to be resolved. The corporate entity needs to be reformed, or reconstituted, or something, in order to bring it back in line with macronational law. The government needs to bring us back to regular order when it comes to elections, and the website is in drastic need of an overhaul. But these are solvable problems, if we just stop ripping each others’ guts out whenever someone tries to fix them.

Look forward, Nova Roma! We have a glorious future ahead of us if we can just come together.

Announcement of Candidacy for Consul

Salvete omnes,

We, the co-founders and Patres Patriae of Nova Roma, are proud to announce our candidacies as Consuls of the Republic.

Our Republic has been through a very tough time, described by many as a civil war. It has been a time of division, bitter enmity, and recrimination. But now it is clear that it is time to come together and move forward as Nova Roma was originally intended to do.

As the co-founders of Nova Roma we humbly offer ourselves as the candidates best equipped to bring us back to that original mission. Our goal is to heal the divisions which have plagued our community.

Chief among our priorities as a Republic must be a resolution of the lawsuit. We believe we can be uniquely helpful in that regard as we have maintained friendships on both sides of the dispute, and we believe we can act as a mediating force between them. Once that is done a new corporate structure can be put together that better serves the needs of the people. What exact form it will take will depend on the nature of the resolution of the lawsuit and the input we receive from the many parties involved, including both the Senate and the people.

But in addition to the lawsuit itself we must heal the divisions among us. Our last co-Consulship invoked the goddess Concordia to bring the spirit of amity and cooperation to Nova Roma and we must work to achieve a similar spirit today. Reconciliation, the setting aside of old (and recent) grudges, and amnesty must be our bywords in the coming year. We must get Nova Roma back on track and the way to do that is not to spend another year bickering and tossing insults at one another.

Aside from these two main objectives we will strive to encourage ever-more real-world events, and supporting the practice of the Religio Romana by our citizens who are practitioners or wish to be. We will also renew our efforts at outreach, to set us back on the path of growth with new citizens. These were our original goals back at our founding, and it’s easy to see how we’ve not been able to focus on them as much as we might have wanted to. But now we have a chance of renewal and the opportunity to seize the energy and enthusiasm that we had.  

We will try to bring us back to the spirit of those heady days twenty-plus years ago, when we were young, unified, and nothing seemed out of reach. Let’s regain it together.

We hope you will let us once again serve the Res Publica which we created, but which we all share.


Flavius Vedius Germanicus
Marcus Cassius Julianus

What is Nova Roma?

So many people want Nova Roma to be so many things, that occasionally one is obliged to remind everyone just why Nova Roma was founded, and what are the implications of that foundation.

First, and foremost, Nova Roma was founded as a way to allow the Religio Romana to be practiced as it was in pre-Christian times. Specifically, prior to the removal of the Altar of Victory from the Senate in CE 357.

Everything Nova Roma was supposed to be, and everything it is, flows from that single fundamental purpose. Everything else is secondary.

Which is not to say those other things are unimportant or wrong, or that the non-Pagans who join our Res Publica are somehow second-class citizens, but Nova Roma cannot be understood in its proper context without that fundamental foundation. It is, and always has been, about restoring the Religio Romana.

That said, Nova Roma was formed as an independent nation — a micro-nation — specifically because doing so was the only way to properly allow for a complete restoration of the Religio Romana. Because so much of the Religio was centered around Roman civic life, and consisted of rituals, celebrations, and ceremonies designed to do honor to the Gods on behalf of the whole nation (the Religio Publica, as distinct from the Religio Privata that is done within the home), and because many of those rituals were and are performed by the publicly-elected magistrates, it was necessary to form a government capable of sustaining and supporting that aspect of the Religio Romana.


There has been a lot of talk, for obvious reasons, about the corporate structure and who controls what and what the implications are for Nova Roma and so forth. But hopefully the above history and context will show my readers the truth of that relationship.

Nova Roma is in no way dependent on some corporate entity.

Let me say that again. Nova Roma’s existence, legitimacy, organizational structure, Constitutuon, leges, Collegia, Senate, and magistracies have nothing to do with any corporation. Who is in control of such a corporation is similarly irrelevant to the ongoing business, and the pursuit of the mission and objectives, of Nova Roma.

Now, a corporate entity is indeed needed to get along in today’s world. Such things as being able to collect and disburse money on any kind of useful scale, to get insurance, to rent space, to host Internet and social media presences, etc., are all greatly aided by the existence of some sort of corporate structure. In the case of a United States-based corporation, that would be a non-profit corporation, given Nova Roma’s religious and educational functions.

But never let it be said that Nova Roma’s Constitution, its laws, its magistrates, or its actions are somehow tied to the existence of some US corporate entity. From Nova Roma’s point of view, such a corporate entity is a convenience and a means to the end of fulfilling its purposes.

But when it comes down to it, Nova Roma does not need a corporation to survive or function. It managed for three years before the first corporation was created, and will continue to do so no matter what happens with the current corporate structure. Of course, we all hope for an amicable reconciliation with the current corporate Board of Directors and the government of Nova Roma. No one wants a swift and happy end to the dispute more than I. A warm and useful relationship between Nova Roma and the corporation can only be to the benefit of our Republic.

But Nova Roma is not the corporation, and never has been. Nova Roma is a sovereign nation created to restore the worship of the Gods of Rome, because such worship requires a sovereign nation. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.

Munera Gladiatoria of the Ludi Romani

Salvete omnes!

I have the honor of being an Aedilis Curulis this year, and volunteered to run the gladiatorial games for the Ludi Romani. Here is my account.

We had two entries for the Munera Gladiatoria in this year’s Ludi Romani. Because of the limited number of entries, I am modifying the rules of the Regulae Ludorum into a “best of five” format to determine the victor. Each round represents a clash of arms, followed by a brief separation as the participants regain their breath.

I hereby present our participants and a recount of the match. Apologies in advance for any mistakes I make in the “color commentary”. The final result should remain unchanged.

The traditional pompa, tubicines, and other officials enter the arena, followed by the two fighters, greeted by the roar of the assembled crowd, here to honor the Ludi Romani with  a display of the gladiator’s art. As editor of the Games, I introduce our gladiators, shouting to the crowd their names and proud histories.

* * *

Edigius the Hoplomachus (sponsored by D. Aurelius Ingeniarius)
Born of the high mountains of Macedonia, Egidius would wrestle and play-flight among his childhood friends. Perched high on rocks and boulders he soon developed a liking for fending off his gaming opposition with large sticks. Sadly, as a young teenager, his village was raided by unknown tribesman. During the attack, a brief wave of courage swept over him. Using a makeshift lance he had crafted, he charged down an unknown warrior, spearing him through the back. He provided an opening for him and 3 other villagers to escape.  

He was taken in by a local gamesman of a nearby town where he was offered to perform in exchange for food and shelter. There he would fight various wild animal or wrestle with various challengers from the region.
Soon his reputation grew of his ability and now he fights in the name of Jupiter and for the glory of the Roman Republic.

* * *

Sudrenus the Murmillo (sponsored by M. Pompeius Caninus)
Sudrenus was born in Coria, a town and fort about 2 miles south of Hadrian’s Wall near its eastern end. He is 22 years old, 180 lbs, 5’9″, with brown hair and blue eyes. He has a sturdy build with muscular legs, broad shoulders and strong forearms. He learned leather working from his father but the call of the arena, the promise of fame and the rich lifestyle has drawn him to the arena.

He fights for the Ludus Venetus.

* * *

Those who are about to die salute you!

As the crowd roars its approval, I step aside, and allow the contest to commence.

Clash #1: Edigius rolls an 8, Sudrenus rolls an 8 (all die rolls include the appropriate modifications for type and tactic). 

The two opponents rush towards one another with a dizzying flash of blows. Edigius’ lance is easily deflected off of Sudrenus’ large shield, and the murmillo attempts to take advantage of the temporary opening to thrust with his gladius. The experienced hoplomachus sees the move coming, however, and twists his body, avoiding the blow. The crowd cheers the display of skill.

Neither man wins the first clash.

Clash #2: Edigius rolls a 3, Sudrenus rolls a 6.

Stepping back, the two opponents judge themselves from their initial contact, each getting the measure of the other. A brief moment, and then the two approach one another at the same time, without needing any signal save the warrior’s instinct. The young Sudrenus feints right with his gladius. Edigius swings his lance around to parry the threat, and then feels the staggering clang of Sudrenus’ small shield against the faceplate of his helm. Reeling back, he attempts to shake off the effects of the blow as the crowd erupts with applause.

Sudrenus wins the second clash.

Clash #3: Edigius rolls a 7, Sudrenus rolls a 9.

Sudrenus gives his opponent no time to rest, immediately pushing the attack. He thrusts with his gladius, glancing off his enemy’s large shield one, twice, three times, while easily fending off the lance with his small shield. Unable to gain any traction against Sudrenus, Edigius backs up, trying to buy time. He then spins unexpectedly and attempts a shield-bash of his own. The young murmillo dodges out of the way in the nick of time, but the more experienced hoplomachus can’t connect no matter how he tries.
Sudrenus wins the third clash.

Clash #4: Edigius rolls a 6, Sudrenus rolls a 4.

Finally Edigius shakes off the effects of the head-shot. He circles slowly, feinting with his lance, looking for any weakness, any opening. Sudrenus, his confidence bolstered by his showing so far, tries to lunge past the large shield of his enemy. Edigius seizes the opportunity and thrusts his lance into his enemy’s thigh, which rips it out of his hand. Sudrenus goes to one knee, pain ripping through him, as he quickly pulls the lance loose and tosses it aside. Unsteadily, he regains his feet, seeing Edigius brandishing his dagger in his right hand. Blood flowing from his leg, Sudrenus stands, gripping gladius and shield tightly. The crowd can barely contain its excitement at the sight of blood on the sand.

Edigius wins the fourth clash.

Clash #5: Edigius rolls a 5, Sudrenus rolls a 13.

With but a dagger and small shield facing a gladius and large shield, Edigius circles his wounded enemy, hoping that blood loss will weaken him further. But Sudrenus, wounded as he is, throws forth a series of blows that are barely met by the hoplomachus’ small shield. Edigius manages some half-hearted thrusts with his dagger, hungrily eying the discarded lance but unable to reach it. Finally, the gladius finds its way home, thrusting into Edigius’ shoulder right above the point where his manica ended its protection. It’s a clean thrust, and Edigius goes to the ground, groaning in pain, and raising one finger to signal his acknowledgement of defeat. The crowd leaps to its feet, knowing the match is over. On and on they roar and hold their hands high, signaling their judgment on the loser…

Sudrenus wins the fifth and final clash. He was won 3 out of the 5 clashes of the match and is the victor.

Sudrenus looks around to the crowd and sees a sea of thumbs pointed down in the pollice verso. “Throw down your sword” they spoke to him with their gesture. Missio! He does so, and the crowd roars its approval and the palm branch of victory is placed into his hand.

Sudrenus holds it up with triumph, and has his place in history as the victor of the Ludi Romani.