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What does "SPQR" mean?

Senatus Populusque Romanus - the Senate and Roman People; also usually quoted as "the Senate and People of Rome". The "que" suffix is "and"; "Romanus" is an adjective. Professor Silvia Giorcelli Bersani explains more.

How can I participate in one of the reenactment legions and groups of Nova Roma?

Joining a reenactment group of Nova Roma is the best way for being involved in our Roman civic life. In order to get in touch with such a group, you should contact the responsible officer who administers the local community of Nova Roma in the area where you live. If you cannot find any contact information to that individual, ask about their contact details in one of our official forums, or contact the central administration of Nova Roma via email.

Where can I learn about the next public events of Nova Roma?

Nova Roma frequently holds community events all over the world, most often in Europe. These events are usually announced on the Facebook page of Nova Roma, or somewhere in our official forums, or on the websites of our various member groups. Some of the events are not equally open to anyone, and you might be required to be a members of the group that organizes it if you want not only to attend as a spectator but o actively participate as a fellow citizen.

Where can I buy authentic Roman clothes and accessories?

If you want to receive advice that personally fits your situation, contact our aediles to learn about the various possibilities. We have a number of officially registered Nova Roman vendors whom you can try out.

Do I have to practice Roman religion?

Absolutely not. Nova Roma is not a "church," and we have absolutely no interest in the religious lives of any of our citizens. All that's required from a citizen of Nova Roma is a love of all things Roman. Since Nova Roma is a complete reconstruction of the culture and society of ancient Rome, the "state religion" of Nova Roma is the ancient Roman religion, but we do not require any citizen to practice it in person. Magistrates, because they are not only civil servants but also have functions within the sacra publica, are responsible for ensuring that religious functions are performed either by themselves or an appropriate delegate. While personal adherence to the ancient ways and traditions, especially as expressed through magisterial participation in religious ritual, is an ideal that is encouraged and valued, it's not a requirement within Nova Roma.

Do I have to be of Roman or Italian heritage to join?

As before, absolutely not! Just as persons of any race or nationality could become Roman citizens, so too is the right of Nova Roman citizenship open to all.

How do the rights of woman in Nova Roma compare to that of ancient Rome?

Ancient Roman society was rather patriarchal. While we are endeavoring to recreate most aspects of classical Roman culture, we are updating some of the more backwards views of our illustrious ancestors (slavery being the other big one — we wouldn't allow it even if it were legal). Women in Nova Roma are completely free to vote, hold office, become members of the Senate, and so forth. As far as the Religio Romana goes, there are some offices that are women-only, some that are men-only, and some that are open to both. While we recognize the differences between women and men, neither is held to be superior to the other.

Do I have to know Latin or Greek to join?

Not at all. While a cursory knowledge of Latin might be helpful in understanding some of the terms and phrases you'll see both on our web site and in some of our publications, it is in no way required. Several Latin courses are now taught online at Academia Thules.

Are you serious about the sovereignty thing?

Yes, we are completely serious about our declaration of symbolical sovereignty. However, we are also very realistic and do not expect to function as an actual sovereign nation with our own territory in the foreseeable future. We look at it in three ways; as a long-term goal towards which we can reach, as a very convenient way to organize the administration of Nova Roma (especially given our Roman orientation), and as necessary for the full and complete restoration of the religio Romana (since many religious duties were inherently tied to the state).

Is this just some kind of role-playing game?

No. We're far more than some "role-playing" game! The culture and knowledge left by classical Rome can still make a positive contribution to the modern world. Nova Roma is a serious attempt to provide a place where those interested in the various aspects of the classical world can begin to turn that cultural legacy into a living system once again.

With good fortune, Nova Roma is growing into something very "real" indeed. We are gaining citizens at a steady (and increasing) rate, and more and more "local real world" meetings and events are becoming possible. There are now over a thousand Nova Romans... running real-world classical-oriented businesses through the ordo equester, hosting annual public gatherings such as the Nova Roma Summer Camp, Roman Days, Roman Market Day or the International Grand Convention of Nova Roma, the Conventus Novae Romae, organizing sodalitates (clubs) around classical subjects concerning everything from brewing to philosophy, holding legal religious services, helping to fund serious archaeological digs, and even participating in real-world politics as an international "culture and people".

Can I be a patrician?

With very few exceptions, new citizens will join the plebeian class. Access to the patrician class is by birth or adoption into a patrician family.

So what's the difference between patrician and plebeian?

Functionally, almost nothing at all. In fact, there are a few magistracies (such as the tribunus plebis) that can only be occupied by citizens of the plebeian class. Patrician status was really included as a way to honor those families which came on-board at a very early stage of Nova Roma and were therefore instrumental in our early history.

What's a spelt cake (or far cake)?

One sometimes encounters the term "spelt cake" in texts about Roman religious rituals. It is a cake made from the grain far, traditionally used as an offering given agricultural deities such as Ceres or Tellus. Note that the word "spelt" is a mistranslation of the Latin word "far", which in fact is the grain which in English is called emmer.

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