Ludi Romani in Plovdiv and Szolnok

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The Ludi Romani in the year Cn. Caesare C. Tullio cos. MMDCCLXV a.u.c. were celebrated in two live events held at the same time in two different countries of the world. In Plovdiv, Bulgaria (7th - 9th September), organized by Ti. Claudius Drusus "Germanicus" from Estonia, A. Vitellius Celsus and the Bulgarian Nova Romans, and in Pannonia Provincia, in the city of Szolnok, Hungary (8th September), organized by Cn. Cornelius Lentulus pontifex and the Pannonian Nova Romans. While some lucky citizens celebrated at these live events, Nova Romans all over the world could participate in online games and contests between a.d. VII Id. Sep. and a.d. XVI Kal. Oct. .

These Ludi Romani of Nova Roma commemorated two significant anniversaries of Roman history. We celebrated the 1800th Anniversary of the Constitutio Antoniniana, the Edict of Caracalla issued in 212 AD, which declared that all free men in the Roman Empire were to be given full Roman citizenship and all free women in Empire were given the same rights as Roman women were; and also honored the 1920th Anniversary of the destruction of the Legio XXI RAPAX, in 92 AD.

Contents

Programs overview


Ludi Romani in Plovdiv, Bulgaria (Philippopolis - Trimontium), SEPTEMBER 07-09.

PROGRAM

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  • 7th September 17:00 - Parade on the main street
  • 7th September 17:30 - Grand Opening (Stadium of Rome)
  • 7-8th September 17:30 - Ritual Auspicia- Ti. Claudius Drusus and A. Vitellius Celsus
  • 7-8th September 18:00 - Ritual Lustratio „Purifying/Cleansing“ (Stadium of Rome)- Ti. Claudius Drusus and A. Vitellius Celsus
  • 7-8th September 18:30 - Pankration (Stadium of Rome) - community САСР-СИЛА
  • 7-8th September 19:00 - Battle of the Gladiators (Stadium of Rome) - community САСР-СИЛА
  • 7-8th September 19:30 - Serbian dancegroup performance (Stadium of Rome) - Dance Club "Swing"
  • 7-8th September 20:00 - Antique Theatre, scenes from „The Matron of Ephesus“; Petronius, Satyricon (Stadium of Rome or Odeon ) - community САСР-СИЛА
  • 9th September 12:00-15:00 - Thracian ritual; Ancient armor and weapons demonstrations; Slave market; Roman fashion show, Gladiator combats (Stadium of Rome or Odeon ) - community САСР-СИЛА


Reports about the Ludi Romani in Plovdiv

Gladiatorial combat, organizers Ti. Claudius Drusus and A. Vitellius Celsus showed at 00:26.
Photo of Ti. Claudius Drusus and A. Vitellius Celsus while performing the Opening Sacrifices and Augurium for the Ludi Roman.

Photos of the Ludi Romani in Plovdiv

Grand Opening Ceremony of the Ludi Romani

This was the official Opening Ceremony of the Ludi Romani in the year Cn. Caesare C. Tullio cos. MMDCCLXV a.u.c.. Ti. Claudius Drusus and A. Vitellius Celsus were entrusted by aedilis curulis C. Maria Caeca to perform Opening Ceremony of the Ludi Romani of Nova Roma.


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1. Ti. Claudius Drusus and A. Vitellius Celsus are offering the opening sacrifice and perform the taking of auspices. The ceremony takes place in the ruins of an actual Roman circus (stadium).


Ti. Claudius Drusus with gladiators

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2. Ti. Claudius with gladiators of САСР-СИЛA.


Ti. Claudius Drusus with his wife

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3. Claudius Drusus with his wife, standing right.




Ludi Romani in Pannonia Provincia (Szolnok, Hungary), SEPTEMBER 08.

PROGRAM

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  • 8th September, 09:00 - Main solemn sacrifice to Iuppiter, conducted in Szolnok by pontifex Cn. Lentulus
  • 8th September, 10:00 - Pompa, the Legio XXI Rapax of Nova Roma marches together with other reenactment groups and civilian organizations of Szolnok as part of the opening parade of the "Szolnoki Gulyásfesztivál"
  • 8th September, 11:00 - Sacrifice to Divus Antoninus Magnus for the 1800th Anniversary of the Constitutio Antoniniana; ceremony by pontifex Cn. Lentulus
  • 8th September, 15:00 - Sacrifice to the Genius and Manes of the Legio XXI Rapax, destroyed exactly 1920 years ago; ceremony by pontifex Cn. Lentulus
  • 8th September, 15:30 - Gladiatorial Combats
  • 8th September, 16:00 - Memorial battle of the Legio XXI Rapax against the barbarians, commemorating the battle in which the legion was destroyed exactly 1920 years ago; after battle, one minute of silence and bowing head in honor of the dead soldiers of Rapax.
  • 8th September 17:00-20:00 - Games, dinner, dance and joy, as part of the city's public fest "Szolnoki Gulyásfesztivál".


Reports about the Ludi Romani in Szolnok

Only one photo about us, the rest of the photos feature a major city event, Szolnoki Gulyásfesztivál, a traditional Hungarian gastronomy festival, a part of which our Ludi Romani event was officially organized.
Lots of photos about the Memorial Battle of the Legio XXI Rapax, commemorating its destruction, photos about the sacrifice to the Genius and Manes of the legio XXI Rapax, and gladiatorial combats in their honor.

Photos of the Ludi Romani in Szolnok

The pompa

Every Roman festival started with a ceremonial procession, called the pompa. In Szolnok, the citizens of the Nova Roman province of Pannonia did the same in order to open their Ludi Romani celebration. The pompa started with a big procession of the legion, together with other reenactment groups and organizations participating in the Szolnoki Gulyásfesztivál and finished with a small parade and muster of the legionary unit at the location of their camp, where the Ludi Romani were held.


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1. The Nova Roman Legio XXI Rapax marches across the streets of the city event "Szolnoki Gulyasfestivál", to the opening of the city festival, and from there, to the location of our camp where we held our Nova Roman Ludi Romani. This constituted the ceremonial pompa of our Ludi Romani. March led by centurio Cn. Lentulus, legatus pro praetore of Pannonia.


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2. Having arrived to the camp where the Ludi Romani were held, the unit of Legio XXI Rapax saluted their centurio, the governor of the province, Cn. Lentulus, conducting the muster. Our barbarian auxiliaries at left.


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3. Cn. Lentulus musters his troop and holds a speech about the importance of the day, commemorating the fate of the Legio XXI Rapax 1920 years ago, as well as the beginning of the Ludi Romani yesterday.


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4. The muster of the legionary unit. The unit of the Legio XXI Rapax listening to the governor's speech.


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5. Armory. Deposition of arms while preparing for the sacrifice.



The sacrifice

After the pompa, a Roman festival always continued with a sacrifice. The sacrificial ceremony was the heart of the event. The Ludi Romani were officially opened in Plovdiv by Ti. Claudius and A. Vitellius, mandated by aedilis curulis C. Maria Caeca, and here, in Szolnok, there was the main sacrifice to Iuppiter, in honor of whom the Ludi Romani are traditionally held. But we had two other significant purposes of this year's Ludi Romani: the 1800th Anniversary of the Constitutio Antoniniana, and the 1920th Anniversary of the destruction of Legio XXI Rapax. The sacrifices performed by pontifex Cn. Lentulus continue the ceremonial events of the Ludi Romani started in Plovdiv.


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6. Ad hoc temporary altar with honor guard waiting for the beginning of the ceremony. The rest of legionary unit is lined up nearby to attend the ceremony, other Nova Romans watching from a distance together with visitors and spectators of the event.


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7. The altar is ready for the sacrifice.


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8. Cn. Cornelius Lentulus pontifex, legatus pro praetore of Pannonia, and his quaestor, Sp. Porcius Gemma, opening the ceremony in honor of the 1920th Anniversary of the destruction of Legio XXI Rapax, as part of the Ludi Romani of Nova Roma.


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9. Legatus pro praetore and pontifex Cn. Lentulus delivers the festive speech remembering the Legio XXI Rapax and the Ludi Romani, while Nova Romans and local visitors of the Szolnok city event are listening.


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10. The ceremony has begun. Cn. Lentulus, assisted by his quaestor Sp. Porcius, recites the first part of the praefatio. Prayers and sacrifice will be offered both to the Genius and Manes of the Legio XXI Rapax, and to Iuppiter for the Ludi Romani.


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11. After chanting the words of praefatio, the governor puts incense into the focus of the altar.


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12. In front of the makeshift altar, the legatus pro praetore pronounces the second part of the praefatio. The smoke of the incense sneaks gently upwards to father Iuppiter. It's a good sign.


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13. As an answer from the gods, amazing and mystical beams of sunshine radiate at the altar of the sacrifice, while pontifex Cn. Lentulus is puoring the libation of wine.


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14. Chanting the main prayer, perfused with propitious beams of light. Legatus pro praetore Cn. Lentulus pontifex prays to the Genius and Manes of the Legio XXI Rapax and to Iuppiter for the well being of the Nova Roman Republic: "Iuppiter Optime Maxime, Geni et Manes Legionis XXI Rapacis, estote fitote volentes propitii rei publicae populi Novi Romani Quiritium...!"


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15. The end of the ritual: the gods were pleased according to all signs. Cn. Lentulus performing the rite of adoratio around the temporary altar, closing the ceremony.



Memorial battle

When ancient Romans finished the religious ceremonies of a festival, there usually followed the ludi circenses, chariot and horse races, gladiatorial or athletic combats, and theater plays: we offered both gladiatorial games and a memorial battle.
After the ceremony, Cn. Lentulus resumes his centurion equipment to command the memorial battle in honor of that fatal battle in 92 AD, 1920 years ago. The memorial battle evokes resemblance to the ancient theatrical gladiatorial battles where the Romans themselves watched bloody reenactments of their historical battles. In line with that tradition, our reenactment legion honors the memory of the last day of the Legio XXI Rapax with a reenactment battle, as part of the Ludi Romani.


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16. Back to the arms; Governor Lentulus in his capacity as centurio lines up his unit before the battle. It's win or die today...


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17. It's begun! Soldiers of the Legio XXI Rapax throwing their pila.


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18. The centurion has shouted "Gladios stringite!"; attack with gladii swords. Rapax forever!


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19. Clash of the front lines.


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20. Moments of the battle: it was not fun to be there in 92 AD.


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21. The barbarians are advancing - is the defeat unavoidable?


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22. After the memorial battle, the unit's centurion and governor of the province, pontifex Cn. Cornelius Lentulus invokes the Manes of all soldiers ever of the Legio XXI Rapax, especially who died 1920 years ago in this fatal battle, and prays for them, and for the reenactors of Rapax. The spirits of Roman soldiers are present in this touching moment.


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23. One minute of silence; bowing the heads and bowing the flag of Nova Roma in honor and for the memory of the Legio XXI Rapax. With this symbolic action, all of Nova Roma honors their memory. The reenactment battle was sort of fun, but in this moment all Nova Romans present were moved deeply as they realized these people had indeed died: "We really did this for them!"



Munus: gladiatorial combat

Munus in Latin means "gift". A gift for the deceased. This was the origin of the gladiatorial games, where the combat and the eventual death of gladiators were offered as gifts to the Manes of the dead. As part of our Ludi Romani, we offered the combats of gladiators to please and placate the immortal spirits of the soldiers of the Rapax, and also, to honor Iuppiter, who is in the center of these games. This was our gift to the Manes and Genius of Rapax, and to father Iuppter.


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24. Our barbarian auxiliaries also practice the occupation of gladiator. The first combat.


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25. The winner of the previous combat now fights with enother warrior. It pleases the Manes of the dead legionary soldiers of the Rapax.



Time travel surprise

Well, oh yeah, first it must be noted that it was not the Nova Romans' idea, but our brothers, the medieval reenactors insisted in such a wicked plan. What would have happened if Roman legions and medieval knights fought each other? Anyway, we left this picture at the end, just to let you know that many things can transpire when Nova Romans are having their ludi...


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26. The clash of times. Intriguing question: would Rome win over medieval troops? Well, the result in these Ludi Romani was a tie, though the centurion was injured in his neck. Better for everyone to remain in his proper spacetime-continuum.

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