Marcus Aurelius Cotta Iovius (Nova Roma)
Awarded member of the public equestrian order, M. Aurelius Cotta, eques equo publico, and praetorian senator, currently serves the res publica as aedilis curulis together with Cn. Cornelius Lentulus as his colleague. M. Cotta Iovius is also the founder of the Familia Gladiatoria Pannonica (the official corporate name is the shorter "Familia Gladiatoria"), the first modern gladiatorial school of the world since the fall of the empire. The Familia Gladiatoria Pannonica was founded in 1985 with the support and contribution of the greatest academic experts of the time, such as Marcus Junkelmann, and it became a registered gladiatorial group of Nova Roma in a.d. V Id. Mai. ‡, L. Sulla (III) cos. sine collega ‡ MMDCCLXVI a.u.c..
The lanista M. Cotta Iovius was one of the first citizens of Nova Roma, and probably the fist Hungarian citizen. He obtained citizenship in Id. Mar. ‡ Q. Maximo M. Minucio cos. ‡ MMDCCLIII a.u.c., shortly after the second birthday of Nova Roma. Apart from a friendship with M. Antonius Gryllus Victorinus, a scholar of Mithraism, another Hungarian citizen who joined a few months later, he did not get involved in the public life of Nova Roma, but he continued running his Familia Gladiatoria Pannonica which became one of the most authentic and successful Roman gladiatorial reenactment groups of the world.
Initially, Iovius also organized a Roman legion as part of the Familia Gladiatoria Pannonica enterprise, the Legio II Adiutrix as the centurio of which he served, but after the early 2000s he gradually discontinued the legionary activities. The greatest feat with the legion profile of his group was the legendary Limes March (Limesjárás in Hungarian) in 1990, which lasted two weeks and a contingent of the Legio II Adiutrix of the Familia Gladiatoria Pannonica marched, by foot, all along the Pannonian limes between Aquincum and Carnuntum as an archaeological and cultural tribute to our Roman heritage. Similar achievements are currently made by our prominent Roman reenactor, C. Flavius Stilicho, making these heroic attempts of an authentic Roman Limes March a very Nova Roman thing.
Cotta Iovius became publicly active in Nova Roma, first only at the provincial level in Pannonia, after becoming friends with Cn. Cornelius Lentulus, the legatus pro praetore of Pannonia, which happened around the year M. Moravio T. Iulio cos. ‡ MMDCCLXI a.u.c.. From that year on, the Familia Gladiatoria Pannonica occasionally participated in the provincial programs of Pannonia, peaking in the official "act of union" in the year L. Sulla (III) cos. sine collega ‡ MMDCCLXVI a.u.c., since which time the Familia Gladiatoria operates as a member-group of Nova Roma, in a very fruitful cooperation.
M. Cotta Iovius did not start his political career until C. Claudio T. Domitio (II) cos. ‡ MMDCCLXXI a.u.c., holding the praetorship as his first public office. The reason for such an immediate climb to the top, without filling the previous grades, was the ongoing turmoil, the Third "Civil War" of Nova Roma during which the requirements of filling lower grades of magistracies was suspended, and a well-known and recognized doer could get elected to the highest posts immediately. Iovius was by then one of the best known citizens due to his work in Nova Roma as lanista at our most splendid public games.
Since as a lanista, leader of a gladiatorial school it's his most natural type of activity, serving as the aedilis of Nova Roma has become a regular public contribution of M. Cotta as his service to Nova Roma. After his praetorship, he has served as aedilis three times, and he serving his fourth term this year.
His interest and devotion to Mithraism is widely known from the spiritual mystery play, consisting of 7 pieces, the last of which was "Pater" that has been played in professional theaters, with contribution of renown Hungarian actors and scholars. He has been researching and practicing Mithraism since the early 1990s, and he was the founder of the Aquincum Floralia festival in 1990, which has become the largest Roman museum-festival in Central Europe. Other than being its founder, he participated in every Floralia since 1990, and his pious dedication to Flora has become really unparalleled in the world. He has been inaugurated and consecrated as flamen Floralis of Nova Roma in Q. Arrio P. Annaeo cos. ‡ MMDCCLXXII a.u.c., and he is sacrificing to Flora on behalf of Nova Roma on every Kalends ever since.
Due to his excellent and immense public service to Nova Roma, he has been elevated to the equestrian order, and he received both the Major Consular Award and the Censorial Award, the highest award given by magistrates. He was also decorated by the Pannonian Governor's Award for his service to Provincia Pannonia.