Municipalities (Nova Roma)
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Nova Roma encourages the formation of officially recognized autonomous communities throughout the provinces of the Republic. These are referred to generally as municipalities (in Latin: civitas oppidana, res publica oppidana, municipalitas). Different types and sizes of municipalities will go by different names. Oppidum was a general term for cities and townships in the Roman empire and is still sometimes used in Nova Roma to refer to local communities.
Although citizens can always meet casually without a formal municipal construct, local groups must meet stringent and authentic measures to be formally recognized as a municipalitas to gain the privileges and recognition associated with such groups. The policy on forming local groups also opens the possibility of confederation with other res publicae, civitates, and various forms of related communities, which would support the function and mission of Nova Roma.
The basis of forming local communities, or municipalities, comes from the lex Fabia de oppidis et municipiis, overhauled by the lex Arria de castris et coloniis in Q. Arrio (III) A. Tullia cos. ‡ MMDCCLXXIV a.u.c. If you are seeking to establish or formally recognize a reenactment legion, gladiatorial school or other military reenactment group, refer to the lex Aurelia de legionibus and lex Aurelia de familiis gladiatoriis et ludis gladiatoriis.
How to use this guide
Whether citizens are seeking to establish a new local community, or upgrade the status of an old one, this page will help you identify the terms, features and civil rights that are best suited for each specific community.
Follow the process offered on this page to arrive at the correct community definition and the requirements to establish or form that community.
Currently Recognized Municipalities of Nova Roma
List of municipia Nova Romana
- Municipium Poltava in Provincia Sarmatia, founded as oppidum:
Kal. Sext. ‡ M. Curiatio M. Iulio cos. ‡ MMDCCLXII a.u.c.; promoted to the status of municipium: Kal. Quin. ‡ P. Memmio K. Buteone (II) cos. ‡ MMDCCLXIII a.u.c. (Poltava, Ukraine)
- Municipium Ulpia Serdica in Provincia Thracia, founded as municipium: a.d. XI Kal. Oct. ‡ Q. Arrio P. Annaeo cos. ‡ MMDCCLXXII a.u.c. (Sofia, Bulgaria)
List of vici Novi Romani
- Vicus Urbs Romae in Italia Id. Dec. ‡ K. Buteone T. Labieno cos. ‡ MMDCCLVI a.u.c. (Rome, Italy)
- Vicus Complutum in Provincia Hispania a.d. VIII Id. Feb. ‡ Cn. Salvio Cn. Equitio cos. ‡ MMDCCLVII a.u.c. (Madrid, Spain)
- Vicus Bucurestium in Provincia Dacia a.d. V Id. Ian. ‡ L. Arminio Ti. Galerio cos. ‡ MMDCCLX a.u.c. (Bucharest, Romania)
- Vicus Fluminis Gilae in Provincia America Autroccidentalis
prid. Kal. Sept. ‡ M. Moravio T. Iulio cos. ‡ MMDCCLXI a.u.c. (Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, US)
- Vicus Laureatum in Provincia Canada Ulterior a.d. XVII Kal. Ian. ‡ M. Moravio T. Iulio cos. ‡ MMDCCLXI a.u.c. (Edmonton metropolitan area, Alberta, Canada)
- Vicus Aquilo in Provincia Sarmatia a.d. XV Kal. Mai. ‡ P. Ullerio C. Equitio cos. ‡ MMDCCLXIV a.u.c. (Vorkuta, Russian Federation)
List of pre-municipal local communities
- Burgus Colonia Rostallo in Provincia Pannonia a.d. VIII Id. Oct. ‡ P. Ullerio C. Equitio cos. ‡ MMDCCLXIV a.u.c. (Rostalló, Hungary)
Guide: Selecting the right municipality
There are seven forms of municipality and three affiliation statuses giving a total of 21 different types of recognized municipality in Nova Roma. Follow the steps below to determine the correct and most suitable municipality for your local community.
Step I: Determine the number of members
A municipality has to have at least five (5) members. To ensure the ongoing efficacy of the municipality, it is always best to have more, but the minimum amount is only five. It is worthy to note that those "members" do not necessarily need to be full Nova Roma citizens either - this is covered in Step III.
- Municipality types with 5-14 members:
- Burgus / Castellum - a small military municipality of undetermined nature.
- Vicus Conciliabulum - a simple voluntary association of members without formal approval by the state.
- Vicus Forum - a community of members formed by an edictum of a magistrate or governor for administrative purposes.
- Municipality types with 15 or more members:
- Castra / Castrum - a military municipality with heavy focus on military reenactment.
- Canabae - a military municipality with an equal or predominate civilian reenactment focus.
- Colonia - (a colony) a municipality not formed in the territory of a pre-existing city (usually upgraded from a military municipality) and may be a macronational corporation.
- Municipium - (federated state) a formally recognized unaffiliated club, association or macronational corporation.
Step II: Determine the government type
A municipality can either be a civilian municipality with civilian democratic self-government, or a military municipality with a military-style governing structure. Guidance on Roman military structure can be found on our page about the legions.
- Civilian Municipalities:
- Vicus Conciliabulum
- Vicus Forum
- Civilian municipalities have two equal mayors, elected annually, that will have different titles depending on the size of the municipality. In a smaller vicus, these mayors are generally called magister vici. For a colonia or municipium, these elected officials are known as duumvir iure dicundo (alternatively duovir, feminine duumvira). Other officers can be elected or appointed by the mayors, or as defined by the constitutio (charter, vicus) or lex municipalis or lex coloniae of the municipality. The mayors have the following rights and duties, as specified by the relevant charter which shall distribute the different areas of responsibility and different levels of power and authority for the local magistrates:
- i. To govern and administer the city community, the projects, programs, the entire civic life and all kinds of activities, according to the mission of Nova Roma;
- ii. To exercise iurisdictio, the ius coercitionis, the ius intercessionis, the ius edicendi within the municipality;
- iii. To have the honor of being preceded by two lictors (colonia and municipium only);
- iv. To maintain the local album civium, the album decurionum and the tabularium;
- v. To administer justice and conduct judicial procedures between members of the city community (colonia and municipium only);
- vi. To ensure public order, to regulate public space and the market, to see to the maintenance of public facilities, conduct of public games, festivals and gatherings, and to administer the law;
- vii. To issue those edicta necessary to carry out those tasks which they are mandated by the law to engage;
- viii. To call the local comitia and the ordo decurionum and preside over their meetings (colonia and municipium only);
- ix. To pronounce intercessio against another local magistrate of equal or lesser authority;
- x. To appoint apparitores to assist with administrative and other tasks, as they shall see fit.
- A municipium or colonia must formally define a "local comitia" (an assembly of its members) which is called a comitia municipalia or comitia coloniae respectively. Called to order by the mayors of the municipality, the comitia elect the magistrates and can enact communal leges (laws) binding upon the members of the local community. All the members of these municipalities shall have the right to speak and vote in its comitia. Coloniae and municipia must also have a government council, the ordo decurionum (city senate). Former and current magistrates of the municipality make up this council. This council shall be the supreme policy-making authority for the municipality. A vicus only has a general body of citizens (the vicani) which can only vote in elections, to vote on the charter, and to vote on issues in which the magistri, at their discretion, want to hear the opinion of the vicani.
- Military Municipalities:
- Burgus / Castellum
- Castra / Castrum
- Military municipalities have commanders, not elected magistrates. These are a form of military governor (provost), termed variously but generally known as a praefectus (praefectus castrorum, praefectus canabarum, praefectus burgi etc. determined by the name of the municipality, and by the consensus of the members). The commander may also eligible for other titles that can be approved by the Law Revision Committee of Classicists and Latinists. The praefectus of the municipality is appointed and removed by the governor of the province, or by the chief commanding officer of any associated reenactment unit to which the municipality belongs. The praefecti and other officers in the military municipality, as defined in the regula (charter), may have the following rights and duties:
- i. To govern and administer the military city community, the projects, programs, the entire civic life and all kinds of activities, according to the mission of Nova Roma;
- ii. To exercise the ius coercitionis within the municipality;
- iii. To maintain the local album civium and the tabularium (see Step IV);
- iv. To ensure public order, to regulate public space and the market, to see to the maintenance of public facilities, conduct of public games, festivals and gatherings, and to administer the law;
- v. To issue operational orders necessary to carry out those tasks which they are mandated by the law to engage;
- vi. To request the provincial governor to appoint apparitores for the praefectus to assist with administrative and other tasks.
Step III: Determine the civil right status
Municipalities have different civil rights statuses according to the degree of affiliation to Nova Roma. The initial civil rights status of the communities may be changed by the Senate or by the Comitia of Nova Roma if the community changes its characteristics or is otherwise upgraded as an award for distinguished service. The basis of the rights are determined by the percentage of Nova Roman citizens in the municipality to all registered members. For definitions on the different citizen types in Nova Roma, see the page on citizens. The lex Petronia de novis civibus offers opportunities for whole communities to receive various tiers of citizenship depending on their municipality civil rights.
- Municipalities with 75% or more "Full" citizens:
- Municipalities of Nova Roman citizens - These municipalities will have the label civium Novorum Romanorum. The proportion of cives optimo iure (full citizens) among the founders may not be less than 75% of total registered members.
- Municipalities with between 50% and 74% "Full" citizens:
- Allied municipalities with the ius Latinum - These municipalities will have the label Latinus -a, -um (according to the grammatical form of the accompanied term). Those members of the municipality who are not "full" Nova Roman citizens receive the civitas Latina in Nova Roma also known as ius Latinum, by virtue of being a member of such a municipality.
- Municipalities with less than 50% "Full" citizens:
- Allied municipalities of non-citizens and allied commonwealths, symbolic states or corporations of non-citizens - Composed either of non-citizens only, or alternatively, Nova Roman citizens and non-citizens where less than 50% of the founders are full Nova Roman citizens. Non-citizens, like their municipality, are defined as socii, and the municipality legal denomination shall be civitas foederata. Municipium or colonia may not be assigned this type of municipality status. This civil right status affords (often pre-existing) local groups or geographically undefined broader organizations measure to determine their own internal structure, charter and bylaws independently from Nova Roma (they will still maintain a foedus (charter) to demonstrate their cooperation with Nova Roma).
Step IV: Understanding the features of your municipality
The legislation clearly defines concepts that all municipalities permit the following:
- All citizen types, including: Citizens (cives optimo iure), associate citizens (cives Latini), partial citizens (cives sine suffragio), and allies (socii) of Nova Roma shall have the right to form city based local communities within the Res Publica Nova Romana.
- Every citizen of Nova Roma living within the geographical limits of a certain municipality, as defined by its charter, shall be automatically a citizen of the municipality, except when it is decided otherwise by the municipality. No one who does not live within those geographical limits shall be a member of that local community, excepting those who have been granted "honorary membership" in the municipality.
- Every member of a municipality shall have the right to relinquish his or her membership in that municipality without losing any of his or her rights as a citizen of Nova Roma.
- Loss of Nova Roman citizenship shall involve loss of membership in a municipality of Nova Roman citizens, but will not cause loss of membership in a Latin municipality or in an allied municipality.
- The rights of the citizens of a municipality may be restricted as a disciplinary action by the government of the municipality, but in case of civilian municipalities, the available disciplinary actions shall be regulated by a municipal lex before any restriction can be applied.
- Subject to the above requirements, every municipality has the right to determine its own membership.
The charter or treaty of a municipality must clearly articulate the geographical boundaries and city in which it is based on. The municipality shall be based on one macronational city, or if it is outside the territory of any cities, on a precisely defined single locality. The territorium of the municipality, from which citizens can receive membership in the municipality, can be larger than that single city, but it may not be larger than a county (or respective territorial subdivision used by the macronational country which acts as the smallest geographic unit within the country comprising more than one city and having a self-government).
Municipalities may have their own priests. Coloniae and municipia are authorized to establish their own priesthoods and priestly colleges. These include a local collegium pontificum or coloniale, local collegium augurum, local flamines and sacerdotes, according to the regulations of the Collegium Pontificum of Nova Roma. No local priest shall hold the title of pontifex maximus or augur magister. These colleges and priests shall always add the label “coloniae” or “municipii” (or “coloniale”, “municipale”) as part of their titles. The priesthoods of a colonia shall be under the supervision, guidance and disciplinary authority of the Collegium Pontificum of Nova Roma. The priesthoods of a municipium shall function independently as long as they do not violate regulations determined for the entire Nova Roma by the Collegium Pontificum. Other types of municipalities may appoint priests called sacerdotes (but no pontifices, augures, flamines etc.) according to the method defined in their charter. These priests shall function independently as long as they do not violate regulations determined for the entire Nova Roma by the Collegium Pontificum.
A military municipality shall always belong to an autonomous reenactment unit of Nova Roma or to an allied reenactment unit or to a reenactment unit that is a friend of Nova Roma, as defined by the lex Aurelia de legionibus. A military municipality shall always be under the administration and command of its mother unit, except when otherwise agreed in the charter or with the governor or government of Nova Roma.
Step V: Establishing the municipality formal documentation
All municipalities have several common features that are generally submitted to an authority for approval or endorsement. These are:
- An album civium (roll of citizens) that lists the members of the local community.
- A proposed treaty or charter, the name of which varies depending on the municipality: the foedus, for allied non-citizen municipalities or commonwealths; the regula for military municipalities; the constitutio for the civilian municipality of a vicus; and the lex municipii or lex coloniae for the civilian municipalities of a municipium or colonia.
- A written "Action Plan" with a list of a projected system of annual activities for the community.
Once drafted and agreed to by the members, a representative will submit it to their local governor who will forward the documentation to the Law Revision Committee of Classicists and Latinists for verification.
A regula shall clearly define the following: the official name of the burgus, castellum, castrum, castra or canabae; its geographical limits; the autonomous legionary unit to which the municipality belongs; the titles, duties and rights of its officers; the procedures for the appointment of its officers; the procedures of issuing new regulations and orders, the procedures for the maintenance of its album civium; and the name of the governing commander to be appointed.
A constitutio shall clearly define the following: the official name of the vicus; its geographical limits; the titles, duties and rights of its magistrates; the procedures for the election of its magistrates; the procedures of local legislation, the procedures for the maintenance of its album civium. These regulations shall be historically authentic.
A lex coloniae shall clearly define the following: the official name of the colonia; its geographical limits; the titles, duties and rights of its magistrates; the procedures for the election of its magistrates; the procedures of the ordo decurionum, the comitia and local legislation, the procedures for the maintenance of its album civium. These regulations shall be historically authentic.
A lex municipalis shall clearly define the following: the official name of the municipium; its geographical limits; the macronational corporation or entity on which the municipium is based; the titles, duties and rights of its magistrates; the procedures for the election of its magistrates; the procedures of the municipal council, of the municipal comitia and local legislation, the procedures for the maintenance of its album civium. These regulations shall be historically authentic.
Step VI: Founding the municipality
- For a Vicus Conciliabulum - Once the constitutio has been approved by the Law Revision Committee of Classicists and Latinists, the vicani shall elect their local magistrates according to a method determined by their mutual agreement.
- For a Vicus Forum - Once the constitutio has been approved by the Law Revision Committee of Classicists and Latinists, the governor or founding magistrate shall appoint a praefectus iure dicundo to handle the election of the vicus’s first magistrates from among the citizens of the vicus. The praefectus shall arrange and conduct a legal election within sixty days from his or her appointment. Their office shall expire on election of regular magistrates.
- For a Colonia - Once the senatus consultum de colonia deducenda or lex de colonia deducenda has been endorsed by the Law Revision Committee of Classicists and Latinists, passed by the senate or comitia respectively, the governor or the magistrate who supervised the process, shall appoint a committee of three citizens (or other number, usually two, three or ten, the number determining the Latin title, duoviri, tresviri, decemviri etc.), with the title tresviri coloniae deducendae to conduct the rituals and practical acts of founding the colonia, and to handle the election of the colonia’s first magistrates from among the coloni. The tresviri coloniae deducendae shall arrange and conduct a legal election within sixty days from his or her appointment. The office of the tresviri shall expire on election of the regular magistrates of the colonia. The lex coloniae must then be presented to the comitia coloniae for ratification.
- For a Municipium - Once a lex municipii or lex municipalis has been approved by the Law Revision Committee of Classicists and Latinists, passed by the Senate or the Comitia, the governor shall appoint a praefectus iure dicundo to handle the election of the municipium's first magistrates from among the citizens of the municipium. Even if the community had magistrates before incorporation to Nova Roma, the new magistrates shall be elected under the supervision of the praefectus in cooperation with the old magistrates. The praefectus iure dicundo shall arrange and conduct a legal election within sixty days from their appointment. The office of the praefectus iure dicundo shall expire on election of the regular magistrates of the municipium. The lex municipalis should then be presented to the comitia municipalia for ratification.
- For a Burgus / Castellum, Castra / Castrum or Canabae - The unit commander shall present the regula to the provincial governor, or to a central magistrate with imperium. The governor or the magistrate with imperium may then approve the regula by edictum if all conditions are met. Once the regula of the military municipality has been approved, the governor or founding magistrate shall appoint a praefectus to govern any applicable civilian municipality. If the governing officer of the military municipality is a Nova Roman citizen legally holding the title legatus of the legionary group which fills the municipality with its members, then the governing officer may be titled legatus. The governing commander of the military municipality is always appointed by the provincial governor, or by a chief commanding officer of an autonomous reenactment unit of Nova Roma.