Reading the Declaratio ~ Ludi Conditorum 2761 AUC (Nova Roma)
11:50 - Direct from the Forum romanum, by our female reporter D. Licentia Ligula for CLC (Catena Ludorum Curulium)
Welcome to the Forum Romanum! Today the ceremony is thus here, on the Forum, but more precisely on the Rostra, where we are waiting a memorial reading of the Declaratio by Sacerdos Lentulus. You well know the Forum, and you sure remember that the Rostra are just around 40 paces from our senatorial Curia door, in the axe of the northern Curia's wall.
One by one they have stepped upon the Rostra, every one in his most recent and beautiful toga.. or stola. Naturally, and we women may regret it, but this is currently how things are working, there are only men, except *one* woman. I can see our former consor and consul Pompeia Minucia Strabo, which I personally have much liked, but among the senatores, specially the censorii and consulares, at the bottom of the rostra tribune.
On the Rostra, facing the crowd and before the five columns placed in the middle of the tribune, we have just nine people : both consuls and censors, the Princeps Senatus, the Flamen Martialis, Tribune Livia and the curule aediles. All are waiting for Quaestor consularis but, today mainly Sacerdos Concordiae Cornelius, who is to join them to read the Declaration of Nova Roma, that was issued ten years ago by the Patres Patriae Cassius and Vedius.
At this time, and because you know that every one has remarked it, I cannot but confirm you that both Patres Patriae are absent today, at least not present on the tribune. Initially, and I have checked this by aedilician sources, Cassius and Vedius have been proposed to address the People now. The first one has not replied the request, and the second one, after a first acknowlegment of receipt, has since resigned from some registrated positions he was still holding. So no Founders for this 10th birthday ceremony, and overall to honor a text that they have themselves created and issued in 2751, ten years ago, on this February 28th.
I think personally that it is a shame, but I am not here to tell you about my mind.
A last reminder : Pater Cassius is also Pontifex Maximus, but as he is currently fighting against the consuls backed by the Senate about the duties and organization of our Collegium Pontificum, his absence may be seen as linked to both positions : Pater Patriae and Pontifex Maximus. This is why the aediles have agreed, in order that the whole corpus of religious institutions (priests, augurs, sacerdotes and vestales) be represented now, to invite Modianus also as a member of the CP, and Flamen Cincinnatus as Flamen Martis and other member of this CP. At the same time, Modianus is naturally also present as censor, and so his colleague Paulinus. The Princeps Senatus, K. Fabius Buteo Quintialianus, is naturally here, representating on the tribune the whole Senate.
Lucia Livia Plauta has been chosen by the Tribunes of the Plebs to represent the Plebs and the five tribunes. Apparently, the fact that she is a woman has not been indifferent, for the tribunes, in a full agreement with aediles and consuls, have wished sending a sign to all female cives and socii : as Livia tribune has confirmed me recently: "There is a place for women in Nova Roma's magistracies, and they have to take it, and to involve in public affairs."
Last but not least, the consuls are there, and they have accepted co- sponsoring this ceremony with the aediles. As proposed by aediles Lucilius and Memmius, they will thus be associated closely to some of top events during these Ludi Conditorum, specially on next Kalends of March and during the closing Ludi ceremony on March 5th.
Ah! The crowd is murmuring... Yes, I can see a wonderful large white toga praetexta going up to the Rostra six marble stone degrees. Yes, here he is, and on sharp time.
It is 11:56 at my Tempus watch, whose ads you sure have already seen, says : "A true Lupus wears a Tempus watch ".
Sacerdos Cn. Cornelius Lentulus is really impressing, garbed in his immaculate toga praetexta. What a young and handsome sacerdos! How magnificent he must be in lorica....!!!
Well (sigh).....he is now greeting with all nine presents, and coming up carefully towards the crowd. Carefully, because you know all well that there is an open space, not protected by the balustrade, in the middle of this southern side of the Rostra. I really would not want him to fall down on the first ranks.. the poor.... (re-sigh).
Cn. Cornelius Lentulus has a roll in his right hand, which I know contains all the translations, in every language spoken in Nova Roma, of the initial Declaration, originally written in American-English, the language spoken by our Patres Patriae Cassius and Vedius. Now Sacerdos Lentulus, cinctu gabino capite velato, is asking for silence. You have surely understood that things have been well organized, for there are 10 people now on the tribune : ten like our curiae, ten like the years passed since the Declaratio, in 2751 or 2008 as the Christian cives among us also say.
Sac. Concordiae Cn. Cornelius Lentulus's speech
Quirites, cives Romani my brothers and sisters !
Here I am very honored to address you, I, young citizen and fresh Sacerdos Concordiae. I cannot find words to tell you my emotion, to be there in front of you, in such a place, where so illustrous ancestors have stood, where our Roman history has been written, and to be the youngest and the tenth of a so wise and high group of Nova Roma magistrates.
I am thus the youngest one among my elders, but I have told myself that it was probably because of this youth, of the whole force and enthusiasm that I may bring to Rome, to have reenacted It and developed Nova Roma, that I have been considered as humble and dedicated enough to be proposed to the great distinctions of Camillus, and then Sacerdos Concordiae.
The honor is as high as the office heavy. For even if Concordia is not on of our most eminent goddess, she is constantly acting in the shadow. When everything goes well, we often forget her. But when Rome crosses hard times, assaulted by hostile nations, or facing internal tensions, everyone reminds the constant and hard working modest Concordia.
For having learnt by her side her modesty and efficiency, her work and good will, I would be now the utmost renegate if I would not humbly give her my voice and my strenght so that she can address you, Popule Romane, in this special day. Ten years ago, our Patres gave us a Declaratio and a Republic. Ten years later, Concordia and our Gods are caring enough on us to accept reminding us on what foundations Nova Roma has been erected.
It has first been built on the stone of a common agreement : the one contracted by all women and men of good will, which have wished to live "in a roman way", living or working on all the multiple fields who make Rome a whole, complex and wonderful society. This plurality of women and men, I have recognized it in the names of all of you who gave me, in this last month, their help to translate or correct in all the languages of our universal city, this Declaratio. I would thus like to thank particularly the following cives: P. Constantinus Placidus, C. Petronius Dexter, L. Rutilius Minervalis, M. Iulius Severus. Thanks also to St. Ullerius Venator for the excellent poem he wrote on our Tenth Year.
Naturally, we all of us may think that the Declaratio has become obsolete in some of its parts. Would we still limit Nova Roma's aims just to Western civilization, for we see that it is not easy, in our current days to define this expression, and at the same time because many nations may long to access to romanity ? Maybe that the affirmation of our sovereignty would be written differently, with words which would take into due consideration the state of our planet and its political complexity? Maybe the notion of "nation" would also be examined differently? But maybe, too, and I would say "surely", that we cannot disavow our Declaratio when it says : "Our pledge is to embody a benign and beneficial cultural and spiritual influence throughout all societies, while remaining politically neutral and lawful in action.".
For Rome is in Rome, here is its Forum romanum, but also in every place just one of us lives. Rome is thus in the deserts of Africa, Asia or America. Rome is in California as in Japan, in cold Thule or Canada as in sweeter Hispania or Brasilia. Rome still lives in Russia as it does in all military fields where Novaromans are fighting under their national current flag. Rome is in Italy, in young United States of America as in old Europe. For honor and fulfilling one's obligations are as Rome. Honor and duties will ever be honor and duties. Rome and Its roman virtues are in our hearts, in our traveling bags, in our lifes. Rome is how we are acting, living, bringing our children to become responsible adults, and dealing with the others and with what we call now our environment, and what our Ancients would have called "templum", "sky", "earth", "ground" or "world".
And thus, because we precisely share this idea and certitude, we Romans are surely among the ones who have the best tools to face the current changing world. We have a common thing : our republic. We have a common faith : our romanity. We have a common past, and a common future : Rome.
This is what our Declaratio is about.
Now please listen carefully, in every of its languges spoken in Nova Roma, to the text of the Declaratio issued, ten years ago in 2751, by Patres Cassius and Vedius.
Then, when I will have stopped reading this text, please keep silent and go back to your activities, whatever your dignity and ordo. And this evening, please speak of this moment, of our long and young history, with your family and parents.""
(and Sacerdos Cornelius reads now the Latin version of our Declaratio :
He then observes a silence and reads every other eight versions of the Declaratio. You have remarked that this number of 8+1= 9 is also symbolic, for if we consider that there could be a last version specific to our Gods, we would have ten versions. Again this number ten.
Then Sacerdos Lentulus puts his right index finger in a cup held by Censor and Pontifex Modianus :
"Concordia Dea, Roma mater deaque, uti te ture commovendo bonas preces bene precatus sum, eiusdem rei ergo macte vino inferio esto.
[Goddess Concordia, along with Roma mother god, as by offering to you the incense virtuous prayers were well prayed, for the sake of this be honored by this humble wine.]" I pour a libation on this Rostra's stone, altar of Rome.
Then Sacerdos Lentulus puts his right index finger in a cup held by Flamen Martialis Cincinnatus :
"Concordia Dea, Marte patrie deo, uti te ture commovendo bonas preces bene precatus sum, eiusdem rei ergo macte vino inferio esto.
[Goddess Concordia, with Mars Father god's help, as by offering to you the incense virtuous prayers were well prayed, for the sake of this be honored by this humble wine.]"
I pour a libation on the Rostra's stone, altar of Rome. May, Concordia dea, both Roma et Mars help you, on behalf of all Immortal Gods of Rome, to protect us during these Ludi Conditorum, and all along this tenth birthday year." And Sacerdos Cornelius opens his arms looking the crowd of the Quirites and Socii down at his feet, and says: "Factum est! Ite Quirites !"
Well, listen, dear auditores and spectatores, this is a much amazing and moving moment : I never heard such a silence and saw such concentrated faces in a Roman crowd.
We could hear flies flying.
The officials have stepped down the Rostra tribune, and are now shaking hands in silence, and with all the other officials around the tribune and towards the Senate house. People are beginning leaving the forum, even if I feel many Romani would like this moment lingers on for some minutes more. Ahhh! Really amazing! Sure that people will talk of this Reading, this evening, in every domus or insula. Maybe that women like me have not been that insensitive to our Sacerdos' Lentulus presence...(sigh).
Coming this afternoon, in 3 hours : Equirria race, around the streets of Campus Martis, at 4 pm (Rome time).
D. Licentia Ligula was speaking, for Catena Ludorum Curulium, from the the Forum romanum, and it is 1 pm on Equirria day (re-sigh).