V Conventus Publicity
This page was originally used to publicize the V Conventus Novae Romae. It is preserved here as an optional model for publicizing future Conventus.
The fifth annual Conventus Novae Romae in Europa will be held at Hadrian's Wall in provincia Britannia between a. d. III Non. Sex. (Thursday the 3rd of August) and a. d. V Id. Sex. (Wednesday the 9th of August) this year.
Hadrian's Wall was unique in the Roman world and remains one of the most outstanding historical sites in Europe. It was designated a World Heritage Site almost twenty years ago.
The Wall was built in the early second century C.E. on the orders of the emperor Hadrian, who spent much of his reign touring the frontiers of the empire and who visited Britain M'. Aviola C. Cornelio cos.‡ (DCCCLXXV a.u.c.). Running some 80 Roman miles from the Irish Sea to the North Sea, the Wall marked the northernmost frontier of the Roman empire.
It is a remarkable feat of Roman engineering, originally about six metres high and between two and three metres deep, and much of it still stands. It has been suggested that Hadrian was inspired by stories of the Great Wall of China brought back by travelling merchants.
The Conventus will include visits to the best sites on the Wall, as well as lectures and discussions about its history.
The Conventus will be based in the city of Carlisle in north-west England, which itself began as a settlement around the Wall fort of Luguvalium. Carlisle has had a turbulent history under the Romans, Celts, Saxons and Vikings. It gained city status during the Middle Ages and during the 14th to 17th centuries was constantly involved in the feuds and bloodthirsty raids of the Border Reivers that took place over the disputed lands between England and Scotland. It has associations with some of the most striking characters of British history, including King Arthur, Mary Queen of Scots, Bonnie Prince Charlie and Queen Victoria.
Carlisle has many fascinating historical buildings to visit, but it is also a dynamic modern town with speciality shops, theatres and entertainment centres. It is large enough to be vibrant, but small enough to explore on foot. It has a fine museum of Roman and other antiquities.
Accommodation will be provided at St Martin's College. This is a modern block normally used as student lodgings. Each room has its own bathroom. Rooms are grouped into flats of five to eight rooms, and each flat has a shared fully-fitted kitchen and dining area. The building also has a laundry and a cafe.
The rooms at St Martin's are single rooms; the organizers will be happy to help arrange alternative accommodation for any guests who prefer double or family rooms.
The provisional schedule is as follows. Note that there will be many other activities throughout the week (see below under Games and Entertainment, Lectures and Workshops, &c.
A. d. III Non. Sex. (Thursday 3rd August)
This is the main day for guests to arrive in Carlisle. The organizers will try to meet guests at airports and railway stations to accompany them to St Martin's, but this may not be possible for everyone.
Since guests will be arriving throughout the day, no major activity is planned. Some guests may want to unpack and rest after their journeys; for the rest there will be games, food, drink, and conversation to pass the time.
In the evening there will be a welcome dinner at St Martin's for everyone.
Prid. Non. Sex. (Friday 4th August)
The first full day of the Conventus will be a relatively gentle one. There will be a trip into Carlisle so that guests can get to know the city, and this may include visiting the Museum and other places of interest.
There will also be some introductory talks to give a background to Roman Britain and Hadrian's Wall, and other activities to set the scene for the week.
Non. Sex. (Saturday 5th August)
The main part of the day will be occupied by a coach-trip to Vindolanda (Chesterholm) and the Roman Army Museum. In the evening there will be a celebration in honour of the birthday of Servius Tullius, the renowned sixth king of Rome.
The Roman fort of Vindolanda, not on the Wall itself but set back from it, illustrates that the Wall was not just a great monument but part of a wider frontier system extending back into Roman territory and forward into barbarian lands. The fort is justly famous for the "Vindolanda tablets", an amazing cache of letters, written on wooden tablets by the Roman soldiers and their families, found under the remains of a Roman bonfire at the fort. Also at the fort are impressive full-size reconstructions of the Wall as it would have been in Roman times.
The original tablets, along with many other items from the fort, can be seen at the nearby Roman Army Museum. The Museum provides an excellent introduction to the Wall, especially its bird's-eye video of the whole Wall as it would have been in Roman times.
A. d. VIII Id. Sex. (Sunday 6th August)
It is traditional at the annual Conventus to set aside one day for a general meeting at which guests can wear their Roman clothes (though of course they are free to do this at other times as well!) and share their thoughts and aspirations relating to Nova Roma. For educational value and a sense of gravitas, the meeting will be conducted in the form of a meeting of the senate, according to ancient procedures.
For anyone who doesn't want to participate in the meeting, and for everyone else too once the meeting is over, there will be plenty of games, workshops, and other activities.
A. d. VII Id. Sex. (Monday 7th August)
On this day there will be a coach-trip to Arbeia (South Shields) and Segedunum (Wallsend). As usual, there will also be other activities available for those who don't go on the trip and for everyone afterwards.
The major city of Newcastle contains the Roman forts of Arbeia and Segedunum, including impressive reconstructions of a Roman bath-house and the military gate, as well as the Newcastle Museum of Antiquities which contains a reconstruction of the Mithraeum near Cilurnum.
A. d. VI Id. Sex. (Tuesday 8th August)
A relatively short coach-trip to Vercovicium (Housesteads), Cilurnum (Chesters), and the Mithraeum, plus the usual other activities and, in the evening, a big farewell dinner at St Martin's for everyone.
Vercovicium is one of the most spectacular sites on the Wall, situated high up on a crag with splendid views to the Roman south, the barbarian north, and the Wall stretching away in all directions. Nearby is the fort of Cilurnum, the best-preserved cavalry fort in Britain, as well as the remains of a temple of Mithras.
A. d. V Id. Sex. (Wednesday 9th August)
Guests will set off for home at various times throughout the day; for those leaving later in the day there will be a selection of relaxed activities available in the mean time.
Games and Entertainment
There will be plenty of board-games on hand to pass an idle evening, including modern games like Republic of Rome and Senator and real Roman games like Latrunculi and Duodecim Scripta. Guests will also be able to participate in live chariot races (yes, really!).
Though this has not yet been confirmed, the organizers hope to provide screenings of a few classic films such as Spartacus and A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum.
Lectures and Workshops
Informal lectures will be given, both by the hosts and, it is hoped, by those guests who wish to do so, on various Roman topics including the Wall itself. There will also be practical workshops in subjects such as Roman cookery and conversational Latin for beginners.
In consultation with the Collegium Pontificum the organizers will provide the rites and celebrations appropriate to the occasion, including the birthday of King Servius Tullius on the Saturday.
Nothing Is Compulsory
This may sound like a very busy schedule, but all the activities are strictly optional (though some are included in the price). The organizers will try to make sure wherever possible that there is a choice of two or more different activities; alternatively, guests are free to do nothing or to arrange their own activities. Information on things to do in and around Carlisle will be provided, and the organizers will be happy to make suggestions.
Guests staying at St Martin's will be asked to pay £195 per person (approximately €280 or $350 U.S.). This includes the cost of accommodation, the two big dinners at St Martin's (other meals will be arranged at the time, to keep things flexible), the three coach-trips, and all the lectures, workshops, films, games, &c.
Guests arranging their own accommodation should consult the organizers about the price not including rooms at St Martin's.
For more information about payment, e-mail email@example.com . If you are paying by PayPal the account to pay to is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Carlisle has a small airport, but the main international airports are at Manchester and Newcastle. Alternatively some guests may prefer to travel to London and join some of the hosts for the journey from London to Carlisle by car or train. Anyone wanting advice on travel arrangements should join the provincia Britannia e-mail list or contact email@example.com.
Coach times and tickets (N.B. this is not the only coach company in Britain, and it may be worth investigating others)
Information about airports including London Heathrow, London Stanstead, London Gatwick, Glasgow, and Edinburgh
More information will be added here as it becomes available. Specific questions can be asked on the provincia Britannia e-mail list or directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
So far the following people have confirmed that they will be attending the Conventus:
- T. Amatius Paullus (Hispania)
- A. Apollonius Cordus (Britannia)
- C. Equitius Cato (America Mediatlantica)
- K. Fabius Buteo Quintilianus (Thule)
- Q. Fabius Pictor (Thule)
- C. Flavia Aureliana (Britannia)
- Ti. Galerius Paulinus (America Mediatlantica)
- D. Gladius Lupus (Hibernia)
- C. Livia (Britannia)
- V. Minucius Falco (Thule)
- Gal. Minucius Iovinus (Thule)
- Diana Octavia Aventina (Gallia)
- Marcus Octavius Germanicus (Lacus Magni) (Sunday and Monday only)
- C. Moravius Laureatus (Britannia)
- Cn. Salvius Astur (Hispania)
- A. Tullia Scholastica (America Mediatlantica)