Census (Nova Roma)

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The lustrum with the accompanying census was the cyclic renewal of the ancient Roman people, spiritually and materially. Following this tradition, the Nova Roman people undergoes a a process of purification, lustration and head-count every two-and-a-half year, called the census of Nova Roma. The procedure is conducted by the censors who are elected only for the period of the census, which also means that there are no censors in office outside of the timeframes of a census. The census is not simply a counting of all citizens still present in our organization, but it is the time of evaluating all citizens, distributing awards and reprimants, elevating meritorious citizens to the Nova Roman knighthood, the ordo equester, and appointing or removing members of the senate.

Example five-year timeframe of the election of censors and the subsequent periods of census that could occur in that time.


Timing of the census in Nova Roma

The requirement to conduct a census is naturally aligned with the election of the censors. Under article IV.A.1. of the lex Cornelia Domitia de re publica constituenda (the constitution), censors are elected once in every thirty months to serve a maximum of eighteen months. It is not necessary to immediately elect new censors exactly every thirty-months, although any increasing delay to the election of new censors reduces the available allowance before the required start of the next census.

The census itself is to be initiated no later than in the thirtieth month after the official end (lustrum) of the previous census, observing that one in two censuses be completed before the end of every fifth calendar year of Nova Roma. Note that it is not necessary for the newly elected censors to commence a census right away, as they have their whole term of office to decide when it may be conducted. The period of a census may vary but all are required to be at least 3 months in duration.

Conduct of the census

The rules of conducting a census are currently regulated by the lex Lucilia de censu. The census of the Nova Roman people shall last for at least three months. The censors will announce the start across all public forums of Nova Roma. The censors will publish an edictum de legibus censui censendo in which they set the all and any rules for the current census, deadlines and mechanisms of registration. All magistrates and governors should do their part to ensure the message of the census is delivered to all citizens.

Registration of existing citizens

The primary duty for citizens in the census is to respond to the censors' call, which is normally done by sending an email to the designated address set by the censors. Besides confirming citizenship, citizens can (and should) also use this correspondence to update and confirm their personal contact details.

Besides citizens, the census is also conducted for the cives Latini, socii and "friends of Nova Roma".

Citizens who register themselves on the census are called cives censi (registered citizens, i.e. citizens registered on the actual census). The following individuals are automatically registered for the census:

(1) Citizens who obtained citizenship after the conclusion of the last census.
(2) Citizens who have paid taxes for the current calendar year.
(3) Magistrates of the current calendar year and any current officers or priests of Nova Roma, except senators.

All other individuals have to register for the census personally, or by an official or personal representative:

(1) Official representatives can ex officio assess the availability, responsiveness and attendance of a citizen regarding the census, and they can ex officio report the registration of a citizen. The following persons qualify as an official representative: the pater familias (or mater familias) of the individual, the provincial governor of the individual, or an officer of the Censorial Office.
(2) Personal representatives are personally entrusted by the citizens. If a citizen knows of an extended period of unavailability that will coincide with the census, the citizen can entrust a personal representative to register him or her on the census. This type of personal representative is distinct from the official representative above. The personal representative can be anyone the citizen selects, but this type of representative must produce evidence (for example an email) of being chosen as a citizen's representative for the census.

Classification and evaluation of all citizens

As part of the census, the censors will classify the citizens and distribute them across the classes and the tribes. They will also perform the recognitio et probatio equitum (the revision of the membership of the official, public Equestrian Order), the lectio senatus (the revision of the membership of the senate), and they may publicly praise and reprimand citizens and that of current customs according to their function as guardians of public morals, good traditions and Roman virtues. Censorial awards shall be distributed at this time.

Consequences of not participating in the census

Citizens who fail to register for the census are called cives incensi (unregistered citizens, disappeared citizens). Failure to register on the census is considered a dereliction of the one and only obligatory civic duty, and it involves loss of all census points and the suspension of all civic rights. Despite the severe consequences, unregistered citizens still remain "passive citizens" of Nova Roma, and they can restore their rights by requesting reinstatement from the next censors, or if no censors are in office between two censuses, from the interim administrative management of the Censorial Office. The loss of census point can be remedied, too, over time: all of the cancelled census points can be recovered gradually in a five-year period by being an active citizens.


To conclude a census, the censors shall perform the lustrum to purify the Nova Roman people and Nova Roma. Only after the performance of the lustrum is the census completed.

List of past censuses in Nova Roma

The following is the list of all censuses of Nova Roma, initially biennial, which changed to two-and-a-half period in Q. Arrio (III) A. Tullia cos. MMDCCLXXIV a.u.c.. The census which was expected that year was held the next year according to the new rules.

The first two censuses did not include the key element of lustrum yet, so their completion was only administrative and not fully complete. The first lustrum of Nova Roma was performed in P. Ullerio C. Equitio cos. MMDCCLXIV a.u.c., and since that time it was part of all censuses of Nova Roma. The census of Sex. Lucilio C. Claudio P. Annaeo Q. Catulo tr. mil. cos. pot. MMDCCLXX a.u.c. was never intended to be organized as an administrative full census, it was only part of the "Completion of the Founding of the Nova Roman People" ceremony that marked the closing of the founding procedures of the New Roman people and res publica.

  • The census of M. Curiatio M. Iulio cos. MMDCCLXII a.u.c. (2009) had been started but was never completed.
  • The census of M. Pompeio Sex. Lucilio cos. MMDCCLXVIII a.u.c. (2015) had been started but was aborted by the coup of Cn. Caesar and L. Sulla and the subsequent "civil war" (internal conflict) of Nova Roma.
  • Ceremonial Census of Sex. Lucilio C. Claudio P. Annaeo Q. Catulo tr. mil. cos. pot. MMDCCLXX a.u.c. (2017) - purposefully only ceremonial, with lustrum only
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