Priests (Nova Roma)
The public rites of the Religio Romana were performed and controlled by a number of different priestly collegia and other special priests and magistrates. Those priestly organizations that ranked below the collegia were known as sodalicia, and there were many "independent" priests of various cults who bore the title sacerdos. In addition, there were a number of priesthoods of well-established "foreign" cults (such as the cult of Isis and Serapis). For a list of current Foreign Priesthoods of these "foreign cults" within Nova Roma, see Foreign priesthoods in Nova Roma. Some of these cults were initiatory, and were called "Mysteries" (such as the Mysteries of Mithras). Nova Roma has reinstated these ancient Priesthoods as part of our effort to reconstruct Roman religion and culture.
Joining the Priesthood
Nova Roma is accepting applications for various Priesthoods. If you are interested in helping to rebuild the Religio Romana and the worship of the ancient Roman deities on an official public basis, we would be pleased to hear from you. The Priesthoods in Nova Roma are open to both men and women, with the exception of the Vestals. As Priesthood is an important position of responsibility we do ask that you read the guidelines for applications before applying. Any questions about Priesthood should be directed to the Collegium Pontificum.
If you would like to become a Priest or Priestess of Nova Roma, please submit an Application.
Offices of the Public Religio Romana
The Collegium Pontificum (College of Pontiffs)
The Collegium Pontificum consists of fifteen priests who serve the public rites of the State religion and have general authority to determine the structure and nature of both the public rites and the priesthoods themselves. They act as the general oversight committee for the public rites of the Religio Romana and appoint members of the various Priesthoods. Some specific administrative duties of the Collegium include: advising the Senate on religious matters, setting the dates of religious festivals, organizing and assisting the Priesthood, and acting as the final arbiters of Sacred Law and religious disputes.
The Rex and Regina Sacrorum (King/Queen of the Sacred) are a legally married couple that perform various public rites and make announcements of Festival days. First among the Priests and members of the Collegium Pontificum, but subordinate to the Pontifex Maximus. The Rex and Regina Sacrorum may hold no other religious or political posts. 2 positions; 0 filled; 2 available.
|Gaius Petronius Dexter
|Quintus Fabius Maximus
|Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius Postumianus
|Titus Iulius Sabinus
|Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus
|Marcus Pompeius Caninus
|Marcus Cornelius Gualterus Graecus
|Marcus Claudius Marcellus
(15 positions; 10 filled; 5 available)
The Flamines are thirteen priests who served specific deities - though they are allowed to worship other deities as well. The Flamines hold public rites on the days sacred to their deity, and oversee the general worship of that deity. The Flamines are present in the Collegium Pontificum.
Flamines Maiores (Major Flamines)
Position not open at this time. The Flamen Dialis serves the cult of Iuppiter (Jupiter), and participates in the Vinalia festivals and at conferratio marriage ceremonies. This priesthood is subject to a large number of complex taboos which have not yet been resolved for reconstruction. The wife of the Flamen Dialis was known as the Flaminica Dialis, and assisted in the rites and was subject to the same taboos.
The Flamen Martialis oversees the cult of Mars, the God of War, leading public rites on the days sacred to Mars.
The Flamen Quirinalis oversees the cult of Quirinus, a god related to the peaceful aspect of Mars, who presides over organized Roman social life. The Flamen Quirinalis leads public rites on the days sacred to Quirinus.
Flamines Minores (Minor Flamines)
Virgines Vestales (The Vestal Virgins)
A priesthood of six women who guard the Sacred Hearth of Rome. They oversee the cult of Vesta, Goddess of the Hearth and Fire, and lead public rites sacred to Vesta. The duties of the Vestals included maintaining the fire in the Sacred Hearth of Rome, and making Mola Salsa (sacred cakes made from spelt flour used in public rites.)
The Vestals also guarded some sacred objects, including the Palladium (an ancient image of Pallas Athene said to have been rescued from Troy). In ancient Rome the Vestals were virgins — in Nova Roma this has been replaced by a voluntary vow of chastity for the duration of office. Until Nova Roma has a central hearth, the Vestals each keep a Sacred Flame as a symbol of the Sacred Hearth of Rome. The Vestals receive great public respect for their work, and are entitled to be proceeded by Lictors.
Chief Vestal: Position open
The Chief Vestal oversees the efforts of the Vestals, and is present in the Collegium Pontificum.
Past Vestals: (honoured for their former vows and duties)
Collegium Augurum (College of Augures)
Nine priests who take auspices and create templa, or sacred spaces. The Collegium Augurium is the second rank of priestly colleges. The duties of the Augurs include taking auspices before military and political actions, consecrating the sites of temples and shrines, overseeing the laws of augury (ius augurium — the discipline or art of augury itself) and advising the Senate.
(nine positions, two filled, seven available (five plebeian, two patrician))
Seven priests who oversee the organization of public religious feasts. The Epulones arrange the Epulum Iovis — (feast of Jupiter which is attended by the Senate and People, and presided over by the images of the Capitoline deities), as well as the public banquets at other festivals and games. The Epulones are one of the four major colleges of priests, and have sacred as well as organizational duties.
(seven positions, seven open)
Sodales Fratres Arvales (The Arval Brethren)
Twelve priests who compose the oldest priestly college in Rome. The Arval Brethren offer public sacrifices for the fertility of the fields, and preside over the worship of the Dea Dia, a Goddess of Grain and Cereal crops.
The rites of the Arval Brethren are one of the few virtually complete sets of Roman rituals to survive antiquity. In ancient Rome the Arval Brethren met in a grove sacred to the Dea Dia, where there was a circular temple and bath house. Until Nova Roma is able to provide such a central place, the Arval Brethren are to gather yearly in person if possible.
The Luperci ("Wolfmen" Priests who officiate at the Lupercalia) were responsible for purification and fertility, and the festival of Lupercalia is a time of fun and revelry. The exact number of Lupercii is not recorded and may have varied over time.
Luperci Quinctiales (or Quintilii)
Luperci Fabiani (or Fabianii)
Twenty-four "leaping priests" of Mars who who dance in procession during public festivals of Mars. The Salii are responsible for keeping the sacred ancilia (shields) and dancing and singing the public festivals sacred to Mars. The Salii in antiquity wore archaic armor and carried arms, and would stop their procession at certain places to carry out ritual dances and sing.
A sodalis Palatinus is particularly devoted to Mars Gravidus. There are twelve sodales Palatini:
Sodales Collini (or Agonenses)
Twelve priests particularly devoted to Quirinus
Collegium Fetalium (College of the Fetiales)
Twenty priests who represent Rome in foreign diplomacy and the making of treaties and declarations of war. In Nova Roma the Fetiales act as diplomats with other nations and organizations, and are therefore expected to be well versed in Nova Roma laws and policy.
(20 positions; 1 filled; 19 available)
Quindecimviri Sacris Faciundis
One of four major priestly colleges. Fifteen priests who are in charge of the Sibylline Books (and their restoration).
(15 positions; 15 available)
Sacerdotes (minor priesthoods)
There are a vast number of major and minor Roman deities that were served by "lesser known" Priests and Priestesses in the ancient Roman world. The Sacerdotes are the lesser "everyday" priesthoods that tend the temples and shrines, indextain the worship of a deity, and who assist the populace with their worship of that deity.
Within Nova Roma the Sacerdotes that oversee the worship of deities that do not have their own Flamen or Collegia (or who assist Flamens in the worship of specific God or Goddess). There is, in essence, no limit to the number of Sacerdotes that may serve a deity.
Please note that since there are many Gods and Goddesses from the Roman World, all the possible Sacerdos Priesthood positions cannot be listed here. If there is a Roman deity that you are interested in serving both publicly and privately, you are welcome to apply to be an official Sacerdos of that deity by applying to the Collegium Pontificum.
Apollinis Aedis Sacerdotes
Dianae Aedis Sacerdotes
Iani Aedis Sacerdotes
Magnae Matris Deum Aedis Sacerdotes
Mercuri Aedis Sacerdotes
Minervae Aedis Sacerdotes
Neptuni Aedis Sacerdotes
Palatuae Aedis Sacerdotes
Veneris Aedis Sacerdotes