Priests (Nova Roma)

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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.

The four major priestly colleges were

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, read about 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 cultus deorum Romanorum 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.


Collegium Pontificum

The Collegium Pontificum (College of Pontiffs) is the supreme body for matters relating to the sacra publica of Nova Roma. It consists of nine pontifices 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. Voting members are the twelve flamines, six virgines Vestales and the rex sacrorum. 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. It may be called to order by any pontifex, and all the above listed members of the Collegium are able to vote.


Office of the Pontiffs

For administrative inquiries (priesthood applications, ritus requests, etc.) contact the Pontifices.


Current Membership in the Collegium Pontificum

The current members of the Collegium Pontificum are:

Rex sacrorum

The rex and regina sacrorum (King and 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 political posts.




Pontifices

Pontifices, along with the other members of the Collegium Pontificum oversee most of sacra publica conducted on behalf of Nova Roma and its People. The title pontifex comes from the Latin for "bridge builder", a possible allusion to a very early role in placating the Gods and spirits associated with the Tiber river, and in building a spiritual bridge between men and the Gods. They are responsible for advising magistrates and private citizens on the performance of public and private rites.

The Pontifex Maximus acts as the Speaker for the Collegium Pontificum, oversees the Comitia Curiata and ritual responsibilities along with the Vestal Virgins.

(9 positions filled, 6 available (4 plebeian, 2 patrician))

CIV-Titus Iulius Sabinus.jpg Titus Iulius Sabinus

Pontifex Maximus

CIV-Quintus Fabius Maximus.jpg Quintus Fabius Maximus

Pontifex

CIV-Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius Postumianus.jpg Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius Postumianus

Pontifex

CIV-Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus.jpg Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus

Pontifex

Unknown Citizen.jpg Gaius Vipsanius Agrippa

Pontifex

CIV-Marcus Cornelius Gualterus Graecus.jpg Marcus Cornelius Gualterus Graecus

Pontifex

CIV-Gnaeus Iulius Caesar.jpg Gnaeus Iulius Caesar

Pontifex

CIV-Marcus Pompeius Caninus.jpg Marcus Pompeius Caninus

Pontifex



Flamines

The flamines are thirteen high priests who serve specific deities - though they are allowed to worship other deities as well. The sources tell us that a flamen was a sacerdos proper, and who was dedicated to the service of a particular deity. A number of sources fix the number of flamines at fifteen (three maiores and twelve minores), however the names of only thirteen of these are known with certainty. 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

Flamen Dialis

Position not open at this time. The Flamen Dialis serves the cult of 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.

POSITION NOT OPEN


Flamen Martialis

The Flamen Martialis oversees the cult of Mars, the God of War, leading public rites on the days sacred to Mars.

CIV-Gaius Decius Laterensis.jpg Gaius Decius Laterensis

Flamen Martialis


Flamen Quirinalis

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.

POSITION OPEN


Flamines Minores

Flamen Carmentalis

The Flamen Carmentalis oversees the cult of Carmenta (Carmentis), a goddess of Prophecy and Oracles. The Flamen Carmentalis leads public rites on the days sacred to Carmenta.

POSITION OPEN


Flamen Cerealis

The Flamen Cerealis oversees the cult of Ceres, Goddess of grains (identified with the Greek Demeter). The Flamen Cerealis leads public rites on the days sacred to Ceres.

POSITION OPEN


Flamen Falacer

The Flamen Falacer oversees the cult of the God Falacer.

POSITION OPEN


Flamen Florealis

The Flamen Florealis oversees the cult of Flora, the Goddess of flowers, and Spring (and therefore new beginnings). The Flamen Florealis leads public rites on the days sacred to Flora.

POSITION OPEN


Flamen Furrinalis

The Flamen Furrinalis oversees the cult of Furrina, a Goddess of Springs who had a sacred grove associated with water (possibly connected with health and healing). The Flamen Furrinalis leads public rites on the days sacred to Furrina.

Unknown Citizen.jpg Manius Titinius Silvanus

Flamen Furrinalis


Flamen Palatualis

The Flamen Palatualis oversees the cult of Palatua, the guardian of the Palatine Hill (the oldest settled part of Rome, therefore making Palatua possibly a goddess of Rome's beginnings.) The Flamen Palatualis leads public rites on the days sacred to Palatua.

POSITION OPEN


Flamen Pomonalis

The Flamen Pomonalis oversees the cult of Pomona, Goddess of fruit. The Flamen Pomonalis leads public rites on days sacred to Pomona (there was no major single festival day).

POSITION OPEN


Flamen Portunalis

The Flamen Portunalis oversees the cult of Portunus, God of Harbors and doors. The Flamen Portunalis leads public rites sacred to Portunus.

POSITION OPEN


Flamen Volcanalis

The Flamen Volcanalis oversees the cult of Volcanus (Vulcan), God of Fire and smithcraft. The Flamen Volcanalis leads public rites sacred to Volcanus.

POSITION OPEN


Flamen Volturnalis

The Flamen Volturnalis oversees the cult of Volturnus, a River God sometimes also associated with the Southeast wind. (Both these aspects may be related to travel and trade.) The Flamen Volturnalis leads public rites sacred to Volturnus.

POSITION OPEN



Virgines Vestales

A priesthood of six women who guard the Sacred Hearth of Rome. The Vestal Virgins 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.

The Chief Vestal oversees the efforts of the Vestals, and is present in the Collegium Pontificum.


CIV-Gaia Maria Caeca.jpg Gaia Maria Caeca

Virgo Vestalis


(six positions, one filled, five available)

Past Vestals: (honoured for their former vows and duties)


Collegium Augurum

Nine augures are high priests assisting magistrates in taking the auspices and advising the Senate and the magistrates on various aspects of divination, not the least of which is the proper handling of prodigies and portents. They create templa, or sacred spaces.

The Collegium Augurum is the second highest ranking of the four major priestly colleges in Nova Roma, too; the president of the augural college is the magister collegii. The duties of the augures include taking auspices before military and political actions, before the holding of the comitia centuriata or the comitia populi tributa, 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.

Active Augures

CIV-Gaius Claudius Quadratus.jpg Gaius Claudius Quadratus

Augur Magister Collegii

CIV-Gaius Tullius Valerianus Germanicus.jpg Gaius Tullius Valerianus Germanicus

Augur



(9 positions; 2 filled; 7 open (3 plebeian, 4 patrician))

Augures Emeriti

Collegium Decimvirorum Sacris Faciundis

The decimviri sacris faciundis are the third of the four major sacerdotal colleges. Ten sacerdotes are in charge of the Sibylline Books (and their restoration) and responsible for the cultus that were traditionally introduced by their college. (10 positions; 0 available: Currently the Collegium has been disbanded for reorganization per the Decretum Pontificum de Membris Collegiorum, a.d. V Non. Mar. M. Curiatio M. Iulio cos. MMDCCLXII a.u.c..)

Collegium Septemvirorum Epulones

The last of the major sacerdotal colleges, the septemviri epulones are seven sacerdotes who oversee the organization of public religious feasts. The Epulones arrange the Epulum Iovis (feast of Jupiter held on 13 Sept.) that is attended by members of the Senate and the People, and presided over by the images of the Capitoline divinities: Iuppiter, Iuno and Minerva. The Epulones also oversee other public banquets at festivals and games held on other dates. The Epulones are one of the four major sacerdotal colleges, and have sacred as well as organizational duties. (7 positions; 0 available: Currently the Collegium has been disbanded for reorganization per the Decretum Pontificum de Membris Collegiorum, a.d. V Non. Mar. M. Curiatio M. Iulio cos. MMDCCLXII a.u.c..)

Collegium Fetialium

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 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.

Magister (President of the Arval Brethren)
This position is elected yearly among the Arval Brethren.
Flamen Arvales (Assistant to the President)
This position is elected yearly among the Arval Brethren.
Sacerdotes Arvales
12 positions open.

Sodales Luperci

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)

(founded by Romulus): Positions open

Luperci Fabiani (or Fabianii)

(Founded by Remus): Positions open

Collegium Saliorum

Twenty-four "leaping priests" of Mars and Quirinus 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.

Sodales Palatini

Twelve priests particularly devoted to Mars Gravidus.

Sodales Collini (or Agonenses)

Twelve priests particularly devoted to Quirinus.

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. Sacerdotes are the lesser "everyday" priesthoods that tend the temples and shrines, maintain 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 flamines 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.

Concordiae Aedis Sacerdotes

Dianae Aedis Sacerdotes

Magnae Matris Deum Aedis Sacerdotes

Mercurii Aedis Sacerdotes

Quirinalis Sacerdotes

Vestae Aedis Sacerdotes

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