Purge of MMDCCLXI (Nova Roma)

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The month of Februarius MMDCCLXI saw the loss of four long-serving magistrates and citizens, three of them Senators, three of them priests, mostly due to actions of Consul Marcus Moravius Piscinus Horatianus and Censor Caeso Fabius Buteo Modianus to seize control of the Collegium Pontificum and Collegium Augurum.

Mere months after obtaining the offices of Pontifex and Consul, Consul Piscinus Horatianus obtained a Senatus Consultum forbidding owners of any official mailing list to deny membership to any Senator who wished it. With this in hand, he demanded that Pontifex Maximus Marcus Cassius Iulianus add Senators to the Collegium Pontificum list. Cassius saw this request as rude and improper, and delayed doing so.

On a.d. IV Kal. Feb. , Pontifex Gaius Iulius Scaurus, in a posting to the Collegium Pontificum list, resigned his offices and citizenship in protest of the "Christians, atheists, and political appointees" attempting to assert control over the priesthood. [1]

On prid. Non. Feb. , Senator and Consular Marcus Octavius Gracchus, in a posting to the main list, resigned from the Senate and "retired to private life", citing his disgust with the "scheming" and "paranoia" of persons he had once liked and respected. Octavius had been among the first ten people to join Nova Roma in Fl. Vedio M. Cassio cos. MMDCCLI a.u.c., and had been an active Senator since Q. Maximo M. Minucio cos. MMDCCLIII a.u.c..

A few days later, Senator, Consular, and Pontifex Gnaeus Salvius Astur resigned from the Senate and Collegium Pontificum. His resignation notice was not made public, and his departure may be entirely unrelated to these events.

On a.d. X Kal. Mar. , Senator, Consular and Pontifex Lucius Equitius Cincinnatus Augur was stripped of all his titles and even his Assidui status, being demoted to the status of Capite Censi, resulting from a legal action initiated by Pontifex and Censor Modianus, for refusing to admit the latter to mailing lists owned by Cincinnatus Augur. Not only did the Praetores - both members of Censor Modianus's cohort - issue a default judgement against Cincinnatus Augur, but they added an additional penalty to the sentence due to Cincinnatus Augur's refusal to play along: he was fined $300, the most severe punishment in Nova Roma's history, for the invented charge of failing to appear for trial.

The harsh treatment of Cincinnatus Augur caused the recently-departed Octavius to return to the main list, and to inform the Censores that the free technical support he had been providing "stops, now". Censor Tiberius Galerius Paulinus, as advocatus for Cincinnatus Augur, demanded the right of provocatio. Gnaeus Iulius Caesar also became an outspoken advocate of justice for Cincinnatus.

As of this writing, the matter is unresolved, and the outcome uncertain.

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