Saturnalia Aquincensia Nova Romana

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Saturnalia Aquincensia in 2013

Together with the Aquincum Museum of the Hungarian Capital City Budapest, Pannonians organized a Saturnalia in the museum building of Aquincum in December, 2013. We performed a ceremony for all Nova Romans and in honor of our 15th Anniversary, and there was a feast with wine and food, lots of games and playful activities in the spirit of Saturnalia. We cooperated with the legio X Gemina independent reenactor group.

A world sensation, the only working Roman water organ in the world was displayed (replica) and a musician played on it and sang for the closure of the festivity:

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Saturnalia Aquincensia in 2011


Pannonia Provincia of the Res Publica Nova Romana has now at the third time participated in and co-organized the Saturnalia Festival held by he Aquincum Museum of Budapest, Hungary. The event took place on on a.d. III Id. Dec. P. Ullerio C. Equitio cos. MMDCCLXIV a.u.c..

In this event Pannonian citizens of Nova Roma came together upon the call of governor legatus pro praetore Cn. Lentulus, from all over the provincia, mainly from Budapest, Sátoraljaújhely (Burgus Rostallo) and Szolnok, with a few people from other different cities, to celebrate together the Saturnalia, the most popular Roman festival among Nova Romans. They celebrated Saturn with a sacrifice, enjoyed each others' company, ate, chatted and laughed together, while keeping in mind that all citizens of Nova Roma are sipiritually together with them. This was emphasized by the presence of pontifex Cn. Lentulus, who, as a member of the chief priestly college overseeing the Nova Roman religion, conducted the sacrifice in the name of the res publica, the entire Nova Roman citizenry, for all Nova Romans everywhere and for the entire republic.

More about Aquincum:

At this official Nova Roman event, there were present (besides pontifex and governor Cn. Lentulus) two other notabilities of the provincia: quaestor candidatus Sp. Porcius Gemma, legatus of the governor, and C. Villius Vulso, praefectus appointed by the governor to control Regio Rostallonensis of Pannonia - and several other Pannonian citizens and associate members from the "Gladius" Reenactor Association.

Opening of the Saturnalia Festivities

1. The celebrations of the Saturnalia of Nova Roma begun with the solemn procession, pompa, of the provincial government: the legatus pro praetore, accompanied by legatus Sp. Porcius (left) and praefectus C. Villius (right), approaching the sacrificial tripus and the ancient column of Jupiter covered with the consecrated flag of Nova Roma, the very same flag which was consecrated by then-consul T. Sabinus as part of the Decennial Celebrations of Nova Roma, four years ago, in Svishtov (Bulgaria) at the Novae - 2008 European Roman Festival. In the meanwhile, Nova Roman citizens of Pannonia are standing and waiting for the ceremony. They all wear the red hat, the pileus, as the Roman tradition requires for Saturnalia season, a reference to freedom and joy:


2. Before the sacrificial ceremony, the Nova Romans and their associates listen to a short welcoming and opening speech delivered by the governor of the province, Cn. Lentulus pontifex, sacerdos Conordialis: "...I officially open the Pannonian Saturnalia season!" The Saturnalia Festival is a Budapest city-wide event of the Aquincum Museum, but this year we had very few visitors. The Museum said it was because of another city event held at the same time. Nevertheless, Nova Romans came together to this Saturnalia in a greater number than ever, and with our associates we numbered 22 together, celebrating and having fun. Legatus pro praetore Cn. Lentulus, with praefectus C. Villius, prefect of Regio Rostallonensis and Burgus Rostallo (left) and legatus Sp. Porcius (right):

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3. After the opening speech, governor and pontifex Cn. Lentulus salutes the tripus, the column and the statue of Jupiter with adoratio; they will serve now as altar to Saturn, of course, first it was negotiated with the mighty son, Jupiter, to allow the celebration of Saturn in front of himself:


Sacrifice to Saturn: the Praefatio

4. After the adoratio, with the invocation of Saturn in the praefatio , the actual sacrificial ritual has started. Cn. Lentulus recites the ritual words "Saturne pater, esto fito volens propitius Rei Publicae Novae Romanae"...:


5. The chief members of Cn. Lentulus' Pannonian government, praefectus C. Villius (left) and legatus Sp. Porcius (right) fill in the role of assistants during the ceremony, standing behind the legatus pro praetore, while he voices the sacred Latin words, chanting to Satrurn:


6. Pannonian Nova Romans, wearing the red pileus, with their families and children are listening to the prayers with awe, while praying in their hearts:

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Sacrifice to Saturn: the Main Sacrifice to Saturn

7. After the praefatio, Cn. Lentulus chants the main prayer to Saturn, asking joy and prosperity for all Nova Romans of the world, and offering him wine and incense:


8. Cn. Lentulus turns to legatus Sp. Porcius for the incese:


9. The pontifex offers the wine to Saturn, while the smoke of the incense just sacrificed fumes mystically, wreathing Nova Roma with a pleased divinity:


10. Cn. Lentulus pours the wine into the focus of the tripus... for Nova Roma, for the Nova Romans:


Sacrifice to Saturn: Citizens' Prayers and the Piaculum

11. Some seconds of reflection and listening for signs...


12. After the main prayer, the pontifex Cn. Lentulus invites the attending Pannonian citizens to ask something personally from Father Saturn. As the citizens tell Lentulus their requests from Saturn, Lentulus immediately translates them into Latin and recites the personal prayer to Saturn. When the prayer is finished, the person who requested it from Saturn, pours a libation of wine into the fire of the tripus. The first citizen to ask something from Saturn was praefectus C. Villius Vulso, asking help from Saturn for his new Nova Roman community, Burgus Rostallo:






13. C. Villius pours his libation to Saturn into the fires, and Cn. Lentulus recites C. Villius' prayers:



14. The next Nova Roman citizen to ask something from Saturn was M. Antonius Halma Gabrielus, who asked that people in our modern world societies everywhere learn and start to respect the Roman virtues and all values of Romanitas and mos maiorum. He pours libation of wine into the fire of the tripus while his governor Cn. Lentulus pontifex chants his prayer in ritual Latin words:




15. Many individual prayers followed these previous two that are not reported here in the pictures. After the personal prayers, Cn. Lentulus recited the closing part of the ceremony, the piaculum, and the sacrifice to Saturn has come to an end. The pontifex says: "Io Saturnalia, ilicet, io saturnalia, ilicet! (Hail Saturnalia, you can go now!)", and the crowd repeats the exlamation: "Io Saturnalia":


Saturnalia Party in the Museum

16. After the ritual, Nova Roman citizens of Pannonia and invited members of the Gladius Association celebrate the god with a dinner party, sharing meals and wine that was offered to Saturn. The party took place at the floor of the Museum building, among the relics of the ancient governatorial palace, built by emperor Hadrian. So it was quite an appropriate environment for a Saturnalia party hosted by the Nova Roman governor of Pannonia:


17. Table with Roman mails, ab ovo usque ad mala: from the egg to the apple...:

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18. Our children playing Roman games together:


19. Having fan, true Saturnalia spirit among Nova Romans. In the first picture Cornelia Paulla and Nautia Saltatrix, on the second M. Antonius Halma Gabrielus and Syrius:


20. Group of Saturnalia celebrants, Nova Romans, most of them from Burgus Rostallo, and their friends, all wearing the pileus. From left to right Q. Valerius Aper Minor, Ser. Bellius Alexander Angustianus Minor, M. Fabius Longus, M. Antonius Halma Gabrielus, P. Fabius Torquatus Vegetius, young Fabius, C. Villius Vulso and younger C. Villius Vulso Macro:


21. Cn. Lentulus presents his friend's, quaestor candidatus Sp. Porcius Gemma's candidacy for quaestorship to all Nova Romans worldwide: "I attest, he is the best man ever for this office, and by the way, "io Saturnalia":


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