Struggle for the sacred colleges (Nova Roma)

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Prior to the year M. Moravio T. Iulio cos. MMDCCLXI a.u.c., there was an increasingly laud complain from the part of the cultores, practitioners of the Roman religion, that the priestly colleges of Nova Roma were not filling the role of religious guidance and leadership, they were not professionally functioning. Whether justified or not, the sentiment was strong, and M. Moravius Piscinus Horatius, pontifex, augur and flamen, stood as the leader of the discontent cultores. M. Piscinus proved to be a very decisive and strong leader, who effectively reached the planned goals, however, who caused great uproar with his firm actions on the other side of the political spectrum. He was filling the highest office in the republic in the year M. Moravio T. Iulio cos. MMDCCLXI a.u.c., he was consul, and as such he implemented the plans of changes in the religious leadership of Nova Roma. He and his supporting pontifices removed the original pontifex maximus of Nova Roma, M. Cassius Iulianus, and cited L. Equitius Cincinnatus to Nova Roman internal court for his non-compliance to the senate. As a result of these actions, the month of February saw the loss of several long-serving priests and senators, mostly due to their renunciation of citizenship in protest to this struggle to control of the Collegium Pontificum and Collegium Augurum.

In the January session, the senate had voted 23-4 with 3 abstaining to approve a senatus consultum forbidding owners of any official mailing list to deny membership as an observer to any senator who wished it. With this in hand, consul Piscinus demanded that pontifex maximus M. Cassius Iulianus add senators to the Collegium Pontificum mailing list. Cassius saw this demand as rude and improper, and delayed doing so, eventually deleting the entire list rather than comply with the senatus consultum.

A similar action was committed by L. Equitius Cincinnatus Augur who refused to admit his fellow augures and senatores to mailing list of the Collegium Augurum owned by him. Cincinnatus was brought to internal Nova Roman court for violating the the law. This was the famous Cincinnatus-trial which set the topic of public discourse for the upcoming years, and which contributed to the starting causes of the Second "Civil War" of Nova Roma.

As the debates grew increasingly heated, two long-standing citizens voluntarily renounced their citizenships, two were removed from their offices and another voluntarily resigned from the senate. They were:

C. Iulius Scaurus

On a.d. IV Kal. Feb. , pontifex C. Iulius Scaurus, in a posting to the Collegium Pontificum list, voluntarily resigned his offices and citizenship in protest of attempting to assert control over the priesthood, presumably in response to the senatus consultum. [1]

M. Octavius Gracchus

On prid. Non. Feb. , senator and consular M. 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.. He had recently been voted a message of thanks for his services by the senate, making his departure all the more tragic.

L. Equitius Cincinnatus

On a.d. X Kal. Mar. , consular senator and augur L. Equitius Cincinnatus Augur was stripped of all his titles and even his assiduus 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 L. Equitius. Not only did the praetores - both members of censor K. Buteo Modianus's cohort - issue a default judgement against L. Equitius, but they added an additional penalty to the sentence due to his refusal to participate in the trial: he was fined $300, the most severe punishment in Nova Roma's history, for the charge of failing to appear for trial.

The harsh treatment of L. Equitius 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 Ti. Galerius Paulinus, as advocatus for L. Equitius, demanded the right of provocatio. Cn. Iulius Caesar also became an outspoken advocate of justice for Lucius Equitius, which based his rise as the leader of the opposition and eventually as the ruler of Nova Roma two year later. In a message to the Main List, L. Equitius accepted Ti. Paulinus as advocate, but the provocatio procedure was never initiated.

M. Cassius Julianus

prid. Kal. Mar. , publication of Collegium Pontificum voting results revealed that Pater Patriae M. Cassius Julianus had been removed from the offices of pontifex maximus and pontifex by a 6 to 1 vote. Pontifices M. Cassius Iulianus and L. Equitius Cincinnatus were not recorded as having voted, though both had been invited to the list a.d. VII Kal. Mar. .

Cassius was removed the day after the tenth anniversary of his founding of Nova Roma, marring the anniversary celebrations.

a.d. XV Kal. Sept. M. Minucius Audens posted the following message to Nova-Roma Announce [2]:

"I have been asked by Senator Marcus Cassius Julianus to make the following announcement to Nova Roma. The Senator will immediately begin a two year interval / hiatus of activity from Nova Roma for a combination of personal concerns and a burgeoning business practice."

Patricia Cassia

Patricia Cassia, senatrix for eight years, long-serving curatrix aerarii of Nova Roma, had been threatened with legal action by Consul M. Piscinus in January for alleged slowness in transferring financial control to the new curatrix aerarii. On a posting to the NovaRoma-Announce list a.d. VI Kal. Apr. , she resigned citizenship without an explanation. This announcement came a day after a new pontifex maximus was appointed to the position that Patricia's husband, M. Cassius Iulianus, had created and held for exactly ten years.

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