October 7, 2021 at 8:57 pm #41749
I had a very interesting phone call with one of our leading citizens last night. In this conversation we discussed the potential future of our Roman Republic. The conversation was fueled by both his and my observation that our wider society beyond the Roman Republic is in jeopardy.
I would like to share the main points of this phone call here for you, with the hopes that we can inspire others towards making changes here in the Roman Republic. I will publish these points in numbered order, so that if others wish to comment they can do so here.
1. The Roman Republic needs to focus upon the promotion of Roman virtues. This must be the core of our efforts, and it must be shared with everyone, everywhere. This can be accomplished by training people to understand and practice the virtues, especially what is required of us in the presence of hardship. For this reason, we need start training around the virtues. We need to restore what good ancient Roman mothers and fathers would have taught their children.
2. We need to better restore the Cultus Deorum, which means that we need to retain, or restore the traditional gods. This is also required for two reasons. First, it is a proper connection to our ancestors. Second, the Cultus Deorum will help people understand the virtues in a practical and lived manner. This, in turn, will help people break past their current limitations. To be healthier in body and mind, to be better sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives. It will also unlock the full potential of an individual to produce more, to earn more, to create more.
3. We need to encourage people to speak the truth when it is hard for them to do so. We live in a world more filled with lies and sedation than ever before. We are all fed the same lies, told by mainstream media and by our school system. And we are all told that we must be okay with the lies. That it is okay to lie. It is not. One cannot even start to contemplate the virtues with such a mindset.
4. We need to re-position our society, as one focused on self improvement and community. We look to the time when the Romans were known for their love of their children, their friends, their communities. They were known for their love of their fellow citizens, and for the prosperity that they created, not only for themselves but also for their wider society.
5. We need to acknowledge that our society, at this time in history, is not thriving. It is growing. But it drifts as it grows. It’s purpose is not fully realized. We need to discover what we can do to improve matters. And we need to do it NOW. We live in a time of great change and upheaval. The Roman Republic can be an example for our wider society. We can be the model others need to follow, and we can do so by applying the ancient virtues. And we can help others with this process.
6. We need to encourage more work within the Roman Republic to be done, and we need to do so now. We need to promote these things, and we need to do so right now. We can continue with this focus for as long as it takes. Without work expanding our Republic, our Roman community built upon the virtues, can one really live fully the virtues?
7. We need to put practical everyday living as our main priority. History should be a guide. But it should not be a chain than binds our actions only within the realm of reenactment or study. Because to do otherwise will result in a community that is not self-sufficient. We need to create a living breathing society that is capable of thriving for generations. We need to refocus our efforts on this goal. This goal is achieved by moving the Republic towards a model of a global social organization. Somewhere between a fraternal organization like the Masons and a Church. But less structured than either.
8. We need to stop looking at Rome, the past, as the ideal which we must emulate. The Romans were not perfect, and their Republic was not perfect. We must move beyond this mindset. Rome was the best of its time. Our goal is to take the best things. The virtues. The beautiful aspects of the cultus deorum. The innovative culture that sprung forth from these elements and find out how it best applies today in a lived manner. We must not fall into the trap of comparing our Republic to ancient Rome. They are different societies, with different cultures, and they existed in very different times. One was great for its time. We can be great for our time as well. But in a very different way.
9. We need to refocus our efforts on a multi-generational view of society that promotes the virtues and builds a strong culture. In the past, our ancestors did not live their lives for just themselves. It was important to them to think towards their children and grandchildren.
This was a very good start for this conversation. I see that time is short and that we need to act quickly. We need to build community based first and foremost on the virtues. On the principles of Numa, the founders of the ancient Republic, Scipio, Cicero, Seneca, Musonius Rufus, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Julian. I hope that we can create within the Roman Republic a community that focuses on these principles of Virtue, and then expand our efforts to reach out and teach others. To communicate the virtues to one another. To place these ideals into action.
That Roman history is important. But that Roman virtues being taught and lived are even more important. If we focus on the virtues, the relevant historical accuracy of the people and events required will eventually happen. The traits that make a man and woman good should be prioritized over their knowledge of an ancient society.
My fellow Romans, what do you think? Are you prepared to step forward and help lead the charge in order to rebuild our Republic? Or will we continue to drift? Will we continue to limit ourselves, and make excuses why we cannot achieve what we know is possible? Or will we finally begin to see that it is time for us to unite and take action.October 7, 2021 at 9:39 pm #41750
I agree with the message that it is time our Republic shifts away from being Roman in name, and instead shift to being Roman in culture and virtue, irrespective of our individual differences. What makes a community strong is its’ ability to work together in accordance to their shared goals, and to make proper use of their shared individual strengths and experiences.
But perhaps what we need the most, is committed people who will do what is necessary, and who will fulfill their oaths and promises. If this last year has shown us anything, it is that words alone cannot lead our Republic. What we need is leadership who themselves are really committed to being Roman, and not just holding a title. We need people who feel a sense of care and responsibility, who feel they have a duty to the people, and to the Gods. People who will not give up or give in when life gets tough or challenging, but see their duties as non-negotiable. Frankly, we need leaders who can lead and are actually willing to dedicate their own time into developing this community, which holds such great potential.
A good leader enables their group to finish the task by removing obstacles, not neglecting to do so and making the removal part of the group’s tasks.
Words and platitudes alone will not fix our ailing republic, but actions. Actions and proper accountability between leaders and lead. Thus, before I can get enthusiastic about anything moving forward, I do not wish to know what we ought to do, but what you suggest we will do, since excuses has thus far mostly not come from the civitas, but rather from higher places..
Before we can get anywhere, we have to address these issues firstly, and the people must have a hand in doing so
ValeteOctober 7, 2021 at 11:56 pm #41753
Numerius Romilius VenustusDenarii: 𐆖 45.30PlebeiusCalifornia Ulterior
Salve et gratis,
Thank you for taking the time to say this. My answers to your points:
1. A memory pneumonic would make these virtues easier to call to mind. My suggestion would be to match the virtues to the 12 Olympians. I don’t think such an innovation would be too much.
2. See above.
3. One way to encourage people to speak the truth is to support them when they do. Too often I see people speak the truth and then get left out to hang. If it is true, it deserves your support. (The indefinite article “your”)
4. This point itself is a whole discussion on political economy, but I do agree with you.
5. Finding other Roman polytheists in your area is kinda hard. Making them isn’t easy either. Would group rituals on zoom be too far from the ancient way?
6. I’m always open to learn of and serve as an augur.
7. The razor edge of a living tradition is innovation vs. tradition. We must innovate, but it has to resonate with what came before. No easy task, but a worthwhile one.
8. See above, good point.
9. There is an element of selfishness here too. If your children don’t like you or you have no one to carry on your own ancestor cultus, this was seen as a thing to be avoided.
For my part I use an app called Dailyo and track how many instances I think I lived up to the virtues in my everyday life. I encourage others to do something similar.October 8, 2021 at 12:10 am #41756October 8, 2021 at 12:31 am #41757
Numerius Caelius SaturninusDenarii: 𐆖 186.85PlebeiusFlorida
Also should be noted that the virtues aren’t separate to Roman religion or culture, it’s a central feature. Each virtue is literally its own deity so if you feel lost or want to incorporate them into worship, worship the virtues themselves with action: Virtus (virtue/valor/courage), his mother Veritas (truth/honesty), Prudentia (foresight/wisdom), Iustitia (justice), Clementia (mercy) and Pietas (duty) amongst others were gods in their own right and offerings and statues were devoted to them and their ideals just as much as other gods. Those are my 3 cents, Roman religion, culture and virtues are inseparable and should be pushed together but they also adapted and integrated foreign components and needed Romanitas to keep “Roman” over time. We should spend more time on better defining Romanitas going forward, it’s not enough to mimic the Republic, talk about virtues and follow Roman gods. Non Romans did it back then: Armenians and even Punics have been recorded doing such and still weren’t considered Romans whereas people who had never seen Italy were sometimes called the best Romans around. People regularly had to prove and sometimes earn the ability to be called a Roman.
We need standards and expectations, we can’t have leaders who do not say a word until elections and we can’t have people calling themselves Romans if they put in little effort to make the part. Our main goal should be to have an authority recognize CDR as a real, practical culture and religion that has legitimate ties to old practice, this can be accomplished once we have more talks on Romanitas and goals for our leaders to accomplish. Our main focus should’ve already been on living and teaching Roman virtues, what have we been doing if we weren’t doing that before?October 8, 2021 at 6:43 am #41758
We need standards and expectations, we can’t have leaders who do not say a word until elections and we can’t have people calling themselves Romans if they put in little effort to make the part. Our main goal should be to have an authority recognize CDR as a real, practical culture and religion that has legitimate ties to old practice, this can be accomplished once we have more talks on Romanitas and goals for our leaders to accomplish. Our main focus should’ve already been on living and teaching Roman virtues, what have we been doing if we weren’t doing that before?
Hear hear!October 8, 2021 at 9:10 am #41759
Septimus Geminius CanusDenarii: 𐆖 774.45PlebeiusGallia Mississippia
I agree with most everything that has been expressed here. I’d especially be interested in hearing more on point 7. The second point does give me pause though. While true that the foundation of Roman society was based around the Olympian Gods, it was also true that Gods from outside cultures could be invited. As a citizen who has no ancestry that I can directly relate to Rome, this is somewhat important to me. I’m descended of Celts and Danes and some of my practices in accordance with respect for my ancestors must reflect upon that. Of course I don’t intend to be obtuse, I only wish to speak for those who may reflect other ancestral practices within our Republic. I’m proud to be here amongst you all and I wear my name with pride.October 8, 2021 at 4:54 pm #41761
Publius Aurelius BarbatusDenarii: 𐆖 0.55PlebeiusGallia Mississippia
The biggest problem our Republic faces today is a lack of dedication. Magistrates appear ahead of election, make plans and pledges, then disappear for weeks or even months at a time. When the most basic functions of governance are neglected for long periods of time, we cannot have a healthy Republic. There are citizens willing to put in the dedication and work, but without anyone capable of moving the machinations of government, no progress can be made. It feels as if we are aboard a ship set adrift with no crew and a helm that is behind a locked door.
Why are the duties of office being neglected? Why do our leaders give no explanation for their absence, or shift the blame to others? Life happens and being present can be difficult. But it doesn’t take much to post a simple message saying, “Everyone, I’ve got a lot on my plate right now, I will be absent for several weeks.” But virtually none of our officials do this until weeks or months after the fact. And in the meantime, governmental functions are gridlocked. At least notify another official who can go through the chain and designate the duties to another.
I’ve gotten excited about promises and then been disappointed again and again. How are we supposed to rebuild the CDR when our newly formed Collegium Pontificum is so slow to respond to inquiries, if a response comes at all? What tangible things have been accomplished? The Camilli were promised 30 to 60 days of intensive training before and elevation to Sacerdote. All three original Camilli were ready and willing to put in the work, but we were left without guidance, without instruction, and without explanation. Our inquiries have often been ignored or given vague promises that never manifested. And finally, when we more forcefully have asked for answers, the blame for lack of instruction was shifted to others.
Sarmatia’s attempt at establishing a temple had its issues, but it’s the only actual religious praxis I’ve seen any officials take in the Republic. And it was doomed to fail because of, yet again, the absence of those in charge. Instead of talk, we should be taking action. Look at the good work TEMPLVM has accomplished. They planned a temple, raised funds, organized the logistics, and took the action to make it a reality. They continue to grow the project and add more altars. There is a real show of Roman Pietas! This is the sort of projects that we should be working towards.
If we ever hope to rebuild anything worthwhile, the empty promises and excuses must end. In the words of Hannibal and in the spirit of Hercules, “Aut inveniam viam aut faciam.” Words are nice, but meaningless with out real, tangible action. Orthopraxy over orthodoxy.October 8, 2021 at 5:34 pm #41762
Decimus Firmius PerusinusDenarii: 𐆖 40.15PlebeiusEria
I agree with Barbatus the fact that the activity necessary is in many respects not present in our current magistrates, but also that it is locked behind a gate. Moreover the fact that Roman Republic is incorporated it puts much more red tape on replacing those magistrates when they become inactive. The corporate side needs to be more responsive as much as inactive magistrates need to be held accountable.October 9, 2021 at 3:55 am #41764
Instead of talk, we should be taking action. Look at the good work TEMPLVM has accomplished. They planned a temple, raised funds, organized the logistics, and took the action to make it a reality. They continue to grow the project and add more altars. There is a real show of Roman Pietas!
Is it really? Templvm is the actions of one man. It also isn’t all that it appears. It is a for-profit venture. Do not forget that. I am worried you hold such opinions without the necessary background.
Templvm presents a complex issue with even more complex motivations and unseen impact driving its existence. Would you want the Roman Republic or our Collegium Pontificum to build a temple complex that is ultimately the property of one man and makes a profit for one man alone? Templvm is not about religion or politics. It is about business and there is nothing wrong with that but it demands you view it in a business manner and cut it no slack for imperfections we would not allow here in our Respublica. There are many such imperfections as well… Corvus, the owner of Templvm is a businessman first and foremost who has chosen to profit from building a site that is attractive to some cultores. He has little regard for the tradition or about creating livable practices. He is trying to construct a site that will draw attention and visitors and drive a profit. Simple as that.October 9, 2021 at 4:09 am #41765
The Camilli were promised 30 to 60 days of intensive training before and elevation to Sacerdote. All three original Camilli were ready and willing to put in the work, but we were left without guidance, without instruction, and without explanation.
Our CDR training program that was introduced by myself this spring was something that was improvised. It was an experiment created by volunteers. Our CDR training program has been mixed with success and failure. We do see some of the things that we hoped that it would do. But as the training progresses we see more failures of the program.
There are three reasons why this training has not worked out as I hoped. First, I think that a lack of foundational principles which we all adhere to and live by within the program is lacking. The second reason is that I believe we need more dedicated training text written. Few people can read a dry academic text and see how the information can be applied to life today. Our third reason is that people are not fully committed. The program is free. It requires no investment on the part of the trainee. So they slack off or are inconsistent in the work. This results in the whole group suffering as the experience is a communal one that requires the majority of the group staying up to date. With all of this said, I am taking the next step.
We are in the process of writing a few books. Developing a full curriculum, and making it require an investment upfront in order to drive commitment and filter out those who are tourists and not really there for the long haul. To get the training, the knowledge, and life application to be part of the program in an authentic manner. This takes time to do properly. The full program will not be offered until the winter of 2022. But the wait will be worth it.
Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or feedback about this.October 9, 2021 at 12:29 pm #41772
Quintus Furius CamillusDenarii: 𐆖 1,432.80PatriciusBritannia
Do you miss me yet? I ran for censor. You rejected me last year. This was despite leading a very active year in 2020 as consul. Lots of newsletters. Lots of events. You reward me by denying me another term. Yes, elections are broken. Very broken. You Romans routinely elect the wrong people.
Democracy is broken when you can’t elect reliable teams more often than inactive ones. We all know it. Please. Please. Please. Let this year’s century reassignments result in elections that make sense. I’m looking at you Sarmatia, you screwed us this past year
You all need to know this. You need to know what you’ve done. Now it’s our job to get together and fix this as elections start this month.
VALETE!October 10, 2021 at 3:16 pm #41785
As a Camillus myself, I feel obliged to respond to your post above regarding our program, but also to in general just reply to the topic at hand.
For any outside observer, please know that the fact that Censor Varro has just revealed, namely that the Camillus program is under reconstruction and that nobody will graduate, let alone officially actually start any training, before Winter 2022, is news to every Camillus, and not revealed to us in private, but as a response to criticism in regards to our program.
Previously this year, the Senate voted to eject all previously recognized Sacerdotes. I supported this decision, because my Fratres and I had been promised that we would be invited into the priesthood following the completion of our training, which was originally supposed to last 30-60 days, and then 60-90 days. Our training began in March, it is now October. We are only now learning that the program has been in reorganization, and our training has been effectively halted without us having any knowledge.
I would ask you this, then, Censor, if you came to work after working for a company for several months, and then it is casually revealed that the reason you are not actually going to be working in the position that you were hired to enter as, is because the very trainee position you already occupy is being restructured, would you yourself be very keen on continuing to work there? I know I certainly would not.
Any halting of the Camillus program is likewise a halting of not only our Sacra Publica, but also the halting of the support network for the Sacra Privata of our citizens as well, effectively not only suspending, but castrating our religious work within the republic, and any hope of working together with the Gods to rebuild the Pax Deorum within it.
My main issue is not that it is taking time, but two main things:
It is your program, yet you question the dedication of your participants and present it as a reason as to why they have not finished their training, despite there being long periods of no updates in regards to the program or our training. Again, it is in no way even close to surprising people will lose interest if there is no present educational staff or leadership in terms of updating and keeping students engaged and aware of what they are supposed to be doing.
Secondly, to me, it feels as if in general when you speak about the CDR, you overly concern yourself with the virtues. The two are, of course, linked, but the CDR does not, as you know, make anything in terms of ethical or virtuous judgements due to the orthopraxic nature of it. Hence, I believe dropping the whole concept of somehow molding students into the frames of how the virtues are supposed to be lived by you and your contemporaries would be the ideal way of moving forward.
You’re supposed to be educating Sacerdotes, who’s main purpose is the operation of the Sacra and public religious life. It is alright to believe they should be virtuous, and they absolutely should be held in regards to the virtues in order to ensure the proper cultivation of the Roman spirit, but really at the end of the day it isn’t necessary to do so, unless you wish to instead indoctrinate them into a orthodoxic version of the CDR. This criticism is primarily in regards to your point about life application. The Camillus programme shouldn’t be about how to be “in it for the long run” or to “be 100% dedicated to my view of the virtues” but rather about how public ritual is performed and conducted. The CDR is not about intention or dedication, but about proper conduct. Anything else is superfluous. You don’t need people who are committed to following your way of doing things or that will abide by how you wish to say they ought to live their lives, but people who are passionate and care for the spiritual well being of our republic. Thus, I would quite frankly consider such a delay as the one you have announced in order to fulfill this vision of yours, to be an utterly unacceptable and weakly motivated restructuring that will do nothing else but continue to hold the Sacra Publica hostage.
Finally, allow me to close my response with this. I know you are deeply dedicated to our republic, Censor, and to our Gods, that is not what is being questioned here, but you must realize that the religious office isn’t one supposed to be like a long-term dedication to overhauling your life and your lifestyle, but a commitment to first and foremost the Gods and the people who wish to work with them. The Camillus program should be an academic and religious program about studying the public ritual and how it was conducted in antiquity in order to properly reconstruct it today, not a type of quasi-bootcamp where the participants must “man up” and become virtuous exemplars or be weeded out as weak-minded simpletons too incomplete in their virtue to follow through with the course. It should be about reading academic sources, forming your opinion and understanding, and acting accordingly while discussing your findings with religious officials and your fellows in training, like it is structured elsewhere in other organizations dedicated to the CDR or other related reconstructionist efforts.
Perhaps asking the Camillii what they think or feel from every now and then instead of questioning their dedication when things slow down would also strengthen the progress.
As such, I hope you can listen to these criticisms instead of simply dismissing them.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.