Who are the gods?

Anyone who follows my journal regularly knows that I’ve spent quite a bit of time the past few weeks thinking about the problems of reviving the religio in a virtual state. Because I’m not entirely happy with the justifications given for reviving Rome in the incertus, I’ve spent a smaller amount of time looking for … Read more

Two Romes

Religious authority in a virtual republic This turbulent week has been a period of growth for me. I continue to think about the nature of religion on the Internet, and I watch with interest a proposal in Nova Roma to require the election of Pontifices, as well as the indifference in New Roman Republic to … Read more

A troubled republic

Celetrus has resigned as Consul and as a citizen of The New Roman Republic, explaining , “I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that the Religio Publica cannot be reinstated as a State religion by a ‘virtual’ nation.” Although I am not fully persuaded by his reasoning, I had a nightmare last night in which … Read more

The problem of reconstruction

The project of reconstructing an ancient religion has unique challenges. If the practice of a particular religion requires reconstruction, the culture in which it originally existed is dead. Perhaps the religion can be reconstructed, but the culture in which it existed cannot be revived. How then to know what to take and what to leave … Read more

Reverent formalism

I’ve gone a bit too fast with my topics. Not everyone reading them agrees that Roman rituals were conservative to the extreme. To establish a foundation, I offer the following from Pliny, Natural History, XXVIII, 3, 10 ff: “We also observe that our highest magistrates use certain formulas for their prayers; that not a single … Read more

Ancestral lands

Celetrus argues that the ancestral lands are inseparable from any concept of the Roman people: Pliny the Younger asked Trajan as Pontiff Maximus whether Roman sacred law concerning dedicated lands applied in his province (Bythnia). Trajan replied, as Pontifex Maximus, “It need not concern you if a special (local) dedication law is not forthcoming, since … Read more

Restoration of the sacra

One of the frequent disputes in any discussion about restoring the Religio Romana is the extent to which restoration allows innovation. The Romans, and their gods, were notoriously conservative. Each ritual had to be performed just so. A single mistake required a piaculum, or additional offering to expiate the mistake. Yet, very little survives concerning … Read more

Answer to the virtual state

The Religio Romana was quite conservative. In its antique form it had little tolerance for innovation. Celetrus and I have been discussing the question of whether the Roman gods might be offended by the foundation of a virtual republic. He sent some texts, previously posted here, that show clearly how in Roma Antiqua the Roman … Read more

A virtual state

I am lucky to have some extraordinarily well-educated friends. With one of them, I have recently been looking at the question of whether the Roman gods might be offended by being worshipped in a virtual state (“micronation”). Our discussion has gone far beyond what I am prepared to post here, tonight, but here is some … Read more

Seidhr today

The heathen community is full of seidh-bunnies; indeed, neo-pagans and New Age dabblers are no less enchanted by shamanism. Apparently, they think it goes with the territory. With very little provocation, they’ll tell you every detail of their latest journey to other worlds. I listen. I smile and nod politely. Not for me the task … Read more