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Virtual Romanspace

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 9:54 pm
by L Fidelius Graecus
Salvete Omnes,

Having been a registered member of SVR for some months, I haven't been visiting as often as I would have liked. So I send a fond Salve! to each of you.

I have been to many websites and places made for Romanitas like SVR and it brought to mind the concept of cyberspace. Roma antiqua is in the past though virtual neo-classical efforts have been homesteading the internet. I like to think of these as virtual Romanspace. Maybe not everyone agrees, having stricter allegiances to one place over another (like it's done in the real world) though does anyone have any personal view, pro or con on these ideas? I very much enjoy that there are different locales administered in different ways that allows for my virtual Roman identity to wander. Maybe there is more to consider.

In any case, I wander along though I'll be back again. 8)

Vale, et valete.

L. Fidelius Graecus

Roman' all over the place...!

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 9:41 am
by Aldus Marius
Salve, Luci Fideli!

You sound like a Wanderer, too, a Roman after my own heart...that's how I got my cognomen Peregrinus. I do hope you will pay us another visit fairly soon, if only to read the replies to your thread!

I had had somewhat the same idea about getting Romans together in real life. I first became aware of the Heritage just after Desert Storm; I am hardly the first person to consider himself a Roman-in-Spirit, but as my becoming so predated almost every Roman-type organization by several years (give or take some reenactor Legions), I thought I was alone in my explorations. True, I had my own little circle of persons-under-the-Influence; others I had infected with my enthusiasm; and not a few converts after each of my reenactor gigs. But all the Romans I knew were ones I had made. I had never heard Latin spoken by any human being who didn't learn it from me.

It took the Internet to connect me with other Romans in multiples. Once I'd put up my Web site, I found duckets of reenactor groups; live wargamers in the DC area; Roman households in the SCA. And then, in 1998 a certain Roman Internet micronation got underway, and I met Romans of all kinds. It was confirmed, what I had suspected: that there were as many ways of being a Roman as there were practicing Romans. This seemed to surprise (and disturb) the Internet micronation quite a bit more than it surprised me. Some there--only a few, but in positions to make the rest of us uncomfortable--seemed to feel that if you weren't being a Roman their way, you weren't being one at all, and you became suspect.

Unfortunately, that was the year they appointed me a recruiting officer. And I did what I do, in the way of Roman networking: I talked to friends in reenactment, roleplaying, teaching, the SCA, and the RenFaire circuit. These were the circles I'd run in my whole Roman life. Each group came at Romanitas from a different angle; but by the time they talked to me, they were serious about exploring it more in-depth, and perhaps discovering the Roman within themselves. I think they had a lot to offer that Internet micronation. I tend to follow the precept of "The more perspectives you can get on a thing, the better."

But my recruits, by and large, were not practitioners of the Religio Romana; nor were they exclusively into organizational matters and politics. When an entire reenactor Legion was rejected for being the wrong religion (most of the world is, ya know, from that Place's perspective), I decided to roll up my recruiting posters and go do something else for a while. And here I am. (Bene, not as directly as that, but that's another tale.) >({|;-)

The point of the whole episode is not to bash the Other Place, but rather to show that Romans can come from any background; that the path to awakening one's Romanitas will start wherever you're at; that even "suspect" types like roleplaying gamers (I've been one for 22 years) can develop into spirited, knowledgeable and useful Citizens of whatever community they're in, online or real-life--provided they are made welcome and given the opportunity to explore whatever it is about Rome that calls to them.

I think the SVR has succeeded mightily in this. That is one reason it is still here after four years, and so am I. I'm really not much of a "joiner", you see, and rather less so after leaving the OP. The best thing I got out of that experience was meeting other Romans from all over, each with his or her area of expertise--most especially those who would eventually branch out and form the SVR.

I have a Military College here; I have an RP thread; I have as much of myself as I care to post, in as many subjects as I like, and the responses of those who have something to add. We only get bothered by politics once a year, when we elect Magistrates; and there is a distinct area of the Board in which to discuss candidates and issues. Politics has never dominated the discussion here. It is at once scholarly and informal; you will often read "Gimme a couple days, I'll look that up for ya" as a first response to a post.

And the best feature is that, while we call ourselves "members" or "Sodales", we recognize each other as Citizens of that wider Rome--part virtual; all real--that is formed of those who have 'connected' with the Heritage in some way. Truly, "Roman" was not something you were born as, as something you became. Children grew up into Citizens. Provincials earned their Citizenship; slaves got theirs as a reward. Surely, then, we also can 'become' Romans, though we were not raised as such.

Bene, you have now been inoculated against my Rambles. Welcome to the Societas, since I have not had the chance to say so before. And, definitely, Three Cheers (or nearest period equivalent) for Roman Cyberspace!! May good connections, good associations, and good friendships last as long as those Roads.

In amicitia et fide (In Friendship and Faith),

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2005 2:48 pm
by Gnaeus Dionysius Draco
Salve Luci Fideli,

Welcome to SVR.

I used to be quite big on actual forming of communities, but to form a 'real' community, with all that it takes, is quite a task. I believe that having something here that approaches or approximates a mirror of a real-life community will at least take five more years. I don't mean to sound pessimistic, since I realise it also depends on what you define as a Roman community. Perhaps, if I could plagiarise Marius's website name, one might regard us as an Outpost of Romanitas, an odd bunch of people drawn together unexplicably by a common interest. The diversity of our interests is then also reflected on our website (which always reminds me I should really get to rewriting some of my articles someday).

Anyhow, what has always been important to me is no matter how we may look up to Roman achievements, talents and arts, we should apply this knowledge and history to the present day rather than trying to form a virtual Amish community. The Other Place we sometimes speak of has for years been trying to do this, but this is impossible. With no living link or only few sources to go by how our spiritual ancestors lived, it's hard to be a reconstructionist. The strength of the Romans lay precisely in the accepting and emulating of ideas, inventions and institutions of their neighbours - the last thing I would like to see, is a Roman community that chooses isolation and rejection of the modern world completely. These are, in short, my thoughts on this :).

Optime vale,