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Canberra Today 9°/15° | Tuesday, April 23, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

All hail Warwick and why he’s taken to the toga 

Warrick Jones, aka Decimus Aurelius Ingenarius… “So there’s, there’s a multitude of ways to do accurate sacrifice without some of the more nasty aspects of what was Ancient Rome.” Photo: supplied.

Warrick Jones, aka Decimus Aurelius Ingenarius as he is known in Roman circles, has been fascinated by the Roman Empire for a long time. 

“I own a board game called ‘The Republic of Rome’… It inspired me to try to build a sequel that looked at the early principate and empire, so that led me to do quite a lot of research,” says the 34 year-old Gungahlin local.

“Eventually, in my travels online, I came across this website called Nova Roma. It was quite comprehensive, and had a lot of articles on the various magistrates and the governance structure and the social structure of Ancient Rome.

“I soon came to learn that Nova Roma was this society, perhaps a little bit in the form of a micro-nation too, and that sort of appealed to me. 

“I found that you could become a member, or a citizen, and I applied.”

Nova Roma is a not-for-profit organisation originally founded in Maine, America in 1998, and Warrick says there are numerous Nova Roma societies all over the world.

Warrick says that at its core, Nova Roma is a living history society that looks to emulate a modern adaptation of the Roman Republic.

Although predominantly online, Warrick says Nova Roma very much encourages physical forums, which is where his callout for Canberrans stems from.

“I’ve been looking to rally the citizens around Australia to create more of that culture and the opportunities for education and lectures, guest speakers and Roman activities, and eventually when we mature we’ll do live displays, performances, things of a sacrificial nature” says Warrick.

Nova Roma has everything you might expect, says Warrick, from togas, elections for magistrates (conducted yearly), senators, consuls and praetors, they even use the Latin language for forum meetings.

At the moment, Warrick is an elected senator, or Pro Praetor, and the regional president, or governor, for Oceana.

He says that alongside these historically accurate roles, citizens of Nova Roma Provincia Australis also get an adopted Roman name, that Latin linguists create. 

“We are striving for all things historically accurate, so whatever we’re doing, we’re looking to do as accurately as possible within the confines of modern times,” he says.

“Certainly one of the questions that comes up, particularly around the Cultus Deorum, or the Religio Romana is, ‘what about sacrifice, what about the murder or the slaughter of animals?’

“Nova Roma doesn’t condone those activities, it always encourages people to follow their local jurisdiction with respect to those activities, but what is allowed under the customs and tradition of Ancient Rome is a whole bunch of different other types of sacrifice, which normally is about wine or milk.

“So there’s, there’s a multitude of ways to do accurate sacrifice without some of the more nasty aspects of what was Ancient Rome.

“We still see much of what is both the language and the culture of Ancient Rome throughout our society today.

“The intent here is a like minded group of individuals that want to talk about Roman stuff, we’re a social group really at heart.”

Warrick says that while his wife has dabbled in learning Latin, she doesn’t share his intrigue to the historic empire. 

“She tolerates my passions,” he says. 

His workplace is similarly removed from Warrick’s primary hobby.

“I work in IT and do freelance voice-over work for radio, cinema and TV advertisements,” says Warrick. 

“This new group in Canberra, and Nova Roma, is how I get my Roman fix,.”

“I annoy my work colleagues all the time about Roman stuff, but here, you can share and enjoy that passion.

Nova Roma, novaroma.org

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Katarina Lloyd Jones

Katarina Lloyd Jones

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