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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Roma's New Senator


The Roma area in Second Life is an interesting place. The sims are well done, with buildings giving the feel you're in a Roman city. But it's not just buildings. The place is home to a community of roleplayers. There are at least a couple activities a week, including a public dance, and most likely a number of unofficial roleplays. About the time of Thanksgiving, they held a big party followed by a four ship Roman Era sea battle. More recently, the roleplay community made an event out of the promotion of one member to the status of Senator.


Today, the Emperor will induct a new brother to the Senate at 12:00 pm in the throne room. After this induction, we will make our way to the Curia for our assembly.


As Noon SL time approached, people gathered at the palace. Most were in local dress, though there were a few that weren't. But all were greeted in a friendly manner, "Salve (name)." Among the roleplayers, the majority were in togas, but there were also soldiers with armor, sword, and spear. Julian Augustus, the Emperor of Roma, had his own special armor, plus a cape.

When it was time to start, Julian addressed the crowd, "Friends.... The august body of the Senate originated in the very founding of the city of Rome. As the great historian Livy wrote, 'Having now adequate numbers, Romulus turned his attention to social organization.' He brought together the leading citizens of his settlement and encouraged their powers of deliberation, fellowship, and debate. He called them Senators, from 'Senex' the Latin word for 'Elderly,' since in the harsh eighth century BCE those who were able to survive to old age presumably possessed more wisdom and knowledge than everyone else.

"We have followed this path in the social organization of ROMA. And it is now time to induct a new member. Gaius Tiberius Curio please step forward and stand." Gaius (guillaume.mistwalker), whom stood out from the crowd with a hooded toga, stepped forward. The Emperor continued, "As Senator of ROMA you will be looked upon by the other Citizens as the foremost example of a ROMA Patrician, and your behavior will be scrutinized by friend and foe alike. Today you embark upon a position of ethical responsibility and sibling-hood. Do you pledge to uphold the constitution of the Senate and all of its codes, and conduct yourselves with honor so long as you wear the mantle of a Senator? ... "

"Iuro!" Gaius answered, the Roman phrase meaning "I swear."

"The Princeps will give you items now. May that ring and those robes be a reminder of your position and the oath you take today. May your meetings be lively and your discussions fruitful. And may you enjoy your tenure as a Senator of ROMA!"

The new Senator bowed in respect.

Julian smiled, "Congratulations!" The audience then erupted in applause, and welcomed the new senator, "Welcome to Senate, Gaius." "Congratulations Gaius Tiberius."Congrats!" Gaius smiled, "Ave Caesar! Ave ROMA!"

The Emperor then adjourned the ceremony, "You may now all follow the consuls to the Curia for the Curiate meeting. Go in peace, brothers and sisters!" And so the people began walking from the palace to the public assembly building. The guards had no problems with visitors entering the building, though one asked another about a "metal golem," possibly meaning the Viewer2 starter robot avatar that briefly appeared. Both the senators and the public, residents and visitors sat in the seats. Looking over them was a horse in senatorial robes, presumably a reference to an equine appointed by a less than stable emperor to show his contempt.

"Let's begin!" Senator Maali Beck announced, "Welcome to this auspicious occasion as we welcome our newest Senator Gaius. Welcome also to our honoured returning senators, our group offices and our wonderful citizens of ROMA. We can all feel safely protected by our brave Praetorian guards," there were several people applauding at the words, then Maali gestured towards the horse, "and our four-legged honoured guest."

The senators then discussed community business. There was a problem with the Subura, due to a number of unrented plots. The good news was a few residents dug into their pockets to get one more apiece. One resident built a replica of a Roman station near his home, with plans to build a similar structure soon. It was also announced Melanippe of Themiscyra (melanippe.karas), "has stepped forward to do honor to the goddess Diana and take over curatorship of her grove and temple in the Subura, and will be updating and improving that parcel so Diana will stay in the Subura."

There was also a weather report, "a snowstorm is forecasted to roll through ROMA tonight. So Suburans should be advised to pull their snow shovels out of storage." This got a mixed reaction, some looking sour, "urgh," others smiling, "Snowmen!" "... I can start Saturnalia builds!"

Other news included the library in the forum being updated, "Many thanks to Peter and Nina. ... We have big plans for the improved space." The Theatrum Romanum group met and built a new theater at the edge of the Suburba, "And the Theatrum will be having regular meetings. So if you are interested in roleplay, and also if you are interested in joining one of the roleplay families in ROMA, watch out for those meetings and join the Theatrum." It was announced the Roma newsletter would be publishing sometime that day, "It will go out to the Citizens group, but can also be found in the kiosks around the estate." Last week was the fourth anniversary of the Ludus group, "who organizes our chariot races and gladiator fights here in ROMA! It was a fantastic celebration on Friday and we look forward to many more anniversaries (and races and ludi!)" One lady grinned, "especially liked the sweaty gladiators." The day before was also the seventh anniversary of the founding of the Thirteenth Legion. There would be a lecture on Roman Medicine the following Wednesday (today) at 1PM SL time. There was also a proposal for a new statue in the Julian Plaza, which would be donated by one resident. It was approved unanimously.

Then they got to discussing the upcoming holidays, "The collegia will tell us shortly about the Saturnalia events. And this New Years we will again ring in the new year in our ROMA Basilica with fireworks, one time zone at a time." Their Saturnalia events were scheduled for Dec 28 and 29. The events on the 28th included a Ritual & Tavern Celebration at 10AM, Skating & Snowball Fights at Noon, and Sleigh Races at 1PM. On the 29th would be the Ornament Building Contest, the Grand Feast at Noon, and the Snowball Harpastum at 1PM. The festivities were on these particular dates as to allow people to celebrate Christmas at home and for those overseas Boxing Day at the stores.

The Senate concluded the meeting, save for one activity, "Senators, join us outside, please." There had been a few red pyramids set up on the street. The senators were instructed to get on them, then they all began bobbing up and down, doing what looked like the "Badger Dance" from several years ago. The senators, soldiers, and others all chuckled, "We should make this a myth." "No, it's a fact!" "er... I mean.... Apollo himself decreed it thus!" One lady giggled, "Hey, if we can't be fools for ROMA, what *is* worth being a fool for?"

And thus concluded the new Roma Senator's introduction to his new job. By the looks of things, it will be an interestingly pleasant one.

Bixyl Shuftan

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