Monday, October 18, 2010

Synopsis and Photos from Roman Conventus 2010 Oct 8 -12

Official Aedilician Conventus 2010/2763 Report

L. Iulia Aquila omnibus civibus SPD.

Friday morning Novi Romani are graciously welcomed to the Castra Rota by our hosts Sonja and Adriano Rota aka Legatus Pro Praetore (et Tribine) C. Aquillius Rota, his sons Chris aka Marcus and Traianus and their many cats and dogs. Piscinus and the Military had already been on site for a day or two; Maria and I arrived the night before. Petronius arrived this evening in time for our first dinner in the Taverna. Wonderful Gifts were exchanged between Novi Romani but I will only mention a few I received: from Petronius a precious authentic Roman coin with Faustina on one side and Venus on the obverse and a gift of a very special story in Latin, from Maria I received a much needed leather pouch and White Amber perfume, from Scholastica an exquisite poster of one of her very own drawings of an ancient woman in a Khiton. But there were more gifts; gifts that will always burn brightly in my heart; laughter, smiles, voices and a camaraderie that made us all feel we were at home.
A most precious gift of friendship.
This first day was very hectic as we worked to prepare for the throngs of visitors – we certainly could have used some servitors as in ancient Rome and were fortunate that this was a light day. 
Opportunities were abundant to share our knowledge and tales of various aspects of Rome. At my booth the students asked questions about the many different charms and talismans I had displayed, the Gods and of course the Larariums - which often led to other Roman topics. The scheduled Lararium demonstration was relocated to my booth as the situation dictated. Sonja Rota taught about the food she was serving – including the bread and cheese which was fresh and homemade. We enjoyed Lentils, Greek Olives, homemade Farmer’s cheese and homemade bread, fresh fruit and also vinegar water and honey water. There was also a pen with two sheep and a goat.
Dinner that night at the Triclinium in the Taverna was not just special because we were all together but also because we welcomed our friend Petronius who came all the way from Paris France to join us in this most wonderful undertaking. Like a true Roman, he pitched in but he also delighted us with his wonderful warm humor and wit. Dinner included Lentils, grapes, extra sharp cheddar cheese, homemade Bread, homemade cheese, fresh fruit and other delights – and the wine flowed. As did the Pomegranate Vodka for some of us.

C. Maria Caeca

C. Maria Caeca

C. Maria Caeca

C. Maria Caeca

C. Aquillius Rota's shop and display

L. Iulia Aquila's and C. Maria Caeca's shop and display

Roman foods soon to be served...

Rusty Myer's shop and display

Paul, Piscinus and Paul

Paul Colombe

Little Trianus (Rota's filius) hanging out with the soldiers

M. Aquillius Rota, Rota's filius

Maria, Rota and Rusty

Medic kit

Triclinium in the Taverna

What a busy day! With everything already in place we got right down to the business of being Novi Romani; in Tunicae, Pallae and Togae we greeted the inquisitive Saturday crowds, many of whom were educators and students. There were many blocks of time when my booth was surrounded by students asking many many questions – talks continued regarding the Gods, the Larariums, the talismans and much interest about the jewelry including the gems related to ancient times. They did not buy anything but they learned a lot – I also gave away lots of self drying clay so they could copy some of the Roman designs themselves and the younger children reveled in the stories geared for their ages. It was an enriching experience for me and I hope it was for the attendees as well.
The soldiers held court in different groups to teach about their arms, the medic Paulus Arrus Silvanus gave a very interesting talk on Roman Medicine and there were various other presentations on other aspects of the Roman Military. Dr Sailer was impressive with her informative presentation on the Egypt – Roman connection and stayed afterwards to talk to a group of very interested students. The Pilum throw was a big hit and I hope to be able to post a video soon of Saturday’s festivities! At our lunch break (same menu as Friday) I provided Latin books: I read a love poem in English than Petronius read it in Latin and our Magistra, Scholastica, read an excerpt from the Aeneid. She also recited an excerpt from memory. We were joined by others as well for the readings. There was wool spinning demonstrations and Maria and others got to try their hand at it, Maria did very well! The pottery demonstration was magnificent and a few even went home with a handmade clay pot.
Dinner Saturday night at the Triclinium in the Taverna was a delicious pork belly, artichokes, Greek Olives, homemade Farmer’s cheese, Quail eggs, salad, fresh fruit and all the wine one could drink!
That night after dinner we all met in Rota’s living room and discussed Nova Roma until late in the night or early in the morning, while we drank wine and ate stuffed dates.
Everyone left pleasantly tired and satisfied!

Sonja (Rota's Uxor) Maria and C. Petronius Dexter

Petronius and Piscinus

Sunday, a relaxing day for us all. We began with a Ientaculum for Novi Romani and the Rota family only, of regular eggs cooked on an outdoor griddle, hard boiled Quail eggs, homemade Farmer’s cheese, fresh fruit, homemade Bread, butter and honey – water, tea and coffee. We did not stick to the schedule this day; our Pontifex Maximus did not perform the dedication to Mars, Magistra’s clothing demonstration was not done and the Piscinus’ prepared presentation never got started.  But we did manage to enter many discussions; I almost drowned in Latin immersions by naively positioning myself in between Magistra and Petronius! We all got to know each other better with many topics on ancient Rome and Piscinus led a discussion in the evening regarding the future of the Religio.
And we ate. Lentils, cheese a big hunk of homemade bread for lunch.
Dinner at the Triclinium in the Taverna was a whole roasted wild hog caught by Legatus Pro Praetore Rota's friend Pee Wee!!!! Absolutely delicious! Tomato salad, Greens, olives, cheese homemade bread, fresh fruit and lots of wine.
We bid Piscinus farewell as he was to leave early in the morning.

Magistra A. Tullia Scholastica

Monday, the last day and night of the Conventus, we pulled together to fulfill the promised schedule! At a brunch-time Ientaculum which consisted of regular eggs cooked on a griddle, with maple cured bacon, homemade Farmer’s cheese, fresh fruit, homemade Bread, butter and honey etc. we set the schedule for the day! Magistra Scholastica would give her wonderful presentation on ancient clothing and Flamen Portunalis Petronius and I, Sacerdos Prima A.Æ, would compose the simple but elegant coming of age ceremony, a Toga Virilis Ritual for Marcus Aquillius Rota,  filius of C. Aquilius and his wife Sonja.
Scholastica mesmerized us with her beautiful clothing and her lovely presentation. The men, as well as the women, asked questions as well – our Magistra is a wealth of information – and has a great sense of humor, but I leave that to the reader to find out on their own by attending the next Conventus.
I watched as Petronius made the libum, and it was the best libum we all have ever tasted – the Gods were pleased.
The Toga Virilis Ritual was an inspiring and moving affair. Flamen Portunalis Petronius led the rite in Latin, I, Sacerdos Prima A.Æ et Sacerdos Veneris Genetricis, assisted and translated in English, Magistra Scholastica and Sacerdos Vestalis Maria assisted us both. Dominus Rota removed the Toga Praetexta and placed the Toga Virilis and Domina Sonja removed the bulla and offered the nuts on the altar.

We then enjoyed the last feast of the Conventus at the Triclinium in the Taverna! Wild Hog, Lentils, fresh fruit, fresh homemade bread and cheese, olives, wine etc. etc.

Jean Francois eats his first southern breakfast! Good eatin'!

M. Aquillius Rota in his Toga Praetexta

Happy and Proud Family!

Young M. Aquillius Rota with Flamen Portunalis C. Petronius Dexter

Flamen Veritas

Having experienced cooler weather just a few days before, South Carolina warmed up for the week so we had cool sweater weather nights and warm days in the 80’s which brought out our friends the gnats during the day and mosquitoes in early evening but we co-existed peacefully – well mostly except for the wasp who entered the Triclinium as an uninvited guest one night and was quickly escorted out!

Many thanks to our gracious and generous hosts who treated us all like honored guests and beloved friends.
This was an experience I, and the others who attended, will not soon forget.
We left richer and wiser than when we first arrived and forged friendships that have the potential of lasting a lifetime.
We can also look forward to a Latin-Southern American English Dictionary!

12Oct2010 We said our goodbyes to Jean Francois and the others and headed home

Goodbye smile from Jean Francois!

Valete Optime Quirites,

L. Iulia Aquila
Ædilis Curulis Novæ Romæ
Sacerdos Veneris Genetricis
Praefectus Regio Tennessee : Provincia A.Æ
Procurator : Provincia A.Æ
Sacerdos Prima A.Æ
Accensa P. Memmio K. Buteone (II) cos. ‡ MMDCCLXIII a.u.c.
Idibus Octobribus P. Memmio K. Fabio II coss.

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