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In the late 1990s CE, the development of the World Wide Web gave rise to a new socio-political phenomenon which may be called the "virtual nation," which I define as a micronation that conducts much of its day-to-day affairs via the Internet. By its very nature, much of the activity of a virtual nation occurs on-line in the form of conversation, either in chat rooms, on message boards, or via e-mail.
Thus, while a historical monograph is traditionally a narrative which seeks to describe and explain actions and events, it seems appropriate in a historical account of a cyber-society to develop the dimension of dialog, with the descriptive narrative serving to weave the many threads of individual thought into recognizable patterns and developing themes in the society. My approach to these Annals is that the actors of history themselves should speak out loud, and that my task is merely to set the stage and to draw the curtain at the opening and closing of each scene. Thus, while this work will be short on analysis, it is my hope that it will be close to the truth.
In the case of Nova Roma, the primary historical source is the archive of public e-mail messages. Unfortunately, this archive begins five months after the Declaration of Nova Roma. By the time of the writing of this Annal, those who had participated in the founding of Nova Roma had purged the old messages from their private e-mail systems.
Nevertheless, several of the conversations extant in the mail list archive address constitutional issues and the principles on which the Republic was founded. As such, they serve to illuminate the intentions of the framers of the Constitution as well to document the interpretations of that governing document during the first year of its existence.
As such, these conversations serve much the same function of providing a context and a set of auxiliary definitions for the Constitution of Nova Roma, that the Federalist Papers and Anti-Federalist Papers do for the Constitution of the United States. Others discuss legal issues, and thus deal with the beginning of case law in Nova Roma.
|Annales Novae Romae scripsit M. Martianus Gangalius (2751-2752) et M. Arminius Maior (2752-2754) and formatted by M. Octavius Germanicus, assisted by Julilla Sempronia Magna.|
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