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Certamen Petronianum

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Certamen Petronianum

Literary Contest

The Certamen Petronianum is a literary competition organized by Nova Roma and dedicated to Petronius Arbiter, the well known author of Satyricon.

The Rules

  • The Certamen Petronianum is open to all writers without any age or nationality restrictions.
  • Entries for the Certamen Petronianum 2005 must be tales set in ancient Rome, during the Republic.
  • Entries must be written in English, and have a maximum length of 3000 words.
  • The closing date for entries is 30th June 2005.
  • Entrants may submit only one tale, and the entry must be accompanied by a completed entry form.
  • Entries must be submitted in Word, RTF or plain text file. The tale shall contain no pictures.
  • Entries will be judged anonymously.
  • Each tale must be the original work of the author, and must not have been previously published or successfully entered in to other contests.
  • The winner will be notified between 4th and 17th November 2005.
  • The judges' decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • Nova Roma reserves the right to publish or broadcast the five best tales, in any medium or media, any number of times and at any stage in the future. By submitting an entry to the contest, entrants agree to grant such rights.
  • Entries should be sent to: certamen@novaromaitalia.org


The winning tale will be published on the website of Nova Roma and on the following web magazines: "Aquila", "Roman Times Quarterly", "Inter Alia" and "Pomerivm" (Italian translation).

The winner will receive:

  • a certificate signed by the final judges, Dr. McCullough and Prof. Dr. Wiseman
  • the full Roman series to date by Colleen McCullough (The First Man in Rome, The Grass Crown, Fortune's Favourites, Caesar's Women, Caesar & The October Horse), each book being autographed by the author.
  • The myths of Rome, by Dr. Peter Wiseman, autographed by the author.

The Judges

Entries will be read by a panel of preliminary judges
who will select the five best works.
The five best works will be judged by two final judges, one being a professional novelist and one being an expert in Roman history.
The final judges of the first edition of the Certamen
Petronianum are Dr. Colleen McCullough and Prof. Dr. Peter Wiseman.

Australian writer Colleen McCullough enjoys worldwide renown, and her novels are bestsellers in a multitude of languages. She is the author of Tim (1974), The Thorn Birds (1977), An Indecent Obsession (1981), A Creed for the Third Millennium (1985), The Ladies of Missalonghi (1987); The First Man in Rome (1990), The Grass Crown (1991), Fortune's Favorites (1993), Caesar's Women (1996), Caesar (1997), The song of Troy (1998), Morgan's Run (2000), The October Horse (2

Peter Wiseman is Emeritus Professor of Roman History at the University of Exeter, UK. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquities (1977), Fellow of the British Academy (1986), and holds an Honorary DLitt (Durham, 1988). He was President of the Roman Society (1992-3) and Vice-President of the British Academy (1992-4). He is author of Catullan Questions (1969), New Men in the Roman Senate: 139BC-AD14 (1971), Cinna the Poet and other Roma Essays (1974), Titus Flavius and the Indivisible Subject (1978), Clios Cosmetics: Three Studies in Greco-Roman Literature (1979), Julius Caesar. The Battle for Gaul (1980), Roman Political Life 90BC-AD69 (1985), The Inheritance of Historiography 350-900 (1986), Catullus and his world, a reappraisal (1987), A short history of the British
School at Rome (1990), Talking to Virgil. A miscellany (1992), Lies and Fiction in the Ancient World (1993), Historiography and Imagination. Eight essays on Roman culture (1994), Remus. A Roman Myth (1995), Roman drama and Roman history (1998), Classics in Progress. Essays on Ancient Greece and Rome (2002), The myths of Rome (2004). Prof. Wiseman is also the author of a
translation and introduction to Death of an Emperor by Flavius Iosephus (1991).

© NovaRoma 2005
editing by
Marcus Minucius-Tiberius Audens
designed by
Marcus Philippus Conservatus and Franciscus Apulus Caesar

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