Gaius Petronius Stephanus Turpilianus (Nova Roma)
C. Petronius Stephanus Turpilianus is the consul of the Nova Roman Republic, ie. the president of Nova Roma, together with his consul colleague M. Aurelius Cotta Iovius in the current year which is named after them. C. Petronius is also an awarded eques equo publico and a senator of praetorian rank. Petronius serves as proquaestor of Britannia in his home province. Petronius fills an important public role as the publisher of the Daily Roman Calendar Posting by Nova Roma in his capacity as praeco editor.
Private life, background
C. Petronius, in his private life, is a human rights lawyer as senior partner of his own firm, an amateur archaeologist and historian, amateur actor, expert reenactor of multiple historical periods but most prominently of the Roman period, and an avid fan of both the Star Trek and Stargate universes, being a collector of film memorabilia, props and costumes. He also works on his first ancient Rome themed novel to be published soon. As an archaeologist and Roman historian, Petronius has been published in various journals, and he is member in a number of archaeological societies in Britain, including The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies, the leading organisation in the United Kingdom for those interested in the study of the Roman Empire. Its membership consists of Britain's leading Roman academics and scholars.
In addition, C. Petronius has contributed to various television documentaries about Rome, both as a historical consultant and as a set costumer. This includes Channel 4’s "Time Team," which is Britain’s longest running popular television series about archaeology that has been running for over 27 years. He has also acted as historical consultant and editor for several award-winning authors of Roman historical fiction, as well writers of factual publications.
Since 2010, as chairman of the Bedford Roman Villa Project, C. Petronius Stephanus has been responsible for excavating the most luxurious-decorated Roman villa complex in late Roman Britain. Formerly a private residence, this was turned into an imperial estate centre by the emperor Aurelian in 275AD. Specifically, to command the grain-growing centre of the River Ouse Valley that was the "bread basket" of the Roman armies of Britannia and the Rhine in the 4th century AD.
Petronius has also served as a vice-chairman of the Bedfordshire Archaeological Council and trustee of the Piddington Roman Museum in the past.
In recognition of his contribution to advancing the public’s understanding of ancient Roman life, Petronius has been made an honorary member of approximately twenty Roman re-enactment groups.
For more details about his career as a Roman living historian, and the publications and TV programmes with which he has been involved, visit his LinkedIn page.
C. Petronius started his cursus honorum as quaestor in Q. Arrio (III) A. Tullia cos. ‡ MMDCCLXXIV a.u.c.. During his quaestorship, he worked hard, under the guidance of the governor of Britannia, Cn. Cornelius Lentulus, to rebuild and revitalise Nova Roma’s presence in Provincia Britannia. Specifically, by increasing citizen membership and engendering cooperation between the various Roman re-enactment groups within the province. This has included providing a common forum, though the Provincia Britannia Nova Roma Facebook page, where Romanists can exchange ideas, co-ordinate events, and generally be mutually supportive of each other’s Roman revivalist endeavours. In recognition of these efforts, he was prorogued to serve as proquaestor of Britain after his magistracy expired.
Petronius also used his growing list of honourary memberships of a number of European re-enactment groups to try and build bridges between these disparate communities of Roman revivalists, acting as a roaming ambassador promoting the merits of co-operation and as well as membership of Nova Roma to the wider European audience outside of my own province proper.
The next step in his cursus honorum was the office of tribunus plebis. As tribunus plebis, he worked on legislation and enacted two new plebiscites in the interests of plebs and the wider body of citizens, the lex Petronia de libertate eligendorum apparitorum tribuniciorum and the lex Petronia de novis civibus.
Due to his extensive experience in Roman ritual practice, in Sex. Lucilio (II) A. Tullia (II) cos. ‡ MMDCCLXXV a.u.c. the collegium pontificum coopeted C. Petronius Stephanus as pontifex, and simultaneously he was consecrated as sacerdos of Fortuna Primigenia.
Petronius continued public service as praetor in the Sacred Year of Concordia, the year of the 25th Anniversary of Nova Roma in C. Cethego Q. Arrio (IV) cos. ‡ MMDCCLXXVI a.u.c.. As praetor, he represented Nova Roma all over the world in our celebrations and festivals held in several provinces in both Europe and America which was an important service in the anniversary year. Besides, he enacted legislation, the lex Petronia de Latinis sociisque (Nova Roma) that defined the various layers of citizenship in Nova Roma and made expansion and recruitment more flexible.
During his praetorship, he was put in command of the Legio XX Valeria Victrix, of Deva Victrix, in May, by the decision of the legion's members as a honorary legion commander (usually called a "legate", that is delegate in lieu of a praetor or consul, but Petronius then filled the praetorship so his command was described as praetor in command of the legion), a (ceremonial) command that he continues to hold as consul. This honor was bestowed on him in recognition of his on-going financial and diplomatic support and involvement in the reconstruction of the Roman auxiliary fort Castra Ovum at "Park in the Past," raising awareness of the project world-wide, thereby helping to motivate third parties to also assist in this unique endeavor.
As the culmination of C. Petronius Stephanus's cursus honorum, he reached the consulship for the current year, and he plans to hold the IX International Grand Conventus of Nova Roma in Britain, under his consulship.
Bedford Roman Villa Project website:
Bedford Roman Villa Project Facebook page:
Personal Facebook account: