Gallia provincial report MMDCCLX
Salvete Conscript Fathers
GALLIA ANNUAL REPORT by Leg. pp. Galliae Publius Memmius Albucius
P. Memmius Albucius Patribus s.d.
Among the provinces of the republic of Nova Roma, Gauls are not the last one. This is why your Senate has created and organized the territory of « Gallia » in its senatus consultum Nov. 9 2000 (2753 a.u.c.). This is, among so many provinciae which have not yet received their legal frame, one of the very few which have been given the benefit of such a firm and clear consultum. This summer, showing that you, Patres, were keeping your confidence in this province, You allowed Gallia to include in its the territory of current state of Luxemburg. (SC 3th July 2760 a.u.c.). Your province of Gallia is a four states province located in Western Europe. It stretches from the North sea to the Pyrénées moutain border of Hispania and to the Sardinia Italian coasts. Gallia is 630.000 km² wide and its territory counts around 90 millions inhabitants of the current states of, north to south, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, and France. Apart their regional languages, these inhabitants daily speak three languages : Dutch, German and French. Current France and its language is, in the whole, the most important group, with 90 % of Gallia territory and nearly 70 % of its population. Since the eve of 2753 a.u.c., you have given Gallia wise and respectable successive governors. After Querius Armoricus Lutecio from Nov. 9 2000, to February 2004 (2757 a.u.c.) and an interim month (March 2004) done by D. Octavia Aventina, you have designated Lucius Rutilius Minervalis for nearly one year from May 22, 2004 to March 2005. Then came Sextus Apollonius Scipio from April 1st, 2005 to Nov. 23, 2006. You have at last given me, on the request of Hon. Governor Apollonius, the honor of taking the responsibility of Gallia, from this Nov. 23, 2006 on. When you read these lines, Patres, a year has passed.
When entering in this governor office last year, I set several pluriannual objectives.
First, I aimed to complete the work, begun by Hon. Rutilius and Apollonius ,in giving Gallia a whole thematic and territorial organization. Leaning on what Gov. Rutilius had already built, I thus issued the edict(-um) Galliae nb 38 on Dec. 12, 2006 (2759 a.u.c.). The main interest of this text is to provide a territorial organization which will allow the different territorial levels to take part to Gallia public life. Among them, the civitates are now representated, with their name and borders close to C. Iulius Caesar description.
Second, it appeared to me essential to do what our daily busy life does not often allow us : to meet physically Gallia citizens, and, first among them, the members of its governement. I chose, to form Gallia government, to ask the support of the previous governors : Honorabiles Octavia, Rutilius and Apollonius. Unfortunately, Octavia knew this year a professional evolution and could not involve herself in our government. Rutilius and Apollonius kindly brought me their support, their advices and their wiseness. At this time, the next step was to meet each other : for I consider that a Roman civis, and specially a Roman magistrate, is a man or a woman which prefers, when he can, speaking and listening directly to her/his councellors and citizens. Two weeks after my appointment, I thus met, five hours long, L. Rutilius Minervalis (Dec. 7, 2006), Apollonius not being able to join us this day. Since this Dec. 7, our government has met at least two times every three months, except last summer months. Every two meetings, we met us physically and organize these meetings so that we could, in the same time, enjoy another part of our roman or gallo-roman culture. We have thus visited several French Gallia sites and museums, and enjoyed, with our families, roman cooking.
The third objective was to set up projects. We thus have defined several ones, among which we had to choose the most important ones, to cope with first. For we quickly realized that, even with a growing citizenry, our governmental team would remind a small one as long as the new citizens, if ever willing to give a hand, have not integrated Nova Roma and Gallia culture, which would take several months. These major projects have, in the mid-term, been defined as such : to increase Gallia citizenship, thanks to : a better web communication direct links with other organizations working in the 'scope of romanity' appropriate tools real and interesting projects. to organize the Conventus Europaeus in 2009 to increase cooperation with the closest provinces of Nova Roma and to encourage every meeting with a non-Gallus guest, citizen of Nova Roma. to valorize the skills and knowledges of Galli citizens and to encourage the communication on roman knowledge to support, specifically in entering them, Nova Roma most interesting, in Gallia governement's view, projects.
2760 a.u.c. REALIZATIONS in this THREE FIELDS
Even if, naturally, we would have wished having completed more things, the work done this year is a first encouraging step.
Our government, has, concerning the Conventus 2009, made two week-end explorating visits in French Burgundy cities Autun-Bibracte (Augustodunum-Bibrax), where we want to invite in 2009 all the Novaromans interested in. We have met several organizations which could work with us. The next step will be to set a pre-budget, for which the Senate of Nova Roma will be naturally requested to contribute, on behalf of the Republic. In this mind, Gallia wishes to back up its future demand on the same elements, naturally calculated according France GNP, that provincia Dacia will consider for its Conventus 2008. Gallia has decided to support this year two Nova Roma projects more specifically : Magna mater project (MMP) and Vox Romana podcast. The first one is the sole current project which have received the support of the Senate. This is, for Galli, an insurance that time put in it will not be worthless. Second, this project is headed by an active and wise citizen, T. Iulius Sabinus, which fully deserves Gallia's confidence. Our provincial government has thus thought that P. Memmius Albucius, specifically in his professional and lawyer skills, but also in his latin ones, could bring to MMP a few contributions. The second project, the Vox Romana podcast, has received our support, because it allows people listening and speaking latin. Every action (sodalitas, academia, etc.) which will try widening the interest for Latin, the natural language of our Republic, will receive Gallia's support. Third, I have wished that the skills and knowledges of Galli citizens be known furthermore. This is what has brought Gallia to initiate QUIRINUS online newsletter, whose fourth (Sept. 2007) issue has yet been published in French, and is coming in English. This letter allows Galli, but also every willing Novaroman or external individual, to share their passions on this or that field of roman society. This newsletter, which represents a big amount of work, but also an interesting team project, is available at http://www.quirites.org/quirinus.htm. Five issues would have been published this year. Besides QUIRINUS, Gallia supports the Blog Apollonius, created by former governor Scipio at http://www.fr-novaroma.com/Archeology/, and one of the top best archeological news web sites. Due to personal difficulties encountered by Senator Apollonius, the blog is currently waiting for its fall updating. In order, fourth, to increase cooperation with the closest provinces of Nova Roma and to encourage every meeting with a non-Gallus guest, citizen of Nova Roma, Gallia has first confirmed its participation to the European provinces network, specially through a Yahoo! discussion list created this year. This one allows European provinces to share what they may have in common and exchange on the best ways of increasing romanity. This discussions have been useful on four points : first they helped the contributing provinces to exchange experiences and ease or accelerate a few of local questions ; second, they helped forming a common and regulating point of view during the uneasy events which have hit Hispania in the beginning of the year, and which have been followed by the cancellation of the European conventus 2007 announced in Merida ; third, it allowed the European provinces to agree, before any future formal modification of the Pactum de Convento, on the mandate given, with the Aediles's agreement, to Dacia in order to organize the Conventus in 2008 ; last, it brought the European contributing provinces to agree on the issuing of an European newsletter, Columnae Herculis, which is the compilation of selected articles from each of the willing province. The meetings with extra-Gallia citizens have unhappily not been possible this year. The first reason is the fact that the Conventus Europaeus is the big event which allows Novaroman Europeans and Non-Europeans to meet each year. Gallia has always willed involving itself in this important manifestation, for the moment the only one of its type in Nova Roma. Current governor Memmius had thus represented former gov. Apollonius in Rome 2005 and Carlisle 2006, and had booked for Merida in this August 2007. Meetings or principles of meetings have been also proposed this year to other top provincial magistrates who could not unfortunately get free. This said, a few Gallia's neighbor provinces seem having some difficulties. Gallia would appreciate to get links with Germania, thanks its current or future governor, to keep its contact with Britannia, to see Hibernia coming back to activity and Hispania confirm its place in our global Novaroman forum. Last in this field, Gallia has organized itself to welcome Consul T. Galerius Paulinus at the end of september. Consul Galerius had thus announced this summer that, as he was in holidays in Hibernia, he could travel first to Britannia, then to Gallia, to meet local Novaromans. I regret that this visit has not been possible, and that no information has been given by the consulate, bringing Gallia's government to book citizens and facilities, and cancel them afterwards.
Concerning the last major project, the increase of the provincial citizenry, Gallia's government has thus defined four tracks : a better web communication direct links with other organizations working in the 'scope of romanity' appropriate tools real and interesting projects.
But this definition must be thought in the current Nova Roma frame, of the relations between the central government and the provinces. Thus, for the moment, the organization of our res publica does not place the governors in the center of the citizenry field. A few examples, which are also tracks of legal or administrative modifications, will put this in light. First, a governor can be completely unaware of the incoming of a new citizen in her/his province. The applicant fills up a file, which is treated by the censors, with no necessary information to the concerned governor. I happened to live this case recently, where the future civis happened happily to contact me directly, unformally. The current situation is not wishable, for the governor is the one with her/his staff who will have the possibility to help the new civis in case of problem. This could be changed with a small change of our central administrative habits : just asking our censors to send an immediate copy of the admission formula filled up by any willing-to-be-citizen in their province. Second, the main current entrance of possible citizens is our internet door
- our web site. Independantly of the fact that a majority of Galli tend to
consider that the wiki mode is better for a cultural organization that for a republic as ours, Provincia Gallia meets a non small difficulty, which is the necessary translation of our web site pages in Dutch, French and German. Here, I must tell you my regrets, Patres, that, before passing from the ancient web site to the wiki mode, no one has thought to ask their opinions to the governors. Concerning Gallia, this changing means that all the pages that have been translated in our old site have been... good for the garbage can. On this point, I would request that you, Patres, keep your attention of this point : the non-English speaking provinces face more difficulties, in web communication, than others. On this point, I must also regret the lack of involvment of the Decuria Interpretarum, despite the good initial willing, this year, of a few people. Facing the burden of the translation of our web pages, and specially when the wiki mode allows any one to add every day new pages (sic), the non-English speaking provinces need a strong help. For the moment, it is not at the height of Gallia's needs in Dutch, German, and French. If such a help is not available, I am afraid that the good wills, locally, may be more and more reluctant to spend on these tasks a time that could be put in other more productive tasks. And the wheel will then go on turning round : as long as a major part of our web site will not be translated, people living in countries such France, Luxemburg, Belgium or Netherlands will be less driven to apply to Nova Roma : just because when you are not sure understanding the keys of a possible personal commitment, you better renounce. We must cope with it if we do not want Nova Roma to be present just in a part of the world.
In this frame, Gallia has thus, after having waited for a too much busy web sites creator, decided creating inside our NR web site, a third version of its provincial site. The first pages of this new provincial site is at : http://www.novaroma.org/nr/Provincia_Gallia_%28Nova_Roma%29. It is naturally, specially in the context that I have evoked above, currently building. But at least, the major informations are there.
To help people interesting, in our provinces, to Nova Roma, needs also appropriate tools, linked to the context of every of our provinces. In France, for example, any international organization, specially non-profit ones, faces, before meeting public recognizing, a first period of difficulties. There are several reasons in this : first because the non- governmental organizations (« associations ») are many. The associations, of any kind, are a part of the social and political landscape in France. So there is a natural « competition », at least in term of time giving, between all the organizations in which people may put their time. Second, French people, maybe less than other countries's people, will not much ask an international organization solutions to their problems or realizations of their wishes. Third, in such countries as France, which have lived romanity in their history and geography, the need to enter an organization which promotes romanity is less acute, because people feel, even with a basic level of information on romanity, a bit roman. Fourth, because in some countries, and this is the case in France, people keep being close to the idea around which their nation has formed itself. For some people, France is one of the most current continuations of ancient Rome, for other ones the European idea is enough, etc. Fifth and last, because any organization which affirms itself as a state and promote its own state religion is either considered as a group of sweet not-very-serious-and-a-bit-crazy-dreamers, or as a possible revolutionary organization, or a 'sect' which falls under French criminal law. The fact that this organization is registered in another country does not help, naturally. Let us do not forget that France constitution guarantees the central « laïc » (no religion in any public field) character of the republic. Such is the situation in France. It is less uneasy in the Benelux. This is why the promotion of Nova Roma, particularly in France, must be thought and realized with a preliminary reflection. This one has brought Gallia's government to be convinced that the development of Novaroman citizenry may be eased by : showing that Nova Roma is a serious organization of serious people, and represented by serious and reliable people ; showing that Nova Roma do real, 'serious' and interesting things ; local organizational relays.
On the first direction, this is why, as a declination of the target building « direct links with other organizations working in the 'scope of romanity' », we see these links as allowing us to show these groups that the people they meet have the same interest as theirs, the same passion for ancient Roman civilization. Besides this community, these contacts will also see that we are « serious and reliable people ». We have then been pretty busy this summer : 3.400 kms covered, just in France, and just on this special point! Gallia web site and Quirinus (June and September) will give you further informations on these events where Gallia's staff met the top reenactment groups of France. To complete this step, we have thus, on the third above « easing » consideration, decided to support in France the creation, this year, of QUIRITES, a local non-profit association, whose aim is to promote the knowledge of romanity. This association has already allowed us to get easy contacts with several cultural and official partners that would have be reluctant, for the reasons above, welcoming Nova Roma as such. QUIRITES members are informed on Nova Roma, its site, and its « republic/international family of romanity » character. They may enter, if they will, our res publica.
A STRONGER LINK BETWEEN CENTRAL GOVERNMENT AND PROVINCES
Naturally, these efforts, which will go on next year, will have to be sustained by a dynamic central policy. Our central government must show what Nova Roma can do in the provinces, for example in supporting, specially financially, students, scholar works, exhibitions, events, etc.. Provincial and central steps cannot go independantly : they are bound each other. And this executive field is, in my humble opinion, the future of Nova Roma, if our republic aims increasing its members and its renoun. In parallel, the following question should be thought : how to keep a world Novaroman citizenry big enough to provide skilled and qualified magistrates, at the same time to the central government and to the provinces ?
I will not remind you, Patres, the dedication of the few citizens who have involved in the developing of this province. I will not underline the big amount of time devoted by them to Nova Roma and Gallia, between writing articles, meeting other groups, governmental meetings, researchs etc.. I will not remind you that this has been done without any public fund brought, this year, by Nova Roma. I will just end this yearly report by informing you that Gallia citizenry has passed from 19 to 24 citizens these last months. This is a first step, and the way is still a long way. First, Gallia' s government is still frail for it is essentially assumed by a small group of devoted cives. Second, because most of our citizens are not active enough. Third, because people regularly face some personal (professional, family, health) difficulties which prevent them involving in public affairs regularly enough and as they would like to. Fourth, because some cives seem more comfortable in internet communication and an online way of living romanity, and uncomfortable with direct contacts which bring them to « do » and « react ». Fifth because the dynamics, set up in France, would need to find an efficient praefectoral relay in the Benelux. Sixth, because we must , in all our provinces, find solutions to propose to our cives, in their national/local frame, the answers to demands that are as many as the different kinds of interests who may bring a woman or a man in Nova Roma (politics, history, religion, culture, etc.).
I hope, Patres, that I have not been too long and that you will consider that the work done by Gallia's government this year, and that I had the honor chairing, deserve your confidence and the prorogation of the mandate of your humble and devoted Publius Memmius Albucius, legatus propraetore Galliae.
P. Memmius Albucius Legatus propraetore Galliae