Ludi Apollinares 2761 AUC (Nova Roma)

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Edictum de Ludis Apollinaribus MMDCCLXI a.u.c.

Ex Officio Praetoris Urbani et Praetoris Peregrini Novæ Romæ

1. According to the Official Calendar of Nova Roma festivals, from July 6th to July 13th, the Ludi Apollinares will be celebrated.

2. The celebration will be held in honor of Apollo. The contests are organized by both Praetores and the Praetorian Cohors.

3. We, the Praetor Urbanus, the Praetor Peregrinus and our Cohors, have the honor to present the Ludi Apollinares program:

I July 6th:

  • - Opening.
  • - Religious Celebrations.

II July 7th to 12:

- History. - Photo, video, and historic contests.

III July 13th:

- Results and closing ceremony.

4 The Photo and Video Contest will consist of making a photo or video using one of the themes below (only original entries will be accepted):

a) Apollo. b) Open door lunch or dinner. (A tradition during the Ludi Apollinares was to have lunch or dinner with open doors).

5 The Certamen Historicum will be about the Punic Wars. The questions will be displayed in two groups: one group of 10 questions on Monday 7th June evening, a second group of 15 questions on the evening of Tuesday 8th. The answers are to be sent to: Before - Thursday 10th 20:30 Rome time for Monday set; - Friday 11th 20:30 Rome time for Tuesday set. You can note that you have one additional day to answer the second group of questions, which counts more questions.

6 There will be a single jury for both contests. The members of the jury will be Consul T. Iulius Sabinus, Censor K. Fabius Buteo Modianus, and Aedile Curulis P. Memmius Albucius.

7 The winners of the Photo and Video Contest and the Certamen Historicum, will be presented with the Corona Ludi Humanitas. Being this year, consecrated to Dea Concordia, the year of Nova Roma’s 10th anniversary, the Praetores will exceptionally use the same award as in the Aedilician Ludi, to reinforce the concept of unity of all Nova Romans.

This Edictum takes force immediately.

Given by our hands, a.d. III Non. Quin. M. Moravio T. Iulio cos. MMDCCLXI a.u.c.



To read about the history of the Ludi Apollinares click here

The Opening Ceremony

In a brief but emotive ceremony, presided over by the Prætores of Nova Roma, the Ludi Apollinares were declared open yesterday, pr. Non. Quint. M. Moravio T. Iulio cos. MMDCCLXI a.V.c (July 6th, 2008)

I, Marcus Curiatius Complutensis, Prætor Urbanus, for myself and on the behalf of my colleague Marcus Iulius Severus, Prætor Peregrinus kindly ask you, Quirites, to join us and our Consuls, Magistrates and our whole Senate, to pray, with the support of our Collegium Pontificum and other religious officers, to the Great Apollo.

Come, O God, kind patron, come! May you favor us in your presence. O Sol, whose light embraces the world, you orbit inexhaustible, forever returning, your face glowing on each day, your horses harnessed as a team to drive your chariot, with manes braided pleasantly they rise high, passing over rose-red clouds as you rein their frothing fires. Apollo, may every good fortune attend the Roman people, the Quirites. We beg and pray that you may increase the sovereign power and majesty of the Roman people, the Quirites, in war and peace; as you have always watched over us. Forever may you grant safety, victory and health to the Roman people, the Quirites. May you bestow your favor on the Roman people, the Quirites, and on the legions of the Roman people, the Quirites. May you preserve the health and welfare of the people of Rome, the Quirites, and may you always remain willingly favorable and propitious to the people of Rome, the Quirites. May you be honored forever, and become favorable and propitious to the Roman people, the Quirites. Become favorable and propitious. An offering we gladly give You, Phoebus, a box of fragrant incense.

And last, allow me as Prætor Urbanus, to gladly announce to all the citizens of our Res publica:

Quirites, I declare our Ludi Apollinares open!

The Certamen Historicum de bellis poenicis

Salvete Lusores and you all, Quirites!

I have been very glad to be honored having been asked by our Praetores, as aedilis curulis, to propose a 25 questions set. This honor has been underlined by the quality of the other members of the jury which has judged this contest under Pr. Severus' supervision : Censor Modianus and Consul Sabinus sat in it in the first ranks.

In this frame of these 25 questions, we jury chose to propose a various bunch of questions, to get out of the usual military ones. Happily, there is much and much to learn left on this passionating time of our Roman history. A good answer brought to all these 25 questions below could give 47 points, which we had decided to add one extra point to, for every date mentioned in Roman calendar, either instead or in complement with the classic christian calendar. This possibility has not been used by our competitors. A few questions asked more reflection: they have thus been better rewarded (4 or 3 points). The average ones have received 2 points, and the easiest, in our mind, have got 1 point.

Here you find beneath the correct version of this Ludi Apollinares Contest. For general complementary historical informations, please check the usual sources.

On behalf of the Apollinares Cert. Hist. Contest Jury,
Censor K. Fabius Buteo Modianus, Cos. T. Iulius Sabinus, and cur. aed. P. Memmius Albucius, all under the supervision of
Praetor M. Iulius Severus and collega Curiatus.

P. Memmius Albucius

Certamen poenicum first group of questions (1 to 10)

This is the first group of questions for the Certamen Historicum of the Ludi Apollinares MMDCCLXI:

1. How many Punic wars have been fought?

  • Answer : 3 Punic wars : no problem for all the competitors.
  • The correct answer has been rewarded with 1 point.

2. Which event has marked the approval of the treaty ending the First Punic War?

  • Answer : This question has made all the candidates fall. Its subtility was in its title. One had to care about the word "approval". In ancient Rome, the treaties were negotiated by the consules or the praetores, sometimes with instructions by the Senate, but always submitted to an approval towards the people in a comitium. Here, the people refused first to approve the treaty and it was therefore decided to send ten delegates to study the question.
  • The correct answer has been rewarded by 2 points.

3. How many Punic boats did the Roman fleet sink and capture during the last sea battle?

  • Answer : No problem for all the lusores: 50 sunk and 70 captured.
  • The correct answer has been rewarded by 2 points.

4. How many quinqueremes did Rome (no less than) and Carthage (around) loose during the First Punic War?

  • Answer : No problem for all the lusores: Rome 700, Carthage 500.
  • The correct answer has been rewarded with 2 points.

5. Who were both generals in chief who negotiated the treaty closing the First Punic War?

  • Answer : This rather easy question has given problems to some lusores. They had to read "generals in chief", and so draw that there were just one on each side, Lutatius, the Roman consul, and Hamilcar Barca for Carthage.
  • The correct answer has been rewarded by 1 point.

6. Probably a few months after the end of the First Punic War, Carthage had to fight another war. What is its name?

  • Answer : No problem for all the lusores: Mercenaries' war. "Mercenary" (singular) has been accepted.
  • The correct answer has been rewarded by 2 points.

7. A second treaty was signed between Carthage and Rome in 238 BC. What are its two main clauses?

  • Answer : Various results on this question. Both clauses were :

- Carthage let Sardinia to Rome (also Corsica, but Sardinia was the most important one, for both fighters);
- the Punics give a new 1,200 talents indemnity to the Romans.

  • The correct answer has been rewarded by 2 points.

8. How much Carthage accepted to give to Rome in war indemnities, before the beginning of the Second Punic War?

  • Answer : Only one competitor gives the exact answer : 4,400 talents, specifying : "3,200 talents (241 BCE treaty) plus 1,200 talents (238 BCE treaty)".
  • The correct answer has been rewarded by 3 points for both calculation and attention that ought to be given to the "before the beginning of the 2nd PW".

9. In which metal were counted these indemnities?

  • Answer : Contrary to what we, modern cives, may think, gold was not that looked for in the antiquity. The Mediterranean economy, and thus Rome's one, which was not that preeminent in the 3rd century before christian era, would trade with silver. These indemnities were thus counted and payed in silver. Spain, that Carthage fought fiercely for, was rich in silver mines.
  • The correct answer has been rewarded by 1 point.

10. At July 4th, 2008 rate (London 1 kg), how much the whole indemnity evoked in question 9 would be worth in the current currency
of the country where is Carthage (rounded at the closest 100,000 units)?

  • Answer : The hardest thing here was first taking silver in account and not gold, then the calculation and its successive steps. Every competitor has well noted that Carthago is now in Tunisia, whose money is the tunisian "dinar", the word of this currency, common to several nowadays Arab countries, coming from our Roman "denarius". Without knowing the exact final amount, we had to tell ourselves that a small amount (for ex. several millions of dinars) or a huge amount (billions of billions) should probably be both wrong.
    The Mediterranean is, as a very interesting point, very steady on several centuries: the metal weight units, and their currency rate will remain steady on 300 years.
    A hundred years ago, before the Punic wars, Phoenicia and its colonies had yet adopted the Greek, called "Attic", talent. This talent has been recorded between 25.86 kilos minimum, and 26.20 maximum. In 189 BCE, in the treaty of Apamea, the Romans will specify to King Antiochos that the indemnity that he will have to pay Rome will be paid in Attic silver talents, each talent being equal to 80 Roman pounds, which puts the talent at 26 kilos, so the average weight of our above 'fork'.
    But for the PW, Polybios well specifies that Carthaginians have to pay in "Euboïc" talents. The Euboïc talent is close to the second Attic one (the older Attic being at 36 kg). The Euboïc weighs 25.92 kilos. At the end of the 2nd Punic War, the Euboïc will once again be used to calculate the indeminities of war.
    On the 4th July of 2008, the silver lingot in London metal stock exchange was at 581,61 U.S. dollars, which gives a 25,92 kilos talent at 15,075 usd. A global indemnity of 4,400 talents was thus equal to 66,331,457 usd, or, with a rate of 1.157 tunisian dinars for one dollar, 76,745,496 dinars.
  • As it was probably the hardest question, it has been rewarded by 4 points. We have chosen to give at least an 1/2 point to those who have built their calculation on a wrong basis, for ex. taking gold instead of silver. We have just deprived the competitor which has given an amount around 96-98 millions dinars, of 0.5 points (difference btw Euboïc-Roman talent at 1.25), considering that his whole calculation was good and sharp.

Certamen poenicum second group of questions (11 to 25)

11. What is the relation between the generals in chief during the First and the Secod Punic Wars?

  • Answer : This relation was just about the "generals in chief". As there has been no relation on the Roman side, the only link is on the Carthaginian side : Hamilcar Barca (1st PW) was Hannibal Barca's (2nd PW) father.
  • The correct answer has been rewarded by 2 points.

12. How old was the Carthaginian general in chief when the the Second Punic War begins?

  • Answer : 29 years old. No problem for our lusores.
  • The correct answer has been rewarded by 2 points.

13. The Second Punic War Carthaginian army has probably crossed the Rhône river not far towards a city where, later, were to stay popes. What is the name of this French city ?

  • Answer : No problem for all the competitors: Avignon. Thought the exact place of Hannibal's army crossing is not absolutely known,
    the reading of the ancient authors shows that the crossing of the Rhone river could have occurred just in a limited area around Avignon.
  • The correct answer has been rewarded by 1 point.

14. The Second Punic War was a “war of brothers”: give the names of both generals. in chief's brothers.

  • Answer : No problem for all the competitors, even Mago, so important during Trebbia battle, has been forgotten: Cn. Cornelius Scipio / Hasdrubal Barca / Mago Barca.
  • The correct answer has been rewarded by 2 points.

15. Last June 2007, an internet publication, linked to Nova Roma issued an article on the battle of the Trebbia. What is the name of this publication?

  • Answer : Our competitors well know "The Roman Times Quarterly", edited by M. Minucius Audens. But in fact, a quick search in our Main list would have helped them checking that TRTQ has never treated such a matter. The correct answer was "Quirinus", the webzine published by association Quirites for prov. Gallia, which has issued on the Battle of Trebbia a documented article which renews the way to see and undersand the battle.
  • The correct answer has been rewarded by 2 points.

16. What is the lexical and toponymic common point of the Punic victories won in Italy before 216 BC?

  • Answer : Our lusores all got a problem with this apparently very simple question, whose solution was in its title : "lexical" is about the words, i.e. the names of the battles, and "toponymic" had been given to reinforce this (i.e. name of location). Lusores were thus suggested to decline the Punic victories's names of places before 216. These Carthaginian victories being Ticino, Trebbia, and Trasimeno (lake), it could be seen that the common point of the three words was the fact that they begin by a "T".
  • The correct answer has been rewarded by 1 point.

17. Give the average (Polybius, Livy) number of Romans who died in Cannae?

  • Answer : No problem for all the competitors, even for these who have been lazy enough not to make the last step: calculating the *average*. We have however not been severe with these ones, considering that the answer "50,000-70,000" was equal the waited answer, i.e. "60,000".
  • The correct answer has been rewarded by 1 point.

18. Several Mediterranean villages or cities still bear names formed around the punic root "mars/mers (for example, Mers-el-Kebir, Marsala, La Marsa, etc.). What does it mean?

  • Answer : Being a super-power as Rome has a danger : forgetting that our Roman culture is not the sole one, specially in the Mediterranean basin, where Egyptian, Phoenician and Greek cultures and economies had prevailed during centuries. Despite the later romanization, and as in most of the romanized countries, a corpus of Phoenician vocabulary has remained and crossed centuries to us. Here, "mars- / mers" designs a harbor.
  • The correct answer has been rewarded by 2 points.

19. How greater is the war indemnity that Carthage is forced to pay in 202 BC, compared to the First Punic War's one (rounded to 0.02)?

  • Answer : Most of candidates, well knowing their history, have been a bit lazy here. Though they did know that the last indemnity was 10,000 talents(Euboïc silver ones!) and that the previous one was 4,400 talents, they did not place their attention in the "rounded to 0.02" specification. Such a specification could just work in the frame of a ratio. The correct answer was thus the ration 10,000 / 4,400 = 2.27, for which this tolerance margin could bring the lusor to a 2.25.
  • The correct answer has been rewarded by 2 points, minus 0.5 if the last ratio step has not been made.

20. How died Sophonisbe?

  • Answer : Excellent answer by all our lusores.This daughter of Hasdrubal, Carthaginian general and main characters, has been one of the great women figures of the Antiquity. Hastily married to King Syphax, allied with Carthage, she was taken away by victorious king Massinissa, who married her as hastily to put pressure on the decision of his Roman ally. Massinissa was unfortunately too much confident in the status that Rome and Scipio intended to assign to him and in his own dignitas. When Scipio told him that he considered that Sophonisbe was, as a Carthaginian patrician, to stay in the Roman booty, Massinissa was courageous enough to bring Sophonisbe a cup of poison and to let her understand that she would be welcome to be more courageous than he was. And she was. Sophonisbe is a kind of Punic Lucretia sister, who looks here far more great than the male characters of this episode, Scipio included. Would not a Iulius Caesar have acted differently at Scipio's place?
  • The correct answer has been rewarded by 2 points.

21. One king “belonged” to Scipio triumph in 201-200 BC. Who was he?

  • Answer : Once again, excellent answer by all our lusores : Syphax. Finally, King Syphax has probably been the more steady character, beside Carthage politics, of this North African politics theater.
  • The correct answer has been rewarded by 2 points.

22. Hannibal honored a temple of Iuno Lacinia on Cape Lacinium, south of Crotone, during the Second Punic War. Before the Third Punic War, a Roman censor stole half its roof. Who was this censor and when did this happen?

  • Answer : Once again, no problem for our competitors : Quintus Fulvius Flaccus in 580 auc (173 BC). This is the common fortune of great civilizations : defeating Hannibals and having Fulvi Flacci on their side! The final touch of this roof sad story is that the Roman Senate seems not having taken the basic caution to order, and to watch upon, that the tegulae be well re-placed in its genuine state. O tempora, ô mores!
  • The correct answer has been rewarded by 2 points.

23. He married his elder son to Scipio Aemilianus's sister. Who is he and when does he die?

  • Answer : This question was very exciting, for two men fits its answer : M. Porcius Cato (died in 149 BC - 604 auc), our famous Censor, known as "the elder", but also a less reknown man, but whose place in Roman history, Ti. Sempronius Gracchus maior, Gracchi's father (died in 154-599 auc). We see here a part of the relations networks between the most influent families in Ancient Rome: Sempronius-Aemilius-Cornelius Scipio. Let us just remind that Cato has accepted to get closer to the Aemilii and the Scipiones *after* Scipio Africanus's, his best enemy, death.
  • Both correct answers has been rewarded each by 2 points.

24. Cádiz, as many Mediterranean important cities, was founded by Phoenicians (Punics). When, and what meant its Phoenician name, Gadir?

  • Answer : Sister of Question 18, this question has rather well be answered to by our lusores. The now Spanish Cádiz has been built in 1104 BC, this is to say 351 year before the foundation of Rome! As every city wearing this phoenician root (gdr-), it means "walled".
  • Both correct answers has been rewarded each by 2 points.

25. Another old trading renowned city was destroyed by Rome in 146 BC. What was its name?

  • Answer : Surprisingly, the easy question has made one of our competitors fall. The answer could not be "Carthage", for, as these questions are on the Punic wars and as the present question specifies "another (..) city", it could be understood that it ws not Carthago.
  • Both correct answers has been rewarded each by 2 points.

Certamen poenicum results

The Ludi Apollinares Certamen Historicum whose subject was "The Punic wars", gives the following results, obtained by the Jury (see above), proposed to Praetor M. Iulius Severus, and approved by him and collega Complutensis (the amount of points is the addition of points given by every member of the 3 collegae jury. The maximum was 141 points) :

1st and winner of the Corona Ludi Humanitas:

  • M. Martianus Lupus
    101 points


  • Ti. Galerius Paulinus
    100.5 points


  • L. Fidelius Lusitanus
    11 points

Let the Corona Ludi Humanitas be placed on Martianus's head !

Certamen imaginis results

The winner of this Certamen (Photo contest) is :

L. Livia Plauta for a picture sent on the them "Open door lunch or dinner". Tribune Livia chose to have us share a simple and peaceful image shot during the recent Roman reenactment camp in Szolnok. Livia is on the left of the picture:

Open door lunch.jpg

Let the Corona Ludi Humanitas be placed on Livia's head !

And to end...

A poem on Apollo, that has been reminded to us by Praetor Curiatus.
It is a "Hymn to Apollo", written in English by John Lyly in 1592 cc./ 893 auc.

Sing to Apollo, god of day,

Whose golden beams with morning play,

And make her eyes as brightly shine,

Aurora's face is called divine;

Sing to Phoebus and that throne

Of diamonds which he sits upon.

Io pæans let us sing

To physic's and to poesy's king!

Crown all his altars with bright fire,

Laurels bind about his lyre,

A Daphnean coronet for his head,

The Muses dance about his bed;

When on his ravishing lute he plays,

Strew his temple round with bays.

Io pæans let us sing

To the glittering Delian king!


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