Opening Ceremony ~ Ludi Romani 2761 AUC (Nova Roma)

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Opening ceremony - a.d. V Id. Sept. M. Moravio T. Iulio cos. MMDCCLXI a.u.c. (September 9, 2008 CE)

  • C.L.C. ceremony report

""13 :00 - Direct from Templum Iovi Victor, Palatinum, by our reporter O. Pedanius Speratus fo CLC
(Catena Ludorum Curulium)

Thanks all for watching or listening C.L.C., Catena Ludorum Curulium ! reporter Oppius Pedanius Speratus is speaking to report you this important Opening ceremony in our Roman year calendar, the Ludi Romani one.

First, while the magistrates and officials are coming out of the templum, a short word on the ceremony held this morning at dawn. You sure know that this ceremony has been given, as usual, on the Capitolium.

There were just a dozen of officials here, at dawn, around 06 :45. The weather was still beautiful and sweet, with a smooth light wind coming from the Upper Tiber. We knew that we were to live another splendid summer day. It was 17°C at dawn, and this sweetness sure influenced all the attendants: everyone, at the beginning of this second hour, seemed calm, benevolens, and everybody really happy to be there. In the absence of a Flamen Dialis, whose position has not yet been filled up, this is Princeps C. Fabius Buteo Quintilianus, as Flamen Palatualis, who has been chosen by Pontifex Maximus Galerius to open this day. Flamen Quintilianus, whose occupations keep him, in this period, most of time outside of the City, has made the effort coming from his Boreal provincia in order to open this special day, the Ludi Romani one. Apart the Pontifex Maximus for the whole Collegium Pontificum, who had asked young Sacerdos Concordiae Cornelius Lentulus joining him to underline the continuity of this year devoted to Concordia, both consuls were there, with Tribunus Iulius Probus, representing the Plebs, and naturally, Aedilis Curulis Memmius. You all know about this kind of ceremony, and I will not give you further details. This dawn ritual lasted around ¾ of a modern hour. Flamen Quintilianus was much thanked by Aedilis Albucius for his gesture coming there, and by both Galerius and Moravius, who proclaimed that he has proceeded as the best Flamen Dialis would have done. When everybody left, both sun and wind were yet a bit warmer.

Now, Quirites, we are on the Palatinum, towards the temple of Jupiter. For those who are watching me on TV, you can see, behind me, the portico running on the south-western flank on the hill, and the gate that many Romans well know, and that let us climb on this place or walk down and reach the Circus Maximus, which you see beneath, and its living merchant streets around it. Farther, you see the Forum Boarium and the Tiber on the right side of your screen, and, on the left, the Aventinum, and the temple of Iuno Regina, where tomorrow a ritual will take place.

Forgive me if my face looks a bit red, but I can promise you that neither myself or my team have gone to one of the thermopolia which surround the Circus down there, specially the one owned by sympathetic Telonia the Samnit, who... but this is not the matter here.

To summarize, sure Iuppiter is glad having commanded Apollo to place his hot sunny quadrige over the Urbs, and our ceremony, for it is really hot here, with 32°C. When you are lucky enough to stay in the shade of one the columns of the porticum, there is not really a problem, but I have been obliged, so that not to miss one second of the ceremony, to climb and stay up on a branch of one of the six trees of this small forum, which have been planted downstairs of the templum Iovis Victoris. Unhappily, my branch was direct under the sun with no leaves above it and my poor head to protect it. In addition, I have forgotten in our C.L.C. offices the straw hat that my dear wife has offered me on last Neptunalia. Thence my red face, Quirites !

It is 1 pm now and the crowd is leaving the forum. You see people walking down to the Circus neighborhood, other groups or individuals leaving through the Magna Mater forum, which is just here, on my right hand. The crowd is also quiting through both sides of the temple, to the East, in the direction of the Forum Romanum or of the Via Sacra and the Amphitheatrum Flavii. On the stairs of the Temple, for our TV spectators, you can see the aedilis discussing with some senators, while both consuls are walking downstairs together, the way opened by their lictors.

Well, this Opening ceremony of our Ludi Romani was a good one, even if we could have wished a smoother sun. The Aedilis curulis P. Memmius Albucius was there with all his team, and specially former Praetor A. Tullia Scholastica, who has put her skills this year at the aedililtas’s disposal, and who is the head of this Ludi Romani’s staff. Just one was missing, for personal reasons, the appreciated Quaestor L. Vitellius Triarius, who has told us that he should be back in a few weeks.

Most of senators were here, on the left side of the templum stairs, as most of members of the Colleges of Priests and Augurs, facing them and on the other side of the stairs. Around Aedilis Memmius, came, out from the inside of the aedes, the ceremony group, composed by Pontifex maximus Aurelianus, Censor Modianus, Consul Sabinus, and Praetor Severus. Just listen [i.e. read below] what Memmius Albucius has told us five minutes ago on this ceremonial team.

But listen now to the Aediles's address. The caeremonia team was standing behind the altar built at the center of the temple stairs.

  • P. Memmius Albucius Opening speech:

"Romani ! Patres ! Censores and Consules ! Magistrates and religious officers ! Salvete omnes !

Today is one of the most important day in our annual calendar. We are opening our Ludi Romani. This means that we are at the middle of our ancient year, when our magistrates entered in office in March. In our current institutional calendar, the year is accelerating to run to its end, will come in three short months ! The sun is brighting high and hot, today, and it is still summer. But in fact our days are shorter, the last vintages will begin, and the weapons will be stored in our temples, till next campaign or next reenactment summer.

These Ludi Romani are special ones, for they are the Games of our 10th birthday. Ten years of games, of wishes, of hopes, of struggles, ten years of desillusions, of reconciliations, of projects and frienship!

I have asked this morning, in the temple of Jupiter IOM, on the Capitolium, if he would allow us to honor Him through Its Ludi. The signs have been favorable, and our Deus Pater, once again, has been benevolens enough to forget our mistakes and let us dedicate to Him these Ludi Romani.

As we ought to, we, aedilitas curulis, have organized for you the traditional Munera and Circenses, but also litterary and Latin contests. Writers and fighters, and you all Romans, will have a word to say all along this eight Gaming days.

I am glad that, after Quaestor Hortensia in April for our Megalesia, Praetoriana Tullia accepted to chair these Ludi, and coordinate our team.

Thanks naturally to all our officials. Let me please reserve a special thought for Consul but overall governor Iulius Sabinus who has allowed, in last August, with his wife, to several of us meeting in his provincia, in Dacia, where people are so welcoming. As aedile, I have well measured how many efforts and time have been necessary to prepare such an event.

Beside our Deus Pater, Iuno and Minerva will watch upon our Games, but also Quirinus, Apollo and Mars. No other game in the year may give us the guarantee of such a strong divine intervention and protection. On the third day before the Ides, on Sept. 11th, we will also pray our public Manes. This will not be Feralia, naturally, just special modest prayers in honor of the people we knew and who, militaries or civilians, have fallen, recently or several years ago, under an hostile assault. I will personally celebrate at noon a short ritual, in the aedilitas offices, and just ask you to join it by the thought.

But let us have Ludi now, Quirites ! Let Aesculapis, who has his birthday today, give strenght and health to you all and to the eldest and weakest of us. Today, Latinists and Writers will draw their calames ! Tomorrow and the day after, the Certamen Historicum composed by Scriba Marcius Crispus will ask you making your brain work, not for Rome or war, but for fun and the Gods ! And afterwards, will come the period around the Idus, and our Munera and Circenses !

Deus Pater, who is looking on us, Iuno who has protected our summer, Mars who has watched on those of us who have taken parts to reenactment events these last weeks, Minerva who will back up our competitors’s efforts, you all Gods who have been clement for us all along this year, please go on watching on these Tenth Ludi Romani. Deus Pater, you have told me and all the dawn ceremony attendants that your signs were good. Please go on protecting our Founders, Cassius and Vedius, with their family, all along this birthday year. And let Dea Roma be the mirror of Concordia, and Concordia Roma’s one.

Quirites !

I, Publius Memmius Albucius, the signs being favorable and therefore with the support of Jupiter and our Gods, I officially declare our Ludi Romani open !"

  • Albucius's interview:

« [Aed. PMA] : Well, we have watched composing a five members team, and we thought that I could, as presiding magistrate in charge of these Ludi, symbolize the turning point of our games, the Idus day where Jupiter is celebrated, as usual, but more in this month of September, more than usual. So, as we have four days before and four days after the Idus, we asked Illustri members of our community to symbolize these two equal groups of days.
— [OPS for CLC] But why just 2 and 2?
— Just to keep a credible ceremonial team, and not have too many people around the altar, which would have lowered the symbole of everyone’s presence. The Pontifex Maximus has been kind enough to act as Flamen Dialis, for you know that we have no Dialis yet...
— Ah yes....
—... and thus he has replaced Quintilianus Princeps, who was among us this morning on the Capitolium, as you sure saw it, for I saw you at dawn...
— Yes! Ah, you saw me, Aedilis?
—...but who had told us that he was to ride back to his provincia. It seemed then symbolically important for us that Fabius Buteo Modianus, who is at the same time one of our censors and Quintilianus’ adoptive son, be there... — But what about the other Censor, Galerius Paulinus?
— We have consulted him and we agreed altogether that he would be seymbolically present through his Gens, for you know that Pontifex Maximus Aurelianus belongs to Gens Galeria. For us, aedilitas, it was important that our 10th birthday Ludi have us remind on our gentes relations.
— And why this consul and this praetor?
— In order to underline the continuity with the previous games! First it has been a constant wish for us to walk along, in our Decennales games rituals, by one of the consuls. Because this is Nova Roma tenth birthday, and it is good that the continuity of the State be shown. And who better than the consuls?
— But why Sabinus, and not Piscinus?
— Just because, as we agreed with both of them, Iulius Sabinus is at the same time the governor Daciae who has welcome the last Conventus and thus our Ludi Herculanenses in Dacia.
— Ahhhhh, yes.....
— Yes! So this presence underlines the continuity in our games...
—... and Praetor Severus?
—... he underlines the continuity with the Ludi Apollinares, that Hon. Iulius Severus has chaired last July.
— This symbolic continuity seems important for you, Aedilis?
— Yes Pedani, very much, for me and for the whole team. Because, if we have been lucky enough to be in charge this year, we are just a team among all the teams which have made our Ludi alive, all along these ten years, and which will keep them alive in the future. We are also just a part of all the people, the Senators, the magistrates, our religious officers, who contribute on having our res publica living and dynamic.
— And the Plebs?
— It was represented this morning, at the beginning of the day. It is very strong symbolically. Naturally here, for the Operning, we cannot forget that the Ludi romani are a curule event. You know that I am Plebeian myself, but I cannot have this membership prevailing on the order and traditions of our res publica.
— Public service first?
— Yes, again and again, with the Law as a tool and every civis equal towards it. But about the Plebs, do not worry, Sperati, the Plebs will be there again...
— When?
— In our Horse of October special 10th birthday games, because we wish to mark the relation with the following traditional November plebeian games.
— Oh....Continuity again!
— Yes, and we have asked Tribune Flavius Aquila to be there, and honor us, as Livia and Probus have already done, beside us, for the service of Rome.»

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