Publius Memmius Albucius (Nova Roma)
P. Memmius Albucius was an active senator and magistrate in the Res Publica Nova Romana, until he renounced his citizenship as an answer to various polical conflicts.
The man and his relation to Rome
P. Memmius Albucius was born a.d. IX Kal. Feb. MMDCCXIII ( 2713 - Jan. 24th 1960) in Gesoriacum / Bononia (Boulogne s/mer, 62200 - Classis britannica harbour), France.
French and married, he is currently living in North of France, in Condate, near the Caesarian Sabis river battle site and Bagacum, the main oppidum Nerviorum.
Early interested in ancient history, civilisations, Latin and history, he specially has a Ph. D. in law. Executive manager in public service, he teaches law and urban development in french universities.
Albucius believes in Roman values, work and public service. He also believes in discussion, friendship, equality, humor, communities of knowledge, organization, method, responsibility and republic. He does not think that Roman values would accept dogmatism or fanatism. He is convinced that the more you have fun, the more you learn. He sees ancient Rome as an evolutive and global civilisation, whose every field (Latin, economy, history, religion, arts, strategy, cooking, numismatics, etc.) deserves interest. He is convinced that the knowledge of ancient Rome will help current generations to a better understanding and living of our world.
Early Nova Roman carreer
From Minius to Memmius
Memmius entered Nova Roma the 15th of May 2004 (Maius MMDCCLVII) as P. Minius Albucius, to share his interests with other people fond of Rome. Grateful to former south France Gens Minia to have welcome him during his first year in Nova Roma, he took the opportunity of NR law on emancipation to change his name from "Minius" to "Memmius". This last choice allowed him to make live again the ancient Gens Memmia illustrous name, and, at the same time, not to change his acronym, PMA.
The tribunate of the plebs
For this modification intervened the year when P. Memmius Albucius was in the NR office of tribunus plebis. Fresh citizen, Memmius chose to run for the tribunate when he felt that the interesting organisation that he has just entered and its constitution were threatened by important trends of decay. Senior tribune after the resignation of C. Curius Saturninus in the first weeks of 2005 (MMDCCLVIII), he tried to keep a strong, independent, collective and legally sharp tribunate.
Scribe of former governor of Gaul (Gallia) L. Rutilius Minervalis, he translated the whole corpus of Nova Roman laws in French. He was confirmed in his office in 2005 by new governor Sex. Apollonius Scipio, who then promoted him in the office of legate for the region of Nova Lugdunensis. Albucius representated Gallia to the European conventus in Rome (aug. 2005) and Carlisle (aug. 2006) and carried on in 2006 (MMDCCLIX), his contribution to Nova Roma web site and to Wiki France Roman pages.
At the autumn 2006, he entered the Vox Romana podcast group and, on Nov. 2006 23 th (a.d. IX Kal. Dec. MMDCCLIX), was unaminously appointed by the Senate of Nova Roma as new governor of Gaul (propraetor Galliae).
Memmius, among other commitments in French NGOs, was the chairman of QUIRITES, an association devoted to the ancient Rome. Quirites published a quaterly webzine called QUIRINUS, also diffused inside Nova Roma.
Albucius likes, when he has time enough, taking part in Nova Roma games. He thus entered three games: in 2758 auc (2005), he won the Certamen Historicum of the Ludi Victoriae Sullanae along with Gn. Equitius Marinus and in 2007, he was second, along with M. Moravius Piscinus, of the Military tactical map contest, and won with zero mistake the Ludi martiales Certamen historicum.
Quaestor and aedilis
Elected quaestor for 2007, P. Memmius Albucius assisted at the same time, in their offices, consul Galerius as an accensus, praetrix Tullia as scribe and Curule Aedile Caesaris Cytheris Aege as quaestor. As for his work in the consular office, he belonged to a group of a few governors, which has been asked to make proposals on the reorganization of the provinces. In praetrix Tullia's office, he was specially given the task to manage the New Tabularium project.
On 30 October 2760 auc (2007), P. Memmius Albucius presented his candidacy as aedilis curulis for year 2761 a.u.c., and was elected by the People gathered in its comitia tributa (results edict Kal. Dec. 2760 auc).
During most of this 10th birthday year 2761 auc, Albucius assumed the aedilitas alone after the resignation of his elected colleague, Sex. Lucilius Tutor. In order to celebrate this special year, he put in place, with his team, six extra Games, in addition of the two traditional curule Ludi. He reorganized the Magna Mater Project, set with consul M. Moravius Piscinus the question of the real public estate, updated the Macellum and asked for a reform of ordo equester.
Senator and praetor
On 5th Dec. (Nonas Dec.) 2760, Memmius has been appointed senator by censores K. Fabius Buteo Modianus and M. Octavius Gracchus, and was elected in 2761 chairman of the Senate conventus and vents committee.
Both as governor of Gallia and aedilis, P. Memmius Albucius attended the Nova Roman Conventus, held in Dacia in the eve of August 2761, and was elected praetor for 2762 in the elections of November 2761.
One year later, Albucius ended his praetura with his colleague praetor Cn. Equitius Marinus Censorius. He decided to run for the consulate of coming year 2763 auc (2010 cc) and, after the renunciation of former praetors M. Iulius Perusianus and A. Tullia Scholastica to form with him the consular “ticket” against the Opposition's candidates Ti. Galerius Paulinus and C. Equitius Cato, was finally joined by former consul and censor K. Fabius Buteo Quintilianus. Supported by the then political majority, P. Memmius Albucius and K. Fabius Buteo Quintilianus won this election, as did all the candidates they supported in these annual elections. Albucius, surprinsingly, was elected consul maior, thus becoming the first consul from Gallia in the whole history of Rome.
The consulate: defending the Republic
What should have been a year of reforms was, for Albucius' first consular term, a year of fights during which both consuls opposed each other, in one of the major crises lived by the Republic since its recreation.
The election of P. Memmius Albucius as consul maior had in fact disturbed the plans drawn by the more important internal factio of the majority, which, around Quintilianus and Piscinus and with the contribution of the former consuls M. Curiatius and M. Iulius, had prepared an election of a dictator for P. Ullerio C. Equitio cos. ‡ MMDCCLXIV a.u.c. in order to introduce various vital structural reforms which have been needed for years and demanded by most leading citizens, but were impossible to carry out, because the political division inside the senate didn't make compromistical solutions possible. The error committed by this group was to let P. Memmius Albucius aside of this preparation, probably because it was convinced that K. Buteo Quintilianus would be, elected as consul maior, the natural leader of the consular biga.
The first difference occurred in the third week of January, when consul Albucius informed his colleague Quintilianus that he did not feel bound by any 'agreement' on the appointment of a dictator, as he had not been informed on the details, conditions and scope of his colleague's idea. At the same time, he launched the workshop of the renewal of NR Inc. by-laws, that he set, as far he was concerned, as the 1st priority in the consular program for P. Ullerio C. Equitio cos. ‡ MMDCCLXIV a.u.c., before the IT question (fixing the IT, specially the electoral tool problems).
Though he had reaffirmed, in his inaugural speech in the Curia, his full support to the religio Romana and its institutions, he faced an increased inertia of the collegium augurum whose he solicited the head, M. Moravius Piscinus, for having the auspices taken, in reasonable times, before the sessions of the Senate or of the Comitia. Towards this inertia, he finally took himself in April these auspices, thus affirming the traditional ius auspicandi of curule magistrates.
Though the consular seminar held in Stockholm at mid-April between both consuls had been globally positive, the difficulty or reluctance of consul Buteo Quintilianus to cool down his supporters, whose head was M. Moravius Piscinus, chief augur and pontifex maximus, cancelled the effect of the Swedish meeting.
In June, consul Buteo Quintilianus left Albucius with the reins of the Republic during the preparation and sitting of the conventus that K. Buteo Quintilianus had called in Rome during the first half of June, and which was a failure. M. Moravius then contested the right of consul P. Memmius to call a comitia during this month, refused him the auspices and organized – being also diribitor – the absence of selection of the praerogative century for these elections, due on the first days of July. At the same time Moravius tried to obtain, as pontifex maximus, a total control of the comitia curiata, which invests the highest magistrates, specially the praetors who were to get out of the called elections.
For praetrix Iunia, followed by her colleague Hortensia, had resigned during this decisive first half of June, after that consul Albucius had been obliged to recall them to the observation of law and that he would not accept that the State be used as a tool to eliminate political adversaries. Albucius had thus taken in charge, in the absence of his colleague, the direct management of the praetura.
At the end of June, the bridges were broken between both consuls when K. Buteo tried to convene the Senate, with no previous information of his colleague, on the IT question, while P. Memmius had reminded him that he would not accept that this matter be evoked as long as the By-Laws matter would not have been settled. Albucius vetoed Quintilianus' call.
In July, consul K. Buteo Quintilianus, who communicated no longer with Albucius, organized an attempt with M. Piscinus to get the proposed dictator elected. He convened the Senate in the second half of July, which voted in favor of appointing a dictator. The proposed dictator was not Quintilianus himself, who had intended assuming this charge since October 2010, but Cn. Equitius Marinus.
But Buteo Quintilianus ignored the veto launched by Albucius, who had stated that consul Buteo had diverted the Constitution by including four tribunes in his convening, thus annihilating inconstitutionally Albucius' veto power.
At the same time, iudex Sabinus, on a petitio by Q. Caecilius Metellus, condemned M. Hortensia Maior, former praetor, for the violation of the law committed against C. Equitius Cato, and specially to an inhabilitation to hold any public position. But this sentence was not obeyed by Hortensia, who remained sacerdos Mentis, with the assessed support of M. Moravius Piscinus, who convened a session of the Collegium Pontificum which declared consul Albucius as impius, specially to have assessed his right to take himself his auspices.
Albucius, now supported by censor T. Iulius Sabinus, tribune C. Petronius Dexter, senator Decius Iunius Palladius, and soon by a third of the Senate, declared that he did not recognize the senate session held unconstitutionally in July. Around mid-August, after several private discussions, the proposed dictator, Cn. Marinus refused to accept this position.
Under the pressure, a few other main supporters of the “Dictatorial Factio” gave up their positions and the Republic. Among them Hortensia Maior and two tribunes, Curius and Valeria. Tribune Aquillius, after having supported the Piscinian factio, decided to join the legalist side. A majority of tribunes thus supported, in September, Albucius' point of view.
After consul Buteo Quintilianus vetoed the senatus consultum ultimum voted by the senate, convened by Albucius in August and who had appointed Tullia and Ullerius, the winners of the praetorian July election, as praetores suffecti, Albuciusdecided to wait that his colleague lifts his veto to propose again to fill the praetorian positions. But Quintilianus did never, and Albucius was obliged to go on assuming the praetura until the end of the year. Inside this mission, he received a second petitio, led against M. Moravius Piscinus by C. Equitius Cato, which was transferred to next year, then dismissed, and instead handled by a senatus consultum ultimum exiling M. Piscinus from Nova Roma.
In September and October, Albucius, in the absence of his colleague who abstained to fulfill his consular duties since the beginning of July, cleared up the payment of the taxes, that the resignation of Eq. Iunia Laeca as CFO on August 6, had left untreated. In late October, he placed Italia, after the resignation of praefectus Annaeus, under his direct administration with the approval of the Senate, and acted to build a senatorial majority.
In November, with the decisive support of L. Cornelius Sulla and senator Cn. Iulius Caesar, this majority was built, after the resignation of a few senators, including M. Moravius, and the suspension, by Censor T. Iulius Sabinus of the senators who had not paid their taxes for 2010.
At the end of November, P. Memmius Albucius could organize, via an electronic way, the annual elections, which were held normally. During the this election period, Albucius caused a controversy when he refused the candidacy of A. Tullia Scholastica by appointing her, without her consent, into the election commission, because she had voted in favor of the dictator in July.
In December, the renewed Collegium Pontificum, whose new Pontifex Maximus was censor T. Iulius, lifted the “impietas” of consul Albucius, who supported the elevation of K. Fabius Buteo Modianus to the dignity of Rex Sacrorum.
As far as his neutrality could allow him, Albucius supported the candidacies of Ullerius and C. Equitius to the consulate. He saw in the fact that C. Equitius Cato might assume the consulate, a contribution to the pax religiosa in the Republic (Cato being not a cultor deorum in his private religious life).
Besides an elder colleague who seemed to be "the" political head of the consular team, P. Memmius Albucius appeared in January 2010 rather as a legal technician. The fights that he was obliged to face, in the circumstances in which he was placed, turned finally at his advantage: he managed to eliminate successively all his major opponents, to reverse an opposed senatorial majority, and to keep the Republic in its legal frame, preventing the programmed elimination, by the Dictatorial Faction, of major characters of Nova Roman Senate, specially C. Equitius Cato and L. Cornelius Sulla Felix. Though he lives in a historical European province of the Republic, he prevented that the North American provinces lose the influence that they deserve to keep, for he is convinced that Nova Roma cannot develop without two equal poles on each side of the Atlantic Ocean.
As a consequence of this term who looked more like as a war time term than a peace time one, Albucius could not accomplish all he intended to do in January P. Memmio K. Buteone (II) cos. ‡ MMDCCLXIII a.u.c.. He could not have the by-laws question solved, because of the resistance organized by Moravius and his allies. He could not, also, obtain the constitutional proposals (changing the preamble, religious paragraph) he introduced in March P. Memmio K. Buteone (II) cos. ‡ MMDCCLXIII a.u.c., because a too low mobilization of the then majority. In the Senate, he fails, by one vote, having the equestrians' status being, partly, modernized. He succeeded, on another hand, in addition of preserving the republican institutions, to reshape a large part of our provincial organization, to give Nova Roma a more structured and analytic budget, to redefine the official mailing lists, to create a 'Forum Hospitum dedicated to welcome non-citizens and future ones, and to renew the status of the magister aranearius. He updated the membership of the Forum Romanum, boosted the payment of the annual taxes, secured the legal position of Nova Roma Inc. towards the incorporation law, and contributed to the renewal of the collegia religiosa. He reactivated the right of curule magistrates, especially of the consuls, to hold the ius auspicandi.
On Kal. Ian. P. Ullerio C. Equitio cos. ‡ MMDCCLXIV a.u.c., he transferred his consular and praetorian powers to the elected magistrates 2764 and entered the censura, having been elected censor for 2764-2765.
The last step of a continuous cursus honorum: the censorura
With his colleague T. Iulius Sabinus, P. Memmius Albucius set on Jan. 8, P. Ullerio C. Equitio cos. ‡ MMDCCLXIV a.u.c. the album senatorium down to 22 members, thus complying the requirements of Nova Roma Inc.'s act of incorporation.
Conflicts in the censura and renouncing of citizenship
On Jun 19, 2011, while trying to implement his political plans as censor, as a result of various polical conflicts with his new political allies, particularly with consul C. Equitius Cato, praetor Cn. Caesar and senator L. Sulla, that he deemed impossible to resolve and impossible to live with, he renounced his citizenship, and ever since that time P. Memmius is in self-exile.
- L. Arminio Ti. Galerio cos. ‡ MMDCCLX a.u.c.
- Fr. Apulo C. Laenate cos. ‡ MMDCCLVIII a.u.c.
- Cn. Salice Cn. Equitio cos. ‡ MMDCCLVII a.u.c.