Second "Civil War" of Nova Roma

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The following is a brief summary of the events between M. Curiatio M. Iulio cos. MMDCCLXII a.u.c. - P. Ullerio C. Equitio cos. MMDCCLXIV a.u.c., which is emotionally called the "second civil war" of Nova Roma, on the basis of the same appellation having been used in reference to the first large scale internal conflict.



The prelude to the Second "Civil War" was the struggle for the priestly colleges and the Cincinnatus-trial, during which, following the demands of the politically active practitioners of the Roman religion, especially M. Moravius Piscinus and K. Fabius Buteo Modianus, implemented a change in the religious leadership of Nova Roma. This action met the public anger of the former members of the "Boni", but also of many politically unaffiliated citizens, who were calling for a change in the then-majority of the senate, predominantly led by M. Moravius Piscinus, K. Fabius Buteo Quintilianus and Cn. Equitius Marinus.

Sulla's return

When L. Cornelius Sulla Felix, who spent the previous five years away from Nova Roma, in complete recluse, returned to Nova Roma at the very end of M. Moravio T. Iulio cos. MMDCCLXI a.u.c., he joined and amplified the voices of the discontent citizens, and added his own ambition to become once again one of the principes (leading citizens) of Nova Roma. He organized a powerful faction from the discontent citizens, usually referred to as the Sullans, or the Sullan-Caesarian Faction (or Sulla-Caesar Faction) or the Back Alley Faction, or sometimes, incorrectly, the "Boni". The reason why the Sullan-Caesarian Faction was sometimes called the "Boni" is because in the first five years of Nova Roma there existed a formal faction known as the "Boni", an equally turbulent group which was involved in the First "Civil War" of Nova Roma, however, that faction was dissolved. Since L. Sulla was one of the leaders of that faction, and he and some other prominent members of the "Boni", were leading members of Back Alley or Sullan-Caesarian Faction, as well, this causes the occasional identification of the two groups. In reality, however, the Boni as a faction ceased to function around the year Fr. Apulo C. Laenate cos. MMDCCLVIII a.u.c.. There remained two organized factions in Nova Roma after that, the "Libra Alliance", and the "Moderati", which also faded in oblivion by L. Arminio Ti. Galerio cos. MMDCCLX a.u.c.. When Sulla returned and organized his faction from most of ex-Boni, there was no other organized faction in Nova Roma. The other side, the supporters of the then-senate majority organized their faction only as a reaction to Sulla's attacks, only as a move of defense. The supporters of the government majority were composed of the former members of the "Libra", led by K. Fabius Buteo Quintilianus and Cn. Equitius Marinus, and of the "Moderati", joined by the most active Roman religionists, led by M. Moravius Piscinus Horatianus, usually referred to as the Piscinus Faction. While the forum of the Sullans was the "Back Alley" mailing list, the forum of this other faction was the "Ad Futura Romana" mailing list, and they were either referred to as Quintilianus-Piscinus Faction or Piscinus-Quintilianus-Marinus faction, or sometimes as "Libra" (incorrectly, since that faction ceased to exist formally by that time, but it was done in parallel with calling Sulla's faction as Boni, where equally did not exist by then).

The Back Alley

"Back Alley" was the name of a private mailing list forum owned and controlled by members of the "Boni" faction, who, after the formal dissolution of that faction, continued to own the Back Alley forum, and to control and dominate the opinion, the topics and the general consensus on that mailing list. They remained insignificant in Nova Roma, until the return of Sulla from his self-imposed exile of 5 years, when he took the leadership of the Back Alley community with the power of a storm, and the core members of that forum became known as the Sullans, because they only became powerful and vocal under the influence, and by the encouragement and leadership of, Sulla. One of them was Cn. Iulius Caesar, who emerged as Sulla's strongest supporter, and in the subsequent years, he became the tactical and theoretical leader of the Sullan faction, even more important than Sulla himself. Initially Sulla and Caesar were accompanied by a third leader, C. Equitius Cato, and these three were the leaders of the Sullans together, then after their emergence to power as senate majority, Cato retired from activity, and Caesar became the most important tactical leader of the Sullans, although the faction depended on the driving force of Sulla. Finally, when Caesar and Sulla illegally proclaimed themselves dictator and magister equitum in an orchestrated coup d'état, it formally showed Caesar as the primary head of the faction.

The core members of the Back Alley Faction, many of whom never considered themselves being in one faction, nonetheless, they promoted the growing influence of Sulla, were chiefly Caesar and Cato, with the support of M. Cornelius Gualterus Graecus, Q. Fabius Maximus, Q. Valerius Poplicola, Cornelia Aeternia, Diana Aventina, and some more moderate people like C. Vipsanius Agrippa, Rutilia Enodiaria, Dec. Iunius Palladius Invictus, Ti. Galerius Paulinus, P. Ullerius Stephanus Venator, Flavia Merula, L. Cornelius Cicero, Q. Servilius Priscus, Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius, C. Tullius Valerianus Germanicus, Helena Galeria Aureliana, Pompeia Minucia Strabo and M. Octavius. Many of these listed were originally from different factions but in the Back Alley group they agreed to oppose and strongly criticize the senate majority of that time. More and more, the consensus of these people created a milieu in the Back Alley that the opinion leaders of the community are Sulla and Caesar.

The Back Alley forum allowed rude, harassing, intimidating and libelous ad hominem attacks, there was no taboo in style, tone and behavior. Anyone could join the Back Alley forum, and many joined from other factions, with other views: the usual result was that the core Back Alley members overwhelmed, aggressively with hurtful, insulting attacks, anyone who argued for a different opinion, and the opponent either suffered a "burn out" and fall off from public life in Nova Roma, or left Nova Roma altogether, never to return. As the Sullans were the most active and the absolute majority in the Back Alley mailing forum, non-members of the faction always felt hopeless to argue or resist, yet usually all active politicians of Nova Roma took their chances in the forum, always to the detriment of their mental balance. As a result, the Sullans' activity generated a hopeless and helpless feeling in the leadership of Nova Roma, that things will never change, those who remain in Nova Roman leadership positions, will always have to live under constant attacks and insufferable endless arguments. As the Back Alley Faction of Sulla, Caesar and Cato grew, they started to dominate all topics and arguments in the Main List, the official central forum of Nova Roma, as well, where posting anything now became a dangerous endeavor as one could expect a dozen of bullying reactions and character assassination campaigns. This era of the of constant bullying, bickering, drama, bitter insult hurling and personality wars in all international forums of Nova Roma which was orchestrated by Sulla, Caesar and Cato as an attack against the senate and the magistrates, in order that they abandon power and give up their positions in Nova Roma, and which incapacitated almost all functions of Nova Roma, is called the Second "Civil War" within Nova Roma.

Public chaos and constant turmoil

Step by step, most active members of Nova Roma who were not part of the Sulla-Caesar Faction were leaving Nova Roma. The proportion of the Sullans among the politically active Nova Romans was growing. Every smallest issue or decision was basis for flame wars and constant bickering. It was consensus that the atmosphere in Nova Roma became so tense as it was insufferable.

In the second year of this "civil war", during the consulship of Quintilianus and P. Memmius Albucius, under the pressure of the public drama, consul Albucius, senator T. Iulius Sabinus and senator C. Petronius Dexter changed factions, and they departed Quintilianus and Piscinus for Sulla, Caesar and Cato. From that point on, the two consuls, Quintilianus and Albucius, were fighting against each other. More and more key citizens kept leaving Nova Roma because of the inability of the government to stop the public bullying, the insults and the constant circus on the forums. The senate majority started to shrink, and as a last desperate attempt, the senate majority (the Piscinus-Quintilianus Faction) appointed Cn. Equitius Marinus as dictator to resolve the crisis. The Sulla-Caesar Faction claimed that the senate session was invalid due to formal mistakes. Dictator-elect Marinus decided to consult a corporate attorney whether his election as dictator was valid or not, and the attorney enlightened Marinus that the position of dictator as it is in the Nova Roman constitution is against the corporate law in the State of Maine, where Nova Roma is incorporated, and therefore no member may fill such a corporate position. Marinus declined the appointment and renounced his citizenship. The Quintilianus-Piscinus Faction admitted defeated.

The victory of Sulla, Caesar and Cato

After having conducted this civil war-like campaign in Nova Roma for power, after the departure of half of the senate and almost the entire political and religious establishment, and of most of the active citizens, Sulla and Caesar obtained complete and unlimited control over a leaderless Nova Roma in P. Ullerio C. Equitio cos. MMDCCLXIV a.u.c., which they continued to exercise in a covert manner, sticking to democratic procedures usually, until their coup d'état in November M. Pompeio Sex. Lucilio cos. MMDCCLXVIII a.u.c., when they proclaimed an open dictatorship unlawfully.

After their victory, Cato was first to receive the consulship, followed the next year by Caesar, and then by Sulla. After his consulship, Cato retired from Nova Roman politics, leaving Sulla and Caesar as the sole rulers, with increasing dominance by Caesar who was the intellectually superior theoretician of the regime.

Both the Second "Civil War" and the victory of Sulla and Caesar had a very high cost: during the "Civil War", an extreme high number of citizens left Nova Roma or became disillusioned, and after the victory Nova Roma was split and lost many leading citizens and even provincial communities, including the Templum Project. Most of the leaders and supporters of the Piscinus-Quintilianus Faction renounced their citizenship or just stopped being active in Nova Roma en masse, and formed a new Roman organization in P. Ullerio C. Equitio cos. MMDCCLXIV a.u.c., called "Respublica Romana" Organization, incorporated in Sweden, under the leadership of K. Buteo Quintilianus.

The victorious Sullan-Caesarian Faction decided to exile Piscinus and the then-webmaster of Nova Roma, senator M. Lucretius Agricola, who were stripped of their citizenship and received the greatest possible punishment that exist in Nova Roma. Up to this day, only Caesar and Sulla used this form of retaliation, only Caesar and Sulla annihilated their opponents' civic lives in Nova Roma, cutting them from any possibility to participate in the New Roman community. Caesar and Sulla reiterated this extreme harshness during their coup d'état, the Third "Civil War", in November M. Pompeio Sex. Lucilio cos. MMDCCLXVIII a.u.c., when they terminated the citizenship of several citizens as part of their illegal dictatorship.

These harsh actions in the Second and Third "Civil War" caused the bad reputation of both Caesar and Sulla in their later career, and the eventual loss of their power due to extreme unpopularity.

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