Amici dignitatis (Nova Roma)
The self-styled amici dignitatis were a group of citizens, each at a relatively early stage of public life, who a.d. X Kal. Dec. ‡ Q. Maximo M. Minucio cos. ‡ MMDCCLIII a.u.c. banded together to oppose what they perceived as oligarchic, illiberal, and authoritarian tendencies among the leading citizens of the day, and to promote transparent government, individual rights, tolerance, and political participation. They also sought to counteract a perceived bias against non-Americans. They were criticized, however, as proponents of an un-Roman brand of radical democracy and as placing too modernist an emphasis on the rights of small minority groups.
They were thought of by some as a political party, since they supported one another's candidacy for public office and issued (shortly before election-time) a joint statement with the appearance of a manifesto; but they always rejected this label.
Many members of the group left Nova Roma Id. Mar. ‡ Fl. Vedio (II) M. Cassio (II) cos. ‡ MMDCCLIV a.u.c., after which time the group ceased to exist as a political force. [See also Ides of March resignations.]
The signatories of the original statement were:
- Cn. Moravius Piscinus
- Nic. Moravius Vado
- L. Marius Peregrinus
- M. Apollonius Formosanus
- Sex. Apollonius Draco
- T. Labienus Fortunatus
- M. Marcius Rex
- C. Flavius Diocletianus
- M. Scribonius Curio Britannicus
The English text of their statement ran as follows:
Salvete, Quirites Novae Romae
We, the Amici Dignitatis, gather in the Dignitas Forum, joining in free association, to promote the principles of democratic process in Nova Roma.
1) that the sovereignty of our Res publica rests solely with the People who form it;
2) that the government of Nova Roma and all of its associated sodalitates, lists, and fora are to be free and open to all citizens;
3) that the actions of all government agencies, officials, and magistrates of Nova Roma are to be made on behalf of all its citizens and therefore are accountable to the people of Nova Roma assembled in Comitia;
4) that each and every citizen, and every applicant for citizenship, enjoy certain individual rights without any exception, and that these rights are to be guaranteed and protected under the laws of Nova Roma, and that among these is the right of redress before the people assembled in Comitia;
5) that beyond the laws of our Res publica the dignitas of each individual is entitled to the same degree of respect and civility commonly afforded all citizens within our civitas.
In order to further promote the principles of democratic process in Nova Roma, we propose to sponsor and support open communication among all citizens of the Res publica through varied means:
1) Sponsor open fora in which all citizens of Nova Roma may participate.
2) Sponsor moderated civil debate before all citizens.
3) Provide a multilingual list, known as the Dignitas list, for political discussions separate from the Nova Roma main list.
4) Sponsor, support, and/or assist in the establishment of lists for each provincia and territory in its native language as well as the Nova Roma lingua franca.
5) Arrange, coordinate and schedule chats between cives of our varied provinciae to promote international communication within Nova Roma.
6) Assist all cives in participating in Nova Roma's political life by providing information on Nova Roma political institutions in the varied languages of the Res publica.
7) Encourage and provide nonpartisan assistance to all citizens in preparing position papers on their ideas for posting to the Dignitas list.
8) Provide nonpartisan information concerning issues to be presented to the varied comitia, and on candidates for major and minor magistracies.
We, sponsors of the Dignitas Forum, commit ourselves to the ideals of the democratic process and to the promotion of the goals of the Dignitas Forum by offering our assistance to all citizens in participating in the political life of Nova Roma.
Gn. Moravius Piscinus (piscinus@--------)
N. Moravius Vado (gens_moravia@--------)
L. Marius Peregrinus (peregrinus@--------)
M. Apollonius Formosanus (bvm3@--------)
S. Apollonius Draco (hendrik.meuleman@--------)
T. Labienus Fortunatus (labienus@--------)
M. Marcius Rex (marcheinz@--------)
C. Flavius Diocletianus (3s@--------)
M. Scribonius Curio Britannicus (marcusaemiliusscaurus@--------)
The URL of our eGroup can be found at www.egroups.com/group/NR_DignitasForum; those who also wish to sign this statement can e-mail S. Apollonius Draco privately. A list of signees shall be posted under the files folder of the Dignitas Forum, along with this general ethical document itself.
Valete, the Amici Dignitatis