Ideas for the year ahead and feedback

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Re: Ideas for the year ahead and feedback

Postby Gaius Cominius Laenas » Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:12 am

I have a plan to bring denarii into a real monetary system. To buy real products.

Now granted, this idea does not go as far as Lupe wishes. His idea about having a fully developed currency cannot be established without further funds. But I have a plan that we could implement by the summer if the senate approved it. It would be a first step at bridging the denarii-currency divide into the real world.

Here is what I propose.

I can make an online store platform run by the Republic. Goods which are approved by the aediles would be offered here for sale. Money collected from this sale would go into a separate account controlled by the aediles. When products are purchased on the online e-commerce platform the system would email the aediles and seller. The seller would then send the product and using the platform I design would indicate that the order is in the mail. This would trigger another message to the aediles instructing them to transfer the funds from their PayPal account to the sellers'.

I would offer coupon codes for purchase. The Senate could set the rate. 100 denarii for a $15 coupon etc. The coupon could only be used one time on items bought from the store. A seller would get paid in USD the full amount. The Republic would pay for the amount covered by the coupons. I would limit the number of coupons which could be used in order to keep things under control economically.

Items bought in the store would require a commission of a set amount. Maybe 15%? So anything bought in the store would contribute to the Republic.

Using such a system denarii can be used in a limited way to buy products. The sender and buyer are being protected, and the Republic is increasing its treasury.
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Re: Ideas for the year ahead and feedback

Postby Publius Iunius Brutus » Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:34 am

Brutus Cen. sal.

Quaestor Laenas, yes this is a clever idea. I know you have been long advocating for such a plan.

Friends, Quaestor Laenas, is a web developer. For those who do not know, he designed many parts of the RR site. We have discussed a similar proposal in the past prior to the founding of the RR. When he says "e-commerce platform" what he means is probably something like this: http://www.abantecart.com. Right, Laenas?

I generally support this as the next stepping stone towards increasing the importance of denarii and our internal economy. We will need to sort out the logistics behind this and the corporation, but I fairly certain a version of this proposal would be workable if the profits of this venture are used towards the aims of our non-profit.
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Re: Ideas for the year ahead and feedback

Postby Publius Sallustius Quadratus » Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:46 am

For myself and for my province, one of the things I want most to accomplish is to be in contact with all our citizens and to keep them involved in RR online. I want to see that everyone in my province feels welcome in RR and feels that they have a role here. I want them to feel included and to participate and contribute as much as they can. I want to see them posting on our provincial forum and participating in collegia. I want to hear from them about what they want to do so that I can help to facilitate the organization anything we want to accomplish in our province.

Second to all of that I would really like to work with my fellow provincials to set up a face to face meeting sometime during the year so that we can extend the level of our community connection beyond the virtual and into real life. Beyond that, any other face to face meetings we can organize for study groups, Religio Romana Sacra Publica, or anything else would be great.

Beyond that, a meetup for anyone and everyone in North America would be great. I cannot attend a European meetup this year but I would like to attend one next year if possible.

As far as working with collegia is concerned, I would like to see the Collegium Militarium move closer to establishing a reenactment group and I would like to work with anyone near me to support the development of that group.

In Collegium Artium I am eager to work with the magistrates to develop as much of the study and practice of Roman art as we can. I am especially keen to work with Magistra C. Cassia Longina to develop some Latin language media in the form of recorded poetry and drama for the benefit and entertainment of the Republic. I am eager to work with Magistrate N. Antonius Paullus, especially in the study of Roman architecture, which is one of my favorite subjects!

For CDR I watch with great interest and anticipation the development of the Collegium Pontificum. I wish to speak candidly on the matter of the Collegium Pontificum. I am new to RR and I am fairly new to Cultus Deorum Romanorum. I do not consider myself to be a very knowledgeable cultor but I see the idea of religious knowledge and the concept of religious authority in our era to be historically problematic.

The fact is, there has been no continual organized Collegium Pontificum for Romans since Christianity finally overpowered traditional Roman religion once and for all and the remaining Roman temples were either sacked or converted into churches. The Pope in Rome adopted the title "Pontifex Maximus" and from then on the appropriated and co-opted term "Pontiff" has been associated exclusively with the Catholic Church, despite its origins in traditional Roman religion.

The authority of Roman religion was destroyed or dismantled by Christian emperors and their edicts and the traditions of Roman religion were either appropriated or absorbed by Christians or they were forgotten and lost to history for hundreds of years.

Our knowledge of traditional Roman religion comes from both Christian accounts (some of which was erroneous and intentionally libelous for the purpose of scandalizing "pagan" religion) and from the research of recent scholars of traditional religion and archaeology. We do not have a clear and unbroken line of tradition and knowledge that goes back to the earliest days of Rome. We do not even have this line going back to the last days of the empire before it's domination by Christianity.

Therefor we have no real authority on what Roman religion was or what it should be in our own time, apart from academic authorities. Academics study religion often objectively as an aspect of philosophy, archaeology, or history. They are not religious authorities in the same sense of a traditional priest, Pontiff, augur or sacerdos.

In the Roman Republic we have some people who claim to have some knowledge of Roman religion. I don't know how much anyone of these people really knows. I know that I know little but for what little I know, I have an idea or interpretation of the traditional Roman religion that is influenced by knowledge of the history, culture and traditions not only of Rome but of Greece, the Mediterranean world and the Near East, all of which I would argue very strongly have had a profound impact on the development of Western philosophy and religion in general but also in the development of Greek and Roman polytheism in particular.

The interpretation of "Roman Religion" is quite open and diverse among academics, from what I can tell, and that in itself is problematic for the establishment of a new religious "authority" in the form of a Collegium Pontificum. Even the term "Roman Religion" is problematic as it can have as narrow a definition as the religion of the earliest Romans, before the adoption of other local Etruscan, Latin or nearby Greek Gods, or it can be as broad and inclusive as meaning any of the many cults followed or adopted by Roman citizens and people living in the Roman empire right up to and including Christianity.

These are some of the particular details that concern me in terms of how Roman religion is being defined and interpreted in RR as far as it's scope and the broadness of it's definition.

Beyond that, as I mentioned earlier, is the problem of hundreds of years of a break in traditional practice and the absence of an established and enduring authoritative body or cohesive tradition from which to draw knowledge and rebuild a new religious community.

To put it very bluntly, who is to say that either he or anyone else has enough knowledge to be considered a religious authority in anything pertaining to Roman religion?

I write this with the utmost respect and admiration for the efforts of our esteemed colleagues in the Roman Republic, but also with the intention of illuminating what I feel to be some of the most fundamental problems and questions we face in consideration of the establishment of the Collegium Pontificum.
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Re: Ideas for the year ahead and feedback

Postby Gaius Curtius Philo » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:56 pm

Salve P. Quadrate,

The CP will not be an authority over all Roman Religion. It will be the leading group on the study, teaching and practice of the Sacra Publica of the RR. It will also assist people in the development of their own Sacra Privata. It is not meant to be a coercive force to force religious axioms on others, especially since the Sacra Privata is enshrined in our religion as a private affair that is no one's business other than the practicioner.

These people won't be people who know all about the religion. They will be people committed to learning all they can and teaching all they can to voluntairy students. They will be people dedicated to the daily efforts of conductig the rites of our Sacra Publica, being in a way "official prayers to our whole community".

To fully understand the relationship between the CP and our Religion one must first understand the seperation between Sacra Publica and Sacra Privata. These two institutions are firmly divided, for your benefit. There shall never be any "authority" over what you do in the privacy of your own home. The RR is not here to regulat or control private practice. The CP's realm of authority or leadership will be only on th Sacra Publica, dealing with official priests of the RR and how to collectively conduct rites for the benefit of our community.

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Re: Ideas for the year ahead and feedback

Postby Gaius Florius Lupus » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:58 pm

Very interesting thoughts on the Collegium Pontificum!
Keeping in mind the guaranteed separation of Sacra Privata and Sacra Publica that Senator Victor has emphasized and which I strongly support, I think our approach to the Sacra Publica should be more ambitious.
Our CP should indeed aim to be the one authority over all the Religio Romana. This is necessary if we want to have any success in our attempt to restore ths old religion. There needs to be a universal central authority.
And this is the reason why our Republic cannot do it alone. We can only do it in coordination with the other Roman communities, particularly the Communitas Populi Romani (CPR). In this regard we need to be humble in our approach to other groups. We cannot expect them to recognize our political structure and offices, but we need mutual recognition of our religious institutions.
Only united the Cultus Deorum Romanorum can succeed. We cannot have several CP all over the world that dispute each other's authority. The CP must be for all followers of the traditional Roman Religion worldwide.
But of course the freedom and independence of the Sacra Privata must always be maintained as Victor has pointed out.

Valete, amici! Di vos ament!
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Re: Ideas for the year ahead and feedback

Postby Gaius Curtius Philo » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:35 pm

The CP will be an independent organization, in a way that if other groups want to flock under it they may. I would not feel like our CP was competing with anyone else though. The communities that want to work under the CP will have its help, but it wouldnt really be trying to force itself. One of the reasons of the RR's sucess is its compromise with peaceful coexistence and voluntary assistance. Id take that same logic to the CP. If others find it to be good for them, the CP would serve them as well. If not, well it is their loss lol
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Re: Ideas for the year ahead and feedback

Postby Lucius Metilius Niger » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:21 pm

Florius Lupus wrote:And this is the reason why our Republic cannot do it alone. We can only do it in coordination with the other Roman communities, particularly the Communitas Populi Romani (CPR). In this regard we need to be humble in our approach to other groups. We cannot expect them to recognize our political structure and offices, but we need mutual recognition of our religious institutions.


I'm completely agree.
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