Rome's four Lords of Misrule for
the day achieved mightily. Left to Right: Primus, Gratius, Arria, and
With so many new citizens, we broke from tradition and gave each a
chance to shine. And shine they did!
Mortis of Legion VI
led Rome to innumerable victories all day on Saturnalia 2005, showering
himself and Rome in glory.
Rome's most successful
Saturnalia commander ever, , led Rome to rout all opposition throughout
one glorious December day in 2003. Alistair was unanimously awarded the
honorific of Saturnalicus by the Roman Senate in the Consulship of
Dominus and Tobias.
ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia ran from December 17th-23rd.
Saturnalia was particularly interesting culturally. During the last day
of this festival, it was traditional for masters to change places with
their household slaves. How this custom was observed varied widely,
depending completely on the house. Since our Rome seems to be suffering
from an unfortunate but severe slave shortage, we decided that it is
impious to the Gods of Rome to utterly forsake this ancient and sacred
tradition. To uphold our ancient contracts with Rome's immortal Gods, we
reverse rank orders at this battle that we will fight during the annual
Festival in honor of Saturn. This in no way implies that any free
citizen of Rome is a slave!
Every Saturnalia, a muster of our active citizens listed in reverse rank
order is issued to the troops. The lowest ranking members of each respective Legion
act as Legion Commanders for the day, promoted temporarily to Acting
Tribune unless Senatorial status entitles them to more.
Inactive Romans of even the lowest rank aren't allowed command positions
as a reward for their inactivity. We tell them in the nicest way,
"If you aren't on the list, you were inactive when it was
assembled. So tough luck: fall in and shut up!" Auxiliaries
are still auxiliaries because they are not Roman citizens!
are questions as to who has the highest seniority in a given rank, we
refer to citizens' enlistment dates or dates last promoted. The last
Roman promoted into a given rank will have authority over the rest
within that rank. For example: as of this writing, Marcus Deloricus
Furius is Rome's newest Centurion. During Saturnalia our Centurions
become Decurions, and currently Marcus would have seniority over the lot
of them for the duration of our religious observance.
As you'll note
from the pictures on this page, Dominus' armor is worn proudly by Rome's
newest and/or lowest ranking citizen along with the title of
Imperator-for-a-day. Romans given the chance to shine in the job have
done really well. To date we've never lost a Saturnalia battle, despite
occasional reverses throughout the day. Not only do we have superbly
trained troops, but being completely free of command allows Centurions
and Legion Commanders to concentrate on murder. This a welcome vacation
from the responsibilities of command. As one Imperator-for-a-day said, "Dominus, I wouldn't want your
Note of caution to those who are naturally thinking, "Hmmmm, what a
perfect time to strike! It's like attacking the British at tea
time." A Roman "State of Emergency" supercedes
Saturnalia. States of Emergency include wars, political crises, etc.
Further, Saturnalia has no political impact whatsoever. The Senators and
Magistrates, Equestrians and Patricians retain their authority and
status. Our tradition is usually as much for our opponents as it is for
Important Historical Note: (Or:
Ramblings of Your Author)
Yes, Saturnalia was the original Christmas. And yes, the Romans did
invent everything. Americans are Romans, most of us just don't think
about it. That's why some of you LARP (Live Action Role Playing)
types often accuse us of bad role playing. Our critics have obviously
never been to one of our Senate Meetings. We role play soldiers and
politicians even amongst ourselves. What could be more timelessly
universal? Being a Roman isn't just about how you interact with LARP
role players, it's about how you live your life. Rome never really fell,
it became a cultural institution. If you don't think we're all Romans, here's a reality check:
drive through DC and take a look at our administrative buildings' architecture.
Our president has a veto - he's the Tribune of the Plebs. And if his
wife is the "First Lady," then isn't he the "First
Man?" Makes you think, doesn't it?
I should put another note here for all of the potentially horrified parents
out there. Rome does acknowledge that the different between a club and a
cult is the worship of Gods. But Rome's Gods do treat us SO
well, it would be impolitic not to return the favor. We've started to
think that Rome was lucky for a reason. ;-)
Zaius Tempest (front right) brilliantly commanded a capture-the-flag
fort battle. Clever tactician that he is, Zaius declared at the
beginning of the campaign, "We donít need to build a fort, we already
have one. Theirs." Despite initial reverses, Roman persistence won the
day. The Legions seized and retained possession of the enemy
A triumphant Mors Salvia (above)
in Imperatorial regalia flashes a winning smile after a winning day.
Behind her are the rest of the (then) Legion X, before Pendin began his
Legion V. Upper left to right, (Dr.) Zaius, Drosylus, Pendin, Gurrundi,
and Thullius. They are crossing their arms in demonstration of their
nickname for themselves, the "Fighting Xís"
The downside to Saturnalia is demonstrated above as the
less-than-efficient" Ameba Formation.