Roman Polytheistic Reconstructionism

Roman Polytheistic Reconstructionism, known variously as Religio Romana (Roman religion) in Latin, the Roman Way to the Gods in Italian and Spanish (via romana agli dei and camino romano a los dioses, respectively), and Cultus Deorum Romanorum (worship of the Roman gods), is a contemporary reconstructionist movement reviving traditional Roman religious cults consisting of loosely related organizations.

Adherents can be found across Latin Europe, but also in the Americas, the latter exemplified by Nova Roma, the largest such reconstructionist organisation.[1] While an international organisation, it is legally based in the United States, with a majority of its membership hailing from the United States and Canada. Religious activity in Nova Roma, however, is also especially active in Central Europe, and countries such as Hungary, as well as Eastern Europe, particularly Ukraine and Russia. Additional organizations have become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly the Roman Republic: Res Publica Romana organization. [2]

As usually grouped in Italian literature, the Italian movements may not correspond precisely with the English-literature notion of reconstructionism, but to a more encompassing notion of "Roman Pagan tradition[alism]".[3] Loosely influenced by Julius Evola and Arturo Reghini's Ur Group of the 1920s, various other groups have appeared in Italy, most notably the Movimento Tradizionale Romano and Curia Romana Patrum in the 1980s, which unified some calendars.[4] Among the successes of the movement in Italy are two marriages: one in 1989 and one in 1992. CESNUR maintains a page with various other organizations and their history.[5]

Floralia in Aquincum
Ceremony of the Roman revivalist group Nova Roma to Concordia at Aquincum (Budapest), Floralia 2008

See also


  1. ^ George D. Chryssides, Historical Dictionary of New Religious Movements (2011, 2nd ed.)
  2. ^ Gaius Glenn Atkins, Modern Religious Movements (2016)
  3. ^ Del Ponte, «Le correnti della tradizione pagana romana in Italia», Algiza, 7 (aprile 1997), pp. 4-8. web version
  4. ^ Mark Sedgwick, Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century, (2004) p. 187
  5. ^ Il tradizionalismo romano

External links

Arturo Reghini

Arturo Reghini (12 November 1878 – 1 July 1946) was an Italian mathematician, philosopher and esotericist.

Decline of Greco-Roman polytheism

Religion in the Greco-Roman world at the time of the Constantinian shift mostly comprised three main currents:

the traditional religions of ancient Greece and Rome;

the official Roman imperial cult;

various mystery religions, such as the Dionysian and Eleusinian Mysteries and the mystery cults of Cybele, Mithras, and the syncretized Isis.Early Christianity grew gradually in Rome and the Roman Empire from the 1st to 4th centuries. In 313 it was legally tolerated and in 380 it became the state church of the Roman Empire with the Edict of Thessalonica. Nevertheless, Hellenistic polytheistic traditions survived in pockets of Greece throughout Late Antiquity until they gradually diminished after the triumph of Christianity.

Glossary of ancient Roman religion

The vocabulary of ancient Roman religion was highly specialized. Its study affords important information about the religion, traditions and beliefs of the ancient Romans. This legacy is conspicuous in European cultural history in its influence on later juridical and religious vocabulary in Europe, particularly of the Western Church. This glossary provides explanations of concepts as they were expressed in Latin pertaining to religious practices and beliefs, with links to articles on major topics such as priesthoods, forms of divination, and rituals.

For theonyms, or the names and epithets of gods, see List of Roman deities. For public religious holidays, see Roman festivals. For temples see the List of Ancient Roman temples. Individual landmarks of religious topography in ancient Rome are not included in this list; see Roman temple.

Graeco-Roman paganism

Graeco-Roman paganism may refer to:

Ancient Roman religion

Ancient Greek religion

The polytheistic religious beliefs and practices of the Greco-Roman world

Hellenism (religion)

Roman Polytheistic Reconstructionism

Nova Roma

List of Roman deities

The Roman deities most familiar today are those the Romans identified with Greek counterparts (see interpretatio graeca), integrating Greek myths, iconography, and sometimes religious practices into Roman culture, including Latin literature, Roman art, and religious life as it was experienced throughout the Empire. Many of the Romans' own gods remain obscure, known only by name and sometimes function, through inscriptions and texts that are often fragmentary. This is particularly true of those gods belonging to the archaic religion of the Romans dating back to the era of kings, the so-called "religion of Numa", which was perpetuated or revived over the centuries. Some archaic deities have Italic or Etruscan counterparts, as identified both by ancient sources and by modern scholars. Throughout the Empire, the deities of peoples in the provinces were given new theological interpretations in light of functions or attributes they shared with Roman deities.

An extensive alphabetical list follows a survey of theological groups as constructed by the Romans themselves. For the cult pertaining to deified Roman emperors (divi), see Imperial cult.

Mos maiorum

The mos maiorum (Classical Latin: [mɔs majˈjoː.rum]; "ancestral custom" or "way of the ancestors," plural mores, cf. English "mores"; maiorum is the genitive plural of "greater" or "elder") is the unwritten code from which the ancient Romans derived their social norms. It is the core concept of Roman traditionalism, distinguished from but in dynamic complement to written law. The mos maiorum was collectively the time-honoured principles, behavioural models, and social practices that affected private, political, and military life in ancient Rome.

Nova Roma

Nova Roma is an international Roman revivalist and reconstructionist organization created in 1998 by Joseph Bloch and William Bradford, (Marcus Cassius Iulianus and Flavius Vedius Germanicus the "Patres Patriae") later incorporated in Maine as a non-profit organization with an educational and religious mission. Nova Roma claims to promote "the restoration of classical Roman religion, culture, and virtues" and "shared Roman ideals".Reported to provide online resources about Roman culture, Latin, ancient Roman costuming and reenactment guidelines, Nova Roma aims to be more than a community of reenactors or history study group. Strimska, Davy, Adler, Gallagher-Ashcraft, and recently Chryssides refer to it as a polytheistic reconstructionist community. Because it has a structure based on the ancient Roman Republic, with a senate, magistrates and laws enacted by vote of the comitia, and with its own coinage, and because the Nova Roma Wiki states that the group self-identifies as a "sovereign nation", some outside observers classify it as a micronation.


Paganism (from classical Latin pāgānus "rural, rustic", later "civilian") is a term first used in the fourth century by early Christians for people in the Roman Empire who practiced polytheism. This was either because they were increasingly rural and provincial relative to the Christian population, or because they were not milites Christi (soldiers of Christ). Alternate terms in Christian texts for the same group were hellene, gentile, and heathen. Ritual sacrifice was an integral part of ancient Graeco-Roman religion and was regarded as an indication of whether a person was pagan or Christian.Paganism was originally a pejorative and derogatory term for polytheism, implying its inferiority. Paganism has broadly connoted the "religion of the peasantry". During and after the Middle Ages, the term paganism was applied to any unfamiliar religion, and the term presumed a belief in false god(s). Most modern pagan religions existing today—Modern Paganism, or Neopaganism—express a world view that is pantheistic, polytheistic or animistic; but some are monotheistic.The origin of the application of the term pagan to polytheism is debated. In the 19th century, paganism was adopted as a self-descriptor by members of various artistic groups inspired by the ancient world. In the 20th century, it came to be applied as a self-descriptor by practitioners of Modern Paganism, Neopagan movements and Polytheistic reconstructionists. Modern pagan traditions often incorporate beliefs or practices, such as nature worship, that are different from those in the largest world religions.Contemporary knowledge of old pagan religions comes from several sources, including anthropological field research records, the evidence of archaeological artifacts, and the historical accounts of ancient writers regarding cultures known to Classical antiquity.

Roman mythology

Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans. "Roman mythology" may also refer to the modern study of these representations, and to the subject matter as represented in the literature and art of other cultures in any period.

The Romans usually treated their traditional narratives as historical, even when these have miraculous or supernatural elements. The stories are often concerned with politics and morality, and how an individual's personal integrity relates to his or her responsibility to the community or Roman state. Heroism was an important theme. When the stories illuminate Roman religious practices, they are more concerned with ritual, augury, and institutions than with theology or cosmogony.The study of Roman religion and myth is complicated by the early influence of Greek religion on the Italian peninsula during Rome's protohistory, and by the later artistic imitation of Greek literary models by Roman authors. In matters of theology, the Romans were curiously eager to identify their own gods with those of the Greeks (interpretatio graeca), and to reinterpret stories about Greek deities under the names of their Roman counterparts. Rome's early myths and legends also have a dynamic relationship with Etruscan religion, less documented than that of the Greeks.

While Roman mythology may lack a body of divine narratives as extensive as that found in Greek literature, Romulus and Remus suckling the she-wolf is as famous as any image from Greek mythology except for the Trojan Horse. Because Latin literature was more widely known in Europe throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, the interpretations of Greek myths by the Romans often had a greater influence on narrative and pictorial representations of "classical mythology" than Greek sources. In particular, the versions of Greek myths in Ovid's Metamorphoses, written during the reign of Augustus, came to be regarded as canonical.


The secespita is a long iron sacrificial knife, made of brass and copper from Cyprus, with a solid and rounded ivory handle, which is secured to the hilt by a ring of silver or gold. The flamens and their wives, the flaminicae, who were priests and priestesses of the Ancient Rome, the virgins and the pontiffs made use of it for sacrifices. This knife derives its name from the Latin verb seco (present infinitive secare).Roman historian Suetonius wrote about secespita in the Liber III (third book) Tiberius' part of his The Twelve Caesars, published in 121:

Some modern writers, based on an unconfirmed description of Paul the Deacon and his epitome of Festus, see it to be an axe, a cleaver, or a dolabra, and others again a knife (Latin: culter). There are Roman coins representing sacrificial emblems where it is possible to see an axe, which modern writers call a secespita. Its proper purpose seems to have been for opening the body of a victim, which had been slain with the securis, the malleus, or the culter depending on the size of the victim, and then to extract the entrails. It was appropriated to the higher order of priests, to whom this function belonged, but who did not themselves slay the sacrificial victim.

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