Human Gods: More Names

We have come across two more names to add to our list of deified mortals from ancient Rome: Diva Paulina and Divus Valerian II.

Paulina was the wife of Emperor Maximinus Thrax and died in 235 or 236 ce.  We know very little about her. An inscription gives her name and titles as Diva Caecilia Paulina Pia Augusta.  She is given the title of Diva – divine – on Roman coins and is sometimes called thea – goddess – on Greek coins. The title of Pia – pious – might give some indication of her character.  She is favorably, if very briefly, mentioned in the surviving text of the Histories written by Ammianus Marcellinus in the fourth century ce, more than a century after her death. Her husband Maximinus appears to have been rather a bad egg and was executed by his own soldiers after a reign of only three years.

Valerian II was never an emperor, but was in line for the imperial succession. He was given the title of Caesar, at the age of 15 or 16, by his grandfather the Emperor Valerian I. His father was the Emperor Gallienus, son and co-emperor of Valerian I. After his appointment to the position of Caesar, Valerian II was sent to the Illyrian provinces, where he died soon after in suspicious circumstances in 257 or 258 ce. Suspician fell upon his principal administrative advisor, a man whose whose name I shall not mention, who promptly started a revolt against Valerian I, but was quickly suppressed.  Other than his parentage, we know even less about Valerian II than we do about Paulina. He did not have much time to accomplish anything in his short life. An Imperial teenage boy, a sacrificial victim to the murderous intrigues that had infected the ruling class of that era. And yet, he was rememberd afterward.  

Remember that all of the divi and divae are real people, who once walked this earth as mortal human beings. There are stories, whether triumphant, tragic, or trivial, behind their names. Unfortunately, most of the stories have not survived.




Paulina being carried to heaven by a peacock. Auction price in 2013: $750.


Valerian II

Valerian II


A silver antoninianus issued in honor of Valerian II by the mint in Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne).

Youthful portrait of Valerian II, with reverse showing Valerian being carried to heaven by an eagle. Auction price in 2013: $200.

Published in: on May 21, 2013 at 7:20 pm  Comments (1)  
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Gender, Passports, and Antoninia

Citizen membership in the Antonine Imperium is open to all interested persons who are 18 years of age or older. The requirement that prospective citizens provide gender identification in their citizenship applications has been discontinued as of November 3, 2764 AUC (2011 ce). Gender identity is of a personal nature and is of no particular interest or relevance to the Antonine State.

Antoninia, as a sovereign state, issues passports to its citizens who request such documents. Passport applications require sex or gender identification. The only choices are male or female, and they refer to the physical identity of the citizen. This requirement is being retained in order to make Antonine passports conform to current international law and practice. Antoninia is seriously intended as a real and legitimate sovereignty project and nation, and it will adhere to current international laws and practices when it is possible and practical to do so.

Applications for Antonine citizenship, and for passports, may be made directly to the Emperor, Quintus Poppaeus Sabinus, at . Citizenship is free, and passport application fees have been waived at the present time. Requirements for formal application forms have also been waived at the present time, and applications may be made directly via email.

Ownership of Antiquities

Concerning the Ownership of Antiquities

Official Policy Statement of the Antonine Imperium

Senatorial and Imperial Decree of April 19, 2765 AUC, 2012 ce

All living persons have the inherent and inalienable right to own and use objects and property, including antiquities. In recognition of this fact, the Antonine Imperium condemns without hesitation or reservation the attempts by certain organizations and governments to improperly regulate the markets in antiquities, and the attempts by these organizations to seize items of property that rightfully and lawfully belong to the persons who own them.

Antiquities can include, among other things, pottery, glassware, metal ware, tools, utensils, dishes, tiles, mosaics, objects of wood or fabric, coins, jewelry, gems, statues, sculptured reliefs, inscriptions, books, scrolls, paper items, paintings, frescoes, architectural elements, decorations, ornaments and ornamental items, religious or artistic objects of all types, and even entire buildings. These things can be owned by both individual persons and by various kinds of groups and organizations.

The Antonine Imperium does not recognize the claim of any government or organization to own cultural property merely because the property in question is of a certain age or originated in a certain geographic area, or is alleged to be of cultural importance to any particular group of people. The Antonine Imperium condemns as theft, cultural vandalism, and a denial of human rights any attempt by any government or organization to seize antiquities that properly belong to individual persons, or to restrict the ownership, use, or sale of antiquities by individual persons.

Published in: on April 19, 2012 at 8:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Antonine Flag Designs

The Antonine Imperium posseses an official flag as a symbol of its identity and of its claims to sovereignty. The design consists of the ancient 16 rayed Macedonian sunburst surrounded by a wreath, centered in a field of purple, red, or yellow. The emblem itself may be black or gold/yellow in color. The sunburst symbolizes ancient Greek culture and the wreath symbolizes ancient Roman culture. Official flags can be square or rectangular. Here are some examples of Antonine flags:


The original color images used for these designs look better in person than they do here, but this will give the viewer a general idea of what is desired. The intention is for a rich imperial purple, or bright yellow, or bright red. Purple in particular can be a tricky color to work with. It seems to undergo a transformation after being scanned, uploaded, and then downloaded, so that the resulting shade is never quite the same as the original. Flags can be enhanced with decorative elements such as border fringes and tassels, and can be very sumptuous when using materials such as silk or velvet tapstry.

Citizens of the Antonine Imperium are encouraged to use and display the Antonine flag as a symbol of their cultural and religious interests, in appropriate and respectful ways. The flag belongs to the people of the Empire! (Incidentally, since the Empire is not currently recognized by any other sovereign entity, the flag design is also copyrighted by the founder of Antoninia, as a way of reserving its use to the Empire and its citizens.)

Published in: on July 11, 2011 at 10:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Human Gods: Divus and Sanctus

The Sacred College of the Cult of the Gods of the Antonine Imperium has issued a decree recognizing the status of divus (divine) and sanctus (holy) for various persons. See the new page at right for the Sacred College for details. In general, the Sacred College accepts the status of divus or its equivalent that was granted to various members of the Ptolemaic dynasty and various Roman emperors by the ancient Greeks and Romans. It is the opinion of the Sacred College that the people so selected may receive the customary honors and rites that are offered to the heroic dead and the honored ancestors. Divus is an ancient title. Sanctus is a new concept, inspired by the usage of this term by the Ekklesia Antinoo.

No one is required to worship these honored persons, but we should remember them. Reflect upon their lives, their accomplishments, successes and failures, triumphs and tragedies.

These persons have been accepted as divus: Alexander the Great, Ptolemy I, Berenike I, Ptolemy II, Arsinoe I, Ptolemy III, Arsinoe II, Ptolemy IV, Cleopatra VII, Julius Caesar, Augustus, Lucius Caesar, Gaius Caesar, Livia Drusilla, Claudius I, Poppaea Sabina, Vespasian, Titus, Nerva, Trajan, Plotina, Matidia I, Marciana, Hadrian, Sabina, Antoninus Pius, Faustina I, Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus, Faustina II, Pertinax, Septimius Severus, Julia Domna, Severus Alexander, Julia Maesa, Gordian I, Gordian II, Gordian III, Philip I, Philip II, Decius, Valerian, Gallienus, Claudius II, Aurelian, Probus, Diocletian, Galerius, Julian.

The title of divus has been granted to the following persons: Marcus Antonius, Aelius Caesar, Mindia Matidia II, Zenobia, Maxentius, Maximinus Daia.

The title of sanctus has been granted to the following persons: Marcus Agrippa, Maecenas, Otho, Caenis, Germana, Herodes Atticus, Lucilla, Flavius Eugenius, Arbogast.

The title of divus has been revoked for the following persons: Constantius I, Jovian, Valentinian I, Valens, Valentinian II.

The following persons have been condemned: Helena, Constantine I, Constantius II, Gratian, Theodosius I.

The title of divus was discontinued after the time of Theodosius I and the Sacred College makes no judgment on the succeeding emperors of Rome and Constantinople, other than to condemn their religious intolerance.

Published in: on April 21, 2011 at 9:25 pm  Comments (7)  
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Dies Natalis Antoniniae

Today, November 26, is Dies Natalis Antoniniae, the birthday of Antoninia. It was on November 26, 1999 ce, eleven years ago, that Imperium Antoniniae, the Empire of Antoninia, was originally founded as Imperium Novum, the New Empire. In those eleven years the Empire has been formally dissolved three times and then revived three times. We have had three written Constitutions and three sets of Laws to accompany those Constitutions. Its name has changed from Imperium Novum and Imperium Romanum Hellenicum to Antoninia and Imperium Antoniniae. The Empire began essentially as an exercise in theory and wishful thinking,  and in most respects it has not moved beyond the realm of theory. However, we have persisted and the Empire still exists , no matter how tenuous that existence may be at times.

We have remained dedicated to the purpose stated in our Constitution, in Article I Section B: “The purpose of Antoninia is to serve its citizens in the creation of a self ruling state organization and society inspired by the Pagan culture and civilization of ancient Greece and Italy. Antoninia shall support the reestablishment and practice of the traditional Pagan polytheistic religions of ancient Greece and Italy. Antoninia shall also support the study and preservation of ancient Greek and Italian culture, and shall support the continuing development of selected elements of ancient Greek and Italian culture.”

And as further stated in Article V Section A: “Antoninia shall support a state religion to be referred to as Classical Paganism. For the purposes of this Constitution, Classical Paganism is defined as consisting of the various polytheistic cults and religions of the ancient Greeks, Italians, and kindred peoples. The state may also extend support to other polytheistic religions of a sympathetic and compatible nature.

Antoninia shall support Classical Paganism through the establishment of institutions, temples, shrines, cultural centers, priesthoods, publications, festivals, events, and activities as circumstances permit. These things shall be done in the style and manner of ancient Greece and Italy, in so far as it is practical to do so.

Citizens are not required to take part in the activities of the state religion,but certain magistrates and officials may be required as part of their official duties to take a part in such activities.

Specific procedures and requirements for the institutions and activities of the state religion may be established by law.”

So, we have ambitious formally stated goals and an organizational structure that could accomodate thousands of citizen members. In theory, Antoninia could become a Pagan version of the Vatican in size and cultural influence. Unfortunately, “could be” and “is” are two very different things. Antoninia is a very tiny group and has never really moved from theory to practical reality. We have four official citizen members at the present time. We have issued two coins in honor of the Gods. These coins have had a very small but widespread circulation, from Europe to Australia. We have sent an official letter to the appropriate dicasteries of the Vatican City State informing them of our existence.

Not a very great accomplishment for eleven years, but we are persisting.

Published in: on November 26, 2010 at 10:05 pm  Comments (1)  
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Return of the Phantom Empire

Yes, it’s back! The Antonine Imperium, after being absent for over a year, once again has an Internet presence! The new home of the Imperium is right here on this blog. Scroll down to the Antonine pages on the right and you will find information about the Empire of Antoninia, its purpose and intention, its citizens, and the coins it has produced in honor of the Gods. You will even find a picture of me at the bottom of the Notitia Dignitatum page in full imperial regalia.

Published in: on November 23, 2010 at 11:07 am  Comments (4)  
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