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 antoninestate@aol.com . 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.

Nova Roma and Byzantium Novum

The world is full of strange things, isn’t it?

Way back in 1998 or so some people started an organization called Nova Roma. It was intended to be a reconstruction or revival of Roman pagan religion, organized in the form of a sovereign state modelled after the Roman Republic, with claims to real sovereignty as a national state, a so called micronation. It looked very promising and I was a member of Nova Roma in its earliest days. Unfortunately things started to go wrong soon after it was founded. Nova Roma was taken over by Christians and atheists who had no interest in pagan religion and just wanted to play games in Roman costumes. There was quite a lot of what can only be described as pure vitriol in the conversations on their Yahoo conversation groups. I left the group and started my own paper state, the Antonine Imperium. Nova Roma went on its merry way, collecting game players, scandals, and a number of very nasty people. I recently saw a claim that it didn’t matter if the person selected as their chief priest was really a Christian because the Roman religion was a matter of orthopraxy rather than orthodoxy. In other words, as long as their priests wore the right costume and said the right words it didn’t matter if the priests did not actually believe in the deities they were supposedly worshipping. At one time, I believe, Nova Roma claimed to have over 2,000 members. I have heard that there was a mass exodus or expulsion of members this past spring, so that there are only a few hundred members left. So who left, the good guys or the bad guys? Throughout its history Nova Roma retained at least a few sincere practitioners of Religio Romana. Are they still there?

The principal founders of Nova Roma were two gentlemen using the names Cassius Julianus and Vedius Germanicus. As I recall, Vedius left the group, came back later, and I think was eventually expelled. Cassius, their Pontifex Maximus, was eventually expelled for alleged “inactivity”. As far as I know both of these men are sincere people with good intentions. They made a lot of mistakes in setting up Nova Roma, but those mistakes were not as obvious at the beginning as they are now.

Here is where it starts to get strange. Two or so years ago an entity named Byzantium Novum was created. This is a revival of the so called Byzantine Empire, it claims limited national sovereignty, and its centerpiece is the Byzantine Christian Church, identified with the Greek Orthodox Church. Hellenic Graeco Roman paganism is included as a tolerated faith and there are no religious requirements imposed on members of Byzantium Novum. They claim to have about 200 members. Now get ready for this – the founding member is none other than Cassius Julianus! Would someone like to explain to me why a professed “pagan” would want to participate in the revival of a Christian empire? They do have a very nice website at www.byzantiumnovum.org It’s worth paying a visit.

Now, in real life there never was any such thing as a Byzantine Empire. The term “Byzantine” came into use by historians as a derogatory name for the later phases of the Roman Empire. The people of the “Byzantine” Empire called themselves Romans, they never called themselves Byzantines. The old Greek city of Byzantium was swept away to make room for the new city of Constantinople. Most of the buildings of old Byzantium were demolished to provide materials for the new city. And, there are people today who are descended from the last citizens of the empire. They call themselves “Romai” or something similar, not Byzantine. And I seem to recall that they are Greek Orthodox in terms of religion, perhaps aggresively so.

Published in: on July 5, 2011 at 1:26 am  Comments (19)  
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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  Leave a Comment  
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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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