Date   

Re: French Call to Replace English with Latin as Europe's Official Language

P. Quinctius Petrus Augustinus
 

Ave Quaestor,

 

Yours is an interesting suggestion.  If implemented, I venture to say that at least 90% of participants herein will be eliminated, perhaps more.  Is that intended?  Is this forum to become available only to those few academics fitting your profile?   May I object?

 

Just as an aside In have a master’s and a doctorate, yet no ability to converse ion Latin.   Hmmmm.    

 

Val,

 

Publius Quinctius Petrus Augustinus

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: M'. Manlius Manilianus, quaestor
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2021 10:27 AM
To: TheForumRomanum@groups.io
Subject: Re: [TheForumRomanum] French Call to Replace English with Latin as Europe's Official Language

 

ꟿ. Manlius Manilianus quaestor S.P.D.

Salve!

Despite my struggles with Latin for Email, I support the use of Latin as a lingua franca. I base my support in part on its successful uses as a lingua franca in diplomacy in medieval, renaissance, and early modern Europe.

Because no two languages translate perfectly, having a lingua franca, such as Latin, gives diplomats a neutral language in which to draft treaties. If a disagreement arises based upon the transaction into the vernacular of the parties to a treaty, the original Latin text settled the dispute. Latin filled this role in Europe until the French Revolution. French filled the role until the end of the Second World War.
I also base my support on the use of Latin in the Catholic Church. For better or worse, Catholicism is the world's largest religion. The Church is organized in countries around the world, where communicants speak hundred of different languages. It is a daunting task interpreting everything into the vernacular of the people. Misinterpretation can unwittingly lead to heresy.

Latin is the official language of the Catholic Church. Everything begins with Latin. The Latin is painstakingly interpreted into the vernacular. Whenever there is a question in whether a particular interpretation is correct, they always go back to the Latin. Within the last month, a single word was removed from the English translation of the Mass to bring it closer to perfection.
I am old enough to remember the pre-Vatican II Tridentine Mass, in Latin. With the exception of the homily, which was in the local vernacular, the entire Mass was in Latin. No matter where a Catholic found themselves on a Sunday, they could fully participate in Mass. With the post-Vatican II changes to the Mass, the entire Mass is in the vernacular. While it makes it easier to participate if you speak the language being used at a particular Mass, it can be difficult to fully participate if you do not speak the language.

As a native speaker of English, I understand the distaste for English as a lingua franca. The rules of the language has to many exceptions and those exceptions often have their own exceptions. Only in English can "I can hardly wait" and "I can't hardly wait" have the same meaning. Almost any other language makes better sense than English. If not English, I believe a strong case can be made for Latin.

Vale!

ꟿ. Manlius Manilianus
Quaestor Rei Publicae Novae Romae
Eques Novus Romanus

 


Re: French Call to Replace English with Latin as Europe's Official Language

M'. Manlius Manilianus, quaestor <ManiusManliusManilianus@...>
 

ꟿ. Manlius Manilianus quaestor S.P.D.

Salve!

Despite my struggles with Latin for Email, I support the use of Latin as a lingua franca. I base my support in part on its successful uses as a lingua franca in diplomacy in medieval, renaissance, and early modern Europe.

Because no two languages translate perfectly, having a lingua franca, such as Latin, gives diplomats a neutral language in which to draft treaties. If a disagreement arises based upon the transaction into the vernacular of the parties to a treaty, the original Latin text settled the dispute. Latin filled this role in Europe until the French Revolution. French filled the role until the end of the Second World War.
I also base my support on the use of Latin in the Catholic Church. For better or worse, Catholicism is the world's largest religion. The Church is organized in countries around the world, where communicants speak hundred of different languages. It is a daunting task interpreting everything into the vernacular of the people. Misinterpretation can unwittingly lead to heresy.

Latin is the official language of the Catholic Church. Everything begins with Latin. The Latin is painstakingly interpreted into the vernacular. Whenever there is a question in whether a particular interpretation is correct, they always go back to the Latin. Within the last month, a single word was removed from the English translation of the Mass to bring it closer to perfection.
I am old enough to remember the pre-Vatican II Tridentine Mass, in Latin. With the exception of the homily, which was in the local vernacular, the entire Mass was in Latin. No matter where a Catholic found themselves on a Sunday, they could fully participate in Mass. With the post-Vatican II changes to the Mass, the entire Mass is in the vernacular. While it makes it easier to participate if you speak the language being used at a particular Mass, it can be difficult to fully participate if you do not speak the language.

As a native speaker of English, I understand the distaste for English as a lingua franca. The rules of the language has to many exceptions and those exceptions often have their own exceptions. Only in English can "I can hardly wait" and "I can't hardly wait" have the same meaning. Almost any other language makes better sense than English. If not English, I believe a strong case can be made for Latin.

Vale!

ꟿ. Manlius Manilianus
Quaestor Rei Publicae Novae Romae
Eques Novus Romanus


Re: LUDI NOVI ROMANI MMDCCLXXIV - VIRTUAL CHARIOT RACE, THE FINAL!

Cn. Cornelius Lentulus
 

Cn. Lentulus quaestor P. Annaeo aedili, et Q. Arrio cos. victori, et Sex. Lucilio secundo s. p. d.

Once again, thank you, aedilis Placide, for the narrative of our virtual ludi circenses. It was a long read, but a funny one with tongue in cheek, as usual from your circus "pen". For the new citizens who don't know how these virtual races work, there are rules that determine victory and outcomes, the players send in their imaginary drivers and chariots, with tactics selected from a list, and the organizer determines the results by dice rolling, based on the rules and chances that the selected tactics give. So, this is a real game, not just a "novel" or "story". Different organizers write different style of race reports, some are funny, some are more serious, but this is the privilege of the organizer to decide.

Our winner, consul Q. Arrius Nauta will receive 3 Cultural Census Points. Congratulations, consul!

The second, tribunus plebis Sex. Lucilius Tutor will receive 2 Cultural CP. Congrats, amice!

But who is the third, aedilis Placide? You must determine a third place.

Awaiting for your reply:


Cn. Cornelius Lentulus
quaestor




Il martedì 16 marzo 2021, 01:22:42 CET, P. Annaeus Constantinus Placidus, aedilis curulis <ugo.coppola1970@...> ha scritto:


Ædilis Curulis Publius Annæus Placidus omnibus in Foro S.P.D.

Salvete, Quirites! You are about to read my narration for the Final of the Virtual Chariot Race in this year's edition of LUDI NOVI ROMANI. This story, like all others of mine regarding chariot races, does not takes place in Rome but in the fictional city of Nova Roma, and it also does not take place in the Repubican Era, but TODAY. This is why you will find chariots and television, charioteers and smartphones, magistrates in togas and policemen in uniform, people shouting insults and a big censoring button. And yes, even a fully operational fire engine. In other words, this is a constant mixture of ancient and modern. I hope you will find this mixture, and the narrative itself, entertaining. After all, nothing of this is even remotely an account of anything factual. It's fiction. :-)

Optime valete omnes,
Publius Annæus Constantinus Placidus
Ædilis Curulis Novæ Romæ
_______________________________________________

The broadcast opens, in an extremely unusual way for a Ludi event, on a fixed shot from outside the Circus Maximus in Nova Roma, framing the Circus itself on the background and the streets outside of it in the foreground. The streets are busy with cars, motorbikes, scooters, trucks, buses and the occasional trams. A traffic warden on the right of the screen, wearing a dark blue uniform, a white helmet and white gloves, is directing the incoming traffic. No music but just noises: car engines, horns, general street noises. The opening credits appear over the fixed shot in red/golden Roman epigraphic script:
NOVA ROMA NETWORK presents | LUDI NOVI ROMANI 2774 a.U.c. | VIRTUAL CHARIOT RACE | THE FINAL | Hosted by PUBLIVS ANNÆUS CONSTANTINUS PLACIDUS | Special Guest MANIUS FLAVIUS SALVUS | A NOVA ROMA NETWORK Production | Directed for TV by GAIA TULLIA CELERIS.

Immediately after the credits are finished, a bitonal siren (low, high-high, low) is heard in the distance, from the left of the screen. The shot moves to the left to show a bright red Iveco Stralis fire engine moving along the main street. Although the vehicle moves at a moderate speed, the twin blue strobes on top of its roof are lit, and the siren is blaring. The writing VIGILI DEL FUOCO, the Italian Firefighters Corps, is very clearly visible across its front and, as it passes the camera, on its right side. The passenger door sports an old-fashioned telephone dial with 115 stamped on it; 115 is also stamped on the tail end. The warden moves off-screen to the right to make way for the fire engine, and the camera follows it up to the main (South) entrance to the Circus, where it stops. The strobes and siren are turned off. The shot moves to the front of the vehicle. The driver’s door opens and Placidus comes out of it in his toga prætexta. A second later, the passenger’s door opens and Salvus climbs off, wearing an off-white toga on top of a tunica angusticlavia. Both of them have logos embroidered on their togas near their respective left shoulders: Placidus has the Firefighter Corps flame logo, Salvus has the more complex Italian State Police heraldic logo: a two-sided emblem featuring a rampant gryphon on the right side, with a sword in his hand, and a book labeled LEX on the left side, with a pair of crossed silver/red torches under it; the camera closes up on the logo, revealing the Latin motto SUB LEGE LIBERTAS under it.

The shot re-enlarges itself back to the two togati men, who enter the dark access corridor to the Circus and emerge from it in the full light of an early Monday afternoon.

The Circus is almost completely empty as usual. Artificial, mechanically rigged puffs of blue and red smoke rise up from various points of the bleachers. As they enter, the heroic theme tune of all Ludi events in Nova Roma is finally heard at full volume, with pre-recorded applause under it; Placidus and Salvus stop in the middle of the racetrack opposite the Novi Romani magistrates, then Placidus turns on his wireless microphone and starts talking into it.

placidus (very formal). Ladies and gentlemen, domini dominæque, iuvenes, pueri puellæque… to say it in one word, everybody in front of your TV screens, welcome to the fantastic Final of the Virtual Chariot Race in the Ludi Novi Romani 2774 a.U.c!! (Pause and long, loud pre-recorded applause). This is Ædilis Curulis Publius Annæus Constantinus Placidus… (Pause. He points to Salvus.)

salvus. And this is Nihil Nihili Manius Flavius Salvus… (Pause. Placidus laughs out at Salvus’s self-appellation. He hesitates to continue; when he does, he still has the giggles on him.)

placidus (giggling.) …and we’re talking to you LIVE from the Circus Maximus in Nova Roma, ready to tell you about the bits and the bobs, the nuts and the bolts of this exciting race. But before that… (Pause. To Salvus.) Buddy, what was that Nihil thing all about?

salvus. Well, to tell you the honest truth, Placide, I’m a bit envious of your title in here. (Pause.) You’re somebody, I’m nobody. You’re something, I’m nothing. So I just thought that Nothing of Nothing would be a fitting title for me. (He laughs.)

placidus (chuckling as well, but serious at the same time). Buddy, let me tell you an honest truth: you being nobody is one of the worst and biggest untruths I’ve ever heard not only from you, but from anybody. (Pause.) Simply by virtue of being here with me, not only you’re somebody, but you’re my friend. That makes you bigger, to me, than the biggest Somebody I know. (Pointed, to Consul Arrius opposite him.) Yes, Consul. To me he’s even bigger than you. (He giggles. Shot on the Consul.)

arrius. I understand perfectly, Placide amice. And I concede that to you. (He smiles and gives Placidus a thumb-up. Placidus resumes.)

placidus. Thanks, Consul. By the way, you’ve just given me a very good pretext to formally introduce all of you once again for this Final. (Pause. The shot changes to the four magistrates in the front row. As Placidus introduces them, they stand up one by one and they sit back down.) From left to right, Plebeian Ædilis Gaius Aurelius Cotta Iovis (Pause. Cotta rises.), my mate in the Curia Aulus Iulius Paterculus (Pause. Paterculus rises. He holds the starter’s red nappa in his right hand, while his left hand holds a white respirator mask.), our great Consul you’ve just seen, Quintus Arrius Nauta (Pause. Arrius rises in his prætexta.) and last, but most certainly not least, his equal Aula Tullia Scholastica. (Pause. Scholastica rises and salutes. She is dressed elegantly, wearing a light blue palla over a pink stola – both on top of a white tunic. Each magistrate is accompanied by pre-recorded applause in the background.)

salvus. Well, Placide, I think we may get to the starting grid now, can’t we?

placidus. I was just about to say that myself, buddy. (Pause. Placidus pushes on the earphone in his left ear.) Tullia, can you please give me the lineup for the final? Thanks a lot. (Pause. Shot on the electronic billboard on top of the circus. Two CG-animated text lines, pulled by cartoon silhouettes of racing chariots – respectively in bright blue and bright red – come out of the billboard and appear on screen.)

LANE     CHARIOT            OWNER                        DRIVER       TEAM

I              Titans’ Disaster      Sex. Lucilius Tutor         Stoicus           VENETA

II             The Triremis          Q. Arrius Nauta              Ben-Hur         RUSSATA

 

salvus. Hey, Placide, that’s nice – cartoon chariots pulling the lines!

placidus. Yeah, they’re cute. Didn’t you see them during the First Semifinal?

salvus. No. Er… (thoughfully) I guess I was looking elsewhere. (Pause.) Maybe it would be nice to have that kind of animation for the logo of my “No Route” Diving Club…

placidus. Ah, but that doesn’t have anything at all to do with me. (Pause.) You should talk to Tullia up there (he points to the broadcast center) – that’s her work.

salvus. Well, I guess I’ll have to exchange a few words with her. But I’ll do that later. (Pause.) After the race. The race comes first.

placidus. You couldn’t have said it better, buddy. (Pause.) I’ll just move a bit to the lanes, so I can exchange some words with the charioteers. (Pause. He talks directly to the camera.) Yes, folks out there in TV-land, because by now I do know the owners  all too well – one being our honourable Consul – but still the charioteers elude me. I still occasionally get the feeling that they’re the silent, unsung heroes of these races. (Pause. He goes to Lucilius on Lane I.) Salve, Lucili amice. What a great victory on Friday. Your great charioteer-cum-philosopher was great.

lucilius. Well, yeah, that fierce Dorothea gave him a bit of a hard time, but in the end he got over her.

placidus. I’d like to exchange a couple of words with him. Can I?

lucilius. Suit yourself, Ædilis amice. (Pause.) But I guess you won’t get much from him, because, as you may know, he’s completely emotionless, He claims to have total dominion over his emotions… and he actually has. Sometimes even I find it difficult to talk to him, because he’s so enigmatic.

placidus. All right, I’ll try. (He looks up. Stoicus is standing on the chariot in an extremely dignified posture – perfectly erect, head proudly held up high, almost like a soldier, even if it is obvious that he is not.) Salve, Stoice. It’s a real pleasure to have you back here on the racetrack. Are you enjoying your current adventure, so far?

stoicus (very calmly). Oh, sure, I’m enjoying it thoroughly. Indeed it is a pleasure for me to be here, and I thank you, Ædilis Placide, for organizing these wonderful games.

placidus (trying desperately to get even the barest hint of emotion from Stoicus). You’re very much welcome, but please tell me: how does it feel to win? To qualify for a Chariot Race final?

stoicus (perplexed) It feels… er… great. (Pause.) Yes, it does feel great. When you cross that line at the end of the last lap, you feel… er… elated. You’re on top of the world. (Pause. Placidus looks closely at Stoicus’s face and notices that the corners of his lips are very slightly curving upwards, maybe trying to produce a vague hint of a smile, but Stoicus does not move his mouth any further. He quickly resumes his neutral expression.) And yes, of course it feels wonderful to be here in the Final.

placidus. OK, thanks a lot, Stoice, and have a good race. (To Lucilius.) Of course this also applies to you, Lucili. (Pause. Lucilius gives him a thumb-up. He moves on Lane II to greet the Consul and his charioteer, Ben-Hur.) So you’re here now, Consul. Did you expect this?

arrius. Oh, no, Placide. Not at all. All I was looking for here was a bit of fun. Fun and escapism, as our friend Ingeniarius said before his Semifinal. (Pause.) OK, I won, and that’s nice. But I never meant it. It was all just for fun.

placidus. Esteemed Consul, I’m quite glad you’re taking this as pure fun. (Pause.) Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to talk a bit to your charioteer. His name intrigues me.

arrius. Of course I don’t, Placide. Go ahead.

placidus. Thanks a lot, Consul. (He looks up and meets Ben-Hur’s gaze. He wears a centurion’s helmet, modified for racing and with no crest.) Salve, Ben-Hur, and first of all congratulations for the great victory in the Second Semifinal. (Pause. Ben-Hur makes a bow.) As I was saying previously, with your master, your name calls to mind cinematic and literary memories. May you tell us a little bit more about it?

ben-hur (very easy-going). Well, Ædilis, I must admit that I’m not a film buff and I don’t read books – only comics. (Pause. He giggles.) Of course I know who my namesake is – somebody once showed me the film. But I didn’t like it at all. I couldn’t even watch it through… (Pause. Sarcastically) Phooy! What a stupidly anachronistic, anti-historical mess! But after all it’s Hollywood, and Hollywood is after a big show – certainly not historical accuracy. (Pause.) I was orphaned when I was two, I can’t even remember how my parents used to call me. A family from Nova Roma, here, adopted me, and called me Ben-Hur because they said I looked like the guy in the film – even as a child. Nowadays people tell me I still look like the guy. (Pause.) Of course I can’t tell, because I don’t really know the film. What do you think, Ædilis? (Placidus looks attentively at him and he actually looks like a slightly younger version of what Charlton Heston, in his Ben-Hur guise from the 1959 film, would have looked today had he not aged. However, the new Ben-Hur’s facial features are rougher and less refined than what would be expected from an Hollywood star.)

placidus. Well, my friend, I can’d judge either, as even I don’t have a good memory of when I last saw the film. Historical or pseuso-historical kolossals aren’t my cup of tea either. (Pause. He makes a Roman salute to the Consul, who responds, and he starts moving towards his monitor in front of the bleachers, where Salvus is waiting for him behind an identical monitor.) Ben-Hur, best of luck for this race. And to you as well, Consul. (Pause. He goes to meet Salvus.)

salvus. What a nice Consul you have here, Placide. He’s a great guy.

placidus. Oh yes, he is. I first met him during the Dies Natalis Romæ in 2019… er, 2772, and he’s actually great. (Pause.) Now let’s not lose any more time, we’re about to start. (Shot on Paterculus, who has climbed on the starter’s podium. He is holding the nappa in his right hand and he is not wearing a mask.) Patercule amice, no mask today?

paterculus. No, Placide. I found another way not to get dusty or dirty. (Pause.) One you also taught me.

placidus (still not aware of having taught anything to anybody). Let’s see, amice. Will you do your job, please?

paterculus. Of course. (Pause. Loudly, to the charioteers) Attention, pilots! Three… two… one… (Pause. Horses snort.)… GO!!! (He drops the nappa. The horses gallop away furiously. At the same moment, Paterculus jumps off the podium and runs in the opposite direction with all of his might. He stops at a corner of the racetrack, then he jumps the low bleachers wall, he goes back to his seat, calmly, and sits down.) Puff! Did you like that, colleague? (Pause.) Not very Roman, maybe, but useful.

placidus (chuckling). Oh yeah, very useful! Indeed I remember doing that myself once or twice, so I’m glad you picked that up from me, Patercule. (Pause. Shot on the dolpins pole above the Circus. The first dolphin looks down. Placidus talks to the camera.) Okay, folks. The Final has begun. Indeed, we’re ready to tell you everything about…

 

LAP I

 Two young workmen, wearing short tunics and yellow safety helmets, enter from the South door, run into the racetrack and quickly dismantle the podium. They run back to the door and disappear into the dark corridor. Placidus talks to Salvus.

placidus. Okay, buddy, this is going to be three laps for two chariots. (As a reminder to Salvus, he points out the chariots to him.) Titans’ Disaster/Stoicus, he hurries in the straight lines as a tactic. The Triremis/Ben-Hur, he hugs the spina. (Pause.) You start.

salvus. I’m honored! (Shot on the racetrack.)  Ben-Hur, just like the film, as you were saying earlier, Placide, is proving to be a skilled driver, His acceleration over Ben-Hur is so powerful, he looks like he’s going to reach the first bend much earlier than his opponent will, despite the way in which he’s going to go around it. (Pause.) Indeed here he is near the bend… a short, strong pull to the reins… he slows down just as much as to pass the bend with no danger. (Pause.) Placide, you tell the folks at home what the other guy’s doing now…

placidus. Straight away, buddy. (Pause). Battle-ready Ben-Hur’s not certainly the guy to let anybody beat him on his favourite terrain – curves – and he’s demonstrating just that, by speeding up… indeed he’s keeping his full speed right into the bend… and passing it, as always, riskingly close to the tip of the spina wall. (Pause.) He is good. And, coming out of the bend, they’re paired. Stoicus accelerates, like earlier. There’s fire inside his horses but, apparently, not inside of himself. (Shot on the racetrack. Tullia, from the broadcast center, closes up on the two charioteers, allowing Placidus to comment of them.) Ben-Hur gives a fiery stare, full of vehemence and passion, to his opponent, who responds with a very straight face, almost a poker face, a glassy look and an icy gaze. If there’s anything inside of him, well, he dissimulates that all too well. (Pause. He pushes on his earphone.) Hey, Tullia, what a wonderful close-up I’ve just seen from you! Congrats! (He claps.) Why don’t you do more like that?

tullia (from earphone). Thanks, Ædilis. I don’t do many close-ups because people at home are obviously far more interested in the broad picture than in the minutiæ. And really I did that because I was spurred by your comment about inside and outside. (Pause. Placidus smiles.) Also, as I told you before the First Semifinal, each one of us does the job they do best. I do mine and… (Pause. Pointedly) you do yours, Placide. (Pause. Placidus, still smiling, looks down.) And your instructor friend is so good as well, I hope he can do this again next time.

placidus. My “instructor friend”… (Giggling.) Tullia, he’s so much more than that. And of course I too hope he’ll be here at my side for the next Circenses, but nobody knows where our macronational commitments will lead us. I’d like to remind you once again that hosting chariot races broadcasts here at the Circus Maximus isn’t the primary occupaton of any of us two…

tullia. Yes, I know. But still you’re good. (Click of Tullia closing the call.)

salvus. Your director’s quite something, eh, Placide? I’d like to meet her sooner or  later.

placidus. Yeah. As with the foul language in here, what you’ve just heard is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ll introduce you to her later, after the race. (Pause.) Now let’s mind, indeed, the race.

salvus. Sure! (Pause and shot on the racetrack.) Apparently the two contenders have spent most of this second straight line trying to overtake each other, which seems to never happen – as both of them are busy just shooting glances at each other… fire from one side, ice from the other. Just the polar opposites. But still opposites attract, and their attraction generates a fun race and exciting to watch… and to narrate. (He pats on Placidus’s shoulder.) Thanks for giving me this opportunity, my friend.

placidus. Thank you for seizing it, buddy. (Pause.) You continue to the end of the lap, I don’t want to interfere.

salvus. You’re never interfering in anything, Placide. It’s a two-voiced chronicle. (Pause.) Here comes the second bend. Stoicus on Titans’ Disaster takes it with his usual composure, his usual cool… slow down, turn, accelerate again… while Ben-Hur on The Triremis just plainly attacks it with fury… never worrying, not even for a split second, to damage his wheels by scraping the spina, he’s too good not to. (Pause.) So, by the end of the first lap it’s this way: Stoicus crosses first, Ben-Hur is a close second. Placide, now I think you should mind the second dolphin up there: I think he’s about to move.

placidus. Indeed he is, buddy! (Shot on the dolphins pole. The second one descends.) This, as even you know very well by now, can only mean one thing: Lap I is over, and we’re definitely into…

LAP II

salvus. Placide, you’ve been too kind to let me start this race. Now I give that favour back to you… please, you start this lap.

placidus. Well, buddy, as I was saying in my other game from this year’s edition of Ludi Novi Romani, this looks like a typical case of manus manum lavat! (Pause. He laughs moderately.) Heh-heh-heh… after all everybody says that washing your hands often is one rule for keeping yourself safe during these days. (Pause. Salvus laughs as well.) Anyway, joking aside, this second lap has started in an identical way to the first: Stoicus is putting all of his might into the first straight line so he has time to approach the bend in the safest possible way, while Ben-Hur, having been a bit left behind, is trying desperately to catch up… which he does, to a certain extent, as the chariots are now reaching the first bend. Titans’ Disaster and Stoicus do once again their safe, very correct, by-the-book procedure and cross very safely, The Triremis and Ben-Hur slow down only very slightly… as the heroic charioteer prefers going straight in, and next to the wall, preferring the fast-but-risky way approach to the slow-and-methodical one… (Pause. Extremely short metallic noise. The left hubcap on The Triremis has very briefly scraped the tip of the spina.)… and the risky approach, as you may have heard, folks, isn’t always perfect. But it does pay off, and out of the bend the chariots are once again paired… which gives me a perfectly good excuse to pass the ball to my mate Salvus right now. (Pause.) Over to you, buddy.

salvus. Wow, Placide! You’re getting so good at disengaging yourself at the best moments! (He chuckles.)

placidus. Well, buddy, it’s not the first two-voiced chronicle I do… and not even the third…

salvus (ironically) Yeah, yeah, I know. (Pause. Shot on the racetrack) And yet again history repeats itself in the motions of the two chariots along the second straight line. Stoicus lets out some powerful lashes – his outer side may look impassible to us, but cleary he has a great knowledge of his own inner strength. And he’s putting it to very good use… the distance between he and Ben Hur has widened to more than one and a half meters now. We’re so lucky to be witnessing with our own eyes two of the best of this year’s charioteers in Nova Roma competing for the victory in this fantastic Chariot Race… aren’t we, Placide?

placidus. Yes, of course they’re the best, otherwise they wouldn’t have qualified for this Final, and maybe they wouldn’t be in the Circus at all. (Pause. Gently) Buddy, please go on. You’re doing great as well.

salvus. Not bad for a first-timer, ain’t it?

placidus. Actually this is the third time, buddy… if we count your half-chronicle at a distance from Saturday.

salvus. Oh, right! (He giggles.) I wasn’t counting that one at all… (Pause.) Well, anyway, these two champion drivers are nearing the second bend, and once again the same script is acted out again… Stoicus, exploiting his momentary advantage, goes around it with extreme care. Ben-Hur, on the other hand, swerves a bit to the left in order to literally cut his way into the bend, which he faces, as usual, at a dangerously reduced distance from the wall… I guess no more than just two centimeters. (Pause. Placidus looks at him with admiration.)

placidus. Wow, man! I thought you could only measure distances in meters with a minus sign… minus eighteen, minus thirty, minus thirtynine. (Pause. Salvus smiles at Placidus’s precise enunciation of diving limits.) I wasn’t aware you had such an eye for centimeters.

salvus. Apart from the fact that it was only small talk, Placide… as I certainly can’t measure centimeters from a TV monitor… I’m a policeman. And before that, I was a soldier. I was in military missions abroad. (Pause.) So I do know when a situation is a matter of centimeters. Trust me.

placidus. I do trust you, buddy. Indeed, I trust you so much that I let you finish this lap.
salvus. Thanks, Placide. Well, there’s not really anything more to say here than watch the two chariots pass swiftly across the finish line. Once again Stoicus is first and Ben-Hur is second. Now let’s see the ultimate developments in this great race while the third dolphin is no more upright… (Shot on the dolphins pole. The third dolphin is indeed reclining down.) … leanding us all into the deserved final of this Final, that is…

LAP III

placidus. You have a way with words! Very good, buddy!

salvus. Even an istructor can have a good teacher, Placide. (Pause. He pats Placidus on his shoulder.) And anyway you’re better.

placidus. Buddy, at least among us being “better” at anything counts almost nothing. What counts is telling to the folks at home what we actually see. (Pause. Shot on the racetrack.) And what we actually see is the two chariots, Titan’s Disaster and The Triremis, exactly paired along the first straight line. The ideal quadriga I was seeing on Saturday is reforming again under my very eyes thanks to the superb piloting skills of the two charioteers, Stoicus and Ben-Hur. And they’re moving like that – paired – up to the first bend, which Stoicus is kind-of obliged to take at the very same pace as Ben-Hur… that is, fast… just in order to keep up with him. This upsets a bit his usual slow-down-turn-and-speed-up-again routine, in that he does not slow down at all… the quadriga is intact going through the bend. But The Triremis is doing it perfectly, as it’s always done up to now, Titans’ Disaster, maybe unused to such a brisk pace around the bends, is a little bit wobblier as it comes out of the first bend. (Pause.) But never mind, I see they have both come unscathed out of it, so I more-than-willingly let my buddy here at my side continue with the second straight line.

salvus. Very pleased to do so. (Pause.) Were you talking about a quadriga, Placide, a few minutes ago? Well, it has dissolved. It has disappeared into thin air. Ben-Hur now leads and his face has something devilish about it. He’s lashing his horses like mad!! (Pause and shot on the racetrack; Ben-Hur’s spurring shouts to his horses are clearly heard – Yah! Yaah! – but then some talking is heard coming from both Stoicus and himself. Salvus is perplexed.) Hey, Placide, but those two madmen were actually talking to each other while running?

placidus. I’m not sure, buddy. (Pause. He pushes on his earphone.) Tullia? Could you please give me a replay of that? And push the volume up a little bit. (Pause. The scene replays.)  

ben-hur (lashing and spurring his horses). Yah! Yaah! (Pause.) Run, you beasts!

stoicus (in a loud voice but still calm, to Ben-Hur). Domine, if I may have a word with you, raging against your horses won’t lead you to anything. (He points to his head.) The real strength is in your mind, not in your body.

ben-hur (annoyed). Oh, no, please. Don’t go philosophizing me, you pathetic moron! (Pause. The replay ends and the shot goes back to Salvus, who is very impressed – unfavourably – by the harsh language.)

salvus. My Gosh, Placide! So is this the hidden part of the iceberg you were talking about last Thursday? Do these guys actually talk like that all the time?

placidus. Hidden part of the iceberg? (He chuckles.) No, that’s still the tip. I’ve heard much worse. (Pause. Placidus looks into his monitor.) Buddy, they’re at it again! (He pushes on his headphone.) Tullia, please amplify the cameras along the bend. We’re going live. And be ready with that big censoring button. (Pause. To Salvus) Brace yourself, buddy. (He chuckles again. Ben-Hur on The Triremis crosses the bend near the wall, as usual. Stoicus talks to him again, in the same voice and tone as earlier.)

stoicus. Domine Ben-Hur, listen to me. Strength is nothing if you don’t control it witn your mind.

ben-hur.  SHUT UP, you f—[BEEP!]ing  d—[BEEP!]head! I’m trying to drive, here!

stoicus (insisting). Domine, please— (He never finshes the sentence. A huge spit of saliva from Ben-Hur hits him straight in the face. The shot goes back to Placidus and Salvus, whose mouths are both gaping. They look at each other and laugh. Then Placidus resumes by talking to Salvus.)

placidus. Did you see that, buddy? In spite of his helmet, he has been hit not by flying lead – but by flying liquid! (He keeps laughing.)

salvus. Oh, yes, Placide – the Mighty Spit strikes again! (Pause. The shot moves to the racetrack.) Stoicus tries to wipe his face  with a corner of his toga, but in the meantime he lets go of his reins… The horses do not turn around the bend like they are supposed to, but gallop straight… something’s about to happen… and here it goes!  The right wheel on Titans’ Disaster has hit the bleachers wall immediately next to the bend. However, the chariot is too strong – and Stoicus is too smart – to surrender to a single hit, and indeed he quickly pulls his horses back on track. But I fear it’s a little bit too late… (Pause.) … it’s up to you to explain why, Placide amice.

placidus. It is indeed too late for Stoicus, because everything is finished in the moment when The Triremis, with Ben-Hur on it, crosses the finish line first! (Pause. Ben-Hur, too long restrained, finally screams out a long, liberating Yeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaahhhh! Placidus resumes for the conclusion.) Stoicus on Titans’ Disaster, whose right wheel is a little bit wobbly but still on its axis, comes second, and he still gets his deserved Championship points.

salvus. So it all ends like this, Placide?

placidus. Yes, my dear buddy. It all actually ends exactly like this. (Formally) I would like to give my most heartfelt congratulations to the ultimate winner, who is none other than our beloved Consul Quintus Arrius Nauta. (Pause. Shot on Arrius, who smiles and salutes the camera among loud pre-recorded applause.) I also wish to thank all of the people who entered their chariots and came here to watch them race, and of course I wish to thank, from the bottom of my heart, my companion for these chronicles – the great Manius Flavius Salvus. (Pause. He raises Salvus’s right arm. Partially obscured by more applause, Placidus talks to him.) Buddy, do I have some faint hope that you will be here again to host at least one more race with me?

salvus. I can’t really say anything, but I do have the same hope as you. But first… you must come down to Sicily, dive with me and get your certification card again, otherwise… (very jokingly) I don’t want to see your ugly face again for the rest of my days!! (Pause. He lets out a huge, ringing, sunny laugh. Placidus laughs as well.)

placidus. We have to say goodbye now to everybody, buddy. Are you ready?

salvus. Of course I am.

placidus. OK. (Pause.) My name is Publius Annæus Constantinus Placidus…

salvus. …and mine is Manius Flavius Salvus…

placidus. …and we’re signing off, of course hoping to see you once again…

salvus and placidus (together)… same place, same channel, for the next race. (Short pause. Both of them smile and point to the camera.) FADE OUT!! (They laugh. The screen does fade to black and the broadcast ends.)


Re: Ludi Novi Romani - Quiz on Classics through the Ages

Cn. Cornelius Lentulus
 

Cn. Lentulus quaestor A. Iulio aedili et Autroniae Stoloni victrici s. p. d.

I congratulate our new citizen, Autronia, for her victory! Thanks to aedilis Paterculus for this quiz! 

Autronia Stolo will receive 3 Cultural Census Points for winning this contest, which gives her, in total, 4 CP that she won by studying, learning and practicing our Roman culture. I think this is very nice, and I applaud the lex Arria de censu civium aestimando for introducing this new way of recognition.

Valete! Vivat Nova Roma!
CN. LENTVLVS QVAEST.


Il martedì 16 marzo 2021, 00:17:02 CET, A. Iulius Paterculus, aedilis curulis <arthur.f.waite@...> ha scritto:


Salvete omnes,
  As the Ludi Novi Romani conclude, it is a pleasure to announce that
D. Autronia Stolo is the winner of the "Classics through the Ages"
quiz. Congratulations D. Autronia!
  Valete,
    A. Iulius Paterculus

On 3/13/21, A. Iulius Paterculus, aedilis curulis via groups.io
<arthur.f.waite=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
> A. Iulius Paterculus omnibus in foro s.p.d.
>    This is the fifth and final set of questions for the "Classics
> through the Ages" quiz.
>    This last round takes us into the twentieth century:
> 1. Which classic 1920s novel was almost named after a character from
> the Satyricon? (1 point)
> 2. In 1964, a novel was published based on the life of Flavius
> Claudius Julianus (known variously as Emperor Julian, Julian the
> Apostate, and Julian the Blessed). Who was the author, and what major
> historical liberty was taken near the end of the book? (2 points)
> 3. While imprisoned at Robben Island, Nelson Mandela signed a book
> circulated by Sonny Venkatrathnam, a fellow political prisoner, next
> to a speech composed for a famous Roman. Who was the supposed Roman
> speaker of these words, and who actually wrote them? (2 points)
>    All previous questions are in this thread; you are welcome to
> answer any and all from now until 6:00 A.M. Rome Time on Monday, March
> 15th. Please send your responses in English to the email address
> "arthur.f.waite (at) gmail.com", including the words "CLASSICS THROUGH
> THE AGES" in the subject line.
>    Valete.
>
> On 3/10/21, A. Iulius Paterculus, aedilis curulis via groups.io
> <arthur.f.waite=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
>> A Iulius Paterculus omnibus in foro s.p.d.
>>    It's time for the fourth round of questions for our "Classics
>> through the Ages" quiz.
>>    Today's questions are all about English literature:
>> 1. Proserpina appears as a character in one of Geoffrey Chaucer’s
>> Canterbury Tales. Which one? (1 point)
>> 2. William Shakespeare wrote several plays about Roman history,
>> including one about a champion turned enemy of Rome awarded the
>> agnomen Coriolanus. How did Coriolanus earn this name, and what had
>> his name been previously? (3 points)
>> 3. In John Milton’s drama “A Masque, Presented at Ludlow Castle” (also
>> called “Comus”), the titular villain Comus is descended from two
>> mythological characters. Who were they? What is one way in which Comus
>> resembled one of his parents? (3 points)
>> 4. In the portion of "Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage" dealing with the
>> title character's travels to Greece, George Gordon Byron (also known
>> as Lord Byron) criticized an action recently taken by another member
>> of the English nobility in that country. Who was being criticized and
>> for what? (2 points)
>>    Also, our current rankings place D. Autronia Stolo squarely in the
>> lead, with a perfect score on the first six questions. There is still
>> time for others to catch up.
>>    Please send your responses in English to the email address
>> "arthur.f.waite (at) gmail.com", including the words "CLASSICS THROUGH
>> THE AGES" in the subject line. The deadline for all responses will be
>> 6:00 A.M. Rome Time on Monday, March 15th.
>>    Valete.
>>
>> On 3/7/21, A. Iulius Paterculus, aedilis curulis via groups.io
>> <arthur.f.waite=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
>>> A Iulius Paterculus omnibus in foro s.p.d.
>>>    Looking over the previous set of questions, I see that there was a
>>> typographical error in the question on Plato. The full question should
>>> have been:
>>> 1. Averroes (also known as Ibn Rushd), twelfth-century Cordovan
>>> philosopher and judge wrote a number of commentaries on Aristotle -
>>> and one on Plato. Which dialogue? (1 point)
>>>    With today's set of questions, our odyssey through the history of
>>> the Classical tradition arrives at the Renaissance:
>>> 1.    Albertino Mussato was one of the earliest people since Classical
>>> times to receive the designation of “poet laureate”. Name one of the
>>> works which helped earn him this honour (1 point).
>>> 2.    In 1347 a.d., Cola Di Rienzo seized power in the city of Rome,
>>> declaring the Roman Republic restored and himself Rome’s newest
>>> tribune. What formal political position had Cola held just prior to
>>> this, and which prominent humanist at first supported Cola’s goals? (2
>>> points)
>>> 3.    Desiderius Erasmus, a leading Humanist scholar in Holland joined
>>> one of the Hellenistic philosophical schools late in his career. Which
>>> one, and in which of his works did Erasmus argue in favour of this
>>> school? (3 points)
>>>      Valete.
>>>
>>> On 3/4/21, A. Iulius Paterculus, aedilis curulis via groups.io
>>> <arthur.f.waite=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
>>>> A. Iulius Paterculus omnibus in foro s.p.d.
>>>>
>>>>    Below you can find the second set of questions for our "Classics
>>>> through the Ages" quiz. This instalment could be subtitled "The 12th &
>>>> 13th Centuries Love Aristotle".
>>>>
>>>> 1. Averroes (also known as Ibn Rushd), twelfth-century Cordovan
>>>> philosopher and judge wrote a number of commentaries on a Aristotle.
>>>> Which on which dialogue? (1 point)
>>>>
>>>> 2. Maimonides (also known as Moses ben Maimon), another scholar born
>>>> in Córdoba, examined an Aristotelian account of the creation of the
>>>> world, alongside those of Plato and Moses, in the theological work
>>>> "Guide of the Perplexed". What were two of the objections made in this
>>>> work to the Aristotelian narrative? (2 points)
>>>>
>>>> 3. Although Thomas Aquinas also wrote several commentaries on
>>>> Aristotle, he was at odds with the followers of Averroes in several
>>>> cases. Explain the key difference Aquinas had with this school over
>>>> Aristotle's "De anima". (2 points)
>>>>
>>>>      Valete.
>>>>
>>>> On 3/1/21, A. Iulius Paterculus, aedilis curulis via groups.io
>>>> <arthur.f.waite=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
>>>>> Salvete omnes,
>>>>>
>>>>>    Everyone is invited to participate in a five part quiz on Classical
>>>>> influences from the Middle Ages through the 20th century A.D.
>>>>>
>>>>>    Please send your responses in English to the email address
>>>>> "arthur.f.waite (at) gmail.com", including the words "CLASSICS THROUGH
>>>>> THE AGES" in the subject line. The deadline for all responses will be
>>>>> 6:00 A.M. Rome Time on Monday, March 15th.
>>>>>
>>>>> 1. The treatise "De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii" was written in
>>>>> the fifth century A.D., but continued to be used as a textbook for the
>>>>> following twelve hundred years! Who was this book's author and what
>>>>> was it about? (3 points)
>>>>>
>>>>> 2. During the early Middle Ages, direct translations of Aristotle's
>>>>> work were unknown in western Europe. Which Late Antique Latin
>>>>> philosopher was responsible for what western Europeans of the time
>>>>> knew of Aristotle? (1 point)
>>>>>
>>>>> 3. In Medieval times, the Nine Worthies were a group of nine men
>>>>> thought to represent the pinnacle of chivalry. Who was the one Roman
>>>>> to be included in this company? (1 point)
>>>>>
>>>>>    Valete,
>>>>>      A. Iulius Paterculus
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
>
>
>
>






NovaRoma PUBGM clan

Ti. Iulius Nerva, tribunus plebis
 

Salvete omnes!

If someone is playing PUBG on mobile (PUBGM), in January I founded clan with name "NovaRoma" under flag of fictional island "Erangel".
Because I left free access in the beginning, some nonNR members are already there. So find a clan or me with nick "iuliusnerva" and lets play 
in the name of Nova Roma!

Valete bene!

--
Tiberius Iulius Nerva
TRIBUNUS PLEBIS
Legatus pro praetore Marcomanniae



Bez virů. www.avast.com


Re: LUDI NOVI ROMANI MMDCCLXXIV - IPSE DIXIT: Solutions, Winner Proclamation and Official Ludi Closure

Cn. Cornelius Lentulus
 

Cn. Lentulus quaestor P. Annaeo aedili, C. Claudio victori, A. Scribonio secundo, et Autroniae Stoloni tertiae s. p. d.

Thank you, aedilis Publi Annaee, for the nice quiz, and please all contestants accept our appreciation for having sacrificed to Concordia, Mars, Iuppiter and the other deities honored by these ludi, through participation. Remember fellow citizens, that not only meat, wine and food were sacrifices in Roman religion, but also dance (sometimes), song, contests, gladiatorial games, theatrical productions. Our online ludi are not, in the first place, for the entertainment of our citizens, but for the "entertainment" of the gods, or better to say, in honor of our gods. Those who participated, choose to honor the gods. Things like this make Nova Roma the beacon of Roman religion today.

Once again, congratulations to C. Claudius Quadratus, one of our eternal number one Latin contestants, and tp A. Scribonius and Autronia, an excellent new citizen!

Quadratus will receive 3 Cultural Census Points in his Album Civium register, Scribonius 2, and Autronia 1.

Valete! Vivat Nova Roma!
CN. LENTVLVS QVAEST.



Il martedì 16 marzo 2021, 02:28:16 CET, P. Annaeus Constantinus Placidus, aedilis curulis <ugo.coppola1970@...> ha scritto:


Ædilis Curulis Publius Annæus Constantinus Placidus omnibus in Foro S.P.D.

"All good things must come to an end," the old proverb says. So this nice and very ejoyable Special LUDI NOVI ROMANI Anniversary edition of Nova Roma's longest running quiz, IPSE DIXIT, actually ends here. In the following lines I shall give the solutions to all Items of the quiz and then proclaim the winner.

However, I will do things in order. In the solutions below here, the original questions are in italic and the answers are in ordinary type.

ITEM ONE

AB OVO

Questions
1. Please translate this phrase literally into English. (1 point)

From the egg.

2. Where does this phrase originate from? (2 points)

Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace), Satire 1.3; ab ovo usque ad mala = from the egg to the fruit, referring to the whole course of a meal.

3. Using your own words as far as possible, explain the meaning of doing something ab ovo. (3 points). NOTE: As with all of my 'interpretative' questions, the correctness of your answer here will be judged only by myself.

Ab ovo is used to mean "from the start", "from the beginning". Doing something ab ovo means starting from the beginning. E.g. when somebody tells a confusing story, he may be told "Please stop and start again ab ovo."

ITEM TWO

MANVS MANVM LAVAT

Questions
1. Please translate this sentence into English. You may add articles. (1 point)

Literally "hand washes hand". Commonly translated as "one hand washes one hand" or "One hand washes the other."

2. Where does this phrase originate from? (2 points)

Translated by Lucius Annæus Seneca from a play by Freek playwrigh Epicharmus.

3. Explain in your own words the meaning of this phrase, as opposed to its translation. (3 points)

The phrase indicates an exchange of favours. It is similar to the English proverb "You'll scratch my back and I'll scratch yours."

4. Which famous Italian writer used this phrase, and extended it, in a very famous historical novel of his? (3 points)

Alessandro Manzoni in The Bethroted, chapter XIV: "One hand washes another and both of them wash the face". He means that an exchange of favours may lead to a bigger common goal.


ITEM THREE

SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLVM


Questions
1. Please translate this phrase into English. Feel free to add words which are not in the original Latin. (2 points)

If you want peace, prepare (for) war.

2. Where does this phrase originate from? (2 points)

Adapted from De re militari by  P. Flavius Vegetius Renatus.  The phrase suggests that people must always be ready to fight against a known enemy even in times of peace - in order to mantain the peace.

3. Please quote at least three examples of modern usages of this phrase, or part of it, or transations of it. (3 points)

A possible list of usages:
- It is the motto of the Royal British Navy.
- It is the motto for the Franco-Russian Pact of 1892.
- It appeared on the front door of the German weapons and ammunition factory Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken (DWM). A type of bullet made there came to be known as "parabellum".
- It is the motto of the superhero known as The Punisher, from Marvel Comics.
- American band Metallica, in their 1991 song "Don't Tread On Me", had the line: "To secure peace is to prepare for war."
- The 2019 film "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum" is named after the bullet. A character in the film quotes the original phrase.

ITEM FOUR

ECCE HOMO

Questions:
1. Please translate this phrase into English. Feel free to add to it, but stick to the literal meaning of single words. (1 point)

The most common English translation, by far, is "Behold the man." This is quoted in most English-language Latin textbooks. However, it is not literal. Ecce, deriving from et+ce, literally means "and here", thus the phrase very literally translates into "and here man". The verb "is" and an article may be implied ("and here is the man").

2a. Where does this phrase originate from? (2 points)

Gospel of John, 19:5. Originally written in Greek. 2b. According to the writer, who is the originator of the phrase? (1 point)

Pontius Pilate.

3a. Explain in your own words the meaning of the phrase in its original context. (3 points)

Presenting a beaten, tortured and scourged Christ to a clamouring crowd, Pilate was mocking him, claiming that the abuse had made him unrecognizable as a man.  In other words, he was saying: "Look what have you done to this man!" or "Are you really sure you can still call this a man?" Other interpretations, like "He is a man and not the Son of God" are later, and not in the New Testament.

3b. Explain in your own words the meaning of the phrase as used in our own times. (3 points) NOTE: at least one modern usage of the phrase is usually ironical.

It is generally applied to all victims, especially of physical abuse. German philosopher Friederich Nietzsce used it ironically in a treatise about the failure of man's noble ambitions, and when somebody or something is defined as "like ecce homo" or "in a ecce homo status", they are defined as utterly untidy, messy and unrecognizable.


ITEM FIVE

PORTA PATENS ESTO NVLLI CLAVDARIS HONESTO

Questions:

1. What was Martin's mistake? (2 points)

According to a traditional Italian story from the 1500s, Martinus (Martin) was an abbot in a convent in Tuscany. He wanted to place the above phrase as an inscription on the door of his convent. However, he put a dot (full stop/period) in the wrong place: after nulli instead than after esto.

2a. Please translate the phrase into English in its correct meaning. (3 points)

Door, may you stay open. May you not be closed to any honest (person).

2b. Please translate the phrase into Engish in its altered meaning, i.e. including Martin's mistake. (3 points)

Door, may you stay open to nobody. May you be closed to honest (people).

3. 3. What is the proverbial motto derived from this story?

In Italian it is "Per un punto Martìn perse la cappa", i.e. "Because of a dot, Martin lost his cloak". It refers to a seemingly trival mistake which may generate disastrous consequences.

FINAL STANDINGS
First place: GAIUS CLAUDIUS QUADRATUS - 40 points - WINNER OF THE GAME
Second place: AULUS SCRIBONIUS NASICA - 37 points
Third place: DECIMA AUTRONIA STOLO - 36 points

On behalf of the entire Ædilitas, I would like to express my sincere and heartfelt thanks to the three contestants who sent me their replies, as well as to everybody who subscribed their chariots in my other game for these Ludi, the Virtual Chariot Race.

All of the above having been said, in the name of the Res Publica Nova Romana, I hereby declare the 2774 a.U.c edition of LUDI NOVI ROMANI officially CLOSED!

Optime valete omnes,
Publius Annæus Constantinus Placidus
Ædilis Curulis Novæ Romæ


LUDI NOVI ROMANI MMDCCLXXIV - IPSE DIXIT: Solutions, Winner Proclamation and Official Ludi Closure

P. Annaeus Constantinus Placidus, aedilis curulis
 

Ædilis Curulis Publius Annæus Constantinus Placidus omnibus in Foro S.P.D.

"All good things must come to an end," the old proverb says. So this nice and very ejoyable Special LUDI NOVI ROMANI Anniversary edition of Nova Roma's longest running quiz, IPSE DIXIT, actually ends here. In the following lines I shall give the solutions to all Items of the quiz and then proclaim the winner.

However, I will do things in order. In the solutions below here, the original questions are in italic and the answers are in ordinary type.

ITEM ONE

AB OVO

Questions
1. Please translate this phrase literally into English. (1 point)

From the egg.

2. Where does this phrase originate from? (2 points)

Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace), Satire 1.3; ab ovo usque ad mala = from the egg to the fruit, referring to the whole course of a meal.

3. Using your own words as far as possible, explain the meaning of doing something ab ovo. (3 points). NOTE: As with all of my 'interpretative' questions, the correctness of your answer here will be judged only by myself.

Ab ovo is used to mean "from the start", "from the beginning". Doing something ab ovo means starting from the beginning. E.g. when somebody tells a confusing story, he may be told "Please stop and start again ab ovo."

ITEM TWO

MANVS MANVM LAVAT

Questions
1. Please translate this sentence into English. You may add articles. (1 point)

Literally "hand washes hand". Commonly translated as "one hand washes one hand" or "One hand washes the other."

2. Where does this phrase originate from? (2 points)

Translated by Lucius Annæus Seneca from a play by Freek playwrigh Epicharmus.

3. Explain in your own words the meaning of this phrase, as opposed to its translation. (3 points)

The phrase indicates an exchange of favours. It is similar to the English proverb "You'll scratch my back and I'll scratch yours."

4. Which famous Italian writer used this phrase, and extended it, in a very famous historical novel of his? (3 points)

Alessandro Manzoni in The Bethroted, chapter XIV: "One hand washes another and both of them wash the face". He means that an exchange of favours may lead to a bigger common goal.


ITEM THREE

SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLVM


Questions
1. Please translate this phrase into English. Feel free to add words which are not in the original Latin. (2 points)

If you want peace, prepare (for) war.

2. Where does this phrase originate from? (2 points)

Adapted from De re militari by  P. Flavius Vegetius Renatus.  The phrase suggests that people must always be ready to fight against a known enemy even in times of peace - in order to mantain the peace.

3. Please quote at least three examples of modern usages of this phrase, or part of it, or transations of it. (3 points)

A possible list of usages:
- It is the motto of the Royal British Navy.
- It is the motto for the Franco-Russian Pact of 1892.
- It appeared on the front door of the German weapons and ammunition factory Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken (DWM). A type of bullet made there came to be known as "parabellum".
- It is the motto of the superhero known as The Punisher, from Marvel Comics.
- American band Metallica, in their 1991 song "Don't Tread On Me", had the line: "To secure peace is to prepare for war."
- The 2019 film "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum" is named after the bullet. A character in the film quotes the original phrase.

ITEM FOUR

ECCE HOMO

Questions:
1. Please translate this phrase into English. Feel free to add to it, but stick to the literal meaning of single words. (1 point)

The most common English translation, by far, is "Behold the man." This is quoted in most English-language Latin textbooks. However, it is not literal. Ecce, deriving from et+ce, literally means "and here", thus the phrase very literally translates into "and here man". The verb "is" and an article may be implied ("and here is the man").

2a. Where does this phrase originate from? (2 points)

Gospel of John, 19:5. Originally written in Greek. 2b. According to the writer, who is the originator of the phrase? (1 point)

Pontius Pilate.

3a. Explain in your own words the meaning of the phrase in its original context. (3 points)

Presenting a beaten, tortured and scourged Christ to a clamouring crowd, Pilate was mocking him, claiming that the abuse had made him unrecognizable as a man.  In other words, he was saying: "Look what have you done to this man!" or "Are you really sure you can still call this a man?" Other interpretations, like "He is a man and not the Son of God" are later, and not in the New Testament.

3b. Explain in your own words the meaning of the phrase as used in our own times. (3 points) NOTE: at least one modern usage of the phrase is usually ironical.

It is generally applied to all victims, especially of physical abuse. German philosopher Friederich Nietzsce used it ironically in a treatise about the failure of man's noble ambitions, and when somebody or something is defined as "like ecce homo" or "in a ecce homo status", they are defined as utterly untidy, messy and unrecognizable.


ITEM FIVE

PORTA PATENS ESTO NVLLI CLAVDARIS HONESTO

Questions:

1. What was Martin's mistake? (2 points)

According to a traditional Italian story from the 1500s, Martinus (Martin) was an abbot in a convent in Tuscany. He wanted to place the above phrase as an inscription on the door of his convent. However, he put a dot (full stop/period) in the wrong place: after nulli instead than after esto.

2a. Please translate the phrase into English in its correct meaning. (3 points)

Door, may you stay open. May you not be closed to any honest (person).

2b. Please translate the phrase into Engish in its altered meaning, i.e. including Martin's mistake. (3 points)

Door, may you stay open to nobody. May you be closed to honest (people).

3. 3. What is the proverbial motto derived from this story?

In Italian it is "Per un punto Martìn perse la cappa", i.e. "Because of a dot, Martin lost his cloak". It refers to a seemingly trival mistake which may generate disastrous consequences.

FINAL STANDINGS
First place: GAIUS CLAUDIUS QUADRATUS - 40 points - WINNER OF THE GAME
Second place: AULUS SCRIBONIUS NASICA - 37 points
Third place: DECIMA AUTRONIA STOLO - 36 points

On behalf of the entire Ædilitas, I would like to express my sincere and heartfelt thanks to the three contestants who sent me their replies, as well as to everybody who subscribed their chariots in my other game for these Ludi, the Virtual Chariot Race.

All of the above having been said, in the name of the Res Publica Nova Romana, I hereby declare the 2774 a.U.c edition of LUDI NOVI ROMANI officially CLOSED!

Optime valete omnes,
Publius Annæus Constantinus Placidus
Ædilis Curulis Novæ Romæ


LUDI NOVI ROMANI MMDCCLXXIV - VIRTUAL CHARIOT RACE, THE FINAL!

P. Annaeus Constantinus Placidus, aedilis curulis
 

Ædilis Curulis Publius Annæus Placidus omnibus in Foro S.P.D.

Salvete, Quirites! You are about to read my narration for the Final of the Virtual Chariot Race in this year's edition of LUDI NOVI ROMANI. This story, like all others of mine regarding chariot races, does not takes place in Rome but in the fictional city of Nova Roma, and it also does not take place in the Repubican Era, but TODAY. This is why you will find chariots and television, charioteers and smartphones, magistrates in togas and policemen in uniform, people shouting insults and a big censoring button. And yes, even a fully operational fire engine. In other words, this is a constant mixture of ancient and modern. I hope you will find this mixture, and the narrative itself, entertaining. After all, nothing of this is even remotely an account of anything factual. It's fiction. :-)

Optime valete omnes,
Publius Annæus Constantinus Placidus
Ædilis Curulis Novæ Romæ
_______________________________________________

The broadcast opens, in an extremely unusual way for a Ludi event, on a fixed shot from outside the Circus Maximus in Nova Roma, framing the Circus itself on the background and the streets outside of it in the foreground. The streets are busy with cars, motorbikes, scooters, trucks, buses and the occasional trams. A traffic warden on the right of the screen, wearing a dark blue uniform, a white helmet and white gloves, is directing the incoming traffic. No music but just noises: car engines, horns, general street noises. The opening credits appear over the fixed shot in red/golden Roman epigraphic script:
NOVA ROMA NETWORK presents | LUDI NOVI ROMANI 2774 a.U.c. | VIRTUAL CHARIOT RACE | THE FINAL | Hosted by PUBLIVS ANNÆUS CONSTANTINUS PLACIDUS | Special Guest MANIUS FLAVIUS SALVUS | A NOVA ROMA NETWORK Production | Directed for TV by GAIA TULLIA CELERIS.

Immediately after the credits are finished, a bitonal siren (low, high-high, low) is heard in the distance, from the left of the screen. The shot moves to the left to show a bright red Iveco Stralis fire engine moving along the main street. Although the vehicle moves at a moderate speed, the twin blue strobes on top of its roof are lit, and the siren is blaring. The writing VIGILI DEL FUOCO, the Italian Firefighters Corps, is very clearly visible across its front and, as it passes the camera, on its right side. The passenger door sports an old-fashioned telephone dial with 115 stamped on it; 115 is also stamped on the tail end. The warden moves off-screen to the right to make way for the fire engine, and the camera follows it up to the main (South) entrance to the Circus, where it stops. The strobes and siren are turned off. The shot moves to the front of the vehicle. The driver’s door opens and Placidus comes out of it in his toga prætexta. A second later, the passenger’s door opens and Salvus climbs off, wearing an off-white toga on top of a tunica angusticlavia. Both of them have logos embroidered on their togas near their respective left shoulders: Placidus has the Firefighter Corps flame logo, Salvus has the more complex Italian State Police heraldic logo: a two-sided emblem featuring a rampant gryphon on the right side, with a sword in his hand, and a book labeled LEX on the left side, with a pair of crossed silver/red torches under it; the camera closes up on the logo, revealing the Latin motto SUB LEGE LIBERTAS under it.

The shot re-enlarges itself back to the two togati men, who enter the dark access corridor to the Circus and emerge from it in the full light of an early Monday afternoon.

The Circus is almost completely empty as usual. Artificial, mechanically rigged puffs of blue and red smoke rise up from various points of the bleachers. As they enter, the heroic theme tune of all Ludi events in Nova Roma is finally heard at full volume, with pre-recorded applause under it; Placidus and Salvus stop in the middle of the racetrack opposite the Novi Romani magistrates, then Placidus turns on his wireless microphone and starts talking into it.

placidus (very formal). Ladies and gentlemen, domini dominæque, iuvenes, pueri puellæque… to say it in one word, everybody in front of your TV screens, welcome to the fantastic Final of the Virtual Chariot Race in the Ludi Novi Romani 2774 a.U.c!! (Pause and long, loud pre-recorded applause). This is Ædilis Curulis Publius Annæus Constantinus Placidus… (Pause. He points to Salvus.)

salvus. And this is Nihil Nihili Manius Flavius Salvus… (Pause. Placidus laughs out at Salvus’s self-appellation. He hesitates to continue; when he does, he still has the giggles on him.)

placidus (giggling.) …and we’re talking to you LIVE from the Circus Maximus in Nova Roma, ready to tell you about the bits and the bobs, the nuts and the bolts of this exciting race. But before that… (Pause. To Salvus.) Buddy, what was that Nihil thing all about?

salvus. Well, to tell you the honest truth, Placide, I’m a bit envious of your title in here. (Pause.) You’re somebody, I’m nobody. You’re something, I’m nothing. So I just thought that Nothing of Nothing would be a fitting title for me. (He laughs.)

placidus (chuckling as well, but serious at the same time). Buddy, let me tell you an honest truth: you being nobody is one of the worst and biggest untruths I’ve ever heard not only from you, but from anybody. (Pause.) Simply by virtue of being here with me, not only you’re somebody, but you’re my friend. That makes you bigger, to me, than the biggest Somebody I know. (Pointed, to Consul Arrius opposite him.) Yes, Consul. To me he’s even bigger than you. (He giggles. Shot on the Consul.)

arrius. I understand perfectly, Placide amice. And I concede that to you. (He smiles and gives Placidus a thumb-up. Placidus resumes.)

placidus. Thanks, Consul. By the way, you’ve just given me a very good pretext to formally introduce all of you once again for this Final. (Pause. The shot changes to the four magistrates in the front row. As Placidus introduces them, they stand up one by one and they sit back down.) From left to right, Plebeian Ædilis Gaius Aurelius Cotta Iovis (Pause. Cotta rises.), my mate in the Curia Aulus Iulius Paterculus (Pause. Paterculus rises. He holds the starter’s red nappa in his right hand, while his left hand holds a white respirator mask.), our great Consul you’ve just seen, Quintus Arrius Nauta (Pause. Arrius rises in his prætexta.) and last, but most certainly not least, his equal Aula Tullia Scholastica. (Pause. Scholastica rises and salutes. She is dressed elegantly, wearing a light blue palla over a pink stola – both on top of a white tunic. Each magistrate is accompanied by pre-recorded applause in the background.)

salvus. Well, Placide, I think we may get to the starting grid now, can’t we?

placidus. I was just about to say that myself, buddy. (Pause. Placidus pushes on the earphone in his left ear.) Tullia, can you please give me the lineup for the final? Thanks a lot. (Pause. Shot on the electronic billboard on top of the circus. Two CG-animated text lines, pulled by cartoon silhouettes of racing chariots – respectively in bright blue and bright red – come out of the billboard and appear on screen.)

LANE     CHARIOT            OWNER                        DRIVER       TEAM

I              Titans’ Disaster      Sex. Lucilius Tutor         Stoicus           VENETA

II             The Triremis          Q. Arrius Nauta              Ben-Hur         RUSSATA

 

salvus. Hey, Placide, that’s nice – cartoon chariots pulling the lines!

placidus. Yeah, they’re cute. Didn’t you see them during the First Semifinal?

salvus. No. Er… (thoughfully) I guess I was looking elsewhere. (Pause.) Maybe it would be nice to have that kind of animation for the logo of my “No Route” Diving Club…

placidus. Ah, but that doesn’t have anything at all to do with me. (Pause.) You should talk to Tullia up there (he points to the broadcast center) – that’s her work.

salvus. Well, I guess I’ll have to exchange a few words with her. But I’ll do that later. (Pause.) After the race. The race comes first.

placidus. You couldn’t have said it better, buddy. (Pause.) I’ll just move a bit to the lanes, so I can exchange some words with the charioteers. (Pause. He talks directly to the camera.) Yes, folks out there in TV-land, because by now I do know the owners  all too well – one being our honourable Consul – but still the charioteers elude me. I still occasionally get the feeling that they’re the silent, unsung heroes of these races. (Pause. He goes to Lucilius on Lane I.) Salve, Lucili amice. What a great victory on Friday. Your great charioteer-cum-philosopher was great.

lucilius. Well, yeah, that fierce Dorothea gave him a bit of a hard time, but in the end he got over her.

placidus. I’d like to exchange a couple of words with him. Can I?

lucilius. Suit yourself, Ædilis amice. (Pause.) But I guess you won’t get much from him, because, as you may know, he’s completely emotionless, He claims to have total dominion over his emotions… and he actually has. Sometimes even I find it difficult to talk to him, because he’s so enigmatic.

placidus. All right, I’ll try. (He looks up. Stoicus is standing on the chariot in an extremely dignified posture – perfectly erect, head proudly held up high, almost like a soldier, even if it is obvious that he is not.) Salve, Stoice. It’s a real pleasure to have you back here on the racetrack. Are you enjoying your current adventure, so far?

stoicus (very calmly). Oh, sure, I’m enjoying it thoroughly. Indeed it is a pleasure for me to be here, and I thank you, Ædilis Placide, for organizing these wonderful games.

placidus (trying desperately to get even the barest hint of emotion from Stoicus). You’re very much welcome, but please tell me: how does it feel to win? To qualify for a Chariot Race final?

stoicus (perplexed) It feels… er… great. (Pause.) Yes, it does feel great. When you cross that line at the end of the last lap, you feel… er… elated. You’re on top of the world. (Pause. Placidus looks closely at Stoicus’s face and notices that the corners of his lips are very slightly curving upwards, maybe trying to produce a vague hint of a smile, but Stoicus does not move his mouth any further. He quickly resumes his neutral expression.) And yes, of course it feels wonderful to be here in the Final.

placidus. OK, thanks a lot, Stoice, and have a good race. (To Lucilius.) Of course this also applies to you, Lucili. (Pause. Lucilius gives him a thumb-up. He moves on Lane II to greet the Consul and his charioteer, Ben-Hur.) So you’re here now, Consul. Did you expect this?

arrius. Oh, no, Placide. Not at all. All I was looking for here was a bit of fun. Fun and escapism, as our friend Ingeniarius said before his Semifinal. (Pause.) OK, I won, and that’s nice. But I never meant it. It was all just for fun.

placidus. Esteemed Consul, I’m quite glad you’re taking this as pure fun. (Pause.) Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to talk a bit to your charioteer. His name intrigues me.

arrius. Of course I don’t, Placide. Go ahead.

placidus. Thanks a lot, Consul. (He looks up and meets Ben-Hur’s gaze. He wears a centurion’s helmet, modified for racing and with no crest.) Salve, Ben-Hur, and first of all congratulations for the great victory in the Second Semifinal. (Pause. Ben-Hur makes a bow.) As I was saying previously, with your master, your name calls to mind cinematic and literary memories. May you tell us a little bit more about it?

ben-hur (very easy-going). Well, Ædilis, I must admit that I’m not a film buff and I don’t read books – only comics. (Pause. He giggles.) Of course I know who my namesake is – somebody once showed me the film. But I didn’t like it at all. I couldn’t even watch it through… (Pause. Sarcastically) Phooy! What a stupidly anachronistic, anti-historical mess! But after all it’s Hollywood, and Hollywood is after a big show – certainly not historical accuracy. (Pause.) I was orphaned when I was two, I can’t even remember how my parents used to call me. A family from Nova Roma, here, adopted me, and called me Ben-Hur because they said I looked like the guy in the film – even as a child. Nowadays people tell me I still look like the guy. (Pause.) Of course I can’t tell, because I don’t really know the film. What do you think, Ædilis? (Placidus looks attentively at him and he actually looks like a slightly younger version of what Charlton Heston, in his Ben-Hur guise from the 1959 film, would have looked today had he not aged. However, the new Ben-Hur’s facial features are rougher and less refined than what would be expected from an Hollywood star.)

placidus. Well, my friend, I can’d judge either, as even I don’t have a good memory of when I last saw the film. Historical or pseuso-historical kolossals aren’t my cup of tea either. (Pause. He makes a Roman salute to the Consul, who responds, and he starts moving towards his monitor in front of the bleachers, where Salvus is waiting for him behind an identical monitor.) Ben-Hur, best of luck for this race. And to you as well, Consul. (Pause. He goes to meet Salvus.)

salvus. What a nice Consul you have here, Placide. He’s a great guy.

placidus. Oh yes, he is. I first met him during the Dies Natalis Romæ in 2019… er, 2772, and he’s actually great. (Pause.) Now let’s not lose any more time, we’re about to start. (Shot on Paterculus, who has climbed on the starter’s podium. He is holding the nappa in his right hand and he is not wearing a mask.) Patercule amice, no mask today?

paterculus. No, Placide. I found another way not to get dusty or dirty. (Pause.) One you also taught me.

placidus (still not aware of having taught anything to anybody). Let’s see, amice. Will you do your job, please?

paterculus. Of course. (Pause. Loudly, to the charioteers) Attention, pilots! Three… two… one… (Pause. Horses snort.)… GO!!! (He drops the nappa. The horses gallop away furiously. At the same moment, Paterculus jumps off the podium and runs in the opposite direction with all of his might. He stops at a corner of the racetrack, then he jumps the low bleachers wall, he goes back to his seat, calmly, and sits down.) Puff! Did you like that, colleague? (Pause.) Not very Roman, maybe, but useful.

placidus (chuckling). Oh yeah, very useful! Indeed I remember doing that myself once or twice, so I’m glad you picked that up from me, Patercule. (Pause. Shot on the dolpins pole above the Circus. The first dolphin looks down. Placidus talks to the camera.) Okay, folks. The Final has begun. Indeed, we’re ready to tell you everything about…

 

LAP I

 Two young workmen, wearing short tunics and yellow safety helmets, enter from the South door, run into the racetrack and quickly dismantle the podium. They run back to the door and disappear into the dark corridor. Placidus talks to Salvus.

placidus. Okay, buddy, this is going to be three laps for two chariots. (As a reminder to Salvus, he points out the chariots to him.) Titans’ Disaster/Stoicus, he hurries in the straight lines as a tactic. The Triremis/Ben-Hur, he hugs the spina. (Pause.) You start.

salvus. I’m honored! (Shot on the racetrack.)  Ben-Hur, just like the film, as you were saying earlier, Placide, is proving to be a skilled driver, His acceleration over Ben-Hur is so powerful, he looks like he’s going to reach the first bend much earlier than his opponent will, despite the way in which he’s going to go around it. (Pause.) Indeed here he is near the bend… a short, strong pull to the reins… he slows down just as much as to pass the bend with no danger. (Pause.) Placide, you tell the folks at home what the other guy’s doing now…

placidus. Straight away, buddy. (Pause). Battle-ready Ben-Hur’s not certainly the guy to let anybody beat him on his favourite terrain – curves – and he’s demonstrating just that, by speeding up… indeed he’s keeping his full speed right into the bend… and passing it, as always, riskingly close to the tip of the spina wall. (Pause.) He is good. And, coming out of the bend, they’re paired. Stoicus accelerates, like earlier. There’s fire inside his horses but, apparently, not inside of himself. (Shot on the racetrack. Tullia, from the broadcast center, closes up on the two charioteers, allowing Placidus to comment of them.) Ben-Hur gives a fiery stare, full of vehemence and passion, to his opponent, who responds with a very straight face, almost a poker face, a glassy look and an icy gaze. If there’s anything inside of him, well, he dissimulates that all too well. (Pause. He pushes on his earphone.) Hey, Tullia, what a wonderful close-up I’ve just seen from you! Congrats! (He claps.) Why don’t you do more like that?

tullia (from earphone). Thanks, Ædilis. I don’t do many close-ups because people at home are obviously far more interested in the broad picture than in the minutiæ. And really I did that because I was spurred by your comment about inside and outside. (Pause. Placidus smiles.) Also, as I told you before the First Semifinal, each one of us does the job they do best. I do mine and… (Pause. Pointedly) you do yours, Placide. (Pause. Placidus, still smiling, looks down.) And your instructor friend is so good as well, I hope he can do this again next time.

placidus. My “instructor friend”… (Giggling.) Tullia, he’s so much more than that. And of course I too hope he’ll be here at my side for the next Circenses, but nobody knows where our macronational commitments will lead us. I’d like to remind you once again that hosting chariot races broadcasts here at the Circus Maximus isn’t the primary occupaton of any of us two…

tullia. Yes, I know. But still you’re good. (Click of Tullia closing the call.)

salvus. Your director’s quite something, eh, Placide? I’d like to meet her sooner or  later.

placidus. Yeah. As with the foul language in here, what you’ve just heard is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ll introduce you to her later, after the race. (Pause.) Now let’s mind, indeed, the race.

salvus. Sure! (Pause and shot on the racetrack.) Apparently the two contenders have spent most of this second straight line trying to overtake each other, which seems to never happen – as both of them are busy just shooting glances at each other… fire from one side, ice from the other. Just the polar opposites. But still opposites attract, and their attraction generates a fun race and exciting to watch… and to narrate. (He pats on Placidus’s shoulder.) Thanks for giving me this opportunity, my friend.

placidus. Thank you for seizing it, buddy. (Pause.) You continue to the end of the lap, I don’t want to interfere.

salvus. You’re never interfering in anything, Placide. It’s a two-voiced chronicle. (Pause.) Here comes the second bend. Stoicus on Titans’ Disaster takes it with his usual composure, his usual cool… slow down, turn, accelerate again… while Ben-Hur on The Triremis just plainly attacks it with fury… never worrying, not even for a split second, to damage his wheels by scraping the spina, he’s too good not to. (Pause.) So, by the end of the first lap it’s this way: Stoicus crosses first, Ben-Hur is a close second. Placide, now I think you should mind the second dolphin up there: I think he’s about to move.

placidus. Indeed he is, buddy! (Shot on the dolphins pole. The second one descends.) This, as even you know very well by now, can only mean one thing: Lap I is over, and we’re definitely into…

LAP II

salvus. Placide, you’ve been too kind to let me start this race. Now I give that favour back to you… please, you start this lap.

placidus. Well, buddy, as I was saying in my other game from this year’s edition of Ludi Novi Romani, this looks like a typical case of manus manum lavat! (Pause. He laughs moderately.) Heh-heh-heh… after all everybody says that washing your hands often is one rule for keeping yourself safe during these days. (Pause. Salvus laughs as well.) Anyway, joking aside, this second lap has started in an identical way to the first: Stoicus is putting all of his might into the first straight line so he has time to approach the bend in the safest possible way, while Ben-Hur, having been a bit left behind, is trying desperately to catch up… which he does, to a certain extent, as the chariots are now reaching the first bend. Titans’ Disaster and Stoicus do once again their safe, very correct, by-the-book procedure and cross very safely, The Triremis and Ben-Hur slow down only very slightly… as the heroic charioteer prefers going straight in, and next to the wall, preferring the fast-but-risky way approach to the slow-and-methodical one… (Pause. Extremely short metallic noise. The left hubcap on The Triremis has very briefly scraped the tip of the spina.)… and the risky approach, as you may have heard, folks, isn’t always perfect. But it does pay off, and out of the bend the chariots are once again paired… which gives me a perfectly good excuse to pass the ball to my mate Salvus right now. (Pause.) Over to you, buddy.

salvus. Wow, Placide! You’re getting so good at disengaging yourself at the best moments! (He chuckles.)

placidus. Well, buddy, it’s not the first two-voiced chronicle I do… and not even the third…

salvus (ironically) Yeah, yeah, I know. (Pause. Shot on the racetrack) And yet again history repeats itself in the motions of the two chariots along the second straight line. Stoicus lets out some powerful lashes – his outer side may look impassible to us, but cleary he has a great knowledge of his own inner strength. And he’s putting it to very good use… the distance between he and Ben Hur has widened to more than one and a half meters now. We’re so lucky to be witnessing with our own eyes two of the best of this year’s charioteers in Nova Roma competing for the victory in this fantastic Chariot Race… aren’t we, Placide?

placidus. Yes, of course they’re the best, otherwise they wouldn’t have qualified for this Final, and maybe they wouldn’t be in the Circus at all. (Pause. Gently) Buddy, please go on. You’re doing great as well.

salvus. Not bad for a first-timer, ain’t it?

placidus. Actually this is the third time, buddy… if we count your half-chronicle at a distance from Saturday.

salvus. Oh, right! (He giggles.) I wasn’t counting that one at all… (Pause.) Well, anyway, these two champion drivers are nearing the second bend, and once again the same script is acted out again… Stoicus, exploiting his momentary advantage, goes around it with extreme care. Ben-Hur, on the other hand, swerves a bit to the left in order to literally cut his way into the bend, which he faces, as usual, at a dangerously reduced distance from the wall… I guess no more than just two centimeters. (Pause. Placidus looks at him with admiration.)

placidus. Wow, man! I thought you could only measure distances in meters with a minus sign… minus eighteen, minus thirty, minus thirtynine. (Pause. Salvus smiles at Placidus’s precise enunciation of diving limits.) I wasn’t aware you had such an eye for centimeters.

salvus. Apart from the fact that it was only small talk, Placide… as I certainly can’t measure centimeters from a TV monitor… I’m a policeman. And before that, I was a soldier. I was in military missions abroad. (Pause.) So I do know when a situation is a matter of centimeters. Trust me.

placidus. I do trust you, buddy. Indeed, I trust you so much that I let you finish this lap.
salvus. Thanks, Placide. Well, there’s not really anything more to say here than watch the two chariots pass swiftly across the finish line. Once again Stoicus is first and Ben-Hur is second. Now let’s see the ultimate developments in this great race while the third dolphin is no more upright… (Shot on the dolphins pole. The third dolphin is indeed reclining down.) … leanding us all into the deserved final of this Final, that is…

LAP III

placidus. You have a way with words! Very good, buddy!

salvus. Even an istructor can have a good teacher, Placide. (Pause. He pats Placidus on his shoulder.) And anyway you’re better.

placidus. Buddy, at least among us being “better” at anything counts almost nothing. What counts is telling to the folks at home what we actually see. (Pause. Shot on the racetrack.) And what we actually see is the two chariots, Titan’s Disaster and The Triremis, exactly paired along the first straight line. The ideal quadriga I was seeing on Saturday is reforming again under my very eyes thanks to the superb piloting skills of the two charioteers, Stoicus and Ben-Hur. And they’re moving like that – paired – up to the first bend, which Stoicus is kind-of obliged to take at the very same pace as Ben-Hur… that is, fast… just in order to keep up with him. This upsets a bit his usual slow-down-turn-and-speed-up-again routine, in that he does not slow down at all… the quadriga is intact going through the bend. But The Triremis is doing it perfectly, as it’s always done up to now, Titans’ Disaster, maybe unused to such a brisk pace around the bends, is a little bit wobblier as it comes out of the first bend. (Pause.) But never mind, I see they have both come unscathed out of it, so I more-than-willingly let my buddy here at my side continue with the second straight line.

salvus. Very pleased to do so. (Pause.) Were you talking about a quadriga, Placide, a few minutes ago? Well, it has dissolved. It has disappeared into thin air. Ben-Hur now leads and his face has something devilish about it. He’s lashing his horses like mad!! (Pause and shot on the racetrack; Ben-Hur’s spurring shouts to his horses are clearly heard – Yah! Yaah! – but then some talking is heard coming from both Stoicus and himself. Salvus is perplexed.) Hey, Placide, but those two madmen were actually talking to each other while running?

placidus. I’m not sure, buddy. (Pause. He pushes on his earphone.) Tullia? Could you please give me a replay of that? And push the volume up a little bit. (Pause. The scene replays.)  

ben-hur (lashing and spurring his horses). Yah! Yaah! (Pause.) Run, you beasts!

stoicus (in a loud voice but still calm, to Ben-Hur). Domine, if I may have a word with you, raging against your horses won’t lead you to anything. (He points to his head.) The real strength is in your mind, not in your body.

ben-hur (annoyed). Oh, no, please. Don’t go philosophizing me, you pathetic moron! (Pause. The replay ends and the shot goes back to Salvus, who is very impressed – unfavourably – by the harsh language.)

salvus. My Gosh, Placide! So is this the hidden part of the iceberg you were talking about last Thursday? Do these guys actually talk like that all the time?

placidus. Hidden part of the iceberg? (He chuckles.) No, that’s still the tip. I’ve heard much worse. (Pause. Placidus looks into his monitor.) Buddy, they’re at it again! (He pushes on his headphone.) Tullia, please amplify the cameras along the bend. We’re going live. And be ready with that big censoring button. (Pause. To Salvus) Brace yourself, buddy. (He chuckles again. Ben-Hur on The Triremis crosses the bend near the wall, as usual. Stoicus talks to him again, in the same voice and tone as earlier.)

stoicus. Domine Ben-Hur, listen to me. Strength is nothing if you don’t control it witn your mind.

ben-hur.  SHUT UP, you f—[BEEP!]ing  d—[BEEP!]head! I’m trying to drive, here!

stoicus (insisting). Domine, please— (He never finshes the sentence. A huge spit of saliva from Ben-Hur hits him straight in the face. The shot goes back to Placidus and Salvus, whose mouths are both gaping. They look at each other and laugh. Then Placidus resumes by talking to Salvus.)

placidus. Did you see that, buddy? In spite of his helmet, he has been hit not by flying lead – but by flying liquid! (He keeps laughing.)

salvus. Oh, yes, Placide – the Mighty Spit strikes again! (Pause. The shot moves to the racetrack.) Stoicus tries to wipe his face  with a corner of his toga, but in the meantime he lets go of his reins… The horses do not turn around the bend like they are supposed to, but gallop straight… something’s about to happen… and here it goes!  The right wheel on Titans’ Disaster has hit the bleachers wall immediately next to the bend. However, the chariot is too strong – and Stoicus is too smart – to surrender to a single hit, and indeed he quickly pulls his horses back on track. But I fear it’s a little bit too late… (Pause.) … it’s up to you to explain why, Placide amice.

placidus. It is indeed too late for Stoicus, because everything is finished in the moment when The Triremis, with Ben-Hur on it, crosses the finish line first! (Pause. Ben-Hur, too long restrained, finally screams out a long, liberating Yeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaahhhh! Placidus resumes for the conclusion.) Stoicus on Titans’ Disaster, whose right wheel is a little bit wobbly but still on its axis, comes second, and he still gets his deserved Championship points.

salvus. So it all ends like this, Placide?

placidus. Yes, my dear buddy. It all actually ends exactly like this. (Formally) I would like to give my most heartfelt congratulations to the ultimate winner, who is none other than our beloved Consul Quintus Arrius Nauta. (Pause. Shot on Arrius, who smiles and salutes the camera among loud pre-recorded applause.) I also wish to thank all of the people who entered their chariots and came here to watch them race, and of course I wish to thank, from the bottom of my heart, my companion for these chronicles – the great Manius Flavius Salvus. (Pause. He raises Salvus’s right arm. Partially obscured by more applause, Placidus talks to him.) Buddy, do I have some faint hope that you will be here again to host at least one more race with me?

salvus. I can’t really say anything, but I do have the same hope as you. But first… you must come down to Sicily, dive with me and get your certification card again, otherwise… (very jokingly) I don’t want to see your ugly face again for the rest of my days!! (Pause. He lets out a huge, ringing, sunny laugh. Placidus laughs as well.)

placidus. We have to say goodbye now to everybody, buddy. Are you ready?

salvus. Of course I am.

placidus. OK. (Pause.) My name is Publius Annæus Constantinus Placidus…

salvus. …and mine is Manius Flavius Salvus…

placidus. …and we’re signing off, of course hoping to see you once again…

salvus and placidus (together)… same place, same channel, for the next race. (Short pause. Both of them smile and point to the camera.) FADE OUT!! (They laugh. The screen does fade to black and the broadcast ends.)


Re: Ludi Novi Romani - Quiz on Classics through the Ages

A. Iulius Paterculus, aedilis curulis
 

Salvete omnes,
As the Ludi Novi Romani conclude, it is a pleasure to announce that
D. Autronia Stolo is the winner of the "Classics through the Ages"
quiz. Congratulations D. Autronia!
Valete,
A. Iulius Paterculus

On 3/13/21, A. Iulius Paterculus, aedilis curulis via groups.io
<arthur.f.waite=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
A. Iulius Paterculus omnibus in foro s.p.d.
This is the fifth and final set of questions for the "Classics
through the Ages" quiz.
This last round takes us into the twentieth century:
1. Which classic 1920s novel was almost named after a character from
the Satyricon? (1 point)
2. In 1964, a novel was published based on the life of Flavius
Claudius Julianus (known variously as Emperor Julian, Julian the
Apostate, and Julian the Blessed). Who was the author, and what major
historical liberty was taken near the end of the book? (2 points)
3. While imprisoned at Robben Island, Nelson Mandela signed a book
circulated by Sonny Venkatrathnam, a fellow political prisoner, next
to a speech composed for a famous Roman. Who was the supposed Roman
speaker of these words, and who actually wrote them? (2 points)
All previous questions are in this thread; you are welcome to
answer any and all from now until 6:00 A.M. Rome Time on Monday, March
15th. Please send your responses in English to the email address
"arthur.f.waite (at) gmail.com", including the words "CLASSICS THROUGH
THE AGES" in the subject line.
Valete.

On 3/10/21, A. Iulius Paterculus, aedilis curulis via groups.io
<arthur.f.waite=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
A Iulius Paterculus omnibus in foro s.p.d.
It's time for the fourth round of questions for our "Classics
through the Ages" quiz.
Today's questions are all about English literature:
1. Proserpina appears as a character in one of Geoffrey Chaucer’s
Canterbury Tales. Which one? (1 point)
2. William Shakespeare wrote several plays about Roman history,
including one about a champion turned enemy of Rome awarded the
agnomen Coriolanus. How did Coriolanus earn this name, and what had
his name been previously? (3 points)
3. In John Milton’s drama “A Masque, Presented at Ludlow Castle” (also
called “Comus”), the titular villain Comus is descended from two
mythological characters. Who were they? What is one way in which Comus
resembled one of his parents? (3 points)
4. In the portion of "Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage" dealing with the
title character's travels to Greece, George Gordon Byron (also known
as Lord Byron) criticized an action recently taken by another member
of the English nobility in that country. Who was being criticized and
for what? (2 points)
Also, our current rankings place D. Autronia Stolo squarely in the
lead, with a perfect score on the first six questions. There is still
time for others to catch up.
Please send your responses in English to the email address
"arthur.f.waite (at) gmail.com", including the words "CLASSICS THROUGH
THE AGES" in the subject line. The deadline for all responses will be
6:00 A.M. Rome Time on Monday, March 15th.
Valete.

On 3/7/21, A. Iulius Paterculus, aedilis curulis via groups.io
<arthur.f.waite=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
A Iulius Paterculus omnibus in foro s.p.d.
Looking over the previous set of questions, I see that there was a
typographical error in the question on Plato. The full question should
have been:
1. Averroes (also known as Ibn Rushd), twelfth-century Cordovan
philosopher and judge wrote a number of commentaries on Aristotle -
and one on Plato. Which dialogue? (1 point)
With today's set of questions, our odyssey through the history of
the Classical tradition arrives at the Renaissance:
1. Albertino Mussato was one of the earliest people since Classical
times to receive the designation of “poet laureate”. Name one of the
works which helped earn him this honour (1 point).
2. In 1347 a.d., Cola Di Rienzo seized power in the city of Rome,
declaring the Roman Republic restored and himself Rome’s newest
tribune. What formal political position had Cola held just prior to
this, and which prominent humanist at first supported Cola’s goals? (2
points)
3. Desiderius Erasmus, a leading Humanist scholar in Holland joined
one of the Hellenistic philosophical schools late in his career. Which
one, and in which of his works did Erasmus argue in favour of this
school? (3 points)
Valete.

On 3/4/21, A. Iulius Paterculus, aedilis curulis via groups.io
<arthur.f.waite=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
A. Iulius Paterculus omnibus in foro s.p.d.

Below you can find the second set of questions for our "Classics
through the Ages" quiz. This instalment could be subtitled "The 12th &
13th Centuries Love Aristotle".

1. Averroes (also known as Ibn Rushd), twelfth-century Cordovan
philosopher and judge wrote a number of commentaries on a Aristotle.
Which on which dialogue? (1 point)

2. Maimonides (also known as Moses ben Maimon), another scholar born
in Córdoba, examined an Aristotelian account of the creation of the
world, alongside those of Plato and Moses, in the theological work
"Guide of the Perplexed". What were two of the objections made in this
work to the Aristotelian narrative? (2 points)

3. Although Thomas Aquinas also wrote several commentaries on
Aristotle, he was at odds with the followers of Averroes in several
cases. Explain the key difference Aquinas had with this school over
Aristotle's "De anima". (2 points)

Valete.

On 3/1/21, A. Iulius Paterculus, aedilis curulis via groups.io
<arthur.f.waite=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
Salvete omnes,

Everyone is invited to participate in a five part quiz on Classical
influences from the Middle Ages through the 20th century A.D.

Please send your responses in English to the email address
"arthur.f.waite (at) gmail.com", including the words "CLASSICS THROUGH
THE AGES" in the subject line. The deadline for all responses will be
6:00 A.M. Rome Time on Monday, March 15th.

1. The treatise "De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii" was written in
the fifth century A.D., but continued to be used as a textbook for the
following twelve hundred years! Who was this book's author and what
was it about? (3 points)

2. During the early Middle Ages, direct translations of Aristotle's
work were unknown in western Europe. Which Late Antique Latin
philosopher was responsible for what western Europeans of the time
knew of Aristotle? (1 point)

3. In Medieval times, the Nine Worthies were a group of nine men
thought to represent the pinnacle of chivalry. Who was the one Roman
to be included in this company? (1 point)

Valete,
A. Iulius Paterculus






















Re: French Call to Replace English with Latin as Europe's Official Language

A. Tullia Scholastica, consul
 

A. Tullia Scholastica C. Artorio Praeconino quiritibus bonae voluntatis S.P.D. 

-----------------------------------------

From: "C. Artorius Praeconinus, praetor via groups.io"
To: "TheForumRomanum@groups.io"
Cc:
Sent: Monday March 15 2021 2:31:22PM
Subject: Re: [TheForumRomanum] French Call to Replace English with Latin as Europe's Official Language

C. Artorius Praeconinus omnibus s.p.d.

Salvete,

As much as i would love to hear that succeding, i fear it will not happen as the lingua franca of english was not voted on because of england alone but mainly because of the dominance of the english language worldwide after WW II. And now it is as deeply routed already that a official decision would probably opposed by the majority of populace...


ATS:  Largely for the reason I cited earlier:  modern people, even those who have had a lot of Latin, are totally terrified of speaking Latin, or even writing much in it.  They don't know that Latin has words for modern contrivances, much less know what they are.  They are innocent maidens, totally unaware of such realities.  They don't know about Latin immersions; they don't know about Latin practice groups; they don't know about news pages in Latin; they don't know about Melissa, an all-Latin academic journal, or about the Grex, an all-Latin mailing list.  Like the general population, they may also think that Latin was dead and buried several centuries ago.  Of course they are wrong, but then Latin is too often taught in methods not intended to produce spoken or written fluency, and Europe tends to hew even more closely to the traditional methods of Latin instruction, which are meant to produce people who can read Caesar, Cicero, and Vergil, not write or speak like any of the above (or any Roman author, for that matter).  Traditional Latin works very well for some (it did for me), but true fluency can be obtained only by instruction in a more natural method, such as Desessard's.  Add that in the U.S. at least, Latin is no longer taught in many high schools, even too many colleges.  A Jesuit college (of all things...) here is going to phase classics out altogether; business rules.  Those are the values of third world countries, but what the heck.  


Valete
C. Artorius Praeconinus
Praetor Rei Publicae Novae Romae
Legatus Provinicae Germaniae
Eques Romanus

Vale, et valete!  

ATS



Am Montag, 15. März 2021, 16:52:46 MEZ hat M'. Manlius Manilianus, quaestor <maniusmanliusmanilianus@...> Folgendes geschrieben:


ꟿ. Manlius Manilianus quaestor S.P.D.

Salve!

With the Brexit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, France has proposed replacing English with Latin as the lingua franca of Europe. They argue that between the influence of ancient Rome and the medieval Church, Latin is the natural choice.

Vale!

ꟿ. Manlius Manilianus
Quaestor Rei Publicae Novae Romae
Eques Novus Romanus

https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/french-call-to-replace-english-with-latin-as-europe-s-official-language-44961









Re: French Call to Replace English with Latin as Europe's Official Language

A. Tullia Scholastica, consul
 

A. Tullia Scholastica M' Manlio Maniliano quiritibus bonae voluntatis S.P.D. 

-----------------------------------------

From: "M'. Manlius Manilianus, quaestor"
To: TheForumRomanum@groups.io
Cc:
Sent: Monday March 15 2021 11:52:41AM
Subject: [TheForumRomanum] French Call to Replace English with Latin as Europe's Official Language

ꟿ. Manlius Manilianus quaestor S.P.D.

Salve!

With the Brexit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, France has proposed replacing English with Latin as the lingua franca of Europe. They argue that between the influence of ancient Rome and the medieval Church, Latin is the natural choice.


ATS:  Latin is the natural choice for many reasons even if the UK had remained in the European Union.  It is the universal language, spoken in many countries as a lingua franca by those who have no other common language.  Moreover, some 60% of the English vocabulary and far higher proportions of the Romance language vocabularies, perhaps even 90%, are Latin-derived and easy for all to understand.  However, there is a little problem:  Latin is often taught in read-only mode; one should be able to read ancient literature, and perhaps write a little using very traditional vocabulary, but not speak Latin, or write using modern vocabulary.  At the Schola, that is not the case; we use a text with some modern vocabulary and enhance it by the lessons onsite.  The Ørberg method also teaches a method which may produce at least written fluency, but lacks modern vocabulary, at least in any form of that method I have seen--and I have read the entire first book and used to teach from an ancestral one of that series.  Thus most modern people, even those who have had Latin, are utterly terrified of speaking Latin.  Even my fellow Latin teachers in this area fall into that category.  Oh, a greeting or letter closing, a phrase here and there, are fine, but discussing computers and the internet and vaccines and Covid in Latin--horrors!  They may know the grammar, but the vocabulary is another matter.  

Curious that the French, of all people, are the most interested in Latin:  IIRC, French was the first of the Romance languages to break off from Mother Latin, and is markedly different from either Spanish (which is very conservative) or Italian.  Romanian even retains grammatical cases for nouns...

Consider the following bits of English as she was; how much do English speakers understand? 


 þ character from the Wikipedia Spanish page of Germanic languages.ð. Ð Ð ð þ

 

Ða com Harold ure cyng on unwær on ða Normenn, and hytte hi begeondan Eoforwic. Æt Stemford brygge. Mid micclan here Englisces folces.  And ðær wearð on dæg swiðe stranglic gefeoht on bá halfe.  Ðar wearð ofslægen Harold Harfergera and Tosti eorl. And ða Normenn ða ðær to lafe wæron wurdon on fleame. And ða Engliscan hi híndan hetelice slógon. Oð þ hig sume to scype coman. Sume adruncen. And sume eac forbærnde (Worcester Chronicle for 1066)

 

 

Uton we nu efstan ealle mægene godra weorca, ond geornfulle beon Godes miltsa, nu we ongeotan magon þæt þis nealæcþ worlde forwyrde; for þon ic myngige ond manige manna gehwylcne þæt he his agene dæda georne smeage, þæt he her on worlde for Gode rihtlice lifge, ond on gesyhþe þæs hehstan Cyninges.  (Aelfric, Blickling Homily, 971)

 

From A Course in Modern Linguistics, by Charles Hockett 1958

 

 


Vale!

ꟿ. Manlius Manilianus
Quaestor Rei Publicae Novae Romae
Eques Novus Romanus

https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/french-call-to-replace-english-with-latin-as-europe-s-official-language-44961


Vale, et valete!  








Re: French Call to Replace English with Latin as Europe's Official Language

C. Artorius Praeconinus, praetor
 

C. Artorius Praeconinus omnibus s.p.d.

Salvete,

As much as i would love to hear that succeding, i fear it will not happen as the lingua franca of english was not voted on because of england alone but mainly because of the dominance of the english language worldwide after WW II. And now it is as deeply routed already that a official decision would probably opposed by the majority of populace...

Valete
C. Artorius Praeconinus
Praetor Rei Publicae Novae Romae
Legatus Provinicae Germaniae
Eques Romanus

Am Montag, 15. März 2021, 16:52:46 MEZ hat M'. Manlius Manilianus, quaestor <maniusmanliusmanilianus@...> Folgendes geschrieben:


ꟿ. Manlius Manilianus quaestor S.P.D.

Salve!

With the Brexit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, France has proposed replacing English with Latin as the lingua franca of Europe. They argue that between the influence of ancient Rome and the medieval Church, Latin is the natural choice.

Vale!

ꟿ. Manlius Manilianus
Quaestor Rei Publicae Novae Romae
Eques Novus Romanus

https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/french-call-to-replace-english-with-latin-as-europe-s-official-language-44961









French Call to Replace English with Latin as Europe's Official Language

M'. Manlius Manilianus, quaestor <ManiusManliusManilianus@...>
 

ꟿ. Manlius Manilianus quaestor S.P.D.

Salve!

With the Brexit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, France has proposed replacing English with Latin as the lingua franca of Europe. They argue that between the influence of ancient Rome and the medieval Church, Latin is the natural choice.

Vale!

ꟿ. Manlius Manilianus
Quaestor Rei Publicae Novae Romae
Eques Novus Romanus

https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/french-call-to-replace-english-with-latin-as-europe-s-official-language-44961









Re: LUDI NOVI ROMANI | The Holiday of Anna Perenna | CLOSING CEREMONIES OF THE LUDI NOVI ROMANI

P. Quinctius Petrus Augustinus
 

Ave C. Claudius Quadratus,

 

Ahhhh.   Reminds one of fascism.    Freedom is a precious right which governments in general resent.   When a medical issue becomes a political issue, there results a threat.   It needs be resisted, ern masse.

 

Vale,

 

Publius Quinctius Petrus Augustinus     

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: C. Claudius Quadratus, augur
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2021 8:05 AM
To: theforumromanum
Subject: Re: [TheForumRomanum] LUDI NOVI ROMANI | The Holiday of Anna Perenna | CLOSING CEREMONIES OF THE LUDI NOVI ROMANI

 

Salve, Lentule!

In the People's Republic of Quebec there are limited opportunities to celebrate.  We are almost in a state of house arrest with an 8:00 p.m. curfew.  Restaurants are closed to both indoor and outdoor dining and gatherings with friends or relatives are prohibited.  My celebration will consists of offerings to the gods, a glass of wine with dinner, and reading Robert Harris's novel Pompeii.  I'll also send a small contribution to the Torre Argentina cat shelter, located at the site of Caesar's assassination.  Normally, I would visit them in the spring, but travel is now impossible.

Vale!

C. Claudius Quadratus

---------- Original Message ----------
From: "Cn. Cornelius Lentulus, quaestor, praefectus rei publicae administrandae, curator rei informaticae, pontifex via groups.io" <cn_corn_lent@...>
Date: March 15, 2021 at 8:20 AM

 

Cn. Lentulus pontifex Autroniae Stoloni s. p. d.

 

Excellent, thank you for sharing how you celebrate this last day of the Nova Roman Games and the holiday of Anna Perenna. I'm sure Divus Iulius appreciates the gesture, too!

 

It would be great to hear other fellow Nova Romans, how they celebrate this day?

 

Valete!

 

Cn. Cornelius Lentulus

pontifex, quaestor etc.

 

 

Il lunedì 15 marzo 2021, 13:15:03 CET, D. Autronia Stolo via groups.io <rkarfit@...> ha scritto:

 

 

Salvete!

I have offered sacrifice and libations this morning at my Lararium to Jupiter, Anna Perenna, the Divine Caesar and my household Gods, asking for blessings on my family, friends and the good folks here at Nova Roma.  This afternoon I will open a fresh bottle of red wine to enjoy with the evening meal.
I hope everyone has a wonderful day, however you choose to celebrate!



Valete,


D. Autronia Stolo


 


 

 


Re: LUDI NOVI ROMANI | The Holiday of Anna Perenna | CLOSING CEREMONIES OF THE LUDI NOVI ROMANI

C. Claudius Quadratus, augur
 

Salve, Lentule!

In the People's Republic of Quebec there are limited opportunities to celebrate.  We are almost in a state of house arrest with an 8:00 p.m. curfew.  Restaurants are closed to both indoor and outdoor dining and gatherings with friends or relatives are prohibited.  My celebration will consists of offerings to the gods, a glass of wine with dinner, and reading Robert Harris's novel Pompeii.  I'll also send a small contribution to the Torre Argentina cat shelter, located at the site of Caesar's assassination.  Normally, I would visit them in the spring, but travel is now impossible.

Vale!

C. Claudius Quadratus

---------- Original Message ----------
From: "Cn. Cornelius Lentulus, quaestor, praefectus rei publicae administrandae, curator rei informaticae, pontifex via groups.io" <cn_corn_lent@...>
Date: March 15, 2021 at 8:20 AM

 
Cn. Lentulus pontifex Autroniae Stoloni s. p. d.

Excellent, thank you for sharing how you celebrate this last day of the Nova Roman Games and the holiday of Anna Perenna. I'm sure Divus Iulius appreciates the gesture, too!

It would be great to hear other fellow Nova Romans, how they celebrate this day?

Valete!

Cn. Cornelius Lentulus
pontifex, quaestor etc.


Il lunedì 15 marzo 2021, 13:15:03 CET, D. Autronia Stolo via groups.io <rkarfit@...> ha scritto:


Salvete!

I have offered sacrifice and libations this morning at my Lararium to Jupiter, Anna Perenna, the Divine Caesar and my household Gods, asking for blessings on my family, friends and the good folks here at Nova Roma.  This afternoon I will open a fresh bottle of red wine to enjoy with the evening meal.
I hope everyone has a wonderful day, however you choose to celebrate!


Valete,

D. Autronia Stolo


 


 


Re: LUDI NOVI ROMANI | The Holiday of Anna Perenna | CLOSING CEREMONIES OF THE LUDI NOVI ROMANI

Cn. Cornelius Lentulus
 

Cn. Lentulus pontifex Autroniae Stoloni s. p. d.

Excellent, thank you for sharing how you celebrate this last day of the Nova Roman Games and the holiday of Anna Perenna. I'm sure Divus Iulius appreciates the gesture, too!

It would be great to hear other fellow Nova Romans, how they celebrate this day?

Valete!

Cn. Cornelius Lentulus
pontifex, quaestor etc.


Il lunedì 15 marzo 2021, 13:15:03 CET, D. Autronia Stolo via groups.io <rkarfit@...> ha scritto:


Salvete!

I have offered sacrifice and libations this morning at my Lararium to Jupiter, Anna Perenna, the Divine Caesar and my household Gods, asking for blessings on my family, friends and the good folks here at Nova Roma.  This afternoon I will open a fresh bottle of red wine to enjoy with the evening meal.
I hope everyone has a wonderful day, however you choose to celebrate!


Valete,

D. Autronia Stolo


Re: LUDI NOVI ROMANI | The Holiday of Anna Perenna | CLOSING CEREMONIES OF THE LUDI NOVI ROMANI

Autronia Stolo
 

Salvete!

I have offered sacrifice and libations this morning at my Lararium to Jupiter, Anna Perenna, the Divine Caesar and my household Gods, asking for blessings on my family, friends and the good folks here at Nova Roma.  This afternoon I will open a fresh bottle of red wine to enjoy with the evening meal.
I hope everyone has a wonderful day, however you choose to celebrate!

Valete,
D. Autronia Stolo


LUDI NOVI ROMANI | The Holiday of Anna Perenna | CLOSING CEREMONIES OF THE LUDI NOVI ROMANI

Cn. Cornelius Lentulus
 

Cn. Lentulus, pontifex, sac. Concordiae, quaestor, praefectus rei publicae Senatui Populoque Novo Romano Quiritibus s. p. d.

Today, on these Ides of March, I have offered the Closing Ceremony for the Ludi Novi Romani which celebrates the 23rd Anniversary of the Founding of Nova Roma. The end-games of the ludi will continue today, some of the contests are open for participation until midnight today, but the Anna Perenna ceremony has been the final ritual of the Ludi Novi Romani. Today we pray to Concordia, to Mars, to Iuppiter Optimus Maximus and to Anna Perenna, goddess of longevity, goddess of the year and Time, for a long life of all Nova Romans, and for Nova Roma Herself.

On this day, Roman tradition says, one must drink as many glasses of wine as many years one wants to live in the rest of his life. Let's drink some glasses of wine today, not only for us, but for the 23rd anniversary of Nova Roma, too.

As the lock down didn't allow community live celebrations this year, I attach last year's celebrations in this link:


These photos were not taken on today's Anna Perenna ceremony, but they were taken last year, on 10th March, when as pontifex, quaestor and governor of Italia and Pannonia, Cn. Lentulus held an official community celebration of the Ludi Novi Romani and the Concordialia, for the 22nd Anniversary of the founding of Nova Roma with the Nova Romans of the Cohors VI Carpathica and the burgus Colonia Rostallo, subdivisions of Pannonia Provincia. Prayers and sacrifices were offered to Concordia, Mars and Iuppiter Optimus Maximus for Nova Roma, for our consuls, for the Senate and People, for Pannonia and Italia, and for Regio Rostallonsis and its unit the Cohors VI Carpathica.

Io Anna Perenna, Io Concordia, Io Nova Roma annorum XXIII !

Valete!

CN. CORNELIVS LENTVLVS EQ. EQ. P.
PONTIFEX, SACERDOS CONCORDIAE
QVAESTOR, PRAEFECTVS REI PVBLICAE
CVRATOR REI INFORMATICAE SPQNR




LUDI NOVI ROMANI | One Last Call Before the End

Cn. Cornelius Lentulus
 

Cn. Lentulus quaestor omnibus Quiritibus sal.

I hope you continue to enjoy your festival, the celebration of yourself, your community, your achievements, Quirites! Tomorrow, our aediles P. Annaeus and A. Iulius will close the games, so hurry up with participating, you have still a full day and some more: remember, you will earn CENSUS POINTS and higher status in Nova Roma, your votes will weight more, your name will ring more nicely, and all the beautiful boys and girls of Nova Roma will love you more dearly ;)

Here you can access all programs and contests of the current Ludi Novi Romani:

Please let me know if you find the page useful, or you miss something from the page! Feedback is appreciated! Don't you find the added little logos for each program nice? It adds more respect to our games!

Before I close my letter, I would like call your attention to TOMORROW'S PROGRAM, the closing day of the celebration of the anniversary of Nova Roma: Anna Perenna Day. The day when Caesar was stabbed, the Ides of March. Anna Perenna was celebrated by the Romans on that day since the dawn of time. The Romans celebrates Anna Perenna by drinking wine, and an old tradition in Rome said that you would live as many years in addition as many glasses of wine you drink on the Ides of March. You know Caesar was an abstinent and where it hot him...

Please let us know how you plan to drink at least a glass of wine tomorrow in honor of Anna Perenna (preferably also libating a gulp to her), asking for one or many more years for yourselves, and for Nova Roma. Let's celebrate the Anna Perenna Day, the Ides of March, tomorrow, as the Romans did, and by doing so, honor the closing of our 23rd Anniversary Games, the LUDI NOVI ROMANI!

Io Concordia! Io Ludi Novi Romani! Vivat Nova Roma, optima, maxima!

Cn. Lentulus, quaestor, pontifex
praefectus rei publicae adminstrandae
curator rei informaticae








Re: LUDI NOVI ROMANI MMDCCLXXIV - VIRTUAL CHARIOT RACE, First Semifinal

P. Annaeus Constantinus Placidus, aedilis curulis
 

Placidus Lentulo amico s.d. 
Unfirtunately you did not qualify - Dorothea was strong and shrewd, but she lost to Tutor's philosophic, impassible Stoicus. Also very unfortunately, this edition of the Chariot Race allows only the winner of each Semifinal to qualify for the Final.

I wish you all the best of luck for the next race! 

Optime vale, 
Placidus





Lentulus P. Annaeo aedili optimo s. p. d.

Heck, I lost first place, P. Placide, aedilis optime, does that mean I am not in the final? Thank you for the lovely virtual show, and good luck to my friend tr. pl. Sex. Lucilius Tutor, vir censorius.

Io Concordia, Io Ludi Novi Romani, vivant aediles Placidus et Paterculus!

CN. LENT. Q. PONT.





Il venerdì 12 marzo 2021, 03:08:54 CET, P. Annaeus Constantinus Placidus, aedilis curulis <ugo.coppola1970@...> ha scritto:


Publius Annæus Constantinus Placidus omnibus in Foro s.p.d.

You are about to read my account of the First Semifinal of the Virtual Chariot Race for the LUDI NOVI ROMANI 2774 a.U.c. The narrative is, as usual for me, very long and very detailed, with lots of characters and lots of events; it is mostly comedic in tone, but it also includes serious passages. Most importantly, in this narrative I am costantly mixing ancient and modern. So you have a Chariot Race happening exactly as the Chariot Races used to happen in Ancient Rome's golden years, but you've also got television, cameras, smartphones etc. etc. This is because the temporal setting of the story is TODAY rather than Roman Republican times, and the spatial setting of the story is not Rome, but the fictional city of Nova Roma, which is an idealized, stylized representation of what Ancient Rome would be, were it alive and thriving today. The narrative is written in the guise of a script for a fictional television broadcast.

You are all invited to read and enjoy this narrative, always keeping in mind that nothing at all of this is intended to represent or emulate reality. It's fiction. :-)

Optime valete omnes,
P. Annæus Constantinus Placidus
Ædilis Curuls Novæ Romæ

__________________________________________

The broadcast opens on a blurred image, on a light blue background, of a one-handed electronic clock in white script. The one hand counts down from ten to zero. On minus five seconds, a female voice is faintly heard in the background:
…and we’re on in five, four, three, two… “one” is not heard. The screen goes black and immediately lights up again into the full sunlight of a glorious early afternoon in Nova Roma. It is Ludi time. Strains of the usual heroic theme for horns, which is the signature tune of all Ludi events, are heard, while an aerial camera makes a full pan around the Circus Maximus. It is an extremely unusual and, at the same time, startling view, as the bleachers in the Circus are completely devoid of an audience. Ten camera operators, behind high-tech HDTV cameras, are plainly visible, in their short black workmen’s tunics, instead of being hidden in the crowd as usual. Puffs of green, red and blue coloured smoke emerge every now and then from various points on the bleachers – these are all rigged and artificial, as there is no one lighting up any smoke generators. The only people who seem to be quite ready to enjoy the show about to start are four prætextati people sitting in the front row on the left side of the Circus. An elderly but very dignified woman is among them. About one minute into the pan, a superimposed title appears in red-golden Roman epigraphic script: LVDI NOVI ROMANI | VIRTVAL CHARIOT RACE | FIRST SEMIFINAL | Directed for TV by C. TVLLIA CELERIS.

Immediately after the pan finishes, the shot changes to the inside of the TV broadcast center, on top of the Circus. The camera is behind the crew. Director Tullia Celeris is sitting in the center, her back to the camera. Next to her, on both sides, male and female TV operators are sitting and looking at monitors. They are all very young, and all of them wear white, shell-shaped civilian face masks. Suddenly the entrance door is heard opening and closing with a loud slam. Placidus enters from rear left. He wears completely anti-historical clothes, consisting in his full Italian firefighter operational uniform: a heavy black fireproof jacket with reflective yellow/silver stripes on his wrists and along the front of the jacket, fireproof trousers with yellow stripes, heavy military-like black amphibian boots on his feet, long fireproof gloves on his hands featuring two reflective stripes and the National Firefighters Corps’ flames-and-axes logo, and a red protective helmet on his head, which features a dark-golden visor and the same flame logo as a 3D relief item on his forehead. His face is not seen, hidden behind the mirrored visor. He has come in straight from active firefighting duty. He steps heavily with his boots on the marble floor. Tullia hears him and turns. At the same time, the entire crew also spins on their respective chairs… the boys are happy and give big thumbs up to Placidus, the girls scream out excitedly and survey Placidus’s uniform from head to toe – their eyes are a mix of dreamy admiration and love toward what they regard as a real-life, uniformed superhero.

tullia (to Placidus, very happy). PLACIDE!! (Pause.) You’re finally here! (Grabbing her hips with both hands, ironically and with a hint of sarcasm.) Been putting out fires all around Nova Roma again, haven’t you?

placidus (lifting his visor, slightly tired). Well, yes, Tullia, I have – quite literally, as you can see. (He giggles.) No, sorry, I really did. I’ve just finished my shift. Am I late?

tullia (giggling as well). Placide, did you bother to take a look outside? There’s nobody out there. (She smiles.) So there’s no point in having a parade. There’s no point in you or anybody else doing, say, a welcoming lap around the racetrack. There’s no point in having the racers come out and set up on the starting line. There’s no point in absolutely anything of this. So, indeed, there is no point in coming early or late.

placidus (relieved, exhaling heavily). Pheeew! (He unties his helmet and removes it.) Do you mean I actually have time to get rid of all this stuff and change into more fitting clothing?!

tullia. Yes, of course you do – your prætexta and your calcei are there in the back… you certainly don’t want to greet your TV audience in THOSE boots, do you? (She laughs. Placidus does as well.) Go change yourself, great fireman. I’ll just do another pan – I have plenty of time to fill, here. (She smiles. Pause. The shot changes again into the one on the Circus. The camera stops on the electronic billboard, where a computer animation of the racetrack, with racing chariots, is seen. After less than two minutes of this, the camera moves to the concrete stairway next to the broadcast center. Placidus comes rapidly down on it – now dressed, in a perfectly historical way, in his full toga prætexta. He carries a wireless mic in his right hand. Very much at ease in his toga, he descends the steps quickly, accompanied by the signature tune, and comes into the center of the racetrack, opposite the magistrates, where he stops. Suddenly, huge, pre-recorded applause and cheering is heard. Placidus makes a faint smile, slightly embarassed, faces the camera and starts talking into his mic.)

placidus (very formally). Ladies and gentlemen, domini dominæque, iuvenes, pueri puellæque… in one word, everybody in front of your TV screens… welcome here to the First Semifinal of the Virtual Chariot Race for the Ludi Novi Romani 2021! (Loud applause – this time clearly perceivable as fake, as it rapidly fades in and out with no definite start and no definite stop.) This is Publius Annæus Constantinus Placidus and I’m talking to you LIVE from the Circus Maximus in Nova Roma. (Pause. The applause does not stop – it fades back in and back out.) Excuse me for a moment, folks. I have to say a word to my great director Tullia up there in the broadcast center. (He pushes his earphone in his right ear.) Tullia? [tullia. Yes, Ædilis? Placidus giggles.] I can’t understand what’s up with you every single time. I was Placidus to you not later than six minutes ago, and now I’m Ædilis? Did I graduate to anything in this extremely brief lapse of time? (He giggles again.)

tullia (from earphone). Six minutes ago you were here, Ædilis. It was the intro. Now you’re on the racetrack. It’s official. Simply by virtue of you being on the racetrack, you’re not just Placidus any longer. You’re Nova Roma’s beloved Ædilis Curulis.

placidus. Oh. Okay, then. (Pause.) Regardless of what or who I am, Tullia, what’s all of this fake applause thing? Excuse my language, but to me it’s just crap. (Pause.) You have amply made your point, with your opening pan, and also earlier, when I was up there with you, that there’s no audience. Everybody knows why there’s no audience, it’s not worth repeating. Still, I’m hearing applause and cheering as if this whole 10000-seater arena was filled to its utmost capacity. Again, forgive me, but this is plain silly.

tullia. (calmly and gently) My dear Ædilis, maybe you still don’t have a clear vision of what you’re hosting. (Shot on her.) This is not real. This is a show. Covid-19 is real. People dying everyday around the world are real. Intensive care wards in hospitals everywhere on the brink of collapsing are real. Even us behind the scenes, being forced to wear these stupid muzzles on our faces, while you’re privileged enough not to… (Pause. Slight giggle from Placidus)… we’re real. I’m real. You’re real. The people sitting opposite you are real. The chariot owners, their racers, are real. But everything else is not real. It’s entertainment. It’s a show – we’re putting on a show. We have to make people watching this on TV feel like they’re watching a show. After all, Ædilis, who do you think we’re running this race for? For a live audience? (Pause. She shakes her head.) Not really. Sure, if a live audience was there, they would enjoy the show. But they would get nothing else from it. The racers do get something, because there’s the Nova Roma Virtual Chariot Racing championship always going on. We’re not running our races for a live audience. If anybody, we’re running the races for the people who actually take their time to set up their chariots and bring them here. It’s them, the people who actually run, the ones we’re setting up this show for. Fake applause is part of the show. So you do your job down there and I do mine up here. Part of my job is putting applause and shouting where applause and shouting are supposed to be, even if there’s nobody applauding and shouting. (She smiles. The shot goes back to Placidus, who has suddenly become serious and ready to do his job.)

placidus. I agree with everything you say, amica mea. And I accept everything that you do up there. [tullia (from earphone). Thanks, Ædilis. Now you may start. Pause. Placidus looks into the camera.] Okay, folks out there in TV-land, sorry for this short and unforeseen diversion. I am really ready now. First of all I would like to say hello and welcome to our most honourable magistrates sitting in front of me… (Pause. The shot changes to the magistrates.) From left to right, my Plebeian colleague Marcus Aurelius Cotta Iovis, my mate in the Curule Ædilitas Aulus Iulius Paterculus… (Pause. As Placidus calls the magistrates, they get up one by one, accompanied by faint pre- recorded applause in the background. Paterculus holds a red nappa in his right hand and a blue surgical mask is hanging from his neck, but he is not wearing it. Placidus resumes.)… and our esteemed Consuls, Quintus Arrius Nauta and Domina Aula Tullia Scholastica. (Pause. To Scholastica) Domina Scholastica, thanks very much for taking some of your precious time to come here. That’s very kind of you. (Pause. The shot moves to her. scholastica. Thank you, dear Ædilis, for taking some of your own time off your precious macronational work to set up and organize all of this. You have such a wonderful dedication to everything you do. Pause. The shot goes back to Placidus, who is slightly blushing.)

placidus (smiling). Thanks, domina. I really don’t deserve any of this. I’m just a very humble firefighter who just happens to wear a toga prætexta every now and then. (Short pause. Tullia is heard giggling from the earphone.) Anyway, I think it’s time to meet the racers now… (Pause. He looks up to the broadcasting center and sees that Tullia is looking behind her. He pushes on his earphone.) Tullia, what’s up?

tullia (initially from the earphone, then the shot moves to her). Sorry, Placide, I heard the door opening and closing. You know all too well that nobody’s supposed to enter here while a broadcast is in progress. Unless you’re expecting somebody.

placidus (suddenly remembering). Oh! Yes, I am. Please let him in. (Pause. A man, younger, shorter and plumper than Placidus, appears in one of the windows of the broadcast center. He has a beard and a very sunny, happy face. He is dressed with a very elegant, and very historically correct, toga angusticlavia, and he appears to wear nothing underneath it. He gives a broad smile. and makes wild waving gestures with his right hand, held up high, to salute Placidus. The shot moves behind him and Tullia.)

tullia. Who is this, Ædilis? I suppose he’s a friend of yours, otherwise he wouldn’t be here at all. (Pause. The man smiles to her, another very broad, sunny smile.)

placidus. Of course he’s a friend. Indeed, I’ll tell you more. He may be the only real friend I currently have outside of my colleagues. (Pause. More formal) Tullia, please meet my current and wonderful scuba diving instructor, Manius Flavius Salvus. You can safely shake his hand, he’s just been test-swabbed and came out negative. (Pause. Tullia and Salvus shake hands.) Tullia, I love that man. He and his team brought me very safely down to more than 108 feet in Sicily last summer. [tullia (from Placidus’s earphone). Wooooooowww! That’s something! Pause. Back to Placidus.] Yes, wow indeed. He actually did. (Pause. In a darker tone) Then something happened I don’t want to talk about, and I couldn’t get a certification with him. (Pause. More neutral) But still I love him dearly, and I’m going back to Sicily with him next summer to get that card again. Please give him a mic and put him on the PA, I want to talk with him. (Pause. Tullia gives Salvus a hand-held mic and pushes a button on her console. Back to Placidus.) Salve, can you hear me? At last I can see you face-to-face instead of only through a computer screen.

salvus (smiling broadly, as above, and with a Sicilian accent, his voice booming through the PA and echoing in the empty Circus). Hello, Ugo! (Pause.) No, wait, what’s your name here? It’s not even Cosworth… (Pause. Placidus laughs.) Oh, right. (He remembers.) Salve, Ædilis Placide. Is that right, isn’t it? You’re a high ranking person in here, and congrats for that.

placidus. Oh no, amice. I’m wearing different clothes from the wetsuit I had when you taught me, but I’m the same person you taught to. Nothing’s changed. (Pause.) Anway, let’s not lose any more time with greetings. Come down here, we’ve got a race to chronicle! (He giggles. The shot moves again to the outside of the broadcast center. Salvus is seen pulling out a white surgical mask and wearing it, then he comes rapidly down the stairs and joins Placidus in the middle of the racetrack. Fake applause in the background. Placidus introduces him formally.) Ladies and gentlemen in front of your TV screen, my assistant chronicler for this wonderful Virtual Chariot Race… from Panormus, Sicily, dominus Manius Flavius Salvus! (Pause. He raises Salvus’s left arm. Huge, roaring pre-recorded applause. Salvus is slightly embarassed. He talks to Placidus in a low voice.)

salvus (slightly muffled through his mask). Placide, apart that I don’t deserve any of this… [placidus (overlapping and smiling) You do, amice. You amply do.]… I’m a soldier. I know nothing at all about chariot racing. How am I supposed to chronicle if I don’t know what I’m watching?

placidus. Don’t worry, buddy. (Pause.) First of all, remove that silly thing off your mouth. You’re my guest here and I allow you to. I’m in command. (He lets out a slight laugh while thinking of his actual ‘in-command’ role in his real-life job. Salvus laughs as well and removes his mask.) As I was saying, buddy… (Pause. Salvus is very happy about Placidus calling him ‘buddy’, as he did during their scuba training.)…while I introduce the racers, you go sit there next to my colleague Paterculus. (Pause. Placidus points to Paterculus opposite him.) Patercule, please, you and Cotta Iovis move one seat to the right so that my friend can sit next to you. (Pause. Paterculus and Cotta do.) He will explain you everything.

salvus. Thank you, Placide. (He goes to sit next to Paterculus.)

placidus. You’re welcome, buddy. (Pause. Placidus pushes on his earphone.) Tullia, please, give me the starting grid for this First Semifinal. The three in the first batch. (Pause. Shot on the electronic billboard on top of the Circus. Three lines come out of it, each one pulled by an animated silhouette of a racing chariot, respectively in bright green, bright red and bright blue.)

LANE     CHARIOT            OWNER                        DRIVER      TEAM

I               Phoenix Furiens     M. Hortensia Maior        Hyppolita       PRÆSINA

II              Nova Roma            Cn. Cornelius Lentulus  Dorothea        RUSSATA

III            Titans’ Disaster      Sex. Lucilius Tutor         Stoicus           VENETA

After all the lines have disappeared from the screen, the shot goes back to Placidus, who is chatting with Salvus, sitting in the front row.

placidus. OK, bro… (Salvus smiles, hearing Placidus call him with another nickname from their training period.) I hope you have a little bit more understanding on what you’re about to witness.

salvus. Yes, Placide, I think I got a clear picture of it all, your friend Paterculus is good. (Pause. He smiles to Paterculus, who smiles back and gives Salvus a thumb-up.) Not a detailed picture, mind you. A very broad one. (He giggles.) The only thing I’m a bit doubtful about is racing tactics. Your friend listed them, but I don’t quite know what he meant…

placidus (patting Salvus on the shoulder). My friend, never mind the tactics. You shall understand them when you see them in action here on the racetrack, and I guarantee you that (giggling) sparks will fly. Quite literally.

salvus. We shall see to that, Placide. We’ll see.

placidus. Sure, buddy. (Pause.) Before we start, I have just another little thing to do, which is introducing the racers. I see some familiar faces in here, I’ve got a feeling that this is going to be quick. (Pause. He approaches Hortensia on Lane I.) Domina Hortensia Maior Fabiana Faustina, welcome back to the racetrack, with a new chariot and… (he looks up) a new charioteer… a young, strong, and pretty girl! (Pause. Shot on Hippolyta, on the chariot. Her face is beautiful, like a modern fashion model, but she also has sharp, sculpted features – typical of a strong, rough woman. She has very long blond hair, wavy but unkempt as well. She holds her Amazon helmet under her right arm. She smiles at Placidus and gives him a thumb-up. Placidus resumes talking to Hortensia. She is wearing a face mask made out of fine white silk.) Sorry again, domina, if we couldn’t get your full Roman name on the billboard, but you see, that’s all the space we have.     

hortensia (very gently). My dear Ædilis Placide, you know very well that you’re way too kind to apologize to me for anything. And, like domina Scholastica said a few minutes ago, your kindness also shows in the fact that, in spite of everything you have to go through in your life outside of here, you did manage to organize this wonderful race. (Pause. Placidus blushes slightly.) Of course I couldn’t miss it, could I? (Pause.) As for my new charioteer… well, I’ve traveled quite a bit before the damned pandemic hit the entire known world, and on a trip to Scythia last November I happened to watch this fantastic Amazon girl rider having her way with a pure-breed horse like a man… or, I may say, better than a man. She’s extremely fierce, she’s strong-willed and strong-armed, and, as I hope you’ve been able to see, she’s got her looks, which is a plus.

placidus (embarassed). Er… yes, I’m quite aware of her… er… good looks. (He giggles.) Sorry, domina, I’m a man. I can’t help that.

hortensia. Never mind, Ædilis. Please go on.

placidus (still a bit embarassed). Okay, er… (Pause.) All best of luck for this race to you and your new pilot. [hortensia (overlapping). Thanks again, Ædilis. Pause. Placidus moves to Lane II, where Lentulus is standing next to his old-but-refurbished racing chariot, Nova Roma. Placidus is enthusiastic at seeing his long-time assistant and friend. He is wearing a white surgical mask.] LENTULE!! What a pleasure! You’ve managed to enter your chariot once again! [He moves to hug him, but Lentulus stops him with a gesture of his right hand.]

lentulus. Stop right there, Placide amice. (Pause.) I know you love me dearly as a friend, but you’re also our Ædilis Curulis, so behave as such. Be dignified. (Pause. Placidus smiles and distances himself.) Not to mention your wonderful uniform and your position in real life… you’re in the Law Enforcement business, and that gives you both the right to exercise your power, and the duty to be dignified and correct – even with close friends. (Pause. Placidus smiles again and makes a small bow, then resumes talking.)

placidus. Yes, my friend, you’re right as usual. (Pause.) It’s just that I still have to get used to my position – both here and outside of here. Most probably I never will. (Pause. He looks up to Dorothea on the chariot.) But apart from this, please allow me to repeat that it’s indeed a great pleasure to see both of you once again you and your great lioness up there, helming your chariot… or is she a panther? (Pause. Dorothea lifts her head up high, with pride, and lets out a long laugh. Long, wild brown hair, a body armour, but no helmet and no face mask.)

dorothea (sarcastically, to Placidus). You can call me whatever animal you want, Ædilis, but the point is that I am an animal. And I’m going to show that first of all to that made-up chick here next to me in Lane I. (She laughs again. Hippolyta, in Lane I, looks at her with a snobbish attitude. While Placidus has just realized that this is going to be his first-ever race featuring two woman racers, and an amazed sparks-are-indeed-going-to-fly look quickly passes on his face, Lentulus tries to shush up his charioteer.)

lentulus. Dorothea, please behave. You’re talking to a magistrate.

dorothea (still a bit sarcastic). Yeah, I know. (Pause. To Lentule). Master Lentule, you freed me a long time ago, and I thank you for that. Now I’m yours, but you know you can’t change the way I am. (Proudly) Nobody can.

lentulus (humbly, to Placidus). Sorry about her, Placide. As you say in Italy, I wanted my bicycle, now I’ve got to pedal. (He giggles.)

placidus (giggling as well). Yes, my friend, I get that. (Pause.) Well, I wish you good luck to you and your… er, animal up there. (Pause. Lentulus gives Placidus a thumb-up while Dorothea laughs again. Placidus moves to Lane III.) Hey, another familiar face here too… (He moves to Lucilius. He also wears a white respirator mask like the TV crew members. He is unconfortable with it.) Lucili, as a former Ædilician colleague of yours, I must say I’m pleased to find you here on the racetrack as well. And I’m also pleased to see your great Stoicus at the helm once again.

lucilius (adjusting his mask, which is slipping down his nose) Yes, Ædilis, it’s been quite a while since I left my footprints… (Pause. He looks down and sees he is, ironically, not leaving any footprints at all…)… er, since I last stepped with my calcei here on the sand in the racetrack. As for Stoicus, well, he too was looking forward to coming back here controlling the reins of two mighty horses… (Pause. He adjusts his mask again.) Oh, to hell with this stupid thing. I wish all this dreaded disease would just fly away and disappear. Don’t you, Ædilis? [placidus (slightly overlapping) Yes, Lucili amice, I do too. Pause. Lucilius resumes.]  Anyway, as you can see, Stoicus is fully primed and ready to race. (Pause. Placidus looks up at Stoicus on the chariot. He is indeed ready – his brand new body armor is already correctly tied, and he has already worn his protective helmet. The look on his face is extremely dignified and serious and, faithfully to his name, he shows no sign of emotion at all.)

placidus. Well, Lucili, I can see that he’s amply ready to race. (Pause.) Primed… er… (he chuckles slightly)… I’m afraid I can’t say that for sure, just looking at him.

lucilius (giving Placidus a thumb-up). Yes, that’s precisely his attitude: keeping it all inside of himself. I like him a lot just because of that.

placidus (sort-of thinking aloud) Well, Lucili, keeping everything inside of oneself is perfect in this frenetic world’s everyday life, but I wonder how much he’s going to hold that up during a wild chariot race. (Pause.) Anyway, right now, as with the others, I can only wish good luck to you and him for this great race. (Pause. Lucilius bows and Placidus goes back to his monitor next to the front row bleachers, where Salvus is sitting at ease, but the seat to his right is empty: Paterculus is not there. Placidus is puzzled and thinks aloud again… Where’s he gone?? Then he remembers having seen him with the red nappa in his hand: he is going to start the race. Indeed, he looks behind him and sees Paterculus, behind the starting line, approaching the official starter’s podium next to the spina wall. Placidus looks relieved.)

salvus. What’s up, Ugo… er, Placide? Were you looking for your friend? He’s right there (pointing to Paterculus), just about to climb on that small red pulpit.

placidus (giggling at Salvus’s definition). Pulpit… erm, buddy, to us that’s a podium. The starter’s podium. Now my colleague is going to officially set them all off.

salvus. Yes, I know. (Pause.) I’ve seen something similar on TV in other… er, other contexts than this.

placidus. Good for you, buddy. Just one more thing before we start. When I say ‘over to you’ or something similar or anyway I invite you to talk, just pick up where I left off and continue. OK? (He makes a diver’s A-OK sign with three fingers. Salvus replies with the same sign. Placidus turns to Paterculus.) All right, Patercule collega. You may go. (Pause. Shot on Paterculus. He has worn a white respirator too, by now. He looks at Placidus, who gives him a thumb-up.) Amice, you know what to do just right after you start, don’t you?

paterculus. Sure, collega. (Pause.) You taught me. Indeed, you taught us all.

placidus. Well, not that I’m aware of, but go ahead. (Pause. Paterculus lifts his nappa up high.)

paterculus. Attention, pilots! (Pause.) Three… two… one… (He drops the nappa.) GO!!! (The horses run away furiously. Immediately, Paterculus jumps up the spina wall and stands there, proudly erect and motionless, a true Roman Ædilis. Then he shakes off just a little bit of dust from his toga, which is still immaculate, and he walks across the racetrack to his seat, accompanied by pre-recorded applause. He goes to sit next to Salvus, who is amazed.)

salvus. Wow, Placide! (Pause.) Were you actually the first to do that stunt? That’s wonderful!

placidus. Yes, and there’s really nothing ‘wow’ about it. Once I was the starter, and I didn’t want to get my toga dirty, so I improvised. (Pause.) Glad to know somebody’s learned from me. Anyway, there’s no more time to talk, as we’re into…

LAP I

(Shot on the racetrack, Placidus starts his chronicle.) All the chariots are definitely up to a very good start, I see. Stoicus on Titans’ Disaster, in Lane III, advances slightly more than Dorothea on Nova Roma in Lane III. Hippolyta on Phoenix is momentarily left behind… apparently the lone boy on track is way more determined than the two girls, isn’t he, buddy?

salvus. Well, yes, Placide. What did you say he was in everyday life? A philosopher? A thinker?  He doesn’t look like that to me – he looks way more like a soldier. One of my kind. (He smiles)

placidus. Maybe it’s his Stoicism indeed – his way to keep an inner calm among all possible turmoil – which makes him as strong as a valiant soldier in battle, and maybe even more. I guess we should ask him, but I doubt he’ll answer. (Pause. Shot on the racetrack.) Now look at that, buddy. (While Stoicus and Hippolyta slow down to turn around the bend in the safest and most possibly correct way, Dorothea passes it extremely close to the tip of the wall. She almost risks scraping her left wheel against the wall. Once again Salvus is amazed. Placidus looks at him.)

salvus. Placide, have you seen what she’s done?? But is she actually… crazy? She nearly broke her wheel!

placidus. Buddy, what was I telling you earlier, about seeing tactics in action rather than explaining them? That’s one. (He smiles.) I’ve seen her doing that way too many times to know that she’s not crazy at all. That’s her tactic. While the others slow down in order to take the bend without any harm, she doesn’t change her pace and gets near the wall. Sure, that’s a big risk of actually hitting it. But, as you see, she’s now leading, so it was worth the risk. Would you please continue up to the second straight line and second curve, then I pick it up again for the end of the first lap? (Pause. Salvus, still a bit shaken, is perplexed. Placidus utters the code-words.) Over to you, buddy.

salvus. Oh, OK. (getting back into it) Let’s see now. Stoicus on Titans’ Disaster, which up to the first bend was solidly in the lead, is now paired with Dorothea on Nova Roma, but Hippolyta on Phoenix Furiens is quickly catching up with her. (Pause and shot on the racetrack. Hippolyta bends over to the right, she grabs some sand off the racetrack and, getting momentarily nearer to Dorothea, throws the dust right in her face. Dorothea is blinded for a second, she lets go of her reins, slows down and Hippolyta overtakes her. Immediately she starts shouting. The absence of the audience makes it possible for the cameras on the bleachers to pick up her shouting, which is unusually clearly heard.)

dorothea (shouting). You bastard! You cheater! You rabid bitch!! If I catch you I’ll rip your head off your neck and then I’ll pee into your oh-so-nice silver helmet!! (Pause. Shot back to Salvus, whose mouth has gaped. He opens and closes it twice without saying a word, like a goldfish. Placidus is amused. Then Salvus finally manages to speak. He stutters.)

salvus. Pla-Placide! (Pause.) Now you don— you don’t tell me that all of this I’ve just seen – and heard! – is actually allowed in here. OK, I’ve seen and heard worse in my battlefield days on active duty, but I frankly didn’t expect to witness that sort of thing also in here.

placidus. My dear friend, not only it’s allowed… (chuckling) It’s normal. It’s routine. It’s tactics. It happens at almost every single race. (Pause. Salvus is relieved and a wide smile appears on his face.) Also, about the language, that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what normally happens in here. Which reminds me of one thing… would you excuse me for just a minute, buddy? [salvus. Of course. Placidus pushes on his earphone.] Tullia? [tullia (from earphone). Tell me, Ædilis.] Tullia, please, really you can’t call me just Placidus? [tullia (partly apologizing). Not while you’re on the racetrack, Ædilis Placide. Now tell me.] OK, let’s see how far can we take this game. (Pause. Tullia laughs from the earphone.) Tullia, you’ve always got a one-second delay in the audio up there. If you hear anything worse than that, be ready with your hand on that big censoring red button up there. (Pause.) In the past, of course, I did that on purpose. But now I really wasn’t expecting to hear all of that so loud and clear. I forgot that there’s no audience. (He giggles.) Anyway, back to the race. This little amount of trouble to Dorothea has made her slip back in third place. Hippolyta is a very close second to Stoicus, who took advantage of the distractions behind him to regain a bit of his lost lead. (Shot on the racetrack.) Now the chariots are doing the second bend, and while Stoicus and Hippolyta can take their time to actually do it with care, so to speak, Dorothea speeds up, passes it nearer to the wall and pairs up with Hippolyta, or very nearly so. (Pause.) So, on the finish line, Stoicus on Titans’ Disaster crosses first, followed by Hippolyta on Phoenix Furiens and, very very very close, Dorothea on Nova Roma. (Pause. Shot on the dolphins pole above the Circus. The second dolphin bows down.) I’ve just seen that one more dolphin above there isn’t straight any longer, which can mean only one thing: we’ve just started…

LAP II

salvus (looking at the dolphins pole in his monitor). Hey, Placide. The dolphins. Nice touch. Just like in the old times.

placidus. Well, buddy, we’re all about reconstructionism here. If we can do anything in a properly historical way, we just do it. (Pause.) Would you care to start this lap?

salvus. Of course. I’m honored. (Pause.) Phoenix Furiens and Nova Roma have restarted their powerful attack on Titans’ Disaster, which is now slightly leading again. Now Stoicus is slightly accelerating… is that a tactic, Placide amice?

placidus. Let me see. (He pulls his smartphone out of a fold in his toga, he turns it on, he slides a finger over the display and reads: “Hurry in the straight lines”.) Yes, buddy, that’s it. (He shows the smartphone to Salvus long enough for him to read the line about Stoicus, but not long enough for him to read the other lines. In spite of this, Salvus smiles and resumes narrating.)  

salvus. OK, folks at home, as you have just heard from my mate Placidus here next to me… (Pause. Placidus smiles)… Stoicus’s chosen tactic has allowed him to set himself in first position once again. But here comes the first bend, so let’s see how it goes. (Shot on the racetrack. Salvus is heard off-screen.) Stoicus speeds up just a little bit more, then he slows down exactly at the most critical point of the whole bend – the tip of the spina wall – so he manages to go around it very easily, very correctly, and also without deviating from his proper path. Hippolyta follows, almost exactly like her opponent has done, and a bit later here comes Dorothea at full speed and passing very near the spina, as previously. Placide, if you forgive me the cheap joke, these people are so good at going around those bends, that they’re not afraid at all of getting the bends!! (He laughs. Placidus laughs too.)

placidus. That joke isn’t cheap at all, buddy. Instead it’s very good. Only, I would kindly ask you not to do it again, because it reminds me too much of a person who I used to do that joke with, and who I thought was very similar to you, but he later turned out to be completely different.

salvus. Oh, I do have an idea about who that may be. Isn’t his name somewhere along the lines of Marcus Petronius Ior—

placidus (interrupting him just in time). Yes. That’s him. (Darkly) I don’t want to talk about him, because something related to you happened last year between me and him. Something I didn’t like, and I don’t want to talk about that either. (More neutral) Let’s talk about something else.

salvus. Yes, Placide, I understand. Let’s talk about the race. (Pause.) Up to now in this lap there have been no dirty tricks, and I really hope that there aren’t going to be any more of them…

placidus. I hope too, buddy, but if I were you I honestly wouldn’t hold my breath.

salvus. Of course I’m not, Placide. I’m a scuba instructor. I’m not a freediver. (He laughs again. His laughter is contagious.)

placidus (laughing) Ha-ha-ha-ha… Bro, you have such a wonderful way of making everything I say so much lighter than it actually is. I love you dearly, brother. (Pause. Salvus is moved by Placidus actually using the full word rather than as a nickname, and quietly whispers: Thank you, brother.) Now can I please do the rest of the lap?

salvus. Suit yourself, Placide.

placidus. Thanks, buddy. (Pause.) So, while everything went well for all three racers in the first bend, the race is again developing on the second straight line. Stoicus on Titans’ Disaster keeps leading, very slightly ahead of Nova Roma’s Dorothea, while, also very close to her, Hippolyta is insulting her in what sounds to my ears like ancient Afghan… but I don’t understand a single word of it. Do you, buddy?

salvus. No, I don’t. And yet I’ve spent quite some time in Afghanistan…

placidus. So we can allow ourselves not to care about that at all and to care just about the race. (He chuckles. Shot on the racetrack.) And what I’m seeing just now is Hippolyta about to pull out another dirty trick on Dorothea. (Pause. Hippolyta is seen unrolling a whip behind the front of her chariot. She snaps it first in the air above her, then on Dorothea, whose body armor covers her breasts, her abdomen and her back, but not her shoulders. Snap! Hippolyta’s whip hits hard on Dorothea’s left shoulder, leaving a faint red mark. She winces, then she does something unclear and unseen to Hippolyta. Nothing happens. Hippolyta then reaches her neck out to Dorothea and she also does something unseen to her. Dorothea puts her arm in front of her eyes, slows down, but this does not allow Hippolyta to overtake her. The positions remain unchanged. Placidus pushes on his earphone.) Tullia, please, give me an instant replay of that from another angle. And zoom on those two, er, maids. (Pause. Salvus is heard laughing loudly next to Placidus.)

salvus. “Maids”… (laughing) You’re quite something, Placide. No wonder the main host of these Virtual Race events is always you. Nobody beats you. (He laughs again. Pause. The shot changes to a slo-mo instant replay of the scene, seen from another camera on the bleachers. Immediately after Hippolyta has hit Dorothea, she spits in Hippolyta’s face. The latter turns sharply, and the spit hits the left side of her helmet. Immediately after that, Hippolyta spits in Dorothea’s face. She wears no helmet, and the target is hit. Dorothea wipes off the spit, but she does not slow down enough for Hippolyta to speed past her. The shot goes back to Placidus. He and Salvus are chuckling together.)

placidus. Seen that, buddy? This has suddenly turned into a spitting match. Not even two cowboys in the Wild West could do any better. That’s why… “maids”.

salvus. Indeed, Placide. You hit the nail right on the head. As always. (Pause. Dorothea is passing right opposite the point where Placidus is broadcastig from. Placidus teases her.)

placidus. Now you see, my dear, what’s the DISadvantage of not wearing a helmet?

dorothea. (shouting wildly, while racing along the straight line) SHUT UP, ÆDILIS!! (Pause. Placidus is struck and he does shut up for a few seconds.)

salvus. Placide amice, I have a feeling that if that girl put her racing horses where her mouth is, she’d be world champion in chariot racing. (He giggles. Placidus looks at him with admiration.)

placidus (jokingly) Congrats, buddy! You’re becoming good at this. So good, in fact, that I allow you the honor to conclude this lap, from the second bend onwards.

salvus. And I very gladly do that, amice. (Pause.) Well, all of the hustle-and-bustle happening now between Dorothea, Hippolyta and, yes, you as well… (Pause. Placidus laughs.)… may have contributed to switching their respective positions along the straight line, but now she’s just done such a masterful turn of the bend… so close, in fact, to the the spina wall that I can almost hear the hubcap of her left wheel scraping the wall… but, luckily for her, she doesn’t. So here’s how they cross the finish line in the second lap: Titans’ Disaster driven by Stoicus leads the race, Nova Roma with Dorothea is back in second place and, extremely close to it, Phoenix Furiens driven by Hippolyta. Now I guess that the third dolphin above there is about to go to sleep… isn’t it, Placide? (Shot of the dolphins pole, where the third dolphin bows down.)

placidus. Exactly, buddy. Just as I said before, you’re becoming much better than me at this. I’ll tell you something… (ironically) YOU host the next race and I rest!

salvus (chuckling). No, Placide. This is not my world. My world is up there in the cold waters in the lakes near Modicia, or in the warmer waters down in Sicily, but always with my trainees. That’s where my world is. This is your world. I ain’t taking your world away from you. Indeed, I advise you to keep a firm grip on it, because you’re the best. (Pause. Placidus smiles a childish smile to Salvus.)

placidus. Thanks, bro, you’re too kind. Everybody has something they’re best at. Yours is teaching how to dive, mine is NOT hosting chariot races, but let’s not go into that any further (chuckling) as we’ve got a magnificent race to finish, as indeed it’s just gone into…

LAP III

salvus. I’ll let your start this, Placide. As I said, this is your terrain.

placidus. Thanks a lot, buddy. (Pause.) Well, now that this exciting race is heading towards its conclusion, I don’t think there’s time for tactics any longer, but in several years of chronicling these races I’ve got so much used to unusual things happening all the time, that I can’t really say anything more… can I, buddy?

salvus (shaking his head and chuckling) No, Placide, you can’t. I’ve been a personal witness of this up to now, I don’t think anything can change in the last lap.

placidus. I don’t think so either, unless Hippolyta employs another of her tricks… or better, Lady Hortensia’s tricks, as she’s the one who chose the tactic. She’s the bad girl in here, much worse than her charioteer. (Pause. While the slightly darker afternoon hour allows for the powerful halogen lights on the four corners of the Circus to light up faintly, Placidus eyes Hortensia sitting alone four rows behind the magistrates, and waves to her. Hortensia responds by barely lifting her hand and wiggling her fingers, as if she knew what Placidus is talking about. Lentulus is also sitting alone, in the row behind Hortensia’s and very distanced from her. The shot goes back to Placidus, who resumes his chronicle.) On the first straight line, Stoicus is still leading, but as Dorothea is lashing her horses like mad and getting closer and closer and closer, he’s starting to feel his lead somehow menaced by Dorothea… in other words, he’s starting to feel Dorothea’s breath on his neck. (Pause. To Salvus) Isn’t this what the professionals say all the time, buddy?

salvus. Yes, exactly, Placide. Where did you learn to talk “sport” like that?

placidus. Here in the Circus, buddy. That’s where. After having hosted these races for more than 10 years. (He laughs. Salvus joins him but they both stop.) Let’s look at the racetrack, bro. What d’you say? (Pause.) Over to you, buddy.

salvus (surprised). Placide! You can’t throw the ball at me like tha— [He is stopped by Placidus whispering in his hear: Buddy, the race!] Oh, OK. (Pause. Shot on the racetrack.) Hippolyta is wielding her whip again! Just as her and Dorothea are entering the first bend – the great Stoicus has already passed it perfectly – she lashes at Dorothea. The latter shifts her body to the right and Hippolyta misses! (Pause) Here she goes again… snap! But Dorothea ducks and she misses again! And in the meantime they’re into the bend… Dorothea is millimetrically right in NOT hitting the spina wall… but Hippolyta, who’s apparently busier in trying to hit Dorothea than in driving her chariot, miscalculates the speed and she DOES very nearly hit the wall… she scrapes it with the left side of her chariot! (Pause. Scraping noise, not too loud. The hubcap on Phoenix Furiens’s left wheel slowly starts to come loose.) Phew! What an excitement, folks! Too much excitement for me… I’m very much used to the extreme calm of deep waters, and this madman at my side… (Placidus laughs) is mercilessly putting me through all this, so at this point I’ll very gladly let him go on.

placidus (still partly laughing). Okay, buddy, I do understand. (Remembering from earlier) Your world, my world. I do see. So, where are we at? (Pause. Shot on the racetrack.) The three chariots are racing very near to each other. Competing. Clearly Dorothea must’ve realized that her chances to win, and thus to move to the Final, are very close to non-existent, but also second place means something – for the overall score in the Championship. So she’s trying to do whatever she can to keep herself there in the second spot, while at the same time trying to avoid all direct attacks on her from her direct opponent – that is, of course, Hippolyta, who obviously longs for the second place herself. (Pause.) Now he’s extending her whip again… high up in the air… she lunges at Dorothea’s right shoulder, but she suddenly swerves to the right and Hippolyta misses again. (Pause. Excited, rhytmical breathing from Salvus.) Buddy, you seem to be actually enjoying this!

salvus. Well, yes, Placide. Actually I am. (Pause. Very quick breathing, almost like a dog.) Please don’t stop.

placidus. I won’t stop only if you calm down, my friend. After everything you’ve done for me, I certainly won’t be the one who’s responsible for giving you a heart attack or something. (Pause. Salvus does calm down.) That’s better, buddy. (He pats Salvus on his right shoulder.) Let’s see how all of this ends up. I’d like you to do it, bro.

salvus (still excited but much calmer) Okay, Placide. Here goes Hippolyta with her whip again… arm in the air… she extends it… but while she’s aiming to the point of Dorothea’s back where she may hurt her the most, she commits the most fatal mistake in chariot racing, which is… (Pause. He points to Placidus.)

placidus. Always look in front of you?

salvus. Exactly, buddy. (Pause. Placidus smiles at being called ‘buddy’ himself.) She gets closer to the spina wall in the middle of the racetrack… and closer… and closer… oh no, I don’t want to watch this! (He mockingly covers his eyes with one hand. CRASH! The left wheel on Phoenix Furiens suddenly hits the spina wall. The small metal hubcap at its center comes completely off and it is shown rolling across the sand. Salvus resumes.) What a hit, folks. Literally. (He giggles.) The left wheel on Hippolyta’s chariot wobbles just as she’s coming out of the second bend… Dorothea having made it perfectly, of course… and while Stoicus on Titans’ Disaster crosses the finish line first and lifts both his arms in the air, triumphantly, but with just a shadow of a smile going across his impassible face… (Pause.)… you conclude this, Placide.

placidus. Very gladly so, buddy. As my great mate Salvus has just said, while Stoicus enjoys his well-deserved victory, which brings him straight into the final, Dorothea manages to get her equally deserved Championship points by coming in second, and Phoenix Furiens, having completely lost its left wheel, crumbles miserably down on the ground at just a few meters from the finish line. A disgruntled and disappointed, but… (dreamily) oh-so-beautiful helmeted Amazon by the name of Hippolyta… (Pause. Salvus giggles at Placidus.) climbs off Phoenix Furiens and gives a mighty kick to her evidently weak chariot, making it tumble upside-down on the ground and effectively sealing its fate. (Pause. He looks at Salvus.) So Stoicus is the winner, animalish Dorothea gets her points, Hippolita gets nothing and… do you think there’s anything more to say for this great First Semifinal, buddy?

salvus (smiling to Placidus, another of his wide, sunny smiles) No, Placide. I’m most definitely not inclned to think so. I think we may say goodbye now.

placidus. Yes, we certainly may. (Pause. Very formal) Ladies and gentlemen, you have just witnessed the First Semifinal of the Virtual Chariot Race for the Ludi Novi Romani 2774 a.U.c. This is Publius Annæus Constantinus Placidus…

salvus. …and this is his best buddy, Manius Flavius Salvus…

placidus. …and we’re signing off for today. See you all soon here, same place, same channel, for the Second Semifinal. (Pause. He pushes on his earphone.) Tullia, you may fade us out now. (She does. The screen fades to black and the broadcast ends.)

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