Introduction & FAQ
For direct questions answered, click here.
The Societas Via Romana (Roman Way Society) is a multicultural, creative and organic society that celebrates the legacy of the classical world to humanity, especially in its aspects that are still applicable in contemporary life.
We are multicultural, because, aside from our more specific focus on Roman civilisation, we welcome discussion on other classical civilisations such as Greece, Carthage or the Etruscans. We are also multicultural, because we accept members from all layers and cultures possible, and strive for mutual intercultural understanding.
We are creative, because we strive for creative expression of our Romanitas in essays, travel reports, discussions, chats, stories or reenactment, exploring various areas of the Via Romana. This creativity serves to keep the Roman heritage alive, and to stimulate critical discussion about and learning of it.
Last but not least, we are organic: the Societas Via Romana folds open into several Collegia that each cover a specific facet of Roman life in detail. These Collegia can be created by members themselves, and are our main branches of life. Geographically, Societas Via Romana also provides for the creation of Provinciae, real-life groups of people that live in the same area.
Membership is absolutely free, and further information is available on the rest of our site, or by e-mailing one of our officers.
The free community of the Societas Via Romana welcomes you!
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
No, we are not crazy. Nor are we a sect, or any kind of political or religious group. What we are is a community of Roman-culture enthusiasts and Romans-in-spirit, here to share and enjoy every aspect of the Roman Heritage. Yes, we are quite passionate about what we do; but all in all you'll find us a rather relaxed bunch with our heads still screwed on tightly. (Well, okay, we have one Resident Madman...but he's harmless, we promise!)
- Are you guys nutcases or what?
Absolutely nothing. All you have to do is send in a membership application (available on this site) and subscribe to our Forum Board. Membership carries no further costs and no obligations, other than that of your presence, enthusiasm, and hopefully your active participation!
- How much does membership cost?
All of our members, and most of our subscribers, take Roman names when they register. They do this because, in many cases, their felt connection to the Heritage is strong; they identify with Ancient Rome, and so come to identify themselves as Romans. Members are discouraged from naming themselves after famous historical figures; the names they choose are expressions of their Roman selves, a thing that goes far beyond roleplaying.
- What's the deal with the Roman names? Are you roleplayers?
Our use of Roman names also contributes to the period 'atmosphere' of our virtual gatherings; we like to think that, if ancient Rome had lasted until the present day, She might have wound up something like this.
Anyone can register on the Forum Board. Subscribers may read, reply to, and even start topics for discussion. However, only members (whom we call sodales) may form a Collegium (a branch of discussion, such as History, Arts, or Daily Life), or vote in polls and elections affecting the Societas. They can also contribute articles, images, and essays to our Web site. And only members can hold administrative positions within the SVR.
- What's the difference between a Forum subscriber and an SVR member?
Actually there's no real benefit in just being a Board subscriber since membership in SVR is free anyway. And you get an official Roman name. What a deal, huh?
A Collegium is a section of the Forum Board which covers a particular facet of Rome or the classical world. We currently have Collegia for History, Arts and Sciences, Religion, Philosophy, Ancient Languages, Military, and Daily Life. Each Collegium becomes a workshop where everyone dirties their virtual hands in scholarly discussion, the writing of essays, and the sharing of links and other material. We have had Latin lessons, philosophical symposia, and even HTML workshops in our Collegia; and many Collegium topics become raw material for the Web site. The potential list is endless. And yes, SVR members can found their own Collegia! If there are at least three of you and you see an area of Roman life that is not already being covered, ask a Moderator or the Forum Admin and we can open an area up for you.
- How do these Collegia work? Can I found one myself?
You do. We don't "own" our members; anything you produce remains your intellectual property. Our Webmasters may edit for spelling and grammar, and any links provided must be current; as a courtesy, we request that you check them before submission. As with any publisher, not everything we receive ends up on the site, but all contributions are acknowledged and appreciated. So if you see something about Ancient Rome that isn't being said, and you know enough to say it, by all means share!
Initially, some people may be under the impression that the Societas Via Romana is a micronation (an online "country" with its own laws, magistrates and constitution), simply because some of the larger Roman-heritage societies are organised in this way. We, however, are not a micronation. We don't have territorial aspirations and don't call ourselves a "state" or consider ourselves as having a "government". We are an organisation and an online community of Roman enthusiasts, completely different in spirit and purpose.
Nova Roma is a Roman Internet micronation (see above) whose stated purpose is the re-creation and revival of Roman culture in the modern world. Many of our members, and most of our founders, came from Nova Roma, and we still get some of our most productive people from there. However, we are not formally affiliated with NR or anything like it. Some of our sodales are concurrent Citizens of Nova Roma; neither society objects to the arrangement. But, as may be seen, there are great differences between the two organisations. The Societas Via Romana is not a micronation and is not interested in becoming or being absorbed by one; the micronational movement in general has been host to some extremist elements, whose activities and attitudes only damage the reputation of serious groups with a Roman theme.
- If I write an essay for you, who has the copyright over it?