New Board-Rank Proposal

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New Board-Rank Proposal

Postby Aldus Marius on Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:41 am

Salvete, amici Romani!

Several months ago, accensus Publius Nonius Severus sent me what I thought was a neat little proposal to liven up our Forum experience a bit. (And then we both got hideously busy!) As we know, the Forum already awards "Board-ranks" according to a member's post-count. When the Board was set up, it was decided to use military ranks, the Legions having had one of the better-known rank-structures in the Roman world. But some members have expressed a dislike for the military ranks, and we all know I'm not really an Imperator (at least I hope not!!). There's not much I can do about that except rename them; but this proposal (idea: Severus; art: me) would supplement that system with little 'tags' or icons more closely reflecting someone's role in the Society itself.

They'd look like this:

Image

These would appear over your Avatar and right under your actual Board-rank (see next illustration).

- A Socius would be any Forum subscriber who has posted at least once.

- A Sodalis (or Civis? is that a better term?) would be a member of the Societas *or* someone who has made at least 20 posts (corresponding to the Auxiliary and Legionary Board-ranks).

- An Eques would be someone who has authored at least 100 posts (Optio and above), and/or has made an art or essay contribution to the Web site.

- A Senator would be either a financial supporter (site fees and such) or an actual member of our Curia/Senate.

- A Magistrate would be one of our Duly-Electeds or Appointeds.

This is what it would look like on the Board:

Image

=========

The reasons for all the "either/ors" in the descriptions are technical. Ideally I'd just assign the "Sodalis" icon by hand upon a member's actual enrollment in the Album Sodalium. (The "Senator" and "Magistrate" tags will have to be assigned by hand as "special ranks" in any case.) But, after considerable experimentation, the only ways I could make the system work were to tie the images to the Board-ranks; to completely replace the present Board-ranks with these and establish new post-thresholds (and then no one but the leadership would get a promotion after their 100th post...yuck); or to assign every one of them by hand, every time somebody met the criteria for a new one. I ain't *that* crazy. So they're not as divorced from the existing ranks as I'd like them to be, and they're still a bit of extra work for the admins.

But I like them. I like, for example, that there would now be a way of recognising a contributing non-Sodalis. I like that I would be able to award a tag early if, say, someone with less than 100 posts wrote an essay for the site. I like letting everyone know who our sponsors are; every other non-profit does. Mostly, I like having a system of "awards and decs" that has at least some community basis, that is not exclusively tied to post-count.

Quid censitis, amici? Should we try this for a while and see how we like it? Questions, comments, suggested tweaks are all most welcome!

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Postby Quintus Servilius Priscus on Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:19 am

I like it. It would be better than the military ranking rating we have now. Also, after someone leaves office
he/she would have a status symbol to keep on the forum.
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New Board-Rank Proposal

Postby Valerius Claudius Iohanes on Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:48 pm

Avete, Sodales -

Marii, it's great. Glorious, really - nice artwork.

Okay, I have one question for debate, and it's minor: Should the rank-icon go above and before the individual's personal icon/avatar (as in your illustration)? It seems to me it should follow, as an attribute of the individual - as opposed to being a "pre-emption" of the individual's identity, as it were. (Does that make decent sense?)

In any event, beautiful, snazzy and dignified all at once.

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Backstage at the Forum

Postby Aldus Marius on Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:34 am

Salvete iterum, amici Romani!

Quintus Servilius scripsit:

> I like it. It would be better than the military ranking rating we have now.


Actually, we'd still have the regular Board-ranks (Legionary, Optio and such); I'm presenting the new tags as a supplement to, rather than a replacement for, the existing system...something a little more individualised. The biggest obstacle to actually replacing the Legion ranks with these ones is that there are too few of them; there would be no automatic promotions, based on post-count, once a Boardmember makes Eques. That'd make for a long, dry, dull Forum career, nonne? I've rather enjoyed my Increments, and watching everyone move up through the ranks.


> Also, after someone leaves office he/she would have a status symbol to keep on the forum.


There's a good name for them--'status symbols'! And, yes, once you'd earned one it'd be yours for life (or until superceded by a higher one). Feels kinda Roman that way...

Valerius Claudius scripsit:

> Should the rank-icon go above and before the individual's personal icon/avatar (as in your illustration)? It seems to me
> it should follow, as an attribute of the individual - as opposed to being a "pre-emption" of the individual's identity, as it were.


OK, now we get to the 'backstage' part. >({|:-)

I'd've preferred the tags to go under the Avatars m'self. Tunics and togas don't wear people; people wear tunics and togas. I've been on other Boards (non-BB2 ones) where you could throw everything into your "identity box" from animated Avatars to scrolling .sig blocks. But our Board software doesn't do that. The only place left to put extra info in that area on a BB2 Board is under the rank. And, actually, the software considers the image to be part of the definition of a rank. Here, I'll show you how I'd actually have to set it up... (Yes, you get to peek!)

This is the opening screen of the Administration Panel's "Rank Administration" area. (There's no security risk in showing you these; first a bad guy/gal would have to get back there, and I've got two Dragons and a Werewolf on watch):

Image

This shows the table of "ordinary ranks", the automatic ones that go up by post-count whether we assist them otherwise or not. I can change the names, I can tweak the post-thresholds, but ordinary ranks will exist regardless; that's just how Boards work.

It also shows two examples of "special ranks". These are ranks created by the admins, and granted on an individual basis. Ours at the moment are "Spam King" (guess who made that one up? <wink>)...and one Extreme Grecophile wanted to be a Greek Hoplite, nothing less, so we accommodated him.

However, you'll note that there are no post-thresholds for the Special ranks; I tried making a Special rank with a post-threshold and it didn't take. That means that every single promotion to a Special rank has to be handled manually by the admin. Monitoring 190 Boardmembers for outbreaks of Niftyness sounds like a job for the US Department of Homeland Security, not for Marius. Also, once a member gets a Special rank, he ceases to be promoted the normal way unless he gets nudged back onto the Ordinary track. Thus this system cannot and will not ever replace the Ordinary ranks...your admin's gotta eat, too, y'know, and that takes time.

But both Ordinary and Special ranks also have an option for a custom image to go along with. You see where the panel gives an option to Add a new rank or Edit an existing one...? Here's what I get when I click there:

(for an Ordinary rank:)

Image

(for a Special rank:)

Image

That's where I'd specify the tags for Socius, Sodalis, and Eques. I'd actually do this by playing head-games with the Board: I would attach the images to the Auxiliary, Legionary and Optio 'ordinary' ranks...and, since one rank can't have two names, the images themselves would bear the names of their respective statuses. (See illustration in my original post: I'm still shown as having the Board-rank of Praefectus Castrorum [told ya this was a while ago], but the tag says Eques.)

I can, and probably will, set up the first three tags as Ordinary ranks, and then all five as Special ranks. That gives me the flexibility to assign the earlier ones at need. Senator and Magistrate would be strictly Special ranks, but we don't have enough of those to be burdensome.

Getting back, by roundabout, to our esteemed Curator's question: Since the icons are properties of the ranks, they have to go under the ranks. Like I said, a supplement. And not as independent of the rank system as I'd like. But doable; and, I think, close enough.


> In any event, beautiful, snazzy and dignified all at once.


But remember, it was Severus' idea; I'm just presenting it for him. >({|:-)

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New Board-ranks: The Implementation Phase!

Postby Aldus Marius on Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:42 pm

Salvete omnes,

I'm in the process of installing the new Board-rank icons. If you're reading this, you already know that all those little images make our pages take longer to load the first time. 'S okay; once they're in your browser's cache you'll be fine.

All five "statuses" are in the system. Now I have to go through the Userlist and figure out who is who. Right now, everyone with over a hundred posts is an Eques; Socius also works the way it's supposed to. I've also done the Magistrates. I'll be going back tonight for the Senatores and non-Equestrian Sodales; that'll involve checking the Alba. If your tag does not correspond to your actual status, it will. If it doesn't by the end of the week, ping me!

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Postby Q Valerius on Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:50 pm

Test...

Just checking my status. I'm a magistrate?
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Top-Heavy?

Postby Aldus Marius on Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:34 am

Salve, mi Poplicola, et Salvete omnes!

Is it just me...or is this place crawling with Magistrates?

Hmm...I did assign that tag to everyone who has ever held a magistracy in the SVR. (Ita, mi Valeri; you were a Praetor one year.) But I'm wondering if I overdid it...it makes us seem awfully top-heavy. The Gods know *I'm* no magistrate; I was quite happy to shed the toga praetexta (I never did figure out how to hunt wild boar in that thing...) for my good old, beat-up sagum again. <g>

Tell you what: I think for now I will confine that rank to those who are currently serving. Those who have served in the past would be considered Senatores; all of them have sat in the Curia and done the things that Senatores do, and some of them have contributed financially to keeping us going.

But I would like to know what you'd like the final policy to be. Once a Magistrate, always a Magistrate? Or shall the title of Senator be granted to our emeriti as well as deserving others? Or shall I create a new tag for them?

Whatever else gets decided, I'm going back there *right now* and demoting myself! >({|:-)

Feedback, especially from the emeriti, is requested and most welcome.

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Postby Q Valerius on Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:26 am

I'd welcome all past magistrates to return as Senatores, instead of Magistrates.
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Interim

Postby Aldus Marius on Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:22 am

This has gotten unexpectedly messy... After some pondering (still, probably not enough...*wince*), I think it best to leave the ex-magistrates on the "regular" rank sequence until we figure out how best to recognise them within this new system. Almost all of them are at least Equites by post-count.

Again, ideas and workarounds are most welcome...and I won't bat away the first three pieces of rotten fruit either. >({(X-|

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New Equites

Postby Aldus Marius on Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:42 am

Salvete omnes!

Having combed over the Web site for the names of its contributors, I am pleased to award the Board-rank of "Eques" to the following Sodales: Aulus Ambrosius Celetrus and Quintus Marius Primus.

Ambrosius Celetrus shared some of the myths related to Roman herbs; his essay is in the Collegium Vita Quotidiana. Marius Primus was the Other Half of a Collegium Latinum debate with Gnaeus Dionysius Draco: "Is Latin Dead?" Their essays were written quite some time ago; I'd say they were overdue for some recognition. It's been a while since we've seen either gentleman; but hopefully one or both of them will peek in here long enough to savor the honor!

More recent, though not as obvious as an essay, was Publius Nonius Severus' work on 'versioning' the old (archived) Regula. What we have up there now is the result of a lot of research, plumbing original sources and documenting changes, much the way one might for translations through the ages of an ancient manuscript. This is hard to do and maybe harder to explain; but it's the sort of thing for which Congressional staffers are paid handsomely. I'd call that a contribution; but we, not being registered with the Congressional Budget Office, must make do with those little icons. Severus gets one. Profundas et multibus gratias ago, clare Severe; te gratulor!

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Postby Q Valerius on Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:18 am

I don't think Eques should be default for ex-magistrates. In Roma Antiqua, equites were a very distinct group of non-Senators who engaged in business. By law they could not be a senator. Therefore the ex-magistrates who were Senators should probably be counted as senators in keeping with ancient traditions. Since there's no more distinction between business class and agricultural class, the eques could be an honored distinction to those who are not nor were not senators. And magistrates should keep the title magistrate. Seems simple enough, no?
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Agreed, I think.

Postby Aldus Marius on Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:53 am

Salve, clare Poplicola!

> I don't think Eques should be default for ex-magistrates.


Me either. Right now, "Eques" for an ex-Magistrate is default for "Mari doesn't know what else to do just yet". It's a holding-pattern, not a permanent (or even a desireable) state of affairs.

But your suggestion to designate former Magistrates as Senators (that's what you mean, nonne? ...I'm so confused...) makes sense to me, and I haven't gotten any other suggestions. I may wait a few more days to see if someone else comes up with something, either a new rank or a different way to handle the ones we've got.

Just one question:


> And magistrates should keep the title magistrate.


Meaning the current ones for as long as they're serving, nonne? Just checking.

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Postby Q Valerius on Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:52 pm

You've understood it perfectly.
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Veterani Magistrati

Postby Valerius Claudius Iohanes on Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:24 am

Salvete, amici -

Thinking it over again, I like Quintus Valerius's suggestion that ex-magistrates should become Senatores; it does two things -
    Reflects, more or less, the outcome of a successful run on the Cursus Honorum of the much more populous, much more office-studded Res Publica Romana ipsa; and

    Gives us back an SVR Senate, something a number of us have desired since the Concilium Reforms.

Ecce meos denarios duo, amici. Valete.
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You got it.

Postby Aldus Marius on Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:20 am

Salvete omnes!

Bene'st, amici; that makes three of us with the same basic instinct. If Valerius likes it, and Iohannes likes it, and I was wanting to do it anyway, that's reason enough for me!

But I have to clarify: The "Senator" icons I am about to bless lots of people with are merely what Q Servilius has called "status-symbols" to show what role their bearers have had in the life of the Societas. It would take an act of the Comitia to actually bring back the SVR Senate. Only an act, not an amendment to the Regula; but a proposal and a vote nonetheless.

What we have now are the Curatores and an informal panel of "Curiales", mostly last year's Curatores, who have been asked to stick around to give advice. Other Sodales can be named Curiales if the Curatores need them; Q Valerius was one the year he did the Board upgrade, and Tiberius Draco is one because he's still helping me manage the site. This year's Curiales will bear the "Senator" tag with the word "Curialis" as the Board-rank above it. If it says "Senator" for the Board-rank and the icon, it belongs to one of our Formers. (Did that make sense...?)

I'll start on those tonight, then hit the Alba again and see who else needs one. And *then* I need to get back to the Regula pages...! >({|8-)

[Addendum: Before I get real into this...have we any former Magistrates who would prefer to remain on the military ranking system? (I rather like those little promotions myself...) If so, please PM me!]

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Senatores--The First Wave!

Postby Aldus Marius on Tue Feb 19, 2008 8:54 am

Salvete iterum, amici Romani!

The following members of the Societas Via Romana, in honor of their years of service to the Society, are awarded the Forum rank of Senator, and are hereby entitled to wear the tunica laticlava in said venue:

Quintus Pomponius Atticus, Aedilis, Praetor, Consul, et Decemvir;
Publius Dionysius Mus, Praetor et Consul;
Marcus Pomponius Lupus, Censor et Decemvir;
Quintus Claudius Locatus, Aedilis, Consul, Censor, et Interrex;
Tarquinius Dionysius, Aedilis;
Quintus Aurelius Orcus, Praetor et Decemvir;
Marcus Scribonius Curio, Praetor et Decemvir;
Lucius Tyrrhenus Garrulus, Aedilis;
Quintus Valerius Poplicola, Praetor et Decemvir; et
Cleopatra Aelia, Decemvira et Curatrix.

[Latinistae, before you peg me on "Decemvira", the Concilium talked about this!]

Several other Sodales are eligible; however, priority has been given to those who have put in an appearance in the last year or so. If any of the above-named individuals would prefer to stay on the military cursus, only say the word and I will carry it out willingly and gladly.

The rest of our ex-Magistrates, the ones we haven't seen in a while, will just have to swing by here and state their preference! >({|;-)

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Unofficial Senate

Postby Valerius Claudius Iohanes on Tue Feb 19, 2008 8:58 pm

Ave, Marii, avete Senatores -

Beautiful, great. Senatores, enjoy the Board's new iconics.

Re an SVR "Senate" -- I wasn't talking constitutionally, but as a general, social, honorific aggregation -- this being the Fora and not the Curia or Comitia. Still, that confusion between SVR Society and SVR Board was hovering right there....

Bene'st, ut dixis. We had Senators from the earlier years among the sodales, but now they are more in number and more visible. Maybe some of them will come out of retirement to be more visible in SVR public life!

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Postby Q Valerius on Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:11 pm

Cleopatria Aelia can be a decemvir feminea. I do not remember then discussing vira, but I know now that it is not in any way Latin. Actual Latin would require decemmulier, but making like poeta, though masculine normally, if it's applied to women, it's feminine.

Another Latin point I want to correct you on is dixis - it's dixisti. In the perfect, the endings are thus:

dixi
dixisti
dixit
-------
diximus
dixistis
dixerunt

Those are immaterial points, however, and the question I want to ask is if the senatores (and the senatrix) get access to the Curia.
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Decemvira?

Postby Aldus Marius on Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:14 am

Salve, mi Poplicola, et Salvete omnes...

Mi Valeri, you don't remember this exchange...? It's in Comitia-->[Concilium] Working Procedures:

= = = = =

[Ego:]

> Most of us are getting called decemviri...but what's the term for Domina Aelia?



[Domina Aelia:]

> As long as you are talking about all ten of us, just call it the decemviri. If you just talk about me as a single person
> I suggest decemuxor or decemconiux. uxor and coniux both meaning spouse and would be therefore on the same
> language level as vir. mulier or femina would sound too simple and domina to elevated. If you have other
> proposals just let me know. I really don't mind what you call me. Or just address me by the name.
>
> Mari, anyhow I think it's nice of you that you thought about me.



[Ego:]

> ...Domina, I had an idea: How'd you like to be a decemvira?
>
> There is Romance-language, if not quite Latin, precedent: In Venezuela I once had a Fierce Toy Poodle,
> and an uncle who was a bullfighter. In no time at all he discovered that she would charge at the cape, all intent on
> ripping the thing to shreds. Made her handy for practice; and it also earned her a new Cognomen, courtesy of my
> Grandma: La Torita!
>
> (Hey, they're our endings; we can do with 'em what we like... Besides: the Brassworks charges me by the
> letter on these nameplates.) >({|;-)



[Domina Aelia:]

> That's fine with me, too. Makes things less complicated

= = = = =

...You didn't stop us when you had the chance, and we needed a new word for an unprecedented situation, so...Mari neologised again, doing his best to keep the language alive and kickin'! >({|;-)


OK, your real question:

> the question I want to ask is if the senatores (and the senatrix) get access to the Curia.

Na; the tags are a social distinction only, akin to being of the senatorial class. Not all the cives eligible were actually Senatores. I have taken pains not to get Board-ranks and actual titles mixed up; but, as Iohannes Curator has said,

> Still, that confusion between SVR Society and SVR Board was hovering right there....

...and I don't guess we'll ever be rid of it completely; there are always new SVRomani who will need it explained--thank the Gods!! >({|:-)

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Postby Q Valerius on Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:10 am

Gratias.
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