My name is Servius Martius Tiro, and I've been mulling over putting in an application to the Societas for quite a long time. And, after some minor technical wibbles - thanks to Aldus Marius for sorting it all out (and apologies for not registering sooner) - here I am. Nice to meet you all.
I'm 35 years old and live in Britannia. The connection I feel to ancient Rome is, I freely admit, something of a mystery to me. I've never been to the City itself, and I have no known Italian ancestry. I don't even have much of a taste for honeyed dormice.
Rome does seem to be in my soul somehow. I must point out that it's always been more about feeling than knowledge: despite many years spent surrounded by books, films, stories and games featuring Rome and the Romans, by no stretch of the imagination could I say I was an expert. I'd say I know a pretty fair bit about the period, the people and the culture - enough to impress someone who knew nothing at all about it. But I'd defer to anyone with any kind of academic history at all. I barely know even a handful of emperors' names...
And while I greatly admire the ability of some of you, and some over at Nova Roma, to actually use Latin, I must say that my command of the language is... rudimentary, to say the least. I've never had a gift for languages: sitting down and trying to learn tables full of declensions and conjugations just does not work for me. I think the hope is simply that if I sit looking at enough Latin I'll learn it sort of by osmosis. I'll let you know how that pans out.
I notice there are a few comments on religious belief. If asked, I couldn't really say that I'm a practitioner of the Religio Romana. That'd be a little misleading. I am pagan, yes, and I do look to the Roman gods, but my practice is far too informal to be accepted by anyone as the true Religio. If you'll forgive the pop culture reference, I'm far more Pullo than Vorenus when it comes to religion.
Am I Roman? Well, that depends what measure we're using. Is it about geography? I don't live in Rome, so no. Is it about blood? If so, then I have Roman blood in the same way that everyone of European heritage shares an ancestor in Charlemagne: mathematically, it's unavoidable. is that enough to claim Roman descent? In a modern society where few people bother to look much beyond two generations back to decide what group they belong to, it'd be a stretch. But maybe it works for me. And if it's purely a matter of spiritual affinity, then I'm going to say a firm yes.
The truth is that if somehow I ended up in ancient Rome - say for example some guy gave me a lift in an old police box or something (because that can happen, you know - I've seen it on TV) - I wouldn't survive two minutes. But what a fantastic not-quite two minutes that would be!