Carmen Arvale: a reminder of the Ambarvalia

The official poster of the Armbarvalia, with an Eleusinian relief depicting Demeter and Persephone giving Triptolemus the knowledge of agriculture.

The official poster of the Armbarvalia, with an Eleusinian relief depicting Demeter and Persephone giving Triptolemus the knowledge of agriculture.

Sandus celebrates its own equivalent of the ancient Roman festival of the Ambarvalia on XXIX Maio (29 May). The festival, named for the act of processing around the cornfields (ambit + arva), has had little significance in Sandus — until this year. This year marks the completion of Sandus’s 2015 Economic Goal, when Sandus expects to have the basics of a working economy formed. Much work has been done since that goal was laid down in early 2012 with the former Technocratic Renasia, including the establishment of Sandus’s two key economic cooperatives — Tellus and Erganê. The most recent developments include a Commission for the Command Economy and work that is currently being done for a manifest to be published and formed as the key guiding policy of that independent Commission for controlling key aspects of the Sandum Socialist economy: work that has been done that the Saint Josephsburg Economic Pact has neglected.

The State of Sandus, however, ought to be mindful of the institutions it has created which have led it to being the country it is today and the continuously developing country it hopes to be. While Sandus disdains nationalism in favour of a more moderate patriotism, Sandus has become the nation it is today because of the work in creating our national culture. While not all Sandum citizens may follow all aspects of the national culture, the national culture — represented through the Sôgmô’s and the Collegium’s work — continues to strive to be inclusive and diverse, representing the guiding principle of Sancta in our national philosophy. A key part of that strive for a culturally fecund nation-state should be seen as a part of the general purpose of the public Ambarvalia in Sandus.

While our traditions may differ from the Romans and ancient Italic peoples, our intentions and purpose are remarkably similar: to lustrate the fields to produce a more fecund harvest. In Rome, these fields were cornfields; in Sandus, these fields are our lines of work. While we do not have a sodality of Fratres Arvales, or “Brothers of the Fields,” Sandus can still appeal to that ancient spirit of fertility of the fields on which our people world.

Cue the Carmen Arvale, an ancient Roman song in Old Latin — so old that its means was lost when it was written down — dedicated to Mars, the Lares, and Semones to preserve the worshiper from destruction. This carmen has been reinvisioned by a performer names Chicho Sánchez Ferlosio.

Text:

E NOS LASES IUVATE;
NEVE LUAE RUE, MARMAR, SINS INCURRERE IN PLEORES;
SATUR FU, FERE MARS, LIMEN SALI, STA BERBER
SEMUNIS ALTERNEI ADVOCAPIT CONCTOS
E NOS MARMOR IUVATO

TRIUMPE TRIUMPE TRIUMPE TRIUMPE TRIUMPE TRIUMPE

“Hail, aid us, Lares;
Do not allow pestilence or catastrophe to afflict the people;
Be satisfied, savage Mars, jump the threshold and stand;
Call in turn all the Semones;
Hail, Mars, aid us.

Triumph! Triumph! Triumph! Triumph! Triumph! Triumph!”

A more literal translation for the second line would be, “May you not allow pestilence or catastrophe to run into more [people].”

Sacer Flamen

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