Ave, Sandum Citizens!
Over the past several months, we have discussed the Sandum pignora imperii. The original pignora imperii (“tokens of rule”) were instrumental symbols of Rome’s rise to power and its rising dominion over the known Mediterranean world. Suffice to say, these were Roman symbols of Roman imperium, the Roman term for power from which we derive the words “imperious” and “imperial” from in English. These were instruments both archaic and attributed to Rome’s legendary periods:
From Aeneas and Rome’s legendary Trojan ancestry, the Romans had the Palladium, the sceptre of the Trojan king Priam, the veil of Priam’s daughter Ilione, and the ashes of Agamemnon’s son Orestes. From the Romans themselves, they had the ancilia — shields from the pious reign of Numa Pompilius who is accredited with much of Rome’s religion-building. Later, as Rome began to conquer and expand its dominion, a terracotta chariot commissioned by the last king, Tarquinius Superbus, was taken from Veii in the Roman siege of the city in 396 BCE and installed on the roof of the Temple of Iupiter the Best and Greatest on the Capitoline hill. After Rome expanded its dominion to nearly all of Italy, during the Pyrrhic invasions of the 280s BCE, the baetylus stone of the Great Mother Cybele was brought from Phygria to Rome, where it was installed on the Palatine Hill.
Unlike Rome, however, our emphasis is not on dominion, expansion, or power. In fact, the Sandum ideal is much more like the Roman traditional ideal: small-scale agricultural settlement that is humble, where economic class is not a matter (as it was not to the early Romans, except for the order of patricians though some scholars argue the division was not economic). While Sandus may share some of Rome’s traditional outlooks on its identity and self-perception, Sandus differs vastly. Whereas historians such as Livy record Roman history as Rome consistently and relentlessly dominating Latium (and of course Livy is biased here), Sandum history has shown the opposite. From a historical trajectory of moving away from the desire of power or imperium, Sandus has relented and moved towards a new era of peace — the Pax Sande — and has striven for a general era of state and nation-building since the foundation of the State of Sandus in Aprilo MMXI (April 2011). Instead, our focus has turned from being a powerful and strong micronation to being a surviving nation at all.
Therefore, the importance of Sandus’s version of the Roman pignora imperii is not for power or imperium, but for the development and survival of the Sandum Identity and the Sandum People. Thus, for Sandus, we ought to have pignae d’esti (“tokens of being”), not pignae de forço (“tokens of power”). Another variation in our pignae d’esti is that some of our pignae are not defined to a certain object: whereas the Romans might have had only one Palladium, we may have numerous books that represent our existence — as in the case of the books used at the time of the Armilustrium. The following are our Pignae d’Esti — our Tokens of Being:
- the Sandum Flag — The Sandum tricolour has often been discussed and used as a symbol of the Sandum Philosophy.
- the Statue of Athena on the National Altar — Athena is often regarded as the mother of the Sandum nation-project.
- the Dharmachakra — This universal symbol of the Buddhist Dharma is represented by an eight-spoked wheel.
- the Pavorio — This is a unique symbol of the goddess Juno, the Roman Queen of Gods who was brought (according to tradition) from the sack of Veii to Rome.
- the Books of Armilustrium — The books lustrated as the arms of the Sandum People during the Armilustrium. These can be any book on a topic relating to the topics of the Sandum Philosophy.
Future pignae d’esti may be considered in the future, but these are essential elements of the symbolic survival and existence of the Sandum people.