About Pax Romana Chapter, NSDAR
Pax Romana Chapter, NSDAR, was founded in Rome, Italy on January 10, 2008, and officially confirmed as a chapter by the National Society on February 2, 2008.
There are four official meetings a year, informal luncheons and special events monthly. To keep our members and associates up to date on the group’s activities, the chapter publishes a newsletter after each general meeting and the regent sends updates frequently.
Chapter activities include participating in commemorative ceremonies such as Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Thanksgiving. We also support the many activities and special projects of the National Society, including the annual Continental Congress in Washington, DC.
One of the chapter's main projects is the "Rome Chapter Memorial Preservation" project, which endeavors to locate and mark the graves of women who were members of the original Rome Chapter, NSDAR (1930 to 1960), and to, hopefully, find granddaughters of these members who might be interested in DAR. The members of the original chapter were associated with the U.S. Embassy or married Italians, often from prominent Italian families and nobility. During WWII, those at the Embassy or who were single returned to the United States, and the chapter met, officially, in New York City for a few years. The members who remained in Italy worked to help other Americans in their community and, assisted by two chapters in Virginia who sent care packages, the chapter helped to feed and clothe children in an orphanage south of Rome. A few courageous members joined the underground to help American troops who were shot down or were otherwise in hiding from the enemy.
The project has developed from simply marking and restoring graves of DAR women to restoring the graves of historic Americans who are buried at the non-Catholic cemetery in Rome. This cemetery is also famous for containing the graves of poets John Keats and Percy Shelley.
The chapter has also taken an affectionate interest in the children living at the San Giuseppe of the Mountains Convent. The nuns have created a bed and breakfast there and take in the children of foreign women who are working as domestics and are unable to keep their children with them. Chapter members take the children to museums and other cultural events, go on picnics, and assist with Christmas and Easter events for the children. The children have gained both emotionally and educationally from the affection and assistance offered by chapter members.
What Does "Pax Romana" Mean?
“Pax Romana” is a Latin term (meaning “Peace in Rome") traditionally denoting the 206 years of relative peace and minimal expansion experienced by the Roman Empire, beginning with the defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra by Octavian (soon to become Augustus Caesar) in 31 BC. The Peace was finally proclaimed by Augustus and Agrippa in 13 BC and the order to construct the Ara Pacis was made. Today, the Ara Pacis stands a few blocks from where the chapter was founded.
At this time the Roman Empire included most of Europe, as well as northern Africa and Persia. This was the glorified prime of the Empire in which the Roman legal system, on which many modern systems are based, brought law and order to the provinces, permitting each to make and administer its own laws while accepting Roman taxation and military control. The arts and architecture also flourished during this period, along with commerce and the economy. Thanks to this period of peace, the
The Ara Pacis Augustae ("Altar of Augustan Peace") is a
Roman altar dedicated to Pax, the Roman goddess of Peace.
capital of Rome went from being a city of brick to a city of marble.
Classical Greek and Roman heritage was preserved, and the city’s many
treasures have since been passed down through the generations. Edward Gibbon, in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, refers to the Pax Romana as a period of tranquility and moderation. The Peace ended with the death of Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
Hundreds of coins were made during this period and many had the profile of Augustus and the image of the Goddess Pax who was armed with an olive branch and a horn of Plenty. She is said to have had a festival on the 30th of January.
Our chapter’s organizers specifically selected "Pax Romana" as the chapter name to reflect the group’s desire to create an opportunity for members to meet and collaborate peacefully on projects relating to history, education, and the cultures of the United States and Italy, promoting peace and prosperity in and between our nations.
In 2013, Pax Romana Chapter, NSDAR, sponsored the organization of "Amerigo Vespucci," the first Italian group of Children of the American Revolution (C.A.R.) Amerigo Vespucci was an Italian explorer who made several excursions up and down the entire eastern coast of what we now know to be North and South America. He wrote extensively and insisted, contrary to the beliefs of Christopher Columbus, that these new lands were, in fact, new continents and not a part of the Far East. When the first world map was drawn in Germany, the New World was given the name "America" after Vespucci.