ACCLAMATION

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ACCLAMATION (acclamatio); in Roman antiquity, a shouting of certain words by way of praise or dispraise. In ages when people were more accustomed to give full utterance to their feelings, acclamations were very common, wherever a mass of people was influenced by one common feeling. We find, therefore, acclamations in theatres, senates, ecclesiastical meetings, elections, at nuptials, triumphs, &c. The senate of Rome burst into contumelious acclamations after the death of Domitian and Commodus. The theatrical acclamations were connected with music. Nero, who was as fond of music as of 61ood, ordered 5000 soldiers to chant acclamations when he played in the theatre, and the spectators were obliged to join them. In the corrupt period of the Roman empire, the children and favorites of the emperors were received with loud acclamations, as the French emperor was greeted with Vive V empereur! and the French king is with Vive le roi! The Turks have a custom somewhat similar, at the sight of their emperor and grand viziers. The form among the Jews was Hosannd! The Greek emperors were received with Aya$y\ rv^r]! (good luck), or other exclamations. Before a regular system of voting is adopted, we find its place supplied, among all nations, by acclamations. So Tacitus informs us that the Germans showed their approbation of a measure by clashing their shields and swords. The bishops, in the early times of Christianity, were long elected by acclamation. In the course of time, acclamations were admitted into the churches, and the people expressed their approbation of a favorite preacher by exclaiming, Orthodox! Third apostle! &c. They seem to have been sometimes used as late as the age of St. Bernard. The first German emperors were elected by acclamation at a meeting of the people in the open air ; and the Indians, in North America, show their approbation or disapprobation of proposed public measures by acclamations.