TRIUMPH

From Agepedia

Jump to: navigation , search

TRIUMPH. One of the most splendid spectacles of ancient Rome, and the highest reward of victorious generals, was the triumphal procession. The triumphs were of two kindsthe great triumph, and the ovation, or inferior triumph. Both could be celebrated only by ordci of the senate, with the consent of the people, and the former only by a dictator, consul or pretor, who had gained a victory over a foreign and free enemy, in a just war carried on under his command (suis auspiciis): it was likewise necessary that at least 5000 of the enemy should have fallen in open fight. According to the lex Porcia tiiumphalis, the general was required to appear, at the head of his army, before Rome (ad urhem\ and present it to the senate, assembled in the temple of Bellona. The spectacle then began as soon as he had received permission to triumph from the senate and people. First, the triumphing genera], in his triumphal robes, bearing a laurel branch in his hand, distributed, in the presence of the assembled people, money, marks of honor, bracelets, lances and garlands among his soldiers. The whole senate then went out to meet the victor, who, being seated in a gilded chariot, usually drawn by white horses, clad in a purple tunic {tunica palmata) and an embroidered toga (toga picta), crowned with a laurel wreath, and bearing an ivory sceptre, with the eagle, in his hand, moved, with the procession, from the campus JWartius through the streets, decorated with festive ornaments, to the capitol. Singers and musicians preceded, followed by choice victims, highly adorned, by the spoils, by the emblems of the conquered provinces and cities, and, finally, by the captive princes or generals, in chains. Next came the victor (iriumphator), followed by his relations and friends, and a long train of citizens, in festal garments, and uttering acclamations. Lastly followed the victorious army, on foot, and on horseback, crowned with laurel, and adorned with the marks of distinction which they hbd received, shouting lo triumphe, and singing songs of victory, or of sportive raillery. It wras an old and touching custom for a slave to stand close behind the triumphing general, bearing a gold crown set with precious stones in his hand, and repeating to him the solemn words, " Remember that thou art a man!" Upon the capitol, the general rendered public thanks to the gocfs for the victory, caused the victims to be slaughtered, and dedicated the crown and a part of the spoils to Jupiter. He then gave a great feast, and, in the evening, the people accompanied him home with torches and acclamations. It is not, therefore, to be wondered at, that every Roman aspired to the honor of a triumph, and considered it the highest distinction to be esteemed worthy of it. A commander who had gained a victory at sea, was honored with a naval triumph (triumphus navalis). Duillius was the first who received that honor, in consequenceof his victory over the Carthaginians, Those who had once triumphed (wn triumphales) continued to enjoy some marks of distinction, such as a place of honor on public occasions, &c. In the ovation (so called, as is supposed, fron. ovis (sheep), because a sheep was sacrificed on the occasion), the general entered the city on horseback or on foot, wore a toga pr&texta, and was crowned with myrtle. It was celebrated with less pomp than the triumph, and was granted when the victory was not of the kind prescribed as worthy of a triumph. From the time of Augustus, few triumphs were celebrated, and those only by the emperors : to the private generals trophies were given.