2004
Volume 127, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163

Abstract

Of all the rituals of ancient Rome none was more spectacular than the triumph. Scholarly attention has long been devoted to the origins and circumstances of this ritual, but lately the role of the triumph in moral discourse has also come into focus. Emperors could gain great military prestige from celebrating a , yet this prestige could (posthumously) be undermined by hostile historians and biographers who used descriptions of triumphal processions to cast unpopular emperors in a negative light. Discussing in particular the ‘bad triumphs’ of Nero, Elagabalus, and Gallienus, but also considering many other cases, this article explores how triumphal descriptions could be employed as literary weapons. Ancient authors did not hesitate to emphasize, distort, or invent certain aspects of the ritual to suit their purposes. In fact, the triumphal idiom proved such a powerful tool for the delegitimation of emperors that it was even employed to situations which did not constitute triumphal celebrations at all. Hence the cultural elite sought to control the meaning of the ritual and to establish whether emperors counted as benign rulers or tyrants.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.5117/TVGESCH2014.1.ICKS
2014-04-01
2021-10-20
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/deliver/fulltext/00407518/127/1/s1.html?itemId=/content/journals/10.5117/TVGESCH2014.1.ICKS&mimeType=html&fmt=ahah
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.5117/TVGESCH2014.1.ICKS
Loading
/content/journals/10.5117/TVGESCH2014.1.ICKS
Loading

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Editorial
Keyword(s): Elagabalus; Gallienus; Nero; ritual inversion; Roman Empire; triumph
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error