Roman triumph political afire

Roman triumph the political afire

Roman triumph political afire Project instructions:

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Roman triumph the political afire

This is part 2 of this paper assignment. I will include the first in my documents provided for you. What I want from this paper is further a more in-depth analysis on HOW the Roman triumph was a political and NOT a religious event in the Roman history. I removed the sources that the other person used that were NOT “liked” by my professor try using different sources then those. I had big issue with this topic the first time around to the point where I had to rewrite the essay almost from scratch. All of the directions are here HOWEVER if you have ANY question at all about this or need clarification please do not hesitate to contact me.

Additional requirements: Number of pages: 4  Number of sources: 8  Citation style: chicago  Academic level: collegeyear4  Course name: Christians Pagens and Jews  Course level: 3rd year in college   Client information: City: Brooklyn  State: New York  Country: United States

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Sample Work on Roman triumph political afire

The Roman Triumph

The Roman Triumph was a ceremony held to mark the highest achievement of ancient Rome and was also celebrated as a religious event. From the start of the Republic to the fall of the Roman Empire, the people of Rome used to call it a Triumph to recognize and acknowledge the tremendous success of military service commanders who won wars with great courage and enthusiasm. The Romans used to celebrate this ceremony publically and it was an event to honor commanders of Roman forces. The men or military commanders, who were rewarded with the title of ‘Triumph’, were called the Triumphalis that means the men of triumph. For this reason, Rome gained importance in all aspects especially as a political and religious city of that era. It was the only festival of Romans that rewarded people with valuable titles. Other festivals celebrated by the Romans were only held on specific religious and cultural dates. The Roman Triumph was later on followed by other states as well. In this paper, I argue that the Romans’ triumph ceremony was political and not a religious event in the Roman history.[1]

The Roman triumph was a military parade which involved the celebration of the victory of the Roman generals. They celebrated the initial triumph by marching to the capitaline with the spoils of the conquered enemy king. The event resulted into the ushering of the tradition that has been practiced for a long period of the Roman Empire as well as the reign of Catholic Church.[2] During the procession, spoils from the battle taken from the defeated enemy included the weapons and armors were taken from the captured cities. The captured enemies were paraded and in the event, the triumphator could come to the parade riding on a chariot. The general army marched behind the king singing songs of victory and mocking the defeated enemies. It is, therefore, evident that the event portrayed a social and political outlook of the republic and the Romans were influenced by their  political ambitions to be part of the truimphator.[3]

The Triumph always began at the Triumphal Gate in the Campus Martius and ended at the Temple of Jupiter passing through the sacred way. The people of Rome used to gather there and cheer for the candidates. The government of Rome would sometimes change the rules of the Triumph; for example, Pompey attended the festival of the Roman Triumph twice without any magistracy, and Julius Caesar allowed his people to participate in this ceremony. The emperors and their family members were allowed to participate. They used to wear heavy ornamental costumes that were termed as the triumphal costumes. These costumes were also viewed as symbols of royalty. Figure 1 shows that one of the triumphalis is coming to the event on his cart that is attached to four horses. The artwork represents the way in which the triumphalis used to visit the event.

Figure 1 Triumphalis

In the ceremony of the Roman triumph, the title was only given to the generals of Rome. The practice afterward lost its military importance, but this theme was revived by the triumphs of Christian emperors in a new style as Pompey discussed the ancient literature and visual arts of the Roman triumph.[4]

In the ceremony of the Roman triumph, the title was only given to the generals of Rome. The practice afterward lost its military importance, but this theme was revived by the triumphs of Christian emperors in a new style as Pompey discussed the ancient literature and visual arts of the Roman triumph.[5]

All royal Romans who wanted to be richer and politically famous used this occasion to become a triumph. For over a century, there have been contradicting views by many scholars describing and justifying the details and realities of the triumph. The main aim of many politically ambitious Roman commanders was to gain popularity among the people of Rome and authority by becoming part of the Roman triumph. Historian Mary Beard seems to be correct in stating the fact that the document that represents materialism is the only history of the Roman triumph. The common people of Rome used to visit these events just to see royal activities and the materialistic aspect of this gathering. On the other hand, the rulers used to enjoy their royal positions.

Figure 2 is a painting that represents the manner in which the event was conducted. From the picture, it can be observed that the common people used to gather for the festival to cheer and welcome the triumphalis who sought the honored title.[6]

Figure 2 Roman Triumphal Procession.

It could be argued that the Roman triumph was a lot more than an ordinary walk or a festival in honor of the winning general. To get this designation, one had to be commendable for the triumph.[7] Through the time of Principate, the Roman Triumph became a highly political issue with the involvement of the royal government. When one analyzes the spectacles of the Roman triumph, it gives a clue about the way Romans looked upon non-Romans and how they see themselves from others’ perspective.[8]

In The Roman Triumph, Robert Payne was not at all interested in the visual and glamorous detailing of the triumph. Instead, he focused more on the point of how cunningly the single-minded Romans used the Roman Triumph ceremony as a political tool. Payne said that the social and political mentality of Romans linked to the triumph only to benefit those who wanted to gain power. He stated that Romans won the rule by shedding blood and committing crimes, and therefore, the Roman triumph was the result of this immoral attitude. Payne linked the Roman triumph to corruption and immoralities. However, some people disagree with this.[9]

Versnel provides a clear analysis of the entire triumph and what it meant to the Romans. The analysis takes the whole picture of the ceremony and things involved during the marching. From the analysis, the triumph event contains some religious values; however, it was more than a religious event but a political ceremony to the Romans. The processions and the ceremony entirely illustrate the cog in the political mechanics in Rome. The Romans acquired the empire through bloodshed and crime; from this point of view it becomes easy to understand why the Romans were obsessed by the event. The event marks the political health of the participants in the triumph and the status of the enemies as well as the state of the Roman empire.[10]

The argument set out in this paper is also supported by the remarks of Cicero that the people were thinking above the supremacy and authority in the race of power that was distorting the historical tradition. Some Roman generals molded the common rituals for their own personal and political purpose.[11] In Figure 3, the artwork of the Roman era also represents the way in which the event was carried out. The common people used to gather and welcome the triumphalis for their success. The people used to carry the triumphalis on their shoulders and walk on their destined place. The weapons of that time were also shown in that event.[12]

Figure 3: The Roman Triumphalis

Almost all religious rituals and values of the Roman triumph were invalidated because gaining reputation became a huge matter of dispute between commanders, and the lust for honor became the priority for every political personality at that time. Romans with power wanted to snatch the title rather than earning it with respect. One can imagine the change between specifically triumphal politics and politics in general. They did not respect the views of common people, and they were only concerned with their political charms and benefits. The Roman men who were selected in the Roman triumph used to wear royal ornamental coats that were considered as the pride of the general. The Romans even gave those commanders the honor of men of triumph who lost several battles and also made changes to reward some favorite generals as a triumph.[13]

The information presented by Rosenstein confirms that 58 commanders of that era lost in most important battles with huge losses between 390-49 BC and out of them 20 got reelected in the Roman Triumph. It clearly shows the partiality of the Roman politicians that those men who were responsible for the failures were put on the highest posts even before resurrecting their records of defeat in the war. One of the famous examples of the unfair system was when Q. Pompeius was made a triumph despite his failures in Spain. Also, Licinius Murena, who was defeated only two years back by the Mithridates, was elected in the Roman triumph.

It is concluded that the Roman Triumph was more political than a religious event. The ritual was politicized because of the selfishness of some Roman generals who took this ceremony for their personal benefit and titled the least deserving men as a triumph without any fairness and merit. They were looking at this event to improve their political image and gain power over others in Rome. The main focus of the generals and rulers of that era was not common people, and they only promoted their men and their families.




Beard, Mary. The Roman Triumph. Massachusetts, United States: Harvard University Press, 2009.  (SECONDARY)


Harper, Kyle. Slavery in the late Roman world, AD 275–425. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2011.  (SECONDARY)


Heather, Peter. The fall of the Roman Empire. Pan,. Pan, 2005.  (SECONDARY)


Kuttner, Ann L. “Culture and History at Pompey’s Museum.” ransactions of the American Philological Association, 1974-1999: 343-373.  (PRIMARY)


VRoma Image Archives. “OL drills Chapter 24.” 2007. (accessed April 2016).  (PRIMARY)

Gold, John R., and Margaret M. Gold. “ideology and historiography.” The Routledge Handbook of Events (2014): 119.

Wood, Steve. “Prestige in world politics: History, theory, expression.” International Politics 50, no. 3 (2013): 387-411.

Corbeill, Anthony. Controlling laughter: Political humor in the late Roman Republic. Princeton University Press, 2015.


Ancient Rome – Ancient History.” 2016. Web. 11 May 2016.


[1] Ancient Rome – Ancient History.” HISTORY

[2] Gold, John R., and Margaret M. Gold. “ideology and historiography

[3] Corbeill, Anthony. Controlling laughter

[4] Ann L Kuttner. “Culture and History at Pompey’s Museum.” ransactions of the American Philological Association, 1974-1999: 343-373, 349.

[5] Ancient Rome – Ancient History.” 2016.

[6] Alethea Henry Barnes. An Examination of Hunting Scenes by Peter Paul Rubens. Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States: ProQuest, 2009, 147.

[7] Corbeill, Anthony. Controlling laughter: Political humor in the late Roman Republic

[8] Kyle Harper. Slavery in the late Roman world, AD 275–425. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2011, 211.

[9] Robert Payne. The Roman Triumph. UK: Abelard Schuman, 1963, 146.

[10] Gold, John R., and Margaret M. Gold. “ideology and historiography

[11] Peter Heather. The fall of the Roman Empire. Pan,. Pan, 2005, 98.

[12] VRoma Image Archives. 2007. “OL drills Chapter 24.” Accessed April 2016., 4.

[13] Wood, Steve. “Prestige in world politics: History, theory, expression

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