Pompeys Ride down the Via Sacra

In one day Pompey received his triumph, consulship and senatorship. That day was today in the Year 71 B.C.

What constituted a Triumph?

During the approximately 1900 years of the history from the beginnings of the Roman Republic to the final disappearance of the Eastern Roman Empire about 500 triumphs were celebrated.

  1. The Senate, headed by the magistrates without their lictors.
  2. Trumpeters
  3. Carts with the spoils of war
  4. White bulls for sacrifice
  5. The arms and insignia of the conquered enemy
  6. The enemy leaders themselves, with their relatives and other captives
  7. The lictors of the imperator, their fasces wreathed with laurel
  8. The imperator himself, in a chariot drawn by two (later four) horses
  9. The adult sons and officers of the imperator
  10. The army without weapons or armor (since the procession would take them inside the pomerium), but clad in togas and wearing wreaths. During the later periods, only a selected company of soldiers would follow the commander in the triumph, as a singular honour.

The imperator may possibly have had his face painted red and wore a corona triumphalis, a tunica palmata and a toga picta. He may have been accompanied in his chariot by a slave holding a golden wreath above his head and constantly reminding the commander of his mortality by whispering into his ear. However, this is based on slender and disputed evidence.

4 thoughts on “Pompeys Ride down the Via Sacra

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