The ovation (Latin : ovatio from ovare: to rejoice) was a form of the Roman triumph. Ovations were granted when war was not declared between enemies on the level of nations or states; when an enemy was considered basely inferior (e.g., slaves, pirates); or when the general conflict was resolved with little or no danger to the army itself.
The Roman triumph was a civil ceremony and religious rite of ancient Rome, held to publicly celebrate and sanctify the success of a military commander who had led Roman forces to victory in the service of the state or, originally and traditionally, one who had successfully completed a foreign war.
The general celebrating the ovation did not enter the city on a biga , a chariot pulled by two white horses, as generals celebrating triumphs did, but instead walked in the toga praetexta of a magistrate.
The biga is the two-horse chariot as used in ancient Rome for sport, transportation, and ceremonies. Other animals may replace horses in art and occasionally for actual ceremonies. The term biga is also used by modern scholars for the similar chariots of other Indo-European cultures, particularly the two-horse chariot of the ancient Greeks and Celts. The driver of a biga is a bigarius.
The toga, a distinctive garment of ancient Rome, was a roughly semicircular cloth, between 12 and 20 feet in length, draped over the shoulders and around the body. It was usually woven from white wool, and was worn over a tunic. In Roman historical tradition, it is said to have been the favoured dress of Romulus, Rome's founder; it was also thought to have been worn by both sexes, and by the citizen-military. As Roman women gradually adopted the stola, the toga was recognised as formal wear for Roman citizen men. Women engaged in prostitution might have provided the main exception to this rule.
The honoured general also wore a wreath of myrtle (sacred to Venus) upon his brow, rather than the triumphal wreath of laurel. The Roman Senate did not precede the general, nor did soldiers usually participate in the procession.
Myrtus, with the common name myrtle, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Myrtaceae, described by Swedish botanist Linnaeus in 1753.
Venus is a Roman goddess, whose functions encompassed love, beauty, desire, sex, fertility, prosperity and victory. In Roman mythology, she was the ancestor of the Roman people through her son, Aeneas, who survived the fall of Troy and fled to Italy. Julius Caesar claimed her as his ancestor. Venus was central to many religious festivals, and was revered in Roman religion under numerous cult titles.
The Roman Senate was a political institution in ancient Rome. It was one of the most enduring institutions in Roman history, being established in the first days of the city of Rome,. It survived the overthrow of the kings in 509 BC, the fall of the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC, the division of the Roman Empire in 395 AD, the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, and the barbarian rule of Rome in the 5th, 6th, and 7th centuries.
Perhaps the most famous ovation in history is that which Marcus Licinius Crassus celebrated after his victory of the Third Servile War.
Marcus Licinius Crassus was a Roman general and politician who played a key role in the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. He is often called "The richest man in Rome".
The Third Servile War, also called by Plutarch the Gladiator War and The War of Spartacus, was the last in a series of slave rebellions against the Roman Republic, known collectively as the Servile Wars. The Third was the only one directly to threaten the Roman heartland of Italia. It was particularly alarming to Rome because its military seemed powerless to suppress it.
There were 23 known ovations during the Republic.
Publius Postumius Tubertus, the son of Quintus, was the first of the patrician gens Postumia to obtain the consulship, which he held in 505 BC, the fifth year of the Roman Republic. Together with his colleague, Marcus Valerius Volusus, he fought against the Sabines, whom they defeated decisively near Tibur, obtaining a triumph.
Gaius Aquillius Tuscus was consul of the Roman Republic from the gens Aquillia in 487 BC together with Titus Sicinius Sabinus. Aquillius led the war against the Hernici. Not many details are known, but Dionysius of Halicarnassus records that he was awarded an ovation, a lesser form of triumph for his victory.
Gnaeus Manlius Vulso was Roman consul in 474 BC with Lucius Furius Medullinus Fusus.
The Julio-Claudian dynasty was the first Roman imperial dynasty, consisting of the first five emperors—Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero—or the family to which they belonged. They ruled the Roman Empire from its formation under Augustus in 27 BC until AD 68, when the last of the line, Nero, committed suicide. The name "Julio-Claudian dynasty" is a historiographical term derived from the two main branches of the imperial family: the gens Julia and gens Claudia.
Tiberius was the second Roman emperor, reigning from 14 AD to 37 AD, succeeding Augustus.
This article concerns the period 19 BC – 10 BC.
The gens Livia was an illustrious plebeian family at ancient Rome. The first of the Livii to obtain the consulship was Marcus Livius Denter in 302 BC, and from his time the Livii supplied the Republic with eight consuls, two censors, a dictator, and a master of the horse. Members of the gens were honoured with three triumphs. In the reign of Augustus, Livia Drusilla was Roman empress, and her son was the emperor Tiberius.
The spolia opima were the armour, arms, and other effects that an ancient Roman general stripped from the body of an opposing commander slain in single combat. The spolia opima were regarded as the most honourable of the several kinds of war trophies a commander could obtain, including enemy military standards and the peaks of warships.
The gens Claudia, sometimes written Clodia, was one of the most prominent patrician houses at Rome. The gens traced its origin to the earliest days of the Roman Republic. The first of the Claudii to obtain the consulship was Appius Claudius Sabinus Regillensis, in 495 BC, and from that time its members frequently held the highest offices of the state, both under the Republic and in imperial times.
Tiberius Claudius Nero is the name of several ancient Roman men of the gens Claudia.
The gens Licinia was a celebrated plebeian family at Rome, which appears from the earliest days of the Republic until imperial times, and which eventually obtained the imperial dignity. The first of the gens to obtain the consulship was Gaius Licinius Calvus Stolo, who, as tribune of the plebs from 376 to 367 BC, prevented the election of any of the annual magistrates, until the patricians acquiesced to the passage of the lex Licinia Sextia, or Licinian Rogations. This law, named for Licinius and his colleague, Lucius Sextius, opened the consulship for the first time to the plebeians. Licinius himself was subsequently elected consul in 364 and 361 BC, and from this time, the Licinii became one of the most illustrious gentes in the Republic.
Vipsania Agrippina was the first wife of the Emperor Tiberius. She was the daughter of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and Pomponia Caecilia Attica, thus a granddaughter of Titus Pomponius Atticus. By marriage, she was also a great-niece to Quintus Tullius Cicero.
Tiberius Claudius Nero, often known as Tiberius Nero and Nero was a politician who lived in the last century of the Roman Republic. He was the first husband of Livia, but was forced to divorce her in 38 BC so that she could marry the future emperor Augustus. Nero was the father of the second Roman emperor Tiberius,, and Roman general Nero Claudius Drusus. He was also the paternal grandfather of Emperor Claudius, General Germanicus, and Consul Drusus Julius Caesar, paternal great-grandfather of Emperor Caligula and Empresses Agrippina the Younger and Claudia Octavia and maternal great-great-grandfather of Emperor Nero.
The gens Scribonia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Members of this gens first appear in history at the time of the Second Punic War, but the first of the Scribonii to obtain the consulship was Gaius Scribonius Curio in 76 BC.
Lucius Licinius Crassus, sometimes referred to simply as Crassus Orator, was a Roman consul and statesman. He was considered the greatest orator of his day, most notably by his pupil Cicero. Crassus is also famous as one of the main characters in Cicero's work De Oratore, a dramatic dialogue on the art of oratory set just before Crassus' death in 91 BC.
Marcus Livius Drusus Claudianus was a senator of the Roman Republic. He was born with the name Appius Claudius Pulcher, into the patrician family of the Claudii. According to Suetonius, Drusus was a direct descendant of the consul and censor Appius Claudius Caecus. He was descended from Caecus via the first Appius Claudius Pulcher, who was consul in 212 BC and Caecus's great-grandson. His daughter Livia became the wife of the first Roman Emperor Augustus, and he was thus a direct ancestor of the Julio-Claudian emperors Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero.
The Julii Caesares were the most illustrious family of the patrician gens Julia. The family first appears in history during the Second Punic War, when Sextus Julius Caesar was praetor in Sicily. His son, Sextus Julius Caesar, obtained the consulship in 157 BC; but the most famous descendant of this stirps is Gaius Julius Caesar, a general who conquered Gaul and became the undisputed master of Rome following the Civil War. Having been granted dictatorial power by the Roman Senate and instituting a number of political and social reforms, he was assassinated in 44 BC. After overcoming several rivals, Caesar's adopted son and heir, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, was proclaimed Augustus by the senate, inaugurating what became the Julio-Claudian line of Roman emperors.
Aufidia or Alfidia was a woman of Ancient Rome. She was a daughter to Roman Magistrate Marcus Aufidius Lurco and an unknown mother. She was a member of the gens Aufidia, a Roman family of Plebs status which appeared in the Roman Republic and Roman Empire, and became a family of consular rank. Her father originally came from Fundi.
The gens Caesonia was a plebeian family of ancient Rome. They first appear in history during the late Republic, remaining on the periphery of the Roman aristocracy until the time of Nero. Another family of Caesonii attained the consulship several times beginning in the late second century; it is not clear how or whether they were related to the earlier Caesonii.
The gens Helvia was a plebeian family at Rome. This gens is first mentioned at the time of the Second Punic War, but the only member of the family to hold any curule magistracy under the Republic was Gaius Helvius, praetor in BC 198. Soon afterward, the family slipped into obscurity, from which it was redeemed by the emperor Pertinax, nearly four centuries later.