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The Roman Triumph: the Dangers of Winning a War (lecture)

Date: Monday, December 3, 2007
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium
Admission: Free; a ticket is required.

A triumph, or victory parade, followed every major military victory in ancient Rome: the successful general drove through the streets to the temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill; behind him streamed his raucous soldiers; in front were his most glamorous prisoners, as well as the booty he had captured, from enemy ships and precious statues to plants and animals from the conquered territory. Occasionally there was so much on display that the show lasted two to three days. The triumph was a religious ritual, a visual spectacle, and a sheer good time—except when something went disastrously wrong.

Mary Beard, insightful and entertaining commentator on the ancient world and author of the recently published book The Roman Triumph, explores both the magnificence and the dark side of the Roman triumph. What did it mean when the axle broke under Julius Caesar's chariot? Or when exotic or pathetic prisoners stole the general's show? Beard probes the meaning and legacy of the Roman triumph and analyzes what its glorification of imperialism and military might can tell us about our own attitudes toward military power and victory.

About Mary Beard
Mary Beard is professor of classics at Cambridge University. Her pioneering work touches on many aspects of Roman and Greek culture, including religion, sex and gender, art and literary history, and the reception of the classics in the modern world. She has authored and co-authored numerous books, including Religions of Rome, Rome in the Late Republic, Classical Art from Greece to Rome, The Parthenon, and The Colosseum. She is also classics editor of the Times Literary Supplement.

How to Get Here
The Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, approximately 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for directions and parking information.

Spring / Alma-Tadema

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