History : Jul-Aug 2019
52 JULY/AUGUST 2019 EGYPT COMES TO ROME In 46 b.c, Julius Caesar celebrated his Egyptian triumph after he and Queen Cleopatra defeated her siblings for the throne. At the triumph’s climax (below), the procession arrived at the Temple of Jupiter on Capitoline Hill, where Caesar showed off the spoils of war. 1 WONDROUS LIGHTHOUSE Along the triumphal parades, re-creations were made of the places conquered. Here, a model of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, has been made to symbolize the victory in Egypt. 2 GIRAFFES AND ELEPHANTS Caesar exhibited elephants and giraffes in his Egyptian triumph. Giraffes had never been seen before in Rome and they caused quite a stir. 3 A SISTER SPARED Arsinöe, Cleopatra’s sister, is paraded in chains as a prisoner. Her situation arouses the compassion of the volatile crowd; her life will be spared, and she will be sent into exile. 4 CAESAR AT THE TEMPLE The commander stands on the steps to the Temple of Jupiter. Honored generals would climb them to offer a laurel wreath to the god in gratitude for the victory. 1 CLEOPATRA: DEA/ALBUM RE-CREATION: DORLING KINDERSLEY/GETTY IMAGES. MAP: MB CREATIVITAT BASALT STATUETTE OF CLEOPATRA VII HOLDING A CORNUCOPIA, THE HORN OF PLENTY. FIRST CENTURY B.C ., HERMITAGE MUSEUM, SAINT PETERSBURG. mapping the triumph Although practices of Roman triumphs changed over time, the roughly 2.5-mile parade route remained largely the same. In Caesar’s time the procession began at the Porta Triumphalis in the Servian Wall, and wound through several streets before heading past the Circus Maximus and on toward Palatine Hill and the Forum. To finish, the procession would ascend Capitoline Hill and end at the Temple of Jupiter. It was here that the execution of prisoners and offerings to the gods took place, in front of Rome’s cheering crowds.