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Staging the WorldSpoils, Captives, and Representations in the Roman Triumphal Procession$
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Ida Ostenberg

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199215973

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199215973.001.0001

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(p.19) Two Spoils
Staging the World

Ida Östenberg

Oxford University Press

Among the large variety of spoils analysed in this chapter, the discussion focuses on catapults from Syracuse, pirate ships, Greek statues, and Jewish temple treasures — the triumphal processions aimed at displaying great richness. Whether weapons, artistic masterpieces, or crowns presented as gifts, everything was shown and counted as pure material wealth: gold, silver, and bronze. The chapter points out that many riches on triumphal display came from a royal context and were linked to dining. These spoils manifested the defeat and moral inferiority of Hellenistic kingdoms, their royal leadership, and luxurious consumption. Another discussion concerns the catapults and statues from the besieged Syracuse and Ambracia put on display by Marcellus and Fulvius Nobilior. It is argued that these two triumphators were particularly concerned to use their processions as a means to show that Syracuse and Ambracia had been taken justly, thus legitimizing their looting of Greek art.

Keywords:   Syracuse, pirates, Greek statues, Jewish temple, weapons, gold, silver, bronze, dining, Hellenistic kingdoms

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