The Architecture of the Roman Triumph: Monuments, Memory, and Identity by Maggie Popkin offers the first critical study of the architecture of the Roman triumph, ancient Rome’s most important victory ritual.
The triumph was an elaborate procession celebrating Rome’s military victories and is essential to understanding what was unique about Roman culture. Popkin takes a different look at the ways the triumph connected monuments, urban space, and ritual and explores how these contribute to create Roman identities, both individual and collective. The temples, porticoes, arches, and column monuments in front of which triumphs passed powerfully shaped how Romans experienced and remembered triumphs and, consequently, how they conceived of an urban identity for their city; this comprehensive study ultimately demonstrates the extraordinary power of public architecture to generate sentiments of collective identity and to shape and manipulate how Romans remembered one of their society’s major rituals.
About the author
Maggie Popkin specializes in ancient Roman art and architecture. Her research interests include the relationship between art, spectacle, and ritual in the Roman world and the impact of visual culture on individual and social remembering in the classical world.
Prof. Popkin has published articles on a range of topics, from archaic Greek vase painting to materiality in Republican Roman architecture. She has presented her research at numerous national and international conferences and colloquia.
“This book offers the first critical study of the architecture of the Roman triumph, ancient Rome’s most important victory ritual. Through case studies ranging from the republican to imperial periods, it demonstrates how powerfully monuments shaped how Romans performed, experienced, and remembered triumphs and, consequently, how Romans conceived of an urban identity for their city.
Monuments highlighted Roman conquests of foreign peoples, enabled Romans to envision future triumphs, made triumphs more memorable through emotional arousal of spectators, and even generated distorted memories of triumphs that might never have occurred. This book illustrates the far-reaching impact of the architecture of the triumph on how Romans thought about this ritual and, ultimately, their own place within the Mediterranean world. In doing so, it offers a new model for historicizing the interrelations between monuments, individual and shared memory, and collective identities”.
A fine complementary (or a rich standalone) reading for The Architecture of the Roman Triumph: Monuments, Memory, and Identity is The Roman Triumph by Mary Beard, an original and challenging book that is a triumph in itself.
Watch below Maggie Popkin lecture on “The Roman Triumph in its Urban Context