Fortune

What follows is quoted from an English translation of Cassius Dio’s Volume I, Book VI, page 199 written in Greek by Zonarus describing a Roman Triumph.

…After these ceremonies the triumphant general would mount his chariot. Now this chariot did not resemble one used in games or in war, but was fashioned in the shape of a round tower. And he would not be alone in the chariot, but if he had children or relatives, he would make the girls and the infant male children get up beside him in it and place the older ones upon the horses — outriggers as well as the yoke-pair; if there were many of them, they would accompany the procession on chargers, riding along beside the victor. None of the rest rode, but all went on foot wearing laurel wreaths…

A public slave, however, rode with the victor in the chariot itself, holding over him the crown of precious stones set in gold, and kept saying to him, “Look behind!” that is, “Look at what comes after — at the ensuing years of life — and do not be elated or puffed up by your present fortune.” 

…Both a bell and a whip were fastened to the chariot, signifying that it was possible for him to meet with misfortune also, to the extent even of being scourged or condemned to death. For it was customary for those who had been condemned to die for any crime to wear a bell, to the end that no one should approach them as they walked along and so be contaminated. Thus arrayed, they entered the city, having at the head of the procession the spoils and trophies and figures representing the captured forts, cities, mountains, rivers, lakes, and seas — everything, in fact, that they had taken. If one day did not suffice for the exhibition out of these things in procession, the celebration was held during a second and a third day. When these adjuncts had gone on their way, the victorious general arrived at the Roman Forum, and after commanding that some of the captives be led to prison and put to death, he rode up to the Capitol…

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