Triumph in Defeat: Military Loss and the Roman Republic

Hardcover | April 30, 2014

byJessica H. Clark

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Although a great deal of historical work has been done in the past decade on Roman triumphs, defeats and their place in Roman culture have been relatively neglected. Why should we investigate the defeats of a society that almost never lost a war? In Triumph in Defeat, Jessica H. Clark answersthis question by showing what responses to defeat can tell us about the Roman definition of victory. First opening with a general discussion of defeat and commemoration at Rome and then following the Second Punic War from its commencement to its afterlife in Roman historical memory through thesecond century BCE, culminating in the career of Gaius Marius, Clark examines both the successful production of victory narratives within the Senate and the gradual breakdown of those narratives. The result sheds light on the wars of the Republic, the Romans who wrote about these wars, and the waysin which both the events and their telling informed the political landscape of the Roman state. Triumph in Defeat not only fills a major gap in the study of Roman military, political, and cultural life, but also contributes to a more nuanced picture of Roman society, one that acknowledges the extent to which political discourse shaped Rome's status as a world power. Clark's work shows howdefeat shaped the society whose massive reputation was - and still often is - built on its successes.

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Although a great deal of historical work has been done in the past decade on Roman triumphs, defeats and their place in Roman culture have been relatively neglected. Why should we investigate the defeats of a society that almost never lost a war? In Triumph in Defeat, Jessica H. Clark answersthis question by showing what responses to d...

Jessica H. Clark is Assistant Professor of History at California State University, Chico.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:April 30, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199336547

ISBN - 13:9780199336548

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsList of MapsAbbreviations and Note on SourcesChronologyIntroduction1. When in Rome: Remembering and Reevaluating Defeat2. Costs and Benefits: Winning the Second Punic War3. Managing Defeat: The Senate and the Triumph, 201-1674. Alternative Endings: Responding to Repeated Defeat, 156-1305. Bad Politics: Defeats, Nobility, and New Men, 120-102ConclusionBibliographyIndex