In the Middle to Late Republic, Rome's expansion through conquest offered her political-military adventurers extraordinary opportunities for self-publicity; the long-drawn series of wars between Rome and Carthage — the Punic Wars — produced twelve triumphs in ten years. Truman State University Press. Officially, triumphs were granted for outstanding military merit; the state paid for the ceremony if this and certain other conditions were met — and these seem to have varied from time to time, and from case to case — or the Senate would pay for the official procession, at least. In Republican Rome, truly exceptional military achievement merited the highest possible honours, which connected the vir triumphalis "man of triumph", later known as a triumphator to Rome's mythical and semi-mythical past. In the Republic, the highest possible magistracy was an elected consulship, which could be held for no more than a year at a time. His unarmed soldiers followed in togas and laurel crowns, chanting "io triumphe! A general who wanted a triumph would dispatch his request and report to the Senate.
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