Triumph in Defeat

Triumph in Defeat : Military Loss and the Roman Republic

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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 answers this 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 the second 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 ways in 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 how defeat shaped the society whose massive reputation was-and still often is-built on its more

Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 156 x 238 x 26mm | 519.99g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 4 maps
  • 0199336547
  • 9780199336548
  • 1,694,562

Review quote

This is a very good book, which successfully demonstrates the need for a major rethinking of the political motives and cultural structures that shaped Roman foreign policy, and the first chapter points to even wider implications. * Michael P. Fronda, Journal of Roman Studies * Most importantly, Clark has managed to prove what generations before her have failed to see: that the ways in which Rome countered military loss were just as important as how they celebrated their victories. Her book has placed Roman defeats on the scholarly agenda and the topic is here to stay. * Ida OEstenberg, Bryn Mawr Classical Review *show more

About Jessica H. Clark

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

Table of contents

Acknowledgements ; List of Maps ; Abbreviations and Note on Sources ; Chronology ; Introduction ; Chapter 1: When in Rome: Remembering and Reevaluating Defeat ; Chapter 2: Costs and Benefits: Winning the Second Punic War ; Chapter 3: Managing Defeat: The Senate and the Triumph, 201-167 ; Chapter 4: Alternative Endings: Responding to Repeated Defeat, 156-130 ; Chapter 5: Bad Politics: Defeats, Nobility, and New Men, 120-102 ; Conclusion ; Bibliography ; Indexshow more