Triumph (Lat. triumphus, related to Gr. θρίαμβος, a hymn sung in a procession in honor of Bacchus), generally, a solemn procession to celebrate a victory. The ancient Romans made the triumph a stimulus to martial exploits, and the highest military honor that could be obtained by a general, who entered the city in a chariot drawn by four horses, preceded by his captives and spoils and followed by his army, with which escort he passed along the Via Sacra, and ascending to the capitol sacrificed a bull to Jupiter. A triumph was granted by the senate to a general who had gained important successes, if he had already held one of the great offices of state; if the victory had been gained under his auspices and with his troops; if the advantage had been positive and the number of enemies slain in a single battle at least 5,000; if it had been gained over a foreign enemy and not in a civil war; if the national dominion had been extended, and not merely recovered or relieved from the presence of the enemy; and if the war had been actually concluded so as to permit of the army's withdrawal from the conquered country. Sometimes the comitia of the tribes bestowed triumphs, and generals even triumphed in defiance of the senate and the people.
Naval triumphs were also granted in some cases. After the overthrow of the republic, the emperors, in virtue of their authority as commanders-in-chief of the armies of the state, claimed the exclusive right of celebrating triumphs; and until A. D. 534, when Belisarius entered Constantinople in triumph after the overthrow of the Vandal kingdom in Africa, no subject had for more than live centuries enjoyed that distinction. This was the 350th triumph in Roman history, and the last ever celebrated. A lesser kind of triumph, called an ovation (ovatio) from the practice of sacrificing a sheep (ovis) instead of a bull, was granted to a general whose success did not entitle him to a full triumph.
Sea Conch (Triton variegatum).