Acclamatio

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Acclamatio was the public expression of approval or disapproval, pleasure or displeasure, and so on, by loud acclamations. On many occasions, there appear to have been certain forms of acclamations always used by the Romans; as, for instance, at marriages, Io Hymen, Hymenaee, or Talassio [1]; at triumphs, Io triumphe, Io triumphe; at the conclusion of plays the last actor called out Plaudite (clap your hands, to the spectators); orators were usually praised by such expressions as Bene et praeclare, Belle et festive, Non potest melius [2], and so on.

Under the empire the name of acclamationes was given to the praises and flatteries which the senate bestowed upon the emperor and his family. These acclamationes, which are frequently quoted by the Scriptores Historiae Augustae, were often of considerable length, and seems to have been chanted by the whole body of senators. There were regular acclamationes shouted by the people, of which one of the most common was Dii te servent[3]. Other instances of acclamationes are given by Ferrarius, De Veterum Acclamationibus et Plausu, in Graevius, Thesaur. Rom. Antiq. vol. VI.

Comments

  1. (Livi I.9) gives us a lengthy explanation connecting this acclamatio to the rape of the Sabinian woman.
  2. As noted by Cicero, De Orat. III.26.
  3. Historia Augusta, Gordiani Tres, 11; Severus Alexander 6-12; Tacitus 4, 5, 6; Probus

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