Curiosities of Music - online book

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94
CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
they sang the coarsest ribaldry and jokes concern­ing their leader; thus the army of Julius Caesar, sang some very personal and vulgar verses about him, at his triumph.
The procession moved from the Porta Triumpha-lis, along the Via Sacra to the capitol.
All the shops were closed, the temples all open. The buildings along the route were decorated. Stands and scaffoldings were erected for the con­venience of spectators. Banquets were spread before every house, to which all comers were welcome. It was in short a perfect carnival, but far exceeding in its proportions that of modern Rome.
"When the procession arrived at the Temple of Jupiter at the Capitol, several of the captive leaders were taken from the ranks, and put to death, for ancient Rome was cruel even in her rejoicings; the oxen were also sacrificed, and the wreaths, with which their horns were decorated, were thrown into the lap of Jupiter's statue.
In the evening there was a grand banquet to the victorious General (Imperator), after which he was escorted to his home with music and song.
Xothing better illustrates the cruel, coarse, and sensual character of Roman music than that employed at such a triumph. Loud trumpet tones, a vile and ungenerous musical pantomime, the sacrificial music, and rude impromptu songs of the soldiery were the chief musical accessories of the greatest popular festival.






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