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p541 Tropaea Marii

Article on pp541‑542 of

Samuel Ball Platner (as completed and revised by Thomas Ashby):
A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome,
London: Oxford University Press, 1929.


Tropaea or Monumenta Marii: monuments erected by Marius to commemorate his victories over Jugurtha and over the Cimbri and Teutones, which were removed by Sulla, and afterwards restored by Caesar when aedile (Vell. II.43.4: et restituta in aedilitate adversante quidem nobilitate monumenta C. Marii; Suet. Caes. 11: tropaea Gaius Mari de Iugurtha deque Cimbris et Teutonis olim a Sulla disiecta restituit; Prop. III.11.45‑46: foedaque Tarpeio conopia tendere saxo / iura dare et statuas inter et arma Mari). According to Plutarch (Caes. 6: εἰκόνος ἐποιήσατο Μαρίου κρύφα καὶ Νίκας τροπαιοφόρους ἃς φέρων νυκτὸς εἰς τὸ Καπιτώλιον ἀνέχθησεν). Caesar set up these trophies on the Capitol, and it is probable, although not certain, that they stood there originally (for a theory that they stood at first in the forum sub novis, based on Cic. de orat. II.266; Plin. NH XXXV.25 ; Quint. VI.3.38, see Mél. 1908, 354‑361). These tropaea have disappeared entirely, and are not to be confused with the so‑called Trofei di Mario, the marble statues now standing on the balustrade of the Piazza del Campidoglio which were brought here in 1590 from the Nymphaeum (q.v.) in the Piazza di Vittorio Emanuele.

Besides these tropaea of the Capitol, there was another set in Rome, according to Valerius Maximus (VI.9.14: cuius bina tropaea in urbe spectantur; II.5.6: (templum Febris) alterum in area Marianorum monumentorum; IV.4.8: (domus Aeliorum) eodem loco quo nunc sunt p542Mariana monumenta). This second set is evidently referred to in the last two passages, but neither the site of the ara Febris nor that of the domus Aeliorum is known. The temple of Honos et Virtus (q.v.), built by Marius from the spoils taken from the Cimbri and Teutones, is sometimes called monumentum Marii (Cic. pro Sest. 116; pro Planc. 78; de div. I.59; Schol. Bob. 269, 305 Or.), and has been identified with the monumenta Mariana of Valerius Maximus, but this is very improbable (Jord. I.2.44‑45; II.520‑523; Rodocanachi, Le Capitole 45, 142; BC 1914, 360‑361, 363‑364).


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Page updated: 22 Jun 10