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Ornaments were the decorations, costume, and status of a specific senatorial rank, quaestorian, praetorian, or consular, and in the republic were granted only in exceptional cases. In the imperial period these honours were granted more often, both to senators, who received precedence in voting associated with a higher rank without actual promotion (contrast adlectio; see adlection), and to non‐senators, for whom conferment of ornamenta was a mark of imperial favour, bestowing the appropriate senatorial status on public occasions, but not involving admission to the senate. Grants to non‐senators were made most commonly to praetorian prefects, who, from the Flavians onwards, probably received consular ornaments, but also under Claudius to freedmen officials (Narcissus receiving quaestorian, Antonius Pallas praetorian ornaments). These developments indicate increasing imperial control of senatorial magistracies.

After 19 bc no senator outside the imperial family was permitted to celebrate a triumph. Instead deserving commanders were on imperial initiative awarded triumphālia ornamenta—the insignia normally carried by a general in his triumphal procession.

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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