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Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.

Ovatio, the lesser triumph.  This was distinguished from the triumph, by its being conducted with less pomp and magnificence that the greater ceremony, for (as Dionysius, of Helicarnassus relates) the successful general on whom the honours of an ovation were conferred made his entry into the city commonly on foot, never in a chariot, seldom even on horseback to the sound of flutes not of trumpets; neither did he bear the triumphal insignia, the toga picta, the sceptre, etc. Preceded by warriors, he held a branch of olive in his hand, was clothed in a white robe bordered with purple, and wore a crown of myrtle on his head, to indicate that the action had not been sanguinary.  the Senate, the members of Equestrian Order, and the principal inhabitants attended the procession, which terminated at the capitol, where a sacrifice of rams was performed.  The ovation was awarded to those who had gained over the enemy some advantage which had cost but few lives, and which had not been sufficiently decisive to finish the war; or in which the foe defeated was of no reputation and unworthy of the Roman arms, or even when a war had not been declared with all the accustomed forms. - The term ovatio is derived from Ovis, a sheep being the animal sacrificed by the ovantes, or those honoured with an ovation.

After the servile war, an ovation was conceded to M. Licinius Crassus; to have vanquished slaves being deemed unworthy of the full honours of the triumph.  Augustus, after the recovery of the captured standards from Parthia, returning from the East entered Rome in an ovation; and Vaillant thinks this event expressed on a coin of the Licinia family, in which that Emperor on horseback is holding a crown; but Spanheim is not of that opinion.

The ovation of M Aurelius, who after an eight years' war carried on against numerous nations of Germany, returned victorius to Rome, is according to Vaillant, typified on a brass medallion, on which that Emperor marches on foot, adorned neither with the trabea nor with the toga picta, but in military garb, holding a spear in his right hand.  He appears to have been sacrificing at an altar in front of the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, which is seen behind him, and to be about to pass through a triumphal arch as if on his way back to the Imperial palace.  A praetorian standard bearer, as was the custom, prededes him, and Victory follows him holding a laurel crown over his head. - The xxviiith Tribunitian power, with the title of IMPerator VI. COS. III. round the medallion, shows, says Vaillant, the time when the ovation was decreed.  At the bottom of the coin the epigraph of ADVENTVS AVGusti also points to the period when it took place, namely after the return of the Emperor. 

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