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Adlocutio



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ADLOCUTIO. Adlocution. The custom of haranguing the soldiers was frequent with the Emperors, as is evidenced by a variety of their coins. This ceremony was performed, either at the moment when an individual obtained the imperial purple, or when the reigning prince adopted someone with a view to the succession; or when he admitted another person into immediate participation of the empire, of which examples are often recorded by historians. Memorials of these military orations, which an emperor delivered before some expeditionary force, at the time of its going out on a campaign, or of its returning after a victory - in which the soldiers were to be reminded of their duty; or rewarded for their good conduct and success, with praises, and "not least in their dear love," with donatives also - are preserved on many of the very finest coins of the Augusti.
On these reverses, a raised platform or tribune, more or less lofty, called by the Romans suggestum, is exhibited, on which the Emperor, habited either in the toga, or the paludamentum, is seen standing, with his right arm elevated, as if appealing to the sentiments of the troops, or beckoning for silence.
Frequently the Praetorian Prefect, in same cases two Praetorian Prefects, appear standing behind the Emperor.  Below is a group of the legionaries, from three to five or six generally in number, with their faces turned towards their prince; some holding the eagles, vexilla, and ensigns; others their bucklers and spears. With regard to the customary attitude and gesture of the speaker in addressing the troops, Cicero affords an illustrative passage, in his oration, against Gabinius - "When (says he) the general (Imperator), openly, in the presence of the army, stretched out his right hand, not to incit the soldiers to glory, but to tell them that they might make their own market" (Omnia sibi et empta et emenda esse. - Provinc. cons. c. 4.)



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