myth and invention? Not much and quite a lot, it turns out. Beard's brilliant analysis
locates the ritual in the shifting political, social and martial worlds of Rome.
Illuminating moments abound..."
-- - Marc Lambert, Scotland on Sunday, 6 January 2008
"But this is no ordinary history. It is not a reconstruction but a deconstruction, a
virtuoso display of how to interrogate one's sources. Not only that, it is written with
sly subtlety, delightful humour and an agreeable absence of jargon." -- - Christian Tyler, Financial Times, 12 January 2008
"Reading Mary Beard's The Roman Triumph, makes you realise that the inherited
professional wisdom isn't much more accurate that [a] TV version, because our
supposedly informed view of what a triumph was really like turns out to be a
bricolage of scraps of information, recycled so often it has taken on its own authority.
This book gives a bracing lesson in the use and abuse of evidence, as Beard teases
apart the various bits and pieces that have gone to make up the conglomerate picture
of the timeless essence of the triumph. This learned and spirited book could have been
no more than an exercise in debunking and dismantling. Beard enjoys debunking and
dismantling, and does it with panache, but her unpicking of the evidence and her
demolition of the consensus is not meant to create an epistemological no-man's land:
she wants to highlight the rewarding difficulty of the project of history, not its
-- - London Review of Books 21 February 2008 Denis Feaney
A meticulously researched and well-argued book, Mary Beard sets out to challenge what she calls the `spurious certainties surrounding the Triumph
-- London Review of Books, 7 August 2008