OVATION (Lat. ovatio), a minor form of Roman "triumph." It was awarded either when the campaign, though victorious, had not been important enough for the higher honour; when the war was not entirely put an end to; when it had been waged with unworthy foes; or when the general was not of rank sufficient to give him the right to a triumph. The ceremonial was on the whole similar in the two cases, but in an ovation the general walked or more commonly rode on horseback, wore a simple magisterial robe, carried no sceptre and wore a wreath of myrtle instead of laurel. Instead of a bull, a sheep was sacrificed at the conclusion of the ceremony. The word is not, however, derived from ovis, sheep, but probably means "shouting" (cp. aiiw) as a sign of rejoicing.
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