was the public expression of approbation
or disapprobation, pleasure or displeasure, &c. by loud
acclamations. For the special forms of acclamatio
at marriages, funerals and triumphs, see MATRIMONIUM, FUNUS, TRIUMPHUS. Orators were
usually praised by such expressions as Bene et praeclare,
Belle et festive, Non potest melius,
&c. (Cic. de Orat. 3.26
, 101.) For the applause
given to authors reciting their own compositions, see RECITATIO. Under the Empire the expression of popular applause in
the circus and the theatre was reduced to a system. All the audience rose at
the entrance of the emperor, and greeted him with an acclamation in a set
form of words, and in a fixed rhythm. Nero developed this, selecting more
than 5000 among the Roman knights and citizens (called Augustani
) to be
trained in the Oriental method of musical salutation (modulatis laudationibus,
Suet. Nero 20
), so as to greet him at his
entrance in accordance with a time for which the signal was given by one of
his suite (Dio, 43.18; 61.20). The name acclamationes
was also given to the decrees passed by the senate
in honour of the emperor, and to the congratulations addressed to him,
inasmuch as these were always carried by acclamation. Under Trajan these
were entered in the Acta,
and engraved upon
bronze. (Plin. Panegyr.
75, &c.; Capitol.
16, 26, Gordian.
11; Lamprid. Alexand. Sever.
4, 5, 7, Prob.
11.) Many instances of
are given by Ferrarius,
De Veterum Acclamationibus et Plausu,
Graevius, Thesaur. Rom. Antiq.
vol. vi. Cf. also Henzen,
Acta Fratr. Arval.
p. 75 b.