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[4] For the flute is an instrument of peace, and the myrtle is a plant of Aphrodite, who more than all the other gods abhors violence and wars. And this minor triumph is called ‘ova,’ not from the Greek ‘euasmos,’ as most think (since they conduct the major triumph also with songs and cries of ‘eua!’), but the name has been wrested by the Greeks into conformity with their speech, since they are persuaded that something of the honour has to do with Dionysus also, whom they call Euius and Thriambus. This, however, is not the true explanation; but it was the custom for commanders, in celebrating the major triumph, to sacrifice an ox, whereas in the minor triumph they sacrificed a sheep. Now, the Roman name for sheep is ‘ova,’ and from this circumstance the lesser triumph is called ova.1

1 It is hardly necessary to say that Plutarch's etymology, as often, is worthless.

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