The procession had wound through the city. The crowds had cheered the triumphator and his army, while mocking the defeated foes. Finally they reached Capitoline hill. It is here that the exalted general and his armies would pay homage to the one from whom they received the power to conquer, and where those conquered would face the image of mighty Jupiter, realizing that the great god of Rome had overcome their pithy deities.
The defeated army was forced to part, to give way to their king and to his bedraggled generals. They were marched through the midst of their men, bound in heavy chains. Then they were forced to trudge through the midst of the army that had broken the spirits of their fighting men and hastened their demise. Finally, they were presented to the triumphator, who dragged them, by their chains, up the steps of Jupiter’s temple, where he would force them to participate in a sacrifice in honor of Rome’s supreme deity before employing them as gruesome examples of the eternal might of Rome.
It was reported, quite comically I might add, that the king had attempted to infiltrate the ranks of Rome’s army, promising some of Rome’s soldiers all of the splendor and treasures that his kingdom had to offer, if only they would turn their backs on Rome, leave their posts, fight for him, and encourage others to do the same. Comical, for what king could offer something that glorious Rome could not provide? Surprisingly and tragically, some had been won over to his side. Traitors! They too had been identified and captured. Infamy would come upon them and their fates would not be dissimilar to the one that wooed them. I’m sure they wished that they had not joined his side.
They had renounced the marks that had been placed on their bodies, identifying them as members of the Roman legion. As part of their disavowal of Rome, they had scraped those various marks from off of their skin. This new mark, they were told, the one that showed that they had left the side of Rome, would cause them to be honored by their new people and their gods. They had genuflected before gods that were doomed to fall. They had even consented to worshiping that king as if he was a god in the mold of blessed Caesar. How absurd. Now, that same mark, an anti-mark really, was one of ignominy. It branded them as traitorous rebels. Many have attempted to mount campaigns of propaganda against Rome, against its emperor, and against its gods. All had failed. All will fail! Futility indeed.
The white bulls were offered in sacrifice. Then, the king and his generals were brought forward, with the generals forced to take a knee. The very dagger that had been used to slit the throats of the sacrificial bulls was placed in the hands of the triumphator. With one swift motion, each of the generals, in turn, was dispatched from this mortal existence---their immortal souls sent to wander the underworlds in punishment for their crimes against the empire of the son of god. Then the king himself, who had attempted to stand against the power of almighty Caesar, was forced to kneel before the altar of Jupiter. He was forced to bend his knees, acknowledging the being who is supreme over all. Having done this, the triumphator, having had one of the fasces placed in his hand, drew back, swung the axe, and decapitated the now permanently fallen king.