The Roman triumph (triumphus) was a civil ceremony and religious rite of ancient Rome, held to publicly celebrate and sanctify the success of a military commander who had led Roman forces to victory in the service of the state, or originally and traditionally, one who had successfully completed a foreign war. In Republican tradition, only the Senate could grant a triumph. During the Principate, triumphs became more politicized as manifestations of imperial authority and legitimacy. The origins and development of this honour were obscure: Roman historians placed the first triumph in the mythical past.On the day of his triumph, the general wore a crown of laurel and the all-purple, gold-embroidered triumphal toga picta (""painted"" toga), regalia that identified him as near-divine or near-kingly. He rode in a four-horse chariot through the streets of Rome in unarmed procession with his army, captives and the spoils of his war. At Jupiter's temple on the Capitoline Hill he offered sacrifice and the tokens of his victory to the god. Thereafter he had the right to be described as vir triumphalis (""man of triumph"", later known as triumphator) for the rest of his life. After death, he was represented at his own funeral, and those of his later descendants, by a hired actor who wore his mask (imago) and toga picta.Republican morality required that despite these extraordinary honours, the general conduct himself with dignified humility, as a mortal citizen who triumphed on behalf of Rome's Senate, people and gods. Inevitably, besides its religious and military dimensions, the triumph offered extraordinary opportunities for self-publicity. While most Roman festivals were calendar fixtures, the tradition and law that reserved a triumph to extraordinary victory ensured that its celebration, procession, attendant feasting and public games promoted the general's status and achievement. He could commemorate his Triumph and further enhance his reputation by issuing triumphal coinage, and funding monumental public works and temples. By the Late Republican era, increasing competition among the military-political adventurers who ran Rome's nascent empire ensured that triumphs became more frequent, drawn out and extravagant, prolonged in some cases by several days of public games and entertainments. From the Principate onwards, the Triumph reflected the Imperial order, and the pre-eminence of the Imperial family.Most Roman accounts of triumphs were written to provide their readers with a moral lesson, rather than to provide an accurate description of the triumphal process, procession, rites and their meaning. This scarcity allows for only the most tentative and generalised, and possibly misleading reconstruction of triumphal ceremony, based on the combination of various incomplete accounts from different periods of Roman history. Nevertheless, the triumph is considered a characteristically Roman ceremony which represented Roman wealth, power and grandeur, and has been consciously imitated by medieval and later states in the royal entry and other ceremonial events.