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  • 1 Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens Zacharitsa 17, Koukaki 11741, Athens, Greece
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This article considers the Parthian war of Publius Ventidius in 39/8 BC and its place in the ancient literary tradition. It is argued that although Ventidius' Parthian campaign retained its popular emotive force, it was at first considered unsatisfactory as a model for Eastern triumph; the spoils and standards captured at Carrhae in 53 BC remained in Parthian hands, while the campaign itself was punitive and limited in objectives. Furthermore, Ventidius' 'Parthian' war could equally be viewed as the final suppression of elements loyal to Brutus and Cassius. It is peculiar that allusions to Ventidius' triumph are entirely absent from literature of the Augustan age. This article argues that it was not until after the deaths of Gaius and Lucius Caesar, and the renewal of trouble on the Northern frontier that the Parthian campaign came to be seen as recompense for the disaster of Carrhae in 53 BC.