A Roman term meaning "spoils of honor". This originally referred to the arms taken by Roman generals who killed an enemy champion in single combat. Later, it was applied to any spoils which the commander-in-chief of a Roman army stripped from defeated foes on the field of battle. Typically this would be a weapon, armor, jewelry or a symbolic token of an enemy leader. It was customary to dedicate the spolia opima to the temple of Jupiter Feretrius at Rome.

Plutarch states in his Life of Marcellus that spolia opima was taken in single combat only three times in Roman history: Romulus slew Acron, King of the Caeninenses, Cornelius Cossus slew Tolumnius the Etruscan, and Marcus Claudius Marcellus won the spolia opima by defeating Britomartus king of the Gauls in 222 BC.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.