World's Biggest Street Party - the Endeavour Parade. Off-Ramp for October 13, 2012

Hail Hawthorne! What old Rome's triumphal parades say about the Endeavour parade

Endeavour In Hanger At LAX

Handout/Getty Images

The space shuttle Endeavour is seen atop the Over Land Transporter (OLT) in a hanger at Los Angeles International Airport, Monday, Sept. 24, 2012.

The LA Times Architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne is floating an interesting idea. He writes, "In parading Endeavour along our boulevards, LA is in some striking ways reenacting one of the oldest public celebrations in Western urban history, the Roman triumph."

Uh-oh, I thought. Are we in the rise or the decline? I called him to find out.

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