The arrival of Æneas in Italy, and his achievements there, the reign of Ascanius in Alba, and of the other Sylvian kings, his successors. Birth of Romulus and Remus. Romulus builds Rome; forms the senate: divides the people into curias. His wars. He offers the spolia opima to Jupiter Feretrius; is deified. Numa Pompilius institutes the rights of religious worship; builds a temple to Janus; rules in peace, and is succeeded by Tullus Hostilius. His war with the Albans; combat of the Horatii and Curiatii. The Albans removed to Rome. Tullus killed by lightning. Ancus Martius conquers the Latines, and incorporates them with the Romans; enlarges the city, and the bounds of his dominions. Lucumo arrives at Rome: assumes the name of Tarquinius; and on the death of Ancus, gains possession of the throne; defeats the Latines and Sabines; builds a wall round the city, and makes the common sewers: is slain by the sons of Ancus, and is succeeded by Servius Tullius. He institutes the census; divides the people into classes and centuries: extenus the pomœrium; is murdered by Lucius Tarquinius, afterwards surnamed Superbus. He seizes the throne, wages war with the Volscians, and, with their spoils, builds a temple to Jupiter in the Capitol, in consequence of his son Sextus having forcibly violated the chastity of Lucretia, he is dethroned and banished. Consuls elected.
I. It has been handed down to us, as a certain fact, that the Greeks, when they had taken Troy, treated the Trojans with the utmost severity; with the exception, however, of two of them, Æneas and Antenor, towards whom they exercised none of the rights of conquest. This lenity they owed, partly, to an old connection of hospitality, and partly, to their having been, all along, inclined to peace, and to the restoration of Helen. These chiefs experienced afterwards great varieties of fortune. Antenor, being joined by a multitude of the Henetians, who had been driven out of Paphlagonia in a civil war, and having lost their king Pylæmenes at Troy, were at a loss both for a settlement and a leader, came to the innermost bay of the Adriatic sea, and expelling the Euganeans, who then inhabited the tract between the Alps and the sea, settled the Trojans and Henetians in the possession of the country. The place where they first landed is called Troy, and from thence the Trojan canton also has its name; the nation in general were called Henetians. Æneas, driven from home by the same calamity, but conducted by the fates to an establishment of more importance, came first to Macedonia; thence, in search of a settlement, he sailed to Sicily, and from Sicily proceeded with his fleet to the country of the Laurentians.* Here also, to the spot where they landed, was given the name of Troy. Here the Trojans disembarked; and as, after wandering about for a great length of time, they had nothing left, beside their ships and arms, they began to make prey of whatever they found in the country. On this king Latinus, and the Aborigines, who were then in possession of those lands, assembled hastily from the city and country, in order to repel the violence of the strangers. Of what followed, there are two different accounts. Some writers say, that Latinus, being overcome in battle, contracted an alliance, and afterwards an affinity, with Æneas; others, that when the armies were drawn up in order of battle, before the signal was given, Latinus, advancing in the front, invited the leader of the strangers to a conference; then inquired who they were, whence they came, what had induced them to leave their home, and with what design they had landed on the Laurentian coast; and that, when he was informed that the leader was Æneas, the son of Anchises by Venus, and his followers Trojans; that they had made their escape from the flames of their native city and of their houses, and were in search of a settlement, and a place where they might build a town; being struck with admiration of that renowned people and their chief, and of their spirit, prepared alike for war or peace, he gave him his right hand, and by that pledge assured him of his future friendship. A league was then struck between the leaders, and mutual salutations passed between the armies. Latinus entertained Æneas in his palace, and there, in the presence of his household gods, added a domestic alliance to their public one, giving him his daughter in marriage. This event fully confirmed the hopes of the Trojans, that here, at last, they were to find an end of their wanderings; that here they would enjoy a fixed and permanent settlement. They built a town, which Æneas called Lavinium, from the name of his wife. In a short time after, his new consort bore him a son, who was named by his parents Ascanius.
II. The Aborigines, in conjunction with the Trojans, soon found themselves engaged in a war. Turnus, king of the Rutulians, to whom Lavinia had been affianced before the arrival of Æneas, enraged at seeing a stranger preferred to him, declared war against both Æneas and Latinus. A battle that ensued gave neither army reason to rejoice. The Rutulians were defeated, and the victorious Aborigines and Trojans lost their leader Latinus. Whereupon Turnus and the Rutulians, diffident of their strength, had recourse to the flourishing state of the Etrurians, and their king Mezentius, who held his court at Cære, at that time an opulent city. He had been, from the beginning, not at all pleased at the foundation of the new city; and now began to think that the Trojan power was increasing to a degree inconsistent with the safety of the neighbouring states; and therefore, without reluctance, concluded an alliance, and joined his forces with those of the Rutulians. Æneas, with the view of conciliating the affection of the Aborigines, that he might be the better able to oppose such formidable enemies, gave to both the nations under his rule the name of Latines, that all should not only be governed by the same laws, but have one common name. From thenceforth the Aborigines yielded not to the Trojans in zeal and fidelity towards their king Æneas. This disposition of the two nations, who coalesced daily with greater cordiality, inspired him with so much confidence, that, notwithstanding Etruria was possessed of such great power, that it had filled with the fame of its prowess not only the land, but the sea also, through the whole length of Italy, from the Alps to the Sicilian Streight; and although he might have remained within his fortifications, secure from any attack of the enemy, yet he led out his troops to the field. The battle that followed was, with respect to the Latines, their second, with respect to Æneas, the last of his mortal acts. He, by whatever appellation the laws of gods and men require him to be called, is deposited on the bank of the river Numicus. The people gave him the title of Jupiter Indiges.*
III. His son Ascanius was as yet too young to assume the government; nevertheless his title to the sovereignty remained unimpeached, until he arrived at maturity. During this interval, and under the regency of Lavinia, a woman of great capacity, the Latine state, and the united subjects of the prince’s father and grandfather, continued firm in their allegiance. I am not without some doubts (for who can affirm with certainty in a matter of such antiquity?) whether this was the same Ascanius mentioned above, or one older than him, born of Creusa, wife to Æneas, before the destruction of Troy, and who accompanied his father in his flight from thence; whom, being also called Iulus, the Julian family claim as the founder of their name. This Ascanius, wheresoever, and of whatsoever mother born, certainly the son of Æneas, finding the number of inhabitants in Lavinium too great, left that city, then in a flourishing and opulent state, considering the circumstances of those times, to his mother, or step-mother, and built a new one on the Alban mount, which, from its situation being stretched along the hill, was called Alba Longa.† Between the building of Lavinium, and the transplanting the colony to Alba Longa, the interval was only about thirty years; yet so rapidly had this people increased in power, especially after the defeat of the Etrurians, that, not even on the death of Æneas, nor afterwards, during the regency of a woman, and the first essays of a youthful reign, did either Mezentius and the Etrurians, or any other of the bordering nations, dare to attempt hostilities against them. A peace was agreed upon, in which it was stipulated that the river Albula, now called the Tiber, should be the boundary between the Etrurians and Latines. Ascanius’s son, called Sylvius, from his having by some accident been born in the woods, succeeded him in the kingdom. He begat Æneas Sylvius, who afterwards begat Latinus Sylvius. This prince planted several colonies, who have obtained the name of Ancient Latines. The surname of Sylvius was henceforward given to all those who reigned at Alba. Of Latinus was born Alba; of Alba, Atys; of Atys, Capys; of Capys, Capetus; of Capetus, Tiberinus; who, being drowned in endeavouring to cross the river Albula, gave to that river the name so celebrated among his posterity. Agrippa, son of Tiberinus, reigned next; after Agrippa, Romulus. Sylvius received the kingdom from his father, and being struck by lightning, demised it to Aventinus, who, being buried on that hill which is now a part of the city of Rome, gave it his name. To him succeeded Procas, who had two sons, Numitor and Amulius. To Numitor, as being the first-born, he bequeathed the ancient kingdom of the Sylvian family; but force prevailed over both the will of their father, and the respect due to priority of birth. Amulius dethroned his brother, took possession of the kingdom, and adding crime to crime, put to death the male offspring of Numitor, making his daughter Rhea Sylvia a vestal, under the specious pretence of doing her honour, but, in fact, to deprive her of all hope of issue, the vestals being obliged to vow perpetual virginity.*
IV. But the fates, I suppose, demanded the founding of this great city, and the first establishment of an empire, which is now, in power, next to the immortal gods. The vestal being deflowered by force, brought forth twins, and declared that the father of her doubtful offspring was Mars; either because she really thought so, or in hopes of extenuating the guilt of her transgression by imputing it to the act of a deity. But neither gods nor men screened her or her children from the King’s cruelty: the priestess was loaded with chains, and cast into prison, and the children were ordered to be thrown into the stream of the river. It happened providentially that the Tiber, overflowing its banks, formed itself into stagnant pools in such a manner, as that the regular channel was every where inaccessible, and those who carried the infants supposed that they would be drowned in any water, however still. Wherefore, as if thereby fulfilling the King’s order, they exposed the boys in the nearest pool, where now stands the Ruminal fig-tree, which, it is said, was formerly called Romular. Those places were at that time wild deserts. A story prevails that the retiring flood having left on dry ground the trough, hitherto floating, in which they had been exposed, a thirsty she-wolf from the neighbouring mountains, directed her course to the cries of the children, and, stooping, presented her dugs to the infants, showing so much gentleness, that the keeper of the King herds found her licking the boys with her tongue; and that this shepherd, whose name was Faustulus, carried them home to his wife Laurentia to be nursed. Some there are who think that this Laurentia, from her having been a prostitute, was, by the shepherds, called Lupa; and to this circumstance they ascribe the origin of this fabulous tale. Thus born, and thus educated, as soon as years supplied them with strength, they led not an inactive life at the stables, or among the cattle, but traversed the neighbouring forests in hunting. Hence acquiring vigour, both of body and mind, they soon began not only to withstand the wild beasts, but to attack robbers loaded with booty. The spoil thus acquired they divided with the shepherds; and, in company with these, the number of their young associates continually increasing, they carried on both their business, and their sports.
V. It is said, that even at that early period, the sports of the Lupercal,* which we still celebrate, were practised on the Palatine hill, and that this was called Palatium, from Pallanteum, a city of Arcadia, and afterwards the Palatine hill; and that Evander, who was of that tribe of Arcadians, and had been many years before in possession of this part of the country, had instituted there this solemnity brought from Arcadia, in which young men were to run about naked, in sport and wantonness, in honour of Lycean Pan, whom the Romans afterwards called Inuus. While they were intent on the performance of these sports, the time of their celebration being generally known, the robbers, enraged at the loss of their booty, attacked them by surprise, having placed themselves in ambush. Romulus making a vigorous defence, extricated himself; but they took Remus prisoner, delivered him up to King Amulius, and had the assurance to accuse them both of criminal misbehaviour. The principal charge made against them was, that they had made violent inroads on the lands of Numitor, and, with a band of youths which they had collected, plundered the country in a hostile manner. In consequence of this, Remus was given up to Numitor to be punished. From the very beginning, Faustulus had entertained hopes, that the children whom he educated, would prove to be descended of the royal blood; for he knew that the infants of Rhea had been exposed by order of the King, and that the time when he had taken them up, corresponded exactly with that event; but he had resolved to avoid any hasty disclosure, unless some favourable conjuncture or necessity should require it. The necessity happened first; wherefore, constrained by his apprehensions, he imparted the affair to Romulus. It happened also that Numitor, while he had Remus in his custody, heard that the brothers were twins; and when he combined with this circumstance their age, and their turn of mind, which gave no indication of a servile condition, he was struck with the idea of their being his grandchildren; and all his inquiries leading to the same conclusion, he was upon the point of acknowledging Remus. In consequence, a plot against the King was concerted between all the parties. Romulus, not going at the head of a band of youths, for he was unequal to an open attempt, but ordering the shepherds to come at a certain hour, by different roads, to the palace, forced his way to the King, and was supported by Remus, with another party, procured from the house of Numitor. Thus they put the King to death.
VI. In the beginning of the tumult, Numitor, calling out that the city was assaulted by an enemy, and the palace attacked, had drawn away the Alban youth to the citadel, on pretence of securing it by an armed garrison; and, in a little time seeing the young men, after perpetrating the murder, coming towards him, with expressions of joy, he instantly called the people to an assembly, laid before them the iniquitous behaviour of his brother towards himself; the birth of his grandchildren, how they were begotten, how educated, how discovered; then informed them of the death of the usurper, and that he had himself encouraged the design. The youths at the same time advancing with their followers, through the midst of the assembly, saluted their grandfather as King; on which the multitude, testifying their assent by universal acclamations, ratified to him the royal title and authority. When Numitor was thus reinstated in the sovereignty at Alba, Romulus and Remus were seized with a desire of building a city in the place where they had been exposed and educated. There were great numbers of Albans and Latines, who could be spared for the purpose, and these were joined by a multitude of shepherds; so that, all together, they formed such a numerous body, as gave grounds to hope that Alba and Lavinium would be but small, in comparison with the city which they were about to found. These views were interrupted by an evil, hereditary in their family, ambition for rule. Hence arose a shameful contest; though they had in the beginning rested their dispute on this amicable footing, that, as they were twins, and consequently, no title to precedence could be derived from priority of birth, the gods, who were guardians of the place, should choose by auguries,* which of the two should give a name to the new city, and enjoy the government of it when built. Romulus chose the Palatine, Remus the Aventine mount, as their consecrated stands to wait the auguries. We are told that the first omen appeared to Remus, consisting of six vultures; and, that, after this had been proclaimed, twice that number showed themselves to Romulus; on which each was saluted King by his own followers; the former claiming the kingdom on the ground of the priority of time; the latter, on that of the number of the birds. On their meeting, an altercation ensued, then blows; and their passions being inflamed by the dispute, the affair proceeded at last to extremity, and murder was the consequence. Remus fell by a blow received in the tumult. There is another account more generally received, that Remus, in derision of his brother, leaped over the new wall, and that Romulus, enraged thereat, slew him, uttering at the same time this imprecation, “So perish every one that shall hereafter leap over my wall.” 751. By these means Romulus came into the sole possession of the government, and the city, when built, was called after the name of its founder. The first buildings which he raised, were on the Palatine hill, where he himself had been brought up. To the other deities he performed worship, according to the mode of the Albans, but to Hercules, according to that of the Greeks, as instituted by Evander.
VII. It is recorded that Hercules, after having slain Geryon, drove away his cattle, which were surprisingly beautiful; and that, being fatigued with travelling, he lay down, near the river Tiber, in a grassy place, to which he had swum over, driving the herd before him, in order to refresh the cattle with rest and the rich pasture. There, having indulged himself in meat and wine, he was overpowered by sleep; whereupon a shepherd, who dwelt in the neighbourhood, named Cacus, of great strength and fierceness, being struck with the beauty of the cattle, wished to make prey of some of them; but considering, that if he should drive the herd before him into his cave, their tracks would direct the owner’s search, he dragged the cattle backward by the tails into the cave, picking out those that were the most remarkable for their beauty. Hercules awaking at the dawn of day, took a view of his herd, and missing some of the number, went directly to the next cave, to examine whether the footsteps led thither; but when he observed that they all pointed outward, and yet did not direct to any other quarter, perplexed, and not knowing how to act, he began to drive forward his herd from that unlucky place. Some of the cows, as they were driven off, missing those that were left behind, began, as was natural, to low after them, and the sound being returned from the cave, by those that were shut up in it, brought Hercules back. Cacus, endeavouring by force to prevent his approach to the cave, and invoking in vain the assistance of the shepherds, received a blow of his club, which put an end to his life. At that time, Evander, a native of Peloponnesus, who had removed hither, governed that part of the country, rather through an influence acquired by his merit, than any power of sovereignty vested in him. He was highly revered on account of his having introduced the wonderful knowledge of letters, a matter quite new to these men, who were ignorant of all the arts; and still more so, on account of the supposed divinity of his mother Carmenta, whose prophetic powers had been an object of admiration to those nations, before the arrival of the Sibyl in Italy. Evander then, being alarmed by the concourse of the shepherds, hastened to the spot, where they were assembled in a tumultuous manner about the stranger, whom they accused as undeniably guilty of murder; and when he was informed of the fact, and of the cause of it, observing the person and mien of the hero, filled with more dignity and majesty than belonged to a human being, he inquired who he was; and being told his name, that of his father and his country, he addressed him in these words; “Hail, Hercules, son of Jove! my mother, the infallible interpreter of the gods, foretold to me that you were destined to increase the number of the celestials, and that an altar would be dedicated to you in this place, which a nation, hereafter the most powerful in the world, should distinguish by the name of The Greatest,* and would offer thereon sacrifices to your honour.” Hercules, giving his right hand, replied, that, “he embraced the omen, and would fulfil the decree of the fates, by building and dedicating an altar in the place.” There, then for the first time, was performed a sacrifice to Hercules, of a chosen heifer taken out of the herd; and the Potitii and Pinarii, the most distinguished families in the neighbourhood at the time, were invited to assist in the ceremonies, and share the entertainment. It happened that the Potitii attended in time, and the entrails were served up to them; the Pinarii, arriving after the entrails were eaten, came in for the rest of the feast; hence it continued a rule, as long as the Pinarian family existed, that they should not eat of the entrails. The Potitii, instructed by Evander, were directors of that solemnity for many ages, until the solemn office of the family was delegated to public servants, on which the whole race of the Potitii became extinct. These were the only foreign rites that Romulus then adopted, showing thereby, from the beginning, a respect for immortality obtained by merit, a dignity to which his own destiny was conducting him.
VIII. After paying due worship to the gods, he summoned the multitude to an assembly; and, knowing that they could never be brought to incorporate as one people, by any other means, than by having their conduct directed by certain rules, he gave them a body of laws;* and judging, that if he added to the dignity of his own carriage, by assuming the ensigns of sovereignty, it would help to procure respect to those laws, among a rude uninformed people, he adopted a more majestic style of appearance, both with regard to his other appointments, and particularly in being attended by twelve lictors. Some think that he was led to fix on this number by that of the birds in the augury which had portended the kingdom to him: I am rather inclined to be of their opinion, who suppose that all the officers attendant on magistrates, and among the rest, the lictors, as well as the number of them, were borrowed from their neighbours, the Etrurians, from whom the curule chair, and the gown edged with purple, were taken; and that the Etrurians, used that number, because their King being elected by the suffrages of twelve states, each state gave him one lictor. Meanwhile the city increased in buildings, which were carried on to an extent proportioned rather to the number of inhabitants they hoped for in future, than to what they had at the time.* But that its size might not increase beyond its strength, in order to augment his numbers, he had recourse to a practice common among founders of cities, who used to feign that the multitude of mean and obscure people, thus collected, had sprang out of the earth. He opened a sanctuary, in the place where the inclosure now is, on the road down from the Capitol, called The Pass of the Two Groves. Hither fled, from the neighbouring states, crowds of all sorts, without distinction; whether freemen or slaves, led by a fondness for novelty; and this it was that gave solidity to the growing greatness of the city. Having reason now to be pretty well satisfied with his strength, he next made provision that this strength should be regulated by wisdom; and for that purpose, he created an hundred senators,† either because that number was sufficient, or because there were no more than an hundred citizens who could prove their descent from respectable families. They were certainly styled Fathers from their honourable office, and their descendants Patricians.
IX. The Roman state had now attained such a degree of power, that it was a match in arms for any of the neighbouring nations; but, from the small number of its women, its greatness was not likely to last longer than one age of man, as they had neither hopes of offspring among themselves, nor had yet contracted any intermarriages with their neighbours. Romulus, therefore, by advice of the senate, sent ambassadors round to all the adjoining states, soliciting their alliance, and permission for his new subjects to marry among them: he intimated to them, that “cities, like every thing else, rise from low beginnings; that, in time those which are supported by their own merit, and the favour of the gods, procure to themselves great power, and a great name: and that he had full assurance both that the gods favoured the founding of Rome, and that the people would not be deficient in merit. Wherefore, as men, they ought to show no reluctance to mix their blood and race with men.” In no one place were his ambassadors favourably heard; such contempt of them did people entertain, and, at the same time, such apprehensions of danger to themselves and their posterity, from so great a power growing up in the midst of them. By the greater part, they were dismissed with the question, “whether they had opened an asylum for women also, for that would be the only way to procure suitable matches for them?” This was highly resented by the Roman youth, insomuch that the business appeared evidently to point towards violence. Romulus, in order to afford them a convenient time and place for a design of that sort, dissembling his displeasure, prepared, with that intent, to celebrate solemn games in honour of the equestrian Neptune,* to which he gave the name of Consualia. He then ordered the intended celebration to be proclaimed among the neighbouring nations, while his people exerted themselves in making the most magnificent preparations that their knowledge and abilities allowed, in order to engage attention and raise expectation. Great numbers of people assembled, induced, in some measure, by a desire of seeing the new city, especially those whose countries lay nearest, the Cæninensians, Crustuminians, and Antemnatians, especially the whole multitude of the Sabines came with their wives and children. They were hospitably invited to the different houses; and when they viewed the situation, and the fortifications, and the city crowded with houses, they were astonished at the rapid increase of the Roman power. When the show began, and every person’s thoughts and eyes were attentively engaged on it, then, according to the preconcerted plan, on a signal being given, the Roman youth ran different ways to carry off the young women.Y. R. 4. 748. Some they bore away, as they happened to meet with them, without waiting to make a choice; but others of extraordinary beauty, being designed for the principal senators, were conveyed to their houses by plebeians employed for that purpose. It is said, that one highly distinguished above the rest for her beauty, was carried off by the party of one Talassius, and that in answer to many who eagerly inquired to whom they were hurrying her, they, every now and then, to prevent any interruption in their course, cried out, that they were carrying her to Talassius; this circumstance gave rise to the use of that word at weddings. The terror occasioned by this outrage put an end to the sports, and the parents of the young women retired full of grief, inveighing against such a violation of the laws of hospitality, and appealing to the god, to whose solemn festival and games they had come, relying on the respect due to religion, and on the faith of nations. Nor did the women who were seized entertain better hopes with regard to themselves, or a less degree of indignation: however Romulus went about in person, and told them, that “this proceeding had been occasioned by the haughtiness of their parents, who refused to allow their neighbours to marry among them; that, notwithstanding this, they should be united to his people in wedlock in the common enjoyment of all property, and of their common children; a bond of union than which the human heart feels none more endearing. He begged of them to soften their resentment, and to bestow their affections on those men on whom chance had bestowed their persons. It often happened, he said, that to harsh treatment mutual regard had succeeded, and they would find their husbands behave the better on this very account; that every one would exert himself, not merely in performing his duty as a husband, but to make up to them for the loss of their parents and of their country.” To these persuasions was added, the soothing behaviour of their husbands themselves, who urged, in extenuation of the violence they had been tempted to commit, the excess of passion, and the force of love: arguments, than which there can be none more powerful to assuage the irritation of the female mind.
X. The women, who had been forcibly carried off, soon became reconciled to their situation; but their parents, still more than at first, endeavoured to rouse their several states to revenge, employing both complaints and tears, and wearing the dress of mourners. Nor did they confine their demands of vengeance within the limits of their own states, but made joint applications from all quarters to Titus Tatius, king of the Sabines, the embassies being addressed to him as the person of the highest renown in all those parts. The people who were the principal sufferers by the outrage, were the Cæninensians, the Crustuminians, and the Antemnatians. To them, the proceedings of Tatius and the Sabine nation appeared too dilatory; wherefore these three states, uniting in a confederacy, prepared for immediate war. Nor did even the Crustuminians and Antemnatians exert activity enough for the impatient rage of the Cæninensians. This state, therefore, alone, made an irruption into the Roman territories; but while they carried on their ravages in a disorderly manner, Romulus met them, and, without much difficulty, taught them that rage without strength avails but little. He routed and dispersed their army; pursued it in its flight; slew their king in the battle, and seized his spoils; after which he made himself master of their city at the first assault. From thence he led home his victorious troops; and being not only capable of performing splendid actions, but also fond of displaying those actions to advantage, he marched up in procession to the Capitol, carrying on a frame, properly constructed for the purpose, the spoils of the enemy’s general whom he had slain; and there laying them down under an oak, which the shepherds accounted sacred, he, at the same time, while he offered this present, marked out with his eye the bounds of a temple for Jupiter, to whom he gave a new name, saying, “Jupiter Feretrius,* in acknowledgment of the victory which I have obtained, I, Romulus the king, offer to thee these royal arms, and dedicate a temple to thee on that spot which I have now measured out in my mind, to be a repository for those grand spoils, which, after my example, generals in future times shall offer, on slaying the kings and generals of their enemies.” This was the origin of that temple which was the first consecrated in Rome. Accordingly, it pleased the gods so to order, that neither the prediction of the founder of the temple, intimating that future generals should carry spoils thither, should prove erroneous, nor that the honour of making such offerings should be rendered common, by being imparted to many. In after times, during so many years, and so many wars, there have been only two instances of the grand spoils being obtained; so rare was the attainment of that high honour.
XI. While the Romans were thus employed, the army of the Antemnatians, taking advantage of the opportunity which the country being left without troops afforded them, made an hostile incursion into the Roman territories; but a Roman legion,* hastily led out, surprised them, while they straggled through the country. They were routed therefore at the first onset, and their town was taken. While Romulus exulted in this second victory, his consort, Hersilia, teased by the intreaties of the captured women, earnestly petitioned him that he would show favour to their parents, and admit them into the number of his citizens, a measure which could not fail of forming an union satisfactory to all parties. This request was easily obtained. He then marched against the Crustuminians, who were carrying on hostilities: with these he had still less trouble than with the Antemnatians, because they had been dispirited by the defeats of their allies. Colonies were sent to both countries, but greater numbers were found willing to give in their names for Crustuminum, on account of the fertility of the soil. There were frequent migrations also from those places to Rome, chiefly of the parents and relations of the ravished women.Y. R. 5. 747. The last war, on this occasion, was begun by the Sabines; and it was by far the most formidable, for none of their operations were directed by rage or passion, nor did they disclose their intentions until they began to act. They employed stratagem, too, in aid of prudence. The Roman citadel was commanded by Spurius Tarpeius. His maiden daughter, who had accidentally gone without the fortifications to bring water for the sacred rites, was bribed by Tatius with gold to admit some of his troops into the citadel. As soon as they gained admittance they put her to death, by throwing their armour in a heap upon her, either because they wished that the citadel should rather appear to have been taken by storm, or for the sake of establishing a precedent that faith was not to be kept with a traitor. The story is told in another manner; that, as the Sabines generally carried on their left arms bracelets of great weight, and wore rings set with precious stones, which made a great show, she bargained for what they wore on their left arms; accordingly, instead of the presents of gold which she expected, they threw their shields upon her. Others say, that, in pursuance of their agreement to deliver up what was on their left arms, she expressly demanded their shields; and this seeming to be done with a treacherous intent, she was put to death by means of the very reward which she required.
XII. The Sabines however kept possession of the citadel; but though, on the following day, the Roman army, in order of battle, filled the whole plain between the Palatine and Capitoline hills, yet they did not come down to the level ground; until the Romans, stimulated by rage and eagerness to recover the citadel, advanced to an assault. The foremost champions of the two parties, who led on the troops, were Mettius Curtius on the side of the Sabines, and Hostus Hostilius on that of the Romans. The latter, in the front of the army, by his spirit and intrepidity, enabled the Romans to support the fight, in spite of the disadvantage of the ground; but, on his falling, the Roman soldiers quickly gave way, and were driven back to the old gate of the Palatium. Romulus himself being forced along by the flying crowd, raised his hands toward heaven, and said, “O Jupiter! by the direction of thy auspices, I, here on the Palatine hill, laid the first foundation of my city. The Sabines are already in possession of our citadel, which they obtained by fraud; from thence they now make their way hither, in arms, and have passed the middle of the valley; but do thou, O father of gods and men! from hence at least repel the enemy; remove dismay from the minds of the Romans, and stop their shameful flight. I vow a temple here to thee, Jupiter Stator,* as a testimony to posterity of the city being preserved by thy immediate aid.” Having prayed thus, as if he had perceived that his supplications were heard, he called out, “Here Romans, Jupiter, supremely good and great, orders you to halt, and renew the fight.” The Romans, as if they had heard a voice from heaven, halted, and Romulus himself flew forward to the front. On the side of the Sabines, Mettius Curtius had run down first from the citadel; had driven back the Romans, in disorder, through the whole space at present occupied by the Forum, and was now at no great distance from the gate of the Palatium, crying aloud, “We have conquered these traitors to hospitality, these cowards in war. They now feel that it is one thing to ravish virgins, and another, far different, to fight with men.” While he was vaunting in this manner, Romulus attacked him with a band of the most courageous of the youths. Mettius happened at that time to fight on horseback, and on that account was the more easily repulsed: he soon gave way, and was pursued by the Romans: the rest of the Roman troops also, animated by the bravery of their king, put the Sabines to the route. Mettius was plunged into a lake, his horse taking fright at the noise of the pursuers: and this circumstance turned the attention of the Sabines to the danger in which they saw a person of so much consequence to them. However, his friends beckoning and calling to him, he acquired fresh courage from the affection of the multitude, and accomplished his escape. Both parties now renewed the engagement in the plain between the two hills, but the advantage was on the side of the Romans.
XIII. At this crisis the Sabine women, whose sufferings had given cause to the war, with their hair dishevelled and garments torn, their natural timidity being overcome by the sight of such disastrous scenes, had the resolution to throw themselves in the way of the flying weapons; and, rushing across between the armies, separated the incensed combatants, and assuaged their fury; beseeching, on the one hand their parents, on the other their husbands, “not to pollute themselves with the impious stain of the blood of father-in-law and son-in-law, nor brand with the infamy of parricide their offspring, the children of one, and grandchildren of the other party. If ye wish, said they, to destroy the affinity and connection formed between you by our marriage, turn your rage against us; we are the cause of the war; we are the cause of wounds and death to our husbands and fathers. It is better for us to perish, than to live either widowed by the loss of one party or fatherless by that of the other.” This transaction powerfully affected both the multitude and the leaders: silence suddenly ensued and a suspension of the fight. The commanders then came forward, in order to concert measures for a pacification; and they not only concluded a peace, but combined the two nations into one,Y. R. 7. 745. associating the two sovereigns in the government, and establishing the seat of empire at Rome. By this accession the number of citzens was doubled; and, as some compliment to the Sabines, the united people were called Quirites, from the town of Cures. To perpetuate the remembrance of that battle, the place where his horse, emerging from the deep of the lake, first brought Curtius to a shallow, was called the Curtian lake.* This happy re-establishment of peace, after a war so distressing, rendered the Sabine women still dearer both to their husbands and parents, and above all to Romulus himself, so that, when he divided the people into thirty Curias,† he gave these the names of the women. But as the number of the women was undoubtedly greater than that of the Curias, whether those who were to give their names to them were selected on account of their age, or their own dignity, or that of their husbands, or by lot we are not informed. At the same time also, three centuries of knights were enrolled; the Ramnenses, so called from Romulus; the Titienses, from Titus Tatius; and the Luceres, the reason of whose name and origin is unknown. Thenceforward the two kings reigned together, not only with equal power but with concord.
XIV. Several years after, some relations of king Tatius offered violence to the ambassadors of the Laurentians; for which violation of the law of nations, the latter demanded satisfaction: But Tatius paid more regard to the interest and importunities of his relations, and thereby drew upon himself the punishment due to them. For he was slain afterwards at Lavinium, in a tumult raised on his going thither to an anniversary sacrifice. It is said, that Romulus showed less resentment of this proceeding than became him, either because there had been no sincere cordiality between them, while associated in the government, or because he thought that the other deserved the death which he met. He avoided therefore entering into a war on the occasion; but to make some atonement for the ill treatment of the ambassadors, and the murder of the king, the league between the cities of Rome and Lavinium was renewed. Thus, beyond their expectations, the Romans enjoyed peace on that side; but a war broke out from another quarter, much nearer home, and almost at their gates. The Fidenatians, looking with jealousy on the great increase of power in so near a neighbour, determined to make war on them before they should arrive at that degree of strength which it was evident they would in time acquire, and sent a body of young men in arms, who laid waste the whole country between Fidenæ and the city. Then, turning to the left hand, because the Tiber confined them on the right, and continuing their depredations, they threw the country people into the utmost consternation, and the sudden alarm spreading from the country into the city, made known what had happened. Romulus instantly led out his forces; for a war so near home admitted no delay, and pitched his camp at the distance of a mile from Fidenæ. Leaving there a small guard, and marching out with all the rest of his troops, he ordered a party to lie in ambush, among the bushes that grew there in abundance; then advancing with the other more numerous body of infantry, and all the cavalry, by riding up almost to the gates and offering battle, in an irregular and insulting manner, he drew the enemy out of the town, as he wished. The cavalry, acting in this manner, answered also another purpose, as it afforded a more specious pretext for the retreat, which he was to counterfeit; and when the foot too began to retire, while the horse seemed irresolute, whether to fight or fly, the enemy rushing suddenly out of the gates in crowds, eager to pursue and press on the Roman army in its retreat, were drawn to the place of the ambuscade. The Romans, now rising suddenly, attacked their line in flank; and the ensigns of those who had been left to guard the camp, advancing at the same time, added to their fears. Dismayed at so many dangers, the Fidenatians fled, before Romulus and the horseman with him, could well turn to pursue them. Thus they, who had lately pursued an enemy, who only pretended to fly, now fled themselves in earnest, with much greater haste, back to the city: but they could not get clear of the enemy; the Romans pressing close on their rear, rushed into the city along with them, before the gates could be shut.
XV. The contagion of the Fidenatian war infected the Veientians. Induced by the relationship subsisting between them and the Fidenatians, (for they also were Etrurians,) and urged on beside by their dangerous vicinity of situation, in case the Roman arms were to be turned against all their neighbours, made an incursion into the Roman territories, in the manner of a predatory, rather than of a regular, war; and thus, without encamping or waiting the approach of the enemy’s army, they returned to Veii, carrying home the plunder collected in the country. On the other side, the Roman commander, not finding the enemy in the country, and being prepared for, and determined on, a decisive action, crossed over the Tiber. The Veientians, hearing that he was forming a camp, and that he intended to advance to their city, marched out to meet him; for they chose rather to engage in the open field, than to remain shut up, and fight from the walls and houses. There, unassisted by any stratagem, the Roman King, through the mere force of his veteran troops, obtained the victory, and pursued the routed enemy to their walls. The city was so strong, and so well secured both by art and by nature, that he did not choose to attempt it, but led home his troops, and, in his way, ravaged the enemy’s country for the sake of revenge rather than of booty. These devastations having distressed the Veientians no less than the loss of the battle, they sent deputies to Rome to sue for peace. A part of their lands was taken from them, and a truce granted for an hundred years. These were the principal transactions in peace and war, during the reign of Romulus; and none of them was unsuitable to the belief of his divine origin, or to the rank of a divinity, which after his death he was supposed to have obtained. This may be said of the spirit which he showed in recovering the kingdom for his grandfather, as well as of his wise conduct in founding the city, and establishing its power, by the arts both of war and peace; for, by the strength which it acquired under his management, it became so respectable, that, during forty years after, it enjoyed profound peace and security. He stood, however, much higher in the favour of the people than he did in that of the senate; and was yet more beloved by his army. He established a body guard of three hundred men, whom he called Celeres;* and these he kept constantly about his person, in time of peace as well as war.
Y. R. 37. 715.XVI. Such were his achievements in his mortal state. One day, while holding an assembly in the plain, on the borders of the lake of Capra, for the purpose of reviewing his army, a sudden storm arose, accompanied with violent thunder and lightning; the king was enveloped in a thick cloud, which hid him from the eyes of the assembly, and was never more seen upon earth. The Roman youth were at length eased of their apprehensions, by the return of calm and serene weather, after such a turbulent day; but when they saw the royal seat empty, though they readily believed the senators, who had stood nearest to him, that he had been carried up on high by the storm, yet they were struck with such dread at being thus left in a manner fatherless, that, for some time, they remained in mournful silence. At last, some few setting the example, the whole multitude saluted Romulus as “a deity, the son of a deity, the king and parent of the city of Rome;” and implored his favour, with prayers, that he would be pleased always “propitiously to watch over the safety of his own offspring.” Some, I believe, even at that time, harboured silent suspicions that the king had been torn in pieces by the hands of the senators. Such a report was spread abroad, but it was little credited, both on account of the high admiration entertained of the man, and because the general consternation caused the other account to be more universally received. It is farther mentioned, that a contrivance of one particular man procured additional credit to this representation of the matter: for Proculus Julius, a person whose testimony, as we are told, deserved respect in any case, even of the greatest importance, while the public were full of grief for the king, and of displeasure against the senators, came out into an assembly of the people, and said, “Romans, yesterday at the dawn of day, Romulus, the parent of this our city, descending suddenly from heaven, appeared before me; and when, seized with horror, I stood in a worshipping posture, and addressed him with prayers, that I might be allowed to behold him without being guilty of impiety, Go, said he, tell the Romans that it is the will of the gods that my Rome should be the metropolis of the world. Let them therefore cultivate the arts of war; and be assured, and hand this assurance down to posterity, that no human power is able to withstand the Roman arms. After these words, he went up, and vanished from my sight.” It was wonderful how readily the story was credited on this man’s word; and how much the grief of the people, and of the army, was assuaged, by their being satisfied of his immortality.
XVII. Meanwhile the minds of the senators were agitated by ambition and contention for the vacant throne. Factions had not yet taken their rise from the interests of individuals; for, among a new people, no one yet possessed any eminent superiority over the rest. The contest lay between the different bodies of which the state was composed: those of Sabine descent were anxious that a king should be chosen from among them, apprehensive lest they might lose their claim by disuse, there having been no king of their race since the death of Tatius; although, by the terms of the union, they were entitled to equal privileges. On the other hand, the original Romans spurned the thought of a foreigner being placed on the throne. Notwithstanding this diversity in their views, yet all concurred in wishing for a king, for they had not yet tasted the sweets of liberty. The senate now began to fear, lest as the sentiments of many of the neighbouring states were very unfriendly towards them, some foreign power might attack them, while the state was destitute of a government, and the army destitute of a commander. Every one therefore was desirous that there should be some head, but no one party could be induced to give way to another. In this difficulty, the senators shared the government among themselves; forming, out of their number, which consisted of an hundred, ten decades, with one president in each, who were to have the direction of public affairs. Each ten governed jointly; the president alone had the lictors and other badges of sovereignty. The time of each holding the government was limited to five days, and the administration went to them all in rotation. In this manner a year passed without a king; and that interval, from this circumstance,Y. R. 38. 714. was called an Interregnum; which term is still applied to similar interruptions of the regular government. By this time, the people began to murmur, alleging that slavery was multiplied on them; that they had an hundred masters set over them instead of one; and it became evident that they would no longer be satisfied without a king, nor without one chosen by themselves. The senators, perceiving that such schemes were in agitation, judged it prudent to make a voluntary offer of what they could not much longer retain. Yet while they gratified the people in surrendering to them the sovereign power, they took care not to give up a larger share of privilege than they kept in their own hands; for they passed a decree, that, when the people should elect a king, that election should not be valid, unless the senate approved their choice. And, to this day, the same right is claimed with respect to the enacting of laws, and the appointing of magistrates; though the efficacy of it has been quite taken away: at present, before the people begin to vote, the senate previously declare their approbation of the proceedings of the assembly, and that, even before they are yet resolved upon. The Interrex, then, having called an assembly, said, “Romans! be the event prosperous, fortunate, and happy; elect a king: the fathers have thought proper to decree that it should be so. If ye choose a person worthy to be esteemed a fit successor to Romulus, the fathers will join their approbation.” This proceeding was so pleasing to the people, that, lest they might appear to be outdone in generosity, they voted, and ordered, nothing more than that the senate should determine, by their decree, who should be king of Rome.
XVIII. There was at that time a person named Numa Pompilius,* who was universally celebrated for justice and piety: he lived at Cures, in the country of the Sabines; and was as eminently skilled, as any one in that age could be, in all laws human and divine: he was supposed to have been instructed by Pythagoras of Samos; for which supposition there is no other foundation, than its not being known from what other quarter he derived his knowledge: certain it is, that more than an hundred years after this period, in the reign of Servius Tullius, Pythagoras assembled the youth of the remoter parts of Italy, about Metapontum, Heracla, and Croton, and had them instructed under his own direction. From places so remote, even if he had lived in the time of Numa, how could such a character of him have reached the Sabines, as should have inspired them with the desire of receiving his instructions? In what common language could they have communicated? or with what safety could a single man have made his way thither, through so many nations differing in their language and manners? I therefore rather believe, that his mind was, by nature, furnished with virtuous dispositions, and that the instructions which he received were, not so much in foreign learning, as in the coarse and severe discipline of the Sabines, than whom no race of men were less corrupted by refinements. On hearing the name of Numa Pompilius, although the Roman fathers saw that the balance of power would incline to the Sabines, if a king were chosen from among them, yet, no one presuming to prefer himself, or any other of his own party, or, in short, any one of the fathers, or citizens, to him, they all, to a man, concurred in voting that the kingdom should be conferred on Numa Pompilius.Y. R. 39. 713. When he arrived, in consequence of their invitation, he ordered, that, as Romulus, on the founding of the city, had obtained the sovereign power by an augury, so the gods should be consulted, in like manner, concerning himself. Accordingly, being conducted into the citadel by an augur, to which profession was annexed, for ever after, by public authority, the honour of performing that solemn office, he sat down on a stone with his face turned towards the South: the augur took his seat at his left hand, with his head covered, holding in his right hand a crooked wand free from knots, which they called lituus; then, taking a view towards the city, and the adjacent country, after offering prayers to the gods, he marked out the regions of the sky frow East to West; the parts towards the South, he called the right, those towards the North, the left; and, in front of him, he set, in his mind, a boundary at the greatest distance that his eye could reach. Then, shifting the lituus into his left hand, and laying his right on Numa’s head, he prayed in this manner:—“Father Jupiter, if it is thy will that this Numa Pompilius, whose head I hold, should be king of Rome, display to us, we beseech thee, clear tokens of the same, within those limits which I have marked out.” He then named the particular auspices, which he wished should be sent; and, these having appeared, Numa was declared king, and came down from the consecrated stand.
XIX. Being thus put in possession of the kingdom, and considering that the city was but of short standing, and had been founded by means of violence and arms, he formed a design of establishing it anew, upon principles of justice, laws, and morals; and, knowing that the minds of the people, rendered ferocious by a military life, would never accommodate themselves to the practice of these, during the continuance of war, he resolved, by a disuse of arms, to mollify the fierceness of their temper. With this view, he built a temple to Janus,* near the foot of the hill Argiletum,† which was to notify a state either of war or of peace: when open, it denoted that the state was engaged in war; when shut, that there was peace with all the surrounding nations. Since the reign of Numa, it has been shut but twice; once, in the consulate of Titus Manlius, upon the conclusion of the first Punic war: the happiness of seeing it once more shut, the gods granted to our own times, when, after the battle of Actium, the emperor Cæsar Augustus established universal peace, on land and sea. This temple he then shut; and having, by treaties and alliances, secured the friendship of all his neighbours, and thereby removed all apprehension of danger from abroad, he made it his first aim, lest the dispositions of the people, which had hitherto been restrained by fear of their enemies, and by military discipline, should, in time of tranquillity, grow licentious, to inspire them with fear of the gods; a principle of the greatest efficacy with the multitude, in that rude and ignorant age. And as this did not seem likely to make much impression on their minds, without the aid of some pretended miracle, he made them believe that he had nightly meetings with the goddess Egeria, and that, by her direction, he instituted the sacred rites, most acceptable to the gods, and appointed proper priests for each of the deities. His first undertaking was to divide the year into twelve months, according to the course of the moon: and because the moon does not make up the number of thirty days in each month, and consequently there are some days wanted to fill up the complete year, formed by the revolution of the sun, he managed in such a manner, by inserting intercalary months, that every twenty-fourth year, the space of all the intermediate years being completed, the days coincided with the same position of the sun from whence they had set out. He also appointed days of business, and days of cessation therefrom, foreseeing how expedient it would be in future, that there should be times wherein no business could be brought before the people.
XX. He next turned his thoughts to the appointment of priests, though he performed in person the greatest part of the sacred rites, especially those which now belong to the office of the flamen of Jupiter;* judging, that in such a warlike state, the greater number of kings would resemble Romulus, rather than Numa, and would go abroad themselves to war; therefore, lest the sacred rites, the performance of which pertained to the office of the king, should be neglected, he created a flamen of Jove, who was to attend constantly on the duties of that priesthood, and decorated him with a splendid dress, and a royal curule chair. He created likewise two other flamens; one of Mars, the other of Quirinus. He also selected virgins for the service of Vesta, an order of priesthood derived from Alba, and therefore related, in some sort, to the family of the founder of the city. For these he fixed a stipend, to be paid out of the public treasury, that they might, without interruption, attend to the business of the temple; and by enjoining virginity, and other religious observances, gave them a sanctity of character that attracted veneration. He elected also twelve priests, called salii, for Mars Gradivus; and gave them, as an ornament of distinction, a flowered tunic, and, over the tunic, a brazen covering for the breast. He ordered these to carry the celestial armour, called Ancilia, and to go in procession through the city, singing hymns, with leaping and solemn dancing. He then chose, out of the senators, a pontiff, named Numa Marcius, son of Marcus, and gave him a written and sealed copy of the institutions respecting all the sacred rites, together with directions as to what victims, and on what days, and in what temples, each should be performed; and out of what funds the expenses of them should be defrayed. He also subjected all other religious performances, whether public or private, to the determination of the pontiff; in order that there should be an authorized person to whom the people might, on every occasion, resort for instruction, lest, through their neglect of the rites of their own country, or the introduction of foreign ones, irregularities might take place in the worship of the gods. The same pontiff was also to determine all matters relative, not only to the invocation of the celestial gods, but to funeral solemnities, and the worship of the infernal deities, and when and how such prodigies as appeared either by lightning or any other phænomenon, should be attended to and expiated. For the purpose of obtaining information of the sentiments of the deities, respecting these matters, he dedicated an altar, on the Aventine, to Jupiter Elicius;* and consulted the god, by auguries, concerning the prodigies that were to be expiated.
XXI. The attention of the whole community being diverted from violence and arms, to the considering and adjusting of these matters, necessarily prevented idleness; whilst reverence towards the gods, with the thought of the deity of heaven interfering in the concerns of mankind, filled their breasts with such a degree of piety, that good faith, and regard to the obligation of oaths, operated as powerfully on their minds, as the dread of the laws and of punishment. And while the people formed their manners after the example of the king, as the most perfect model, the neighbouring powers, who had formerly looked upon Rome, not as a city, but as a camp pitched in the midst of them, for the purpose of disturbing the general peace, were brought to entertain such respect for it, as to deem any one guilty of impiety, who should give trouble to a state entirely occupied in the worship of the gods. There was a grove, in the centre of which, from out of a dark cave, flowed a rivulet, fed by a perpetual spring; thither it was Numa’s custom frequently to repair unattended, to meet, as he pretended, the goddess Egeria. He therefore dedicated it to the Muses, they having been, he alleged, of her councils, whom he called his spouse. To Faith, under the designation of Single Faith, he instituted an anniversary festival; in the celebration of which, he ordered the flamens to be carried in a covered chariot, drawn by two horses; and, while employed in the worship of her, to have their hands covered, close down to the fingers, to signify that Faith was to be carefully preserved, and that even its seat, in the right hand, was sacred. He appointed many other sacrifices, and consecrated the places where they were to be performed, which the priests call Argenses. But the greatest of all his works was the establishment of a permanent peace, which he maintained through the whole course of his reign, with no less care than he employed in securing his own authority. Thus two kings in succession, by different methods, one by warlike, the other by peaceful institutions, contributed to the aggrandizement of the state. Romulus reigned thirty-seven years, Numa forty-three. The nation, by this time, became possessed not only of great strength, but had also attained to a competent knowledge of the arts both of war and peace.
Y. R. 82. 660.XXII. On the death of Numa, an interregnum again took place. After some time, the people elected to the throne Tullus Hostilius, grandson to that Hostilius who distinguished himself in the battle with the Sabines, at the foot of the citadel; and the senate gave their approbation. He was not only of a temper very different from that of the late king, but more warlike in his disposition than even Romulus himself. His youth and vigour, and at the same time, the renown of his grandfather, stimulated his native courage. Thinking, therefore, that the strength of the state was growing languid, through inactivity, he sought on all sides for an opportunity of stirring up a war. It happened that some Roman and Alban peasants committed mutual depredations on each other’s lands: at this time, C. Cluilius held the government of Alba. Ambassadors were sent from both sides, at nearly the same time, to demand restitution. Tullus gave orders to his, that they should attend to nothing else, until they executed their commission: he well knew that the Alban would give a refusal, and then war might be proclaimed, without incurring the charge of impiety. The Albans proceeded with less despatch; being courteously and liberally entertained by Tullus in his palace, they cheerfully enjoyed the pleasures of the king’s table. Meanwhile, the Romans had made the first demand of restitution, and, on the Alban’s refusal, had declared war to commence on the thirtieth day after, and returned to Tullus with an account of their proceedings. He then gave the ambassadors an opportunity of proposing the business of their embassy; they, entirely ignorant of what had passed, spent some time, at first, in making apologies; that “it was very disagreeable to them to say any thing that would not be pleasing to Tullus, but that they were compelled by their instructions: they came to demand restitution, and if that were not granted, had orders to declare war.” To this Tullus answered: “Tell your king, that the king of Rome appeals to the gods, to judge which of the two states first dismissed, with a refusal, the ambassadors of the other demanding restitution; that, upon that state, they may inflict all the calamities of this war.”
Y. R. 85. 667.XXIII. This answer the Albans carried home, and both parties made the most vigorous preparations for a war, which might almost be called a civil war, as it was to be waged, in some manner, between parents and their children, both parties deriving their descent from Troy: for Lavinium owed its origin to Troy, from Lavinium sprung Alba, and, from the race of the Alban kings, the Romans were descended. The issue of the war, however, was such as rendered the dispute less grievous than might have been apprehended; for, without a general engagement, and without any farther damage than the demolition of the houses of one of the cities, the two states were incorporated into one. The Albans first, with very numerous forces, made an irruption into the Roman territories; and, at the distance of no more than five miles from the city, fortified their camp with a trench, which, from the name of their leader, was afterwards called the Cluilian Trench, and retained the name for several ages, until the occasion being in time forgotten, the name too fell into disuse. In this camp, Cluilius the Alban king died, on which the Albans created Mettius Fuffetius their dictator. Tullus, now, impatient for action, especially after the death of the king, assured his men that the supreme power of the gods, which had already begun with the head, would inflict, upon the whole body of the Albans, the penalty incurred by their having occasioned this impious war; and, marching past the enemy’s camp in the night, he advanced with his army ready for action, into the Alban territories. This procedure drew out Mettius from the camp where he lay; he led his troops, by the shorest road, towards the enemy, sending forward an ambassador to tell Tullus, that “it was highly expedient that they should confer together, before they came to an engagement; that, if he would give him a meeting, he was confident that what he had to propose to his consideration would appear to concern the interest of Rome, no less than that of Alba.” Tullus, not thinking it proper to decline the proposal, though he saw no probability of any good consequence arising from it, led out his troops into the field; the Albans likewise marched out to meet him. When both parties were drawn up in order of battle, the leaders, attended by a few of the principal officers, advanced into the middle space, where the Alban began thus:—“I understood, from our king Cluilius, that, on our part, injuries sustained, and a refusal of satisfaction, when demanded, were the causes of the present war; and I doubt not that you, Tullus, allege, on your part, the same grounds of quarrel: but if, instead of plausible professions, I may be allowed to declare the truth, it is a thirst for dominion that stimulates two nations, connected by their situation, and by consanguinity, to take up arms against each other. Nor do I examine whether the measures pursued are justifiable or not; the determination of that point was the business of him who commenced the war; for my part, it was for the purpose of carrying it on, that the Albans constituted me their leader. Of this, however, Tullus, I wish to warn you: what a formidable power the Etrurians possess, both in our neighbourhood and more especially in yours, you, as being nearer to them, know better than we. On land, they are very powerful; on the sea, exceedingly so. Now consider, that, when you shall give the signal for battle, they will enjoy the sight of these two armies engaged as they would a show, and will not fail to attack both the victor and the vanquished together, when they see them fatigued, and their strength exhausted. Wherefore, since we are not content with the certain enjoyment of liberty, but are going to hazard an uncertain cast for dominion or slavery, let us, in the name of the gods, pursue some method, whereby, without great loss, without much blood of either nation, it may be decided which shall have dominion over the other.” This proposal was not unpleasing to Tullus, though, from his natural disposition, as well as from confidence of success, he was rather inclined to violent measures. Both of them then turning their thoughts to devise some plan, they adopted one, for which accident had already laid the foundation.
XXIV. It happened, that in each of the armies, there were three twin brothers, between whom there was no disparity, in point of age, or of strength. That their names were Horatius and Curiatius, we have sufficient certainty, for no occurrence of antiquity has ever been more universally noticed; yet, notwithstanding that the fact is so well ascertained, there still remains a doubt respecting the names, to which nation the Horatii belonged, and to which the Curiatii: authors are divided on the point; finding, however, that the greater number concur, in calling the Horatii, Romans, I am inclined to follow them. To these three brothers, on each side, the Kings proposed, that they should support by their arms the honour of their respective countries; informing them, that the sovereignty was to be enjoyed by that nation, whose champions should prove victorious in the combat. No reluctance was shown on their parts, and time and place were appointed. Previous to the fight, a league was made between, the Romans and Albans, on these conditions; that, whichever of the two nations should, by its champions, obtain victory in the combat, that nation should, without further dispute, possess sovereign dominion over the other. Treaties are variously formed, but the mode of ratification is the same in all. The following is the manner in which, as we are told, they proceeded on that occasion; and we have no record of any more ancient treaty. The herald addressed the king in these words: “Dost thou, O king, order me to strike a league with the Pater Patratus* of the Alban nation?” Having received the king’s order, he said, “O king, I demand vervain from thee:” the king answered, “Take it pure.” The herald brought clean stalks of that herb from the citadel. He afterwards asked the king in these words; “Dost thou, O king, constitute me the royal delegate of the Roman people, the Quirites; including, in my privileges, my attendants and implements.” The king replied, “Be it without detriment to me, and to the Roman people, the Quirites, I do constitute thee.” The herald was Marcus Valerius, and he made Spurius Fusius Pater Patratus, by touching his head and hair with the vervain. The Pater Patratus is appointed “ad jusjurandum patrandum,” that is, to ratify the league; and this he does in a great many words, which being expressed in a long set form, I may be excused from repeating. Then, after reciting the conditions, he said, “Hear thou, O Jupiter! hear thou, Pater Patratus of the Alban nation: hear, ye people of Alba: as those conditions, from first to last, have been recited openly from those tablets, or that wax, without fraud or deceit, in such sense as they are most clearly understood here this day, from those conditions the Roman people will not first depart: if they shall, at any time, first depart from them, under authority of the state, through any fraud or deceit, do thou, O Jupiter, on that day, strike the Roman people, in like manner as I shall here, this day, strike this swine; and strike them, thou, with greater severity, in proportion as thy power and ability are greater.” So saying, he struck down the swine with a flint stone. The Albans likewise, by their dictator and their priests, repeated their form of ratification and their oath.
XXV. The league being concluded, the three brothers, on each side, pursuant to the agreement, took arms; the friends of each putting them in mind that “the gods of their country, their country itself, the whole of their countrymen, whether at home or in the army, rested on their prowess the decision of their fate.” Naturally bold and courageous, and highly animated besides by such exhortations, they advanced into the midst between the two armies. The two armies sat down before their respective camps, free from all apprehensions of immediate danger to themselves, but not from deep anxiety; no less than sovereign power being at stake, and depending on the bravery and success of so small a number. With all the eagerness therefore of anxious suspense, they fixed their attention on an exhibition, which was far indeed from being a matter of mere amusement. The signal being given, the three youths, who had been drawn up on each side, as in battle array, their breasts animated with the magnanimous spirits of whole armies, rushed forward to the fight, intent on mutual slaughter, utterly thoughtless of their own personal peril, and reflecting, that, on the issue of the contest, depended the future fate and fortune of their respective countries. On the first onset, as soon as the clash of their arms, and the glittering of their swords, were perceived, the spectators shuddered with excess of horror; and their hopes being, as yet, equally balanced, their voice was suppressed, and even their breath was suspended. Afterwards, in the progress of the combat, during which, not only the activity of the young men’s limbs, and the rapid motions of their arms, offensive and defensive, were exhibited to view, the three Albans were wounded, and two of the Romans fell lifeless to the ground. On their fall, the Alban army set up a shout of joy; while the Roman legions were almost reduced to a state of despair, by the situation of their champion, who was now surrounded by the three Curiatii. It happened that he was unhurt; so that, though singly, he was by no means a match for them collectively, yet was he confident of success, against each taken singly. In order therefore to avoid their joint attack, he betook himself to flight, judging from their wounds that they would pursue him with different degrees of speed. He had now fled some way from the place where they had fought, when, looking back, he perceived that there were large intervals between the pursuers, and that one was at no great distance from him: he therefore turned about, with great fury, and while the Alban army called out to the Curiatii to succour their brother, Horatius, having in the mean time slain his antagonist, proceeded victorious to attack the second. The Romans then cheered their champion with shouts of applause, such as naturally burst forth on occasions of unexpected success: on his part, he delayed not to put an end to the combat; for, before the third could come up to the relief of his brother, he had despatched him. And now, they were brought to an equality, in point of number, only one on each side surviving, but were far from an equality either in hopes or in strength; the one, unhurt, and flushed with two victories, advanced with confidence to the third contest; the other, enfeebled by a wound, fatigued with running, and dispirited, besides, by the fate of his brethren, already slain, met the victorious enemy. What followed, could not be called a fight; the Roman, exulting, cried out, “Two of you have I offered to the shades of my brothers, the third I will offer to the cause in which we are engaged, that the Roman may rule over the Alban;” and, whilst the other could scarcely support the weight of his armour, he plunged his sword downward into his throat; then, as he lay prostrate, he despoiled him of his arms. The Romans received Horatius with triumphant congratulations, and a degree of joy proportioned to the greatness of the danger that had threatened their cause. Both parties then applied themselves to the burying of their dead, with very different dispositions of mind; the one being elated with the acquisition of empire, the other depressed under a foreign jurisdiction. The sepulchres still remain, in the several spots where the combatants fell; those of the two Romans in one place nearer to Alba, those of the three Albans, on the side next to Rome, but, in different places, as they fought.
XXVI. Before the armies separated, Mettius, in conformity to the terms of the treaty, desired to know from Tullus what commands he would give, and was ordered to keep the young men in readiness, under arms, as he intended to employ them in case of a war breaking out with the Veientians. The two parties then retired to their respective homes. Horatius advanced at the head of the Romans, bearing in triumph the spoils of the three brothers: near the gate Capena he was met by his sister, a maiden who had been betrothed to one of the Curiatii: observing on her brother’s shoulder, the military robe of her lover, made by her own hands, she tore her hair, and with loud and mournful outcries, called on the name of her deceased spouse. His sister’s lamentations, in the midst of his own triumph, and of so great public joy, irritated the fierce youth to such a degree, that drawing his sword, he plunged it into her breast, at the same time upbraiding her, in these words, “Begone to thy spouse, with thy unseasonable love, since thou couldst forget what is due to the memory of thy deceased brothers, to him who still survives, and to thy native country: so perish every daughter of Rome that shall mourn for its enemy.” Both the senate and people were shocked at the horrid deed; but still, in their opinion, his recent merit outweighed its guilt: he was, however, instantly carried before the king for judgment. The king, unwilling to take on himself a decision of such a melancholy nature, and evidently disagreeable to the multitude, or to inflict the consequent punishment, summoned an assembly of the people, and then said “I appoint two commissioners to pass judgment on Horatius for murder, according to the law.” The law was of dreadful import: “Let two commissioners pass judgment for murder; if the accused appeal from the commissioners, let the appeal be tried; if their sentence be confirmed, cover his head, hang him by a rope on the gallows, let him be scourged either within the Pomærium or without the Pomærium.” The two commissioners appointed were of opinion, that according to that law, they were not authorised to acquit him: however small his offence might be; and, after they had found him guilty, one of them pronounced judgment in these words, “Publius Horatius, I sentence thee to punishment as a murderer; go, lictor, bind his hands.” The lictor had come up to him, and was fixing the cord, when Horatius by the advice of Tullus, who wished to give the mildest interpretation to the law, said, “I appeal;” so the trial on the appeal, came before the commons. During this trial, the people were very deeply affected, especially by the behaviour of Publius Horatius the father, who declared that, “in his judgment, his daughter was deservedly put to death; had it not been so, he would, by his own authority as a father, have inflicted punishment on his son.” He then besought them that “they would not leave him childless, whom they had beheld, but a few hours ago surrounded by a progeny of uncommon merit.” Uttering these words, the old man embraced the youth, and pointing to the spoils of the Curatii, which were hung up in the place where now stands the Horatian column; “O my fellow citizens,” he exclaimed, “can you bear to behold him laden with chains, and condemned to ignominy, stripes, and torture, whom, but just now, you saw covered with the ornaments of victory, marching in triumph! a sight so horrid, that scarcely could the eyes of the Albans themselves endure it. Go, lictor, bind the arms, which but now wielded those weapons which acquired dominion to the Roman people: cover the head of that man to whom your city owes its liberty: hang him upon the gallows: scourge him within the Pomærium; but do it between those pillars, to which are suspended the trophies of his victory: scourge him, without the Pomærium, but do it between the tombs of the Curiatii. For to what place can ye lead this youth, where the monuments of his glory would not redeem him from the ignominy of such a punishment?” The people could not withstand either the tears of the father, or the intrepid spirit of the youth himself, which no kind of danger could appal, and rather out of admiration of his bravery, than regard to the justice of his cause, they passed a sentence of acquittal. Wherefore, that some expiation might be made for the act of manifest murder, the father was ordered to make atonement for his son at the public expense. After performing expiatory sacrifices, which continued afterwards to be celebrated by the Horatian family, he laid a beam across the street, and, covering the young man’s head, made him pass as it were, under the yoke. The beam remains to this day, being constantly kept in repair at the expense of the public, and is called the Sister’s beam. A tomb of squared stone was raised for Horatia, on the spot where she fell.
XXVII. The peace with Alba was not of long continuance. The dissatisfaction of the multitude, on account of the power and fortune of the state having been hazarded on three champions, perverted the unsteady mind of the dictator; and as his designs, though honourable, had not been crowned with success, he endeavoured, by others of a different kind, to recover the esteem of his countrymen. With this view, therefore, as formerly, in time of war, he had sought peace, so now, when peace was established, he as ardently wished for war: but, perceiving that his own state possessed more courage than strength, he persuaded other nations to make war, openly, by order of their governments, reserving to his own people the part of effecting their purposes, by treachery, under the mask of allies. The Fidenatians, a Roman colony, being assured of the concurrence of the Veientians, and receiving from the Albans a positive engagement to desert to their side, were prevailed on to take arms and declare war. Fidenæ having thus openly revolted, Tullus, after summoning Mettius and his army from Alba, marched against the enemy, and passing the Anio, pitched his camp at the conflux of the rivers. Between that place, and Fidenæ, the Veientians had crossed the Tiber, and, in the line of battle, they composed the right wing near the river, the Fidenatians being posted on the left towards the mountains. Tullus drew up his own men facing the Veientians, and posted the Albans opposite to the troops of the Fidenatians. The Alban had not more resolution than fidelity, so that, not daring either to keep his ground, or openly to desert, he filed off slowly towards the mountains. When he thought he had proceeded to a sufficient distance, he ordered the whole line to halt, and being still irresolute, in order to waste time, he employed himself in forming the ranks: his scheme was to join his forces to whichever of the parties fortune should favour with victory. At first, the Romans who stood nearest were astonished at finding their flank left uncovered, by the departure of their allies, and in a short time a horseman at full speed brought an account to the king that the Albans were retreating. Tullus, in this perilous juncture vowed to institute twelve new Salian priests, and also to build temples to Paleness and Terror; then, rebuking the horseman with a loud voice, that the enemy might hear, he ordered him to return to the fight, telling him, that “there was no occasion for any uneasiness; that it was by his order the Alban army was wheeling round, in order to fall upon the unprotected rear of the Fidenatians.” He commanded him, also, to order the cavalry to raise their spears aloft; and, this being performed, intercepted, from a great part of the infantry, the view of the Alban army retreating; while those who did see them, believing what the king had said, fought with the greater spirit. The fright was now transferred to the enemy, for they had heard what the king had spoken aloud, and many of the Fidenatians understood the Latine tongue, as having been intermixed with Romans in the colony. Wherefore, dreading lest the Albans might run down suddenly from the hills, and cut off their retreat to the town, they betook themselves to flight. Tullus pressed them close, and after routing this wing composed of the Fidenatians, turned back with double fury against the Veientians, now disheartened by the dismay of the other wing. Neither could they withstand his attack, and the river intercepting them behind, prevented a precipitate flight. As soon as they reached this, in their retreat, some, shamefully throwing away their arms, plunged desperately into the water, and the rest, hesitating on the bank, irresolute whether to fight or fly, were overpowered and cut off. Never before had the Romans been engaged in so desperate an action.
XXVIII. When all was over, the Alban troops, who had been spectators of the engagement, marched down into the plain, and Mettius congratulated Tullus on his victory over the enemy. Tullus answered him, without showing any sign of displeasure, and gave orders that the Albans should, with the favour of fortune, join their camp with that of the Romans, and appointed a sacrifice of purification to be performed next day. As soon as it was light, all things being prepared in the usual manner, he commanded both armies to be summoned to an assembly. The heralds, beginning at the outside, summoned the Albans first; and they, struck with the novelty of the affair, and wishing to hear the Roman king delivering a speech, took their places nearest to him: the Roman troops, under arms, pursuant to directions previously given, formed a circle round them, and a charge was given to the centurions to execute without delay such orders as they should receive. Then Tullus began in this manner; “If ever, Romans, there has hitherto occurred, at any time, or in any war, an occasion that called on you to return thanks, first, to the immortal gods, and, next, to your own valour, it was the battle of yesterday: for ye had to struggle not only with your enemies, but, what is a more difficult and dangerous struggle, with the treachery and perfidy of your allies: for I will now undeceive you; it was not by my order that the Albans withdrew to the mountains, nor was what ye heard me say, the issuing of orders, but a stratagem, and a pretext of having given orders, to the end that while ye were kept in ignorance of your being deserted, your attention might not be drawn away from the fight; and that, at the same time, the enemy, believing themselves to be surrounded on the rear, might be struck with terror and dismay: but the guilt which I am exposing to you, extends not to all the Albans: they followed their leader, as ye would have done, had I chosen that the army should make any movement from the ground which it occupied. Mettius there was the leader of that march, the same Mettius was the schemer of this war. Mettius it was who broke the league between the Romans and Albans. May others dare to commit like crimes, if I do not now make him a conspicuous example to all mankind.” On this the centurions in arms gathered round Mettius, and the king proceeded in his discourse: “Albans, be the measure prosperous, fortunate, and happy to the Roman people, to me, and to you; it is my intention to remove the entire people of Alba to Rome, to give to the commons the privileges of citizens, and to enrol the principal inhabitants among the fathers, to form of the whole one city, one republic. As the state of Alba, from being one people, was heretofore divided into two, so let these be now re-united.” On hearing this, the Alban youth who were unarmed, and surrounded by armed troops, however different their sentiments were, yet, being all restrained by the same apprehensions, kept a profound silence. Tullus then said, “Mettius Fuffetius, if you were capable of learning to preserve faith, and a regard to treaties, I should suffer you to live, and supply you with instructions; but your disposition is incurable: let your punishment, then, teach mankind to consider those things as sacred, which you have dared to violate. As, therefore, you lately kept your mind divided between the interest of the Fidenatians and of the Romans, so shall you now have your body divided and torn in pieces.” Then two chariots being brought, each drawn by four horses, he tied Mettius, extended at full length, to the carriages of them, and the horses being driven violently in different directions, bore away on each carriage part of his mangled body, with the limbs which were fastened by the cords. The eyes of all were turned with horror from this shocking spectacle. This was the first, and the last, instance among the Romans, of any punishment inflicted without regard to the laws of humanity. In every other case, we may justly boast, that no nation in the world has shown greater mildness.
Y. R. 87. 665.XXIX. During these proceedings, the cavalry had been sent forward to Alba, to remove the multitude to Rome. The legions were now led thither, to demolish the city. As soon as they entered the gates, there ensued not a tumult, or panic, as is usual in cities taken by storm, where the gates being burst open, or the walls levelled by the ram, or the citadel being taken by force, the shouts of the enemy, and the troops running furiously through the city, throw all into confusion with fire and sword; but gloomy silence, and dumb sorrow, so stupified the inhabitants, that, not knowing in their distraction what to leave behind or what to carry with them, and incapable of forming any plan, they stood at their doors, making inquiries of each other, or wandered through their own houses, which they were now to see for the last time. But now, when the horsemen, with shouts, urged them to depart, and the crash of the houses, which the troops were demolishing in the outer parts of the city, assailed their ears, and the dust, raised in distant places, had filled all parts, enveloping them as with a cloud; each of them hastily snatching up whatever he could, and leaving behind his guardian deity, his household gods, and the house wherein he had been born and educated, they began their departure, and soon filled the roads with one continued troop of emigrants. The sight of each other continually renewed their tears, through the mutual commiseration which it excited in every breast. Their ears were assailed with bitter lamentations, especially from the women, as they passed the temples which they had been used to revere, now filled with armed soldiers, and reflected that they were leaving their gods, as it were, in captivity. When the Albans had evacuated the city, the Romans levelled to the ground all the buildings in every part of it, both public and private, and in one hour ruined and destroyed the work of four hundred years, during which Alba had stood. The temples of the gods, however, they left untouched, for so the king had commanded.
XXX. Meanwhile from this destruction of Alba, Rome received a considerable augmentation. The number of citizens was doubled. The Cælian mount was added to the city; and, in order to induce others to fix their habitations there, Tullus chose that situation for his palace, where, from thenceforth, he resided. The persons of chief note among the Albans, the Tulii, Servilii, Quintii, Geganii, Curiatii, Clœlii, he enrolled among the senators, that this part of the state also might receive an addition: and, as a consecrated place of meeting for this body, thus augmented, he built a senate-house which retained the name of Hostilia, even within the memory of our fathers. And, that every order in the state might receive an accession of strength from this new people, he chose from among the Albans ten troops of horsemen. From among them also he drew recruits, with which he both filled up the old, and formed some new, legions. Encouraged by this formidable state of his forces, he declared war against the Sabines, a nation the most powerful of that age,Y. R. 100. 652. next to the Etrurians, both in point of numbers, and of skill in arms. Injuries had been offered on both sides, and satisfaction demanded in vain. Tullus complained that some Roman traders had been seized in an open fair at the temple of Feronia. The Sabines, that prior to this, some of their people had fled into the asylum, and were detained at Rome. These were the reasons assigned for the war. The Sabines, reflecting that a great part of their original strength had been fixed at Rome by Tatius, and that the Roman power had been also lately increased, by the accession of the people of Alba, took care, on their part, to look round for foreign aid. Etruria lay in their neighbourhood, and the state of the Etrurians nearest to them was that of the Veientians. From among these they procured a number of volunteers, who were induced to take part against the Romans, principally by the resentment which they still retained on account of their former quarrels. Several also of the populace, who were indigent and unprovided of a settlement, were allured by pay. From the government they received no assistance, and the Veientians, for it was less surprising in others, adhered to the terms of the truce stipulated with Romulus. Vigorous preparations being made on both sides, and it being evident, that, whichever party should first commence hostilities, would have considerably the advantage, Tullus seized the opportunity of making an incursion into the lands of the Sabines. A furious battle ensued at the wood called Malitiosa, in which the Romans obtained the victory. For this, they were indebted not only to the firm strength of their infantry, but chiefly to the cavalry, which had been lately augmented: since, by a sudden charge of this body, the ranks of the Sabines were thrown into such disorder, that they were neither able to continue the fight, nor to make good their retreat, without great slaughter.
XXXI. After the defeat of the Sabines, the government of Tullus, and the Roman state in general, possessed a large degree of power and of fame. At this time an account was brought to the king and the senate that a shower of stones had fallen on the Alban mount. This appearing scarcely credible, and some persons being sent to examine into the prodigy, there fell from the air in their sight, a vast quantity of stones, like a storm of hail. They imagined also that they heard a loud voice from the grove on the summit of the hill, ordering, that the Albans should perform religious rites according to the practice of their native country. These the Albans had entirely neglected, as if, with their country they had also abandoned its deities, and had adopted the Roman practice, or perhaps, incensed against fortune, had renounced the worship of the gods. On account of the same prodigy the Romans also instituted for themselves, by order of government, a festival of nine days; either in obedience to a voice from heaven, uttered on the Alban mount, for that likewise is mentioned, or by direction of the aruspices. Be this as it may, it is certain, that, whenever an account was received of a similar phenomenon, a festival for nine days was celebrated. In a short time after, the country was afflicted with a pestilence; and though this necessarily rendered men averse to military service, yet the king, in himself fond of war, and persuaded that young men enjoyed better health while employed abroad, than when loitering at home, gave them no rest from arms, until he was seized by a tedious disorder. Then, together with the strength of his body, the fierceness of his spirit was reduced to such a degree, that he, who, lately, thought nothing less becoming a king, than to busy his thoughts in matters of religion, became, at once, a slave to every kind of superstition, in cases either of great or of trifling import, and even filled the minds of the people also with superstitious notions. The generality, comparing the present state of their affaris with that which they had enjoyed under Numa, became possessed of an opinion, that the only prospect left them, of being relieved from the sickness, was, in obtaining pardon and favour from the gods. It is said, that the king himself, turning over the commentaries of Numa, and discovering therein that certain sacrifices, of a secret and solemn nature, had been performed to Jupiter Elicius, shut himself up, and set about the performance of this solemnity; but, not having undertaken, or conducted, the rites in due form, he not only failed of obtaining any notification from the gods, but, through the resentment of Jupiter, for being addressed in an improper manner, was struck with lightning, and reduced to ashes, together with his house. Tullus reigned thirty-two years, highly renowned for his military achievements.
Y. R. 114. 638.XXXII. On the death of Tullus, the direction of affairs according to the mode adopted from the beginning, fell into the hands of the senate; they nominated an interrex, who presided at the election, when the people created Ancus Marcius king, and the senate approved of their choice. Ancus Marcius was the grandson of Numa Pompilius, by his daughter. As soon as he was in possession of the throne, reflecting on the glory which his grandfather had acquired, and considering that the late reign, though highly honourable in other respects, yet, in one particular, had been very deficient, the affairs of religion having been either quite neglected, or improperly managed, he judged it to be a matter of the utmost consequence, to provide that the public worship, should be performed in the manner instituted by Numa, and ordered the pontiff to make a transcript of every particular rite, from the commentaries of that king, on white tables, and to expose it to the view of the people. From these proceedings, not only his subjects, whose wishes tended to peace, but the neighbouring states also, conceived hopes that the king would conform himself to the manners and institutions of his grandfather. In consequence of which, the Latines, with whom a treaty had been concluded in the reign of Tullus, assumed new courage, and made an incursion into the Roman territories; and, when the Romans demanded satisfaction, returned a haughty answer, imagining the Roman king so averse to action, that he would spend his reign among the chapels and altars. The genius of Ancus was of a middle kind, partaking both of that of Numa and of Romulus. He was sensible, not only that peace had been more necessary in the reign of his grandfather, to a people who were but lately incorporated and still uncivilized, but also, that the tranquillity, which had obtained at that time, could not now be preserved, without a tame submission to injuries; that they were making trial of his patience, and would soon come to despise it; in short, that the times required a king like. Tullus, rather than one like Numa. However, being desirous, that, as Numa had instituted the religious rites to be observed in time of peace, so the ceremonies, to be observed in war, should have himself for their founder, and that wars should not only be waged, but be proclaimed likewise, according to a certain established mode, he borrowed from the ancient race of the Æquicolæ, that form of demanding satisfaction which is still used by the heralds. The ambassador, when he comes to the frontiers of the state, from whom satisfaction is demanded, having his head covered with a fillet of wool, says, “O Jupiter, hear me! hear, ye frontiers,” (naming the state to which they belong) “let justice hear; I am a public messenger of the Roman people. I come, an ambassador duly authorised, according to the forms of justice and religion; let my words therefore meet with credit.” He then makes his demands, and afterwards appeals to Jupiter: “If I demand that those persons, and those effects, should be given up to me, the messenger of the Roman people, contrary to justice and the law of nations, then suffer me not to enjoy my native country.” These words he repeats when he passes over the boundaries; the same, to the first person that he meets, again, when he enters the gate; and lastly, when he enters the Forum, only making the necessary change of a few words, in the form of the declaration and of the oath. If the persons whom he demands are not given up, then, on on the expiration of thirty three days, that being the number enjoined by the rule, he declares war in this manner: “O Jupiter, hear me! and thou, Juno, Quirinus, and all ye gods of heaven, and ye of the earth, and ye of the infernal regions, hear, I call you to witness, that that people,” naming them, whoever they are, “are unjust, and do not perform what equity requires. But concerning those affairs we will consult the elders in our own country, by what means we may obtain our right.” After this, the messenger returned to Rome, in order that the opinion of the government might be taken. The king immediately consulted the senate, nearly in these words: “Concerning those matters, controversies, and arguments which were agitated between the Pater Patratus of the Roman people, the Quirites, and the Pater Patratus of the ancient Latines, and the ancient Latine people, which matters ought to have been granted, performed, and discharged; but which they have neither granted, performed, nor discharged, declare,” said he, to the person whose vote he first asked, “what is your opinion.” The other then said, “I am of opinion, that the performance of them ought to be exacted in just and regular war, wherefore I consent to and vote for it.” The rest were then asked in order, and the majority of those present being of the same opinion, a vote passed for war. It was a customary practice for the herald to carry a spear pointed with steel, or burnt at the point and dipped in blood, to the frontiers, and there, in the presence of at least three grown-up persons, to say, “Forasmuch as the states of the ancient Latines, and the ancient Latine people, have acted against and behaved unjustly towards the Roman people the Quirites, forasmuch as the Roman people the Quirites have ordered that there should be war with the ancient Latines, and the senate of the Roman people the Quirites have given their opinion, consented, and voted that war should be made with the ancient Latines; therefore I, and the Roman people, do declare and make war against the states of the ancient Latines, and the ancient Latine people;” and saying this, he threw the spear within their boundaries. In this manner was satisfaction demanded from the Latines, at that time, and war declared; succeeding generations adopted the same method.
XXXIII. Ancus, having committed the care of religious affairs to the flamens and other priests, assembled a new army, set out to the war, and took Politorium, a city of the Latines, by storm. Then, pursuing the practice of former kings, who had augmented the power of the Roman state, by receiving enemies into the number of their citizens, he removed the whole multitude to Rome; and, as the original Romans entirely occupied the ground round the Palatium, the Sabines the Capitol with the citadel, and the Albans the Cælian Mount, the Aventine was assigned to this body of new citizens; and in a little time after, on the reduction of Tellenæ and Ficana, an additional number of inhabitants were settled in the same place. Politorium was soon after attacked, a second time, by the Roman forces, the ancient Latines having taken possession of it, when left without inhabitants; and this induced the Romans to demolish that city, that it might not again serve as a receptacle for the enemy. At length, the whole force of the Latine war was collected aboat Medullia, and the contest was carried on there with various success: for the city was not only well defended by works, and secured by a strong garrison, but the army of the Latines, having pitched their camp in the open country, fought the Romans several times in close engagement. At last, Ancus, making a vigorous effort with all his force, first defeated them in the field, and then made himself master of the city, from whence he returned, with immense booty, to Rome. On this occasion too, many thousands of the Latines, being admitted into the number of citizens, had ground allotted to them near the temple of Murcia, in order to unite the Aventine to the Palatine hill. The Janiculum also was taken in, not for want of room, but to prevent its serving, at any time, as a place of strength to an enemy; and it was determined that this should be joined to the city, not only by a wall, but likewise, for the convenience of passage, by a wooden bridge, which was then first built over the Tiber. The Quiritian trench also, no inconsiderable defence to those parts, which, from their low situation, are of easy access, is a work of king Ancus. In consequence of these vast accessions to the state, and the numbers of people becoming so very large, many, disregarding the distinctions between right and wrong, committed various crimes, and escaped discovery. In order to suppress by terror the boldness which the vicious assumed from hence, and which gained ground continually, a prison was built in the middle of the city, adjoining the Forum: and not only the city, but the territory also and boundaries of the state, were extended by this king. The Mæsian forset was taken away from the Veientians, the Roman dominion extended as far as the sea, and the city of Ostia built at the mouth of the Tiber, near which, salt-pits were formed; and in consequence of the glorious success obtained in war, the temple of Jupiter Feretrius was enlarged.
Y. R. 121. 631.XXXIV. During the reign of Ancus, a person named Lucumo, of an enterprising spirit, and possessed of great wealth, came and settled at Rome, led principally by ambition, and hopes of attaining higher honours than he could expect at Tarquinii, where also he was considered as an alien. He was the son of Demaratus a Corinthian, who, having left his native country, in consequence of some intestine commotions, happened to fix his residence at Tarquinii, and marrying there, had two sons. Their names were Lucumo and Aruns. Lucumo survived his father, and inherited all his property. Aruns died before the father, leaving a wife pregnant. The father did not long survive his son, and not knowing that his daughter-in-law was with child, he died, without taking any notice of a grandson in his will, so that the boy, who was born after his grandfather’s decease, not being entitled to any share of his property, was called, from the poverty of his situation, Egerius. Lucumo, on the other hand, becoming sole heir, was, by his riches, inspired with elevated notions; and these were much increased by his marriage with Tanaquil, a woman of the highest distinction, who could not endure, with patience, that the rank of the man whom she had married, should remain inferior to that of the family which gave her birth. As the Etrurians looked with contempt on Lucumo, the descendant of a foreign exile, she could not support the indignity, but, disregarding her natural attachment to her country, in comparison with the pleasure of seeing her husband raised to an honourable rank, formed the design of removing from Tarquinii. Rome appeared best suited to her purpose. In a new state, where all nobility was of late date, and acquired by merit, she thought there would be room for a man of spirit and industry. She considered that Tatius, a Sabine, had enjoyed the throne; that Numa had been called to the crown from Cures; and that Ancus was of a Sabine family by his father, and could show only the single image of Numa to entitle him to nobility. It was not difficult to persuade her husband, who was ambitious of honours, and had no natural attachment to Tarquinii, except through his mother, to enter into her designs. Wherefore, carrying their effects along with them, they set out together for Rome. They happened to come through the Janiculum; there, as he sat in the chariot with his wife, an eagle, suspending herself on her wings, stooped gently, and took off his cap, and, after hovering for some time over the chariot, with loud screams, replaced it in its proper position on his head, as if she had been sent by some deity to perform that office; and then, flying up into the air, disappeared. It is said, that this augury was received with great joy by Tanaquil, who was well skilled in celestial prodigies, as the Etrurians generally are. Embracing her husband, she desired him to cherish hopes of high and magnificent fortune, for that such a bird, from such a quarter of the heaven, the messenger of such a deity, portended no less; that it had exhibited the omen on the most elevated part of the human body, and had lifted up the ornament, placed on the head of man, in order to replace it on the same part, by direction of the gods. Full of these thoughts and expectations, they advanced into the city, and having purchased a house there, they gave out his name as Lucius Tarquinius. The circumstance of his being a stranger, and his wealth, soon attracted the general notice of the Romans; nor was he wanting, on his part, in aiding the efforts of fortune in his favour; he conciliated the friendship of all, to the utmost of his power, by his courteous address, hospitable entertainments, and generous acts; at last his character reached even the palace. Having thus procured an introduction there, he soon improved it to such a degree, by his politeness and dexterity in paying his court, that he was admitted to the privileges of familiar friendship, and was consulted in all affairs both public and private, foreign and domestic, and having acquitted himself to satisfaction in all, was at length, by the king’s will, appointed guardian to his children. Ancus reigned twenty-four years, equal in renown, and in the arts both of peace and war, to any of the former kings.
XXXV. The sons of Ancus had now nearly reached the age of manhood; for which reason Tarquinius the more earnestly pressed, that an assembly might be convened as speedily as possible for the election of a king. The proclamation for this purpose being issued, when the time approached, he sent the youths to a distance, on a hunting party. He is said to have afforded the first instance of making way to the crown, by paying court to the people, and to have made a speech, composed for the purpose of gaining the affections of the populace; telling them, that “It was no new favour which he solicited; if that were the case, people might indeed be displeased and surprized; that he was not the first foreigner, but the third, who aimed at the government of Rome:— that Tatius, from being not only a foreigner, but even an enemy, was made king, and Numa, entirely unacquainted with the city, and not proposing himself as a candidate, had been, from their own choice, invited to accept the crown:— that he, as soon as he became his own master, had removed to Rome, with his wife and all his substance:— that he had spent the most active part of his life at Rome:— that both in civil and military employments he had learned the Roman laws and Roman customs, under such a master as ought to be wished for, king Ancus himself:— that in duty and obedience to the king, he had vied with all men; in kindness towards others, with the king himself.” As these assertions were no more than the truth, the people unanimously consented that he should be elected king.Y. R. 138. 614. And this was the reason that this man, of extraordinary merit in other respects, retained, through the whole course of his reign, the same affectation of popularity which he had used in suing for the crown. For the purpose of strengthening his own authority, as well as of increasing the power of the commonwealth, he added an hundred to the number of the senate, who afterwards were entitled, “minorum gentium,” i. e. of the younger families, and necessarily constituted a party in favour of the king, by whose kindness they had been brought into the senate. His first war was with the Latines, from whom he took the city Appiolæ by storm; and having brought from thence a greater quantity of booty than had been expected, from a war of so little consequence, he exhibited games in a more expensive and splendid manner than any of the former kings. On that occasion, the ground was first marked out for the circus, which is now called “maximus” (the principal), in which certain divisions were set apart for the senators and knights, where each were to build seats for themselves, which were called Fori (benches.) They remained, during the exhibition, on these seats, supported by pieces of timber, twelve feet high from the ground: the games consisted of horse-races, and the performances of wrestlers, collected mostly from Etruria; and from that time continued to be celebrated annually, being termed the Roman, and, sometimes, the great games. By the same king, lots for building were assigned to private persons, round the Forum, where porticoes and shops were erected.
XXXVI. He intended also to have surrounded the city with a stone wall; but a war with the Sabines interrupted his designs. And so suddenly did this break out, that the enemy passed the Anio, before the Roman troops could march out to meet them, and stop their progress. This produced a great alarm at Rome, and, in the first engagement, the victory remained undecided, after great slaughter on both sides. The enemy afterwards having retired to their camp, and allowed the Romans time to prepare for the war anew, Tarquinius, observing that the principal defect of his army was the want of cavalry, resolved to add other centuries to the Ramnenses, Titienses, and Luceres, instituted by Romulus, and to have them distinguished by his own name. As Romulus, when he first formed this institution, had made use of augury, Accius Nævius, a celebrated augur at that time, insisted that no alteration or addition could be made to it, without the sanction of the birds. The king was highly displeased at this, and, in ridicule of the art said, as we are told, “Come, you diviner, discover, by your augury, whether what I am now thinking of can be accomplished.” The other having tried the matter according to the rules of augury, and declared that it could be accomplished, “Well,” said he, “what I was thinking of was, whether you could cut a whetstone in two with a razor. Take these, then, and perform what your birds portend to be practicable.” On which, as the story goes, he, without any difficulty, cut the whetstone. There was a statue of Accius, with a fillet on his head, in the place where the transaction happened, in the Comitium* or place of assembly, just on the steps, at the left hand side of the senate-house. It is also said, that the whetstone was fixed in the same place, there to remain, as a monument of this miracle, to posterity. This is certain, that the respect paid to auguries, and the office of augurs, rose so high, that, from that time forth, no business either of war or peace was undertaken without consulting the birds: meetings of the people, embodying of armies, the most important concerns of the state, were postponed when the birds did not allow them. Nor did Tarquinius then make any change in the number of the centuries of the knights but doubled the number in each, so that there were one thousand eight hundred men in the three centuries. The additional men were only distinguished by the appellation of the younger, prefixed to the original names of their centuries; and these at present, for they have been since doubled, are called the Six Centuries.
XXXVII. Having augmented this part of his army, he came to a second engagement with the Sabines. And here, besides that the Roman army had an addition of strength, a stratagem also was made use of, which the enemy, with all their vigilance, could not elude. A number of men were sent to throw a great quantity of timber, which lay on the bank of the Anio, into the river, after setting it on fire; and the wind being favourable, the blazing timber, most of which was placed on rafts, being driven against the piers, where it stuck fast, burned down the bridge. This event not only struck terror into the Sabines during the fight, but prevented their retreating when they betook themselves to flight, so that great numbers who had escaped the enemy, perished in the river: and their arms being known at the city, as they floated in the Tiber, gave certain assurance of the victory, sooner almost than any, messenger could arrive. In that battle the cavalry gained extraordinary honour. We are told, that being posted on both wings, when the line of their infantry which formed the centre was obliged to give ground, they made so furious a charge on the flanks of the enemy, that they not only checked the Sabine legions, who were vigorously pressing the troops which gave way, but quickly put them to the rout. The Sabines fled precipitately toward the mountains, which but few of them reached. The greatest part, as has been mentioned, were driven by the cavalry into the river. Tarquinius, judging it proper to pursue the enemy closely, before they should recover from their dismay, as soon as he had sent off the booty and prisoners to Rome, and burned the spoils, collected together in a great heap, according to a vow which he had made to Vulcan, proceeded to lead his army forward into the Sabine territories. On the other hand, the Sabines, though they had met with a defeat, and had no reason to hope that they should be able to retrieve it, yet, their circumstances not allowing time for deliberation, advanced to meet him, with such troops as they had hastily levied; and being routed a second time, and reduced almost to ruin, they sued for peace.
XXXVIII. Collatia, and all the land around that city, was taken from the Sabines, and Egerius, son to the king’s brother, was left there with a garrison. This was the manner, as I understand, in which the people of Collatia came under the dominion of the Romans, and this was the form of the surrender. The king asked, “Are ye ambassadors and deputies on behalf of the people of Collatia, to surrender yourselves, and the people of Collatia?” “We are.”—“Are the people of Collatia in their own disposal?” “They are.”—“Do ye surrender yourselves and the people of Collatia, together with your city, lands, waters, boundaries, temples, utensils, all property both sacred and common, under my dominion, and that of the Roman people?” “We do surrender them.”—“Well, I receive them.” The Sabine war being thus concluded, Tarquinius returned in triumph to Rome.* Soon after this, he made war on the ancient Latines, during which there happened no general engagement. By leading about his army to the several towns, he reduced the whole Latine race to subjection. Corniculum, old Ficulnea, Cameria, Crustumerium, Ameriola, Medullia, Nomentum, all these, which either belonged to the ancient Latines, or had revolted to them, were taken, and soon after peace was re-established. He then applied himself to works of peace, with a degree of spirit, which even exceeded the efforts that he had made in war: so that the people enjoyed little more rest at home than they had during the campaigns: for he set about surrounding with a wall of stone, those parts of the city which he had not already fortified; which work had been interrupted, at the beginning, by the war of the Sabines. The lower parts of the city about the Forum, and the other hollows that lay between the hills, from whence it was difficult to discharge the water, by reason of their situation, he drained, by means of sewers drawn on a slope down to the Tiber. He also marked out, and laid the foundations for inclosing, a court round the temple of Jupiter, in the Capitol, which he had vowed during the Sabine war, his mind already presaging the future magnificence of the place.
XXXIX. About that time a prodigy was seen in the palace, wonderful, both in the appearance and in the event. They relate that, whilst a boy, whose name was Servius Tullius, lay asleep, his head blazed with fire, in the sight of many people; that, by the loud cries of astonishment, occasioned by such a miraculous appearance, the king and queen were alarmed; and that when some of the servants brought water to extinguish it, the queen prevented them; and, having quieted the uproar, forbad the boy to be disturbed until he awake of his own accord. In a short time on his awaking the flame disappeared. Then Tanaquil, calling her husband aside, to a private place, said to him, “Do you see this boy, whom we educate in such an humble style? Be assured that he will hereafter prove a light to dispel a gloom which will lie heavy on our affairs, and will be the support of our palace in distress. Let us therefore, with every degree of attention that we can bestow, nourish this plant, which is, hereafter, to become the greatest ornament to our family, and our state.” From that time they treated the boy as if he were their own child, and had him instructed in all those liberal arts, by which the mind is qualified to support high rank with dignity. That is easily brought to pass which is pleasing to the gods. The youth proved to be of a disposition truly royal, so that when Tarquinius came to look for a son-in-law, there was not one among the Roman youth who could be set in competition with him, in any kind of merit; and to him Tarquinius betrothed his daughter. This extraordinary honour conferred on him, whatever might be the reason for it, will not let us believe that he was born of a slave, and had himself been a slave in his childhood. I am rather inclined to be of their opinion, who say, that, when Corniculum was taken, the wife of Servius Tullius, the principal man in that city, being pregnant when her husband was slain, and being known among the rest of the prisoners, and, on account of her high rank, exempted from servitude by the Roman queen, was delivered of a son at Rome, in the house of Tarquinius Priscus; that, in consequence of such kind treatment, an intimacy grew between the ladies, and that the boy also being brought up in the house, from his infancy, was highly beloved and respected; and that the circumstance of his mother having fallen into the enemy’s hands, on the taking of her native city, gave rise to the opinion of his being born of a slave.
XL. About the thirty-eighth year of the reign of Tarquinius, Servius Tullius stood in the highest degree of estimation, not only with the king, but with the senate and the commons. At this time, the two sons of Ancus, although they had before this always considered it as the highest indignity, that they should be expelled from the throne of their father, by the perfidy of their guardian, and that the sovereignty of Rome should be enjoyed by a stranger, whose family, so far from being natives of the city, were not even natives of Italy, yet now felt their indignation rise to a higher pitch of violence, at the probability that the crown was not to revert to them even after Tarquinius, but was to continue to sink one step after another, until it fell on the head of a slave: so that, within the space of a little more than an hundred years from the time when Romulus, descended from a deity, and himself a deity, had, during his abode on earth, held the government, a slave, the son of a slave, should now get possession of it. They looked on it as a disgrace to the Roman name in general, and particularly to their own house, if, while there was male issue of king Ancus surviving, the government of Rome should be prostituted not only to strangers, but to slaves. They determined, therefore, to prevent this dishonour by the sword. But resentment for the injury which they had suffered stimulated them strongly to attack Tarquinius himself, rather than Servius, and also the consideration that the king, if he survived, would be able to take severer vengeance for any murder committed than a private person could; and that, besides, were Servius put to death, it was to be expected that whatever other son-in-law he might choose, would be made heir of the kingdom. For these reasons, they formed a plot against the king himself; for the execution of which, two of the most undaunted of the shepherds were chosen, who, armed with the iron tools of husbandmen, which they were used to carry, pretended a quarrel in the porch of the palace, and attracted, by their outrageous behaviour, the attention of all the king’s attendants: then both appealing to the king, and their clamour having reached the palace, they were called in and brought before him. At first they both bawled aloud, and each furiously abused the other, until, being rebuked by a lictor, and ordered to speak in their turns, they desisted from railing. Then, as they had concerted, one began to explain the affair; and while the king, attentive to him, was turned quite to that side, the other, raising up his axe, struck it into his head, and leaving the weapon in the wound they both rushed out of the house.
XLI. Whilst the persons present raised up Tarquinius who scarcely retained any signs of life, the lictors seized the assassins, who were endeavouring to escape. An uproar immediately ensued, and the people ran together in crowds, surprised, and eager to be informed of what had happened. Tanaquil, during this tumult, turned out every person from the palace, and ordered the doors to be shut, and at the same time appeared to be very busy in procuring such things as were necessary for the dressing of the wound, as if there were reason to hope; nor did she neglect to provide other means of safety, in case her hopes should fail. Sending instantly for Servius, and showing him her husband just expiring, she laid hold of his righthand, besought him that he would not suffer the death of his father-in-law to pass unrevenged, nor his mother-in-law to be exposed to the insults of their enemies. “Servius,” said she, “if you act as a man, the kingdom is yours and not theirs, who, by the hands of others, have perpetrated the basest of crimes. Call forth your best exertions, and follow the guidance of the gods, who formerly, by the divine fire which they spread around your head, gave an evident indication that it would afterwards be crowned with glory. Now let that heavenly flame rouse you. Now awake to real glory. We, though foreigners, have reigned before you. Consider your present situation, not of what family you are sprung. If the suddenness of this event deprives you of the power of forming plans of your own, then follow mine.” When the clamour and violence of the populace could hardly be withstood, Tanaquil addressed them from the upper part of the palace, through the windows facing the new street; for the king resided near the temple of Jupiter Stator. She desired them “not to be disheartened:” told them, that “the king had been stunned by a sudden blow; that the weapon had not sunk deep into his body; that he had come to himself again; that when the blood was wiped off, the wound had been examined, and all appearances were favourable; that she hoped he might be able to show himself to them again in a few days; and that, in the mean time, he commanded the people to obey the orders of Servius Tullius; that he would administer justice, and supply the king’s place in other departments.” Servius came forth in the robe of state, attended by the lictors, and seating himself on the king’s throne, adjudged some causes, and, concerning others, pretended that he would consult the king. Thus, though Tarquinius had already expired, his death was concealed for several days; while Servius, under the appearance of supplying the place of another, strengthened his own interest. Then, at length, the truth being made public, and loud lamentations raised in the palace, Servius, supported by a strong guard, with the approbation of the senate, took possession of the kingdom, being the first who attained the sovereignty without the orders of the people. The sons of Ancus, as soon as they found that the instruments of their villainy were seized;Y. R. 176. 576. and understood that the king was alive, and, that the interest of Servius was so strong, had gone into exile to Suessa Pometia.
XLII. And now Servius laboured to confirm his authority, not only by schemes of a public, but by others of a private nature. And lest the sons of Tarquinius should entertain the same sentiments of resentment against him, which had animated the sons of Ancus against Tarquinius, he joined his two daughters in marriage to the young princes, the Tarquinii, Lucius and Aruns. But by no human devices could he break through the unalterable decrees of fate, or prevent envy of the sovereign power from raising discord and animosity, even among those of his own family. Very seasonably for preserving stability to the present establishment, war was undertaken against the Veientians, the truce with them having expired, and against the other Etrurians. In that war, both the valour and the good fortune of Tullius were very conspicuous: and, after vanquishing a powerful army of the enemy, he returned to Rome, no longer considering his authority as precarious, whether it were to depend on the disposition of the patricians towards himself, or on that of the commons. He then entered on an improvement in civil polity of the utmost importance, intending, that, as Numa had been the founder of such institutions as related to the worship of the gods, so posterity should celebrate Servius, as the author of every distinction between the members of the state; and of that subordination of ranks, by means of which, the limits between the several degrees of dignity and fortune are exactly ascertained. For he instituted the Census, an ordinance of the most salutary consequence, in an empire that was to rise to such a pitch of greatness;Y. R. 197. 555. according to which the several services requisite in war and peace were to be discharged, not by every person indiscriminately, as formerly, but according to the proportion of their several properties. He then, according to the Census, formed the plan of the Classes and Centuries, and the arrangement which subsists at present, calculated to preserve regularity and propriety in all transactions either of peace or war.
XLIII. Of those who possessed a hundred thousand asses,* or more, he formed eighty Centuries, forty elder, and the same number of younger.† The collective body of these was denominated the first class. The business of the elder was to guard the city; that of the younger, to carry on war abroad. The arms which they were ordered to provide, were a helmet, shield, greaves, coat of mail, all of brass — these for the defence of the body: their weapons of offence were a spear and a sword. To this class were added two Centuries of artificers, who were to serve without arms; the service allotted to them was to attend the machines in war. The fortune fixed for the second class, was from a hundred down to seventy-five thousand asses:‡ of these, elder and younger, were formed twenty centuries: the arms for these were, a buckler, instead of a shield, and all the rest, except the coat of mail, the same with the former. The fortune of the third class he fixed at fifty thousand asses:§ the number of Centuries was the same, and these regulated by the same distinctions of age; nor was any difference made in their arms, only the greaves were taken from them. In the fourth class the fortune was twenty-five thousand asses:* the same number of Centuries were formed: their arms were different; they were allowed none but a spear and a buckler. The fifth class was larger; it contained thirty Centuries: these carried slings and stones, which they were to throw. Among these, the extraordinaries, trumpeters, and fifers, were distributed into three Centuries. This class was rated at eleven thousand asses.† The rest of the populace were comprehended under an estimate lower than this, and of them was formed one Century, exempted from military service. The foot forces being thus distinguished and armed, he enrolled twelve Centuries of horsemen from among the principal persons of the state. He formed likewise six other Centuries, out of the three instituted by Romulus, preserving still the original names under which they had been incorporated. Ten thousand asses‡ were given these out of the public funds, to purchase horses; and certain widows were appointed, who were to pay them annually two thousand asses§ each, towards the maintenance of their horses. In all these instances, the burthen was taken off from the poor, and laid on the rich. To make the latter some amends, additional honours were conferred on them. For henceforth suffrages were given, not according to the mode established by Romulus, and retained by the other kings, man by man promiscuously, with equal weight, and equal privileges; but degrees of precedency were established in such a manner, that while no one appeared to be excluded from giving his suffrage, still the whole power was lodged in the chiefs of the state: the knights being first called, then the eighty Centuries of the higher class. If there was a difference of opinion among these, which seldom happened, then the Centuries of the second class were to be called; and scarcely ever did an instance occur of their descending beyond this, so as to come to the lowest classes. Nor ought it to be wondered at, that the arrangement, which subsists at present, after the tribes had been increased to thirty-five, and the number of them almost doubled, does not agree in the number of Centuries younger and elder, with the amount of those instituted by Servius Tullius: for the city being laid out into four divisions, according to the several quarters and hills (the parts that were inhabited,) these were what he called Tribes, I suppose from the tribute; for the mode of the people’s paying their shares of this, in an equal proportion to their rated property, took its rise also from him: nor had these tribes any relation to the number and distribution of the Centuries.
XLIV. When the Census was completed, which he had expedited by the terrors of a law passed concerning such as should neglect to attend it, with denunciations of confinement and death, he issued a proclamation, that all citizens of Rome, horse and foot, should assemble in the Campus Martius at the dawn of day, each in his respective Century; and having there drawn up the whole army in order, he performed the lustration or purification of it, by the ceremonies and sacrifices called Suovetaurilia.* This was called the closing of the lustrum, because it was the conclusion of the Census. In that survey eighty thousand citizens are said to have been rated. Fabius Pictor, the most ancient of our writers, adds, that this was the number of those who were able to bear arms. To accommodate so great a multitude, it was found necessary to enlarge the city in proportion: he added to it, therefore, two hills, the Quirinal and Viminal, and immediately adjoining the latter extended the limits of the Esquiliæ, and there fixed his own residence, in order to bring the place into repute. He surrounded the city with a rampart, trenches, and a wall, and thus extended the Pomœrium. Those who consider merely the etymology of the word, explain Pomœrium, as denoting a space on the outside of the wall, Postmœrium: but it is rather a space on each side of the wall, which the Etrurians, formerly, on the founding of cities, consecrated with the ceremonies used by augurs, in the direction wherein they intended the wall should run, of a certain breadth on both sides of it; with the intention that, on the inside, no buildings should be erected close to the walls, though now they are, in many places, joined to them; and also that, on the outside, a certain space of ground should lie open and unoccupied. This space, which it was unlawful either to inhabit or to till, the Romans called Pomœrium, not because it was on the outside of the wall, any more than because the wall was on the outside of it: and always, on occasion of an addition being made to the city, as far as they intended that the walls should advance outward, so far these sacred limits were extended.
XLV. Having increased the power of the state by this enlargement of the city, and made every internal regulation that appeared best adapted to the exigences both of war and peace, the king, who wished that the acquisition of power should not always depend on the mere force of arms, laid a scheme for extending his dominion, by the wisdom of his counsels, and raising, at the same time, a conspicuous ornament to the city. The temple of Diana at Ephesus was at that time universally celebrated, and it was commonly believed, that it had been built by a general contribution from the several states of Asia: Servius, in conversation with the chief men of the Latines, with whom he had taken pains to form connections of hospitality and friendship, both in his public and private capacity, used frequently in the strongest terms, to recommend concord and a social union between their several gods; and by often repeating the same sentiments, prevailed so far at last, that the Latine states agreed to build, in conjunction with the Roman people, a temple to Diana at Rome. This was an acknowledgment that Rome was the sovereign head of both nations, a point which had been so often disputed in arms. But though the Latines, finding all their efforts in war ineffectual, seemed now to have thrown aside all concern with regard to that matter, yet among the Sabines one particular person did not neglect an opportunity, which seemed to be thrown in his way by fortune, of recovering independence, by the execution of a scheme which he planned himself. It is related, that this person, the head of a family, had a heifer calf of extraordinary size and beauty produced by one of his cows: her horns, which remained for many ages fixed in the porch of the temple of Diana, were a monument of this wonder. The matter was considered in the light of a prodigy, as it deserved, and the soothsayers declared, that sovereignty would reside in that state whose subject should sacrifice this heifer to Diana; and this prediction had reached the ears of the priest who had the charge of Diana’s temple. The Sabine, as soon as he had fixed on a proper day for the sacrifice, drove the heifer to Rome, brought her to the temple of Diana, and placed her before the altar; the priest, suspecting the truth, from the size of the victim, of which he had heard so much, and remembering the prediction, addresses the Sabine thus: “Stranger, what are you preparing to do? To perform sacrifice to Diana without the necessary purification? Why do you not first dip yourself in a running stream? The Tiber flows along in the bottom of that vale.” The stranger, struck with the scruple, and anxious to have every thing performed in due order, that the event might answer to the prodigy, went down from the temple to the Tiber. In the mean time the Roman sacrificed the heifer to Diana, a circumstance which gave great pleasure to the king, and to the whole state.
XLVI. Servius, though long possession had now rendered his title to the crown indisputable, yet having heard that young Tarquinius sometimes threw out insinuations, that he held the government without the order of the people, first ingratiated himself with the commons, by making a general distribution among them of the lands taken from the enemy; and then ventured to propose the question to he people, whether they “chose and ordered that he should be king?” Whereupon he was declared king, with greater unanimity than had ever before appeared on any similar occasion. But the event did not lessen the hopes, which Tarquinius had conceived, of being able to seat himself on the throne: on the contrary, having observed that the proceedings, relative to the lands for the commons, were highly disagreeable to the patricians, he embraced, the more eagerly, the opportunity which this afforded him, of arraigning the conduct of Servius before them, and of increasing his own influence in the senate. This young man was naturally of a fiery temper, and his restless spirit was continually stimulated at home by his wife Tullia: and the palace at Rome was destined to exhibit a scene of tragical villainy; so that, disgusted at kings, the people might become more ripe for the asserting of their liberty, and that a reign, founded in wickedness, should prove the last. Whether this Lucius Tarquinius was the son or grandson of Tarquinius Priscus, is not clear; following, however, the authority of the greater number, I have chosen to call him his son. He had a brother Aruns Tarquinius, a youth of a mild disposition: to these two, as has already been mentioned, were married the two Tullias, the king’s daughters, who were also of widely different tempers. It happened, luckily, that the two violent dispositions were not united in wedlock, owing, I presume, to the good fortune of the Roman people, that the reign of Servius being lengthened, the manners of the people might be fully formed. The haughty Tullia was highly chagrined, at finding in her husband no principle either of ambition or enterprise; she turned, therefore, her whole regard towards the other Tarquinius; him she admired, him she called a man, and a true descendant of the royal blood; her sister she despised, who, having got a man for her husband, showed nothing of that spirit of enterprise which became a woman. Similarity of disposition quickly produced an intimacy between them, as is generally the case; evil is fittest to consort with its like. But it was the woman who set on foot the scene of universal confusion which followed. In the many private conversations which she used to hold with her sister’s husband, she refrained not from throwing out the most violent reproaches against her own, to his brother, and against her sister, to that sister’s husband; affirming, that “it were better that both he and she were unmarried, than to be so unsuitably matched; that, through the stupidity of others, they were condemned to a life of inactivity. If the gods had granted her such a husband, as she deserved, quickly would be seen in her own house, that crown which was now upon her father’s head.” She soon inspired the young man with notions as desperate as her own. Aruns Tarquinius, and the younger Tullia, dying almost immediately after, and thus leaving room in their families for new nuptials, they were joined in matrimony, Servius rather not obstructing, than approving of, the match.
XLVII. From that time forward, Tullius, now in an advanced age, found himself daily exposed to new disquietudes, and his authority to new dangers; for Tullia now prepared to proceed from one wickedness to another, and never ceased, either night or day, teasing her husband not to let the parricides which they had committed, pass without effect. “She wanted not,” she said, “a person, who should give her the name of a wife, or with whom she might, in silence, submit to bondage; what she desired was, one who would consider himself as worthy of the throne; who would remember that he was the son of Tarquinius Priscus; who would prefer the present possession, to distant hopes, of a kingdom. If you be such a man as I took you for, when I married you, I address you by the titles of my husband, and my king: if not, my condition is now changed so far for the worse, that in you, together with poverty of spirit, I find villainy united. Why not proceed in the business? You are not obliged to set out from Corinth or Tarquinii, as your father was, to struggle for foreign kingdoms. The gods of your family, and those of your native country, and your father’s image, and the royal palace in which you reside, and the royal throne in that palace, and the name of Tarquinius, these constitute you, and call you king. Or, if you have not a spirit daring enough for such an enterprise, why deceive the nation? Why assume the figure of a youth of royal blood? Get you hence to Tarquinii, or to Corinth. Sink back again into the original obscurity of your race; fitter to be compared with your brother, than with your father.” With these, and other such reproaches and incentives, she spurred on the young man; nor could she herself, with any degree of patience, endure the reflection, that Tanaquil, a foreign woman, had by her spirited exertions acquired such consequence, as to be able to dispose of the kingdom twice successively; first, to her husband, and next, to her son-in-law; while she, sprung from royal blood, was to have no influence in bestowing it, or taking it away. Tarquinius, hurried on by the phrenzy infused into him by this woman, went round among the patricians, particularly those of the younger families, and solicited their interest; put them in mind of his father’s kindness to them, and demanded a requital of it; enticed the young men by presents; and endeavoured to increase his consequence on every occasion, both by magnificent promises on his part, and by heavy charges of misconduct against the king. At length, judging the season ripe for the accomplishment of his purpose, he rushed suddenly into the Forum, attended by a band of armed men, and, while all were struck motionless with terror, proceeded through it, and then seating himself on the king’s throne in the senate-house, ordered the senators to be summoned by a herald, to attend their king Tarquinius. They assembled instantly, some having been prepared before for the occasion, others dreading ill consequences to themselves in case they did not attend; for they were filled with amazement at the novelty and strangeness of the proceeding, and thought the case of Servius utterly desperate. Then Tarquinius, beginning his invectives with reflections on the king’s immediate ancestors, represented him as a “slave, the son of a slave, who, after the untimely death of his parent, without an interregnum being appointed as usual, without an election being held, had taken possession of the throne, not in consequence of a vote of the people, or of the approbation of the senate, but as the gift of a woman. Being thus descended, and thus created king, ever favouring the lowest class of people, to which he himself belonged, he had, through an antipathy to the honourable descent of others, taken away the lands from the chief men in the state, and distributed them among the very meanest. All the burthens which heretofore had been borne in common, he had thrown on those of highest rank. He had instituted the Census, in order that the fortunes of the more wealthy might be more conspicuously exposed to envy, and become a ready fund, out of which he could, when he chose, give bribes to the most needy.”
XLVIII. In the midst of this harangue, Servius, having been alarmed by an account of the disturbance, entered, and immediately, from the porch of the senate-house, called out with a loud voice, “What is the matter here, Tarquinius? How dare you presume, while I am alive, to convene the senate, or to sit on my throne?” To this the other, in a determined tone, replied, “That the seat which he occupied was the seat of his own father: that, as the king’s son, he was much better entitled to inherit the throne than a slave; and that he (Servius) had been suffered long enough to insult his masters with arbitrary insolence.” A clamorous dispute immediately began between the partizans of each; the people ran together in crowds into the senate-house, and it became evident, that the possession of the throne depended on the issue of this contest. On this, Tarquinius, compelled now, by necessity, to proceed to the last extremity, having greatly the advantage in point of age and strength, caught Servius by the middle, and carrying him out of the senate-house, threw him from the top to the bottom of the stairs, and then returned to keep the senators together. The king’s officers and attendants fled immediately. He himself, being desperately hurt, attempted, with the royal retinue, who were terrified almost to death, to retire to his house, and had arrived at the head of the Cyprian street, when he was slain by some, who had been sent thither for that purpose by Tarquinius, and had overtaken him in his flight. It is believed, other instances of her wickedness rendering it credible, that this was done by the advice of Tullia. It is certain, for there is sufficient proof of the fact, that she drove into the Forum in her chariot; and without being abashed at such a multitude of men, called out her husband from the senate-house, and was the first who saluted him king. She was then ordered by him, to withdraw from such a tumult; and when, in her return home, she arrived at the head of the Cyprian street, where the enclosure of Diana lately stood, as the chariot turned to the right towards the Virbian hill, in order to drive up to the Esquilian mount, the person who drove the horses, struck with horror, stopped and drew in the reins and showed his mistress the murdered Servius lying on the ground. Her behaviour on this occasion is represented as inhuman and shocking; and the place bears testimony to it, being thence called the Wicked street, where Tullia, devested of all feeling, agitated by the furies, the avengers of her sister and husband, is said to have driven her chariot over her father’s corpse, and to have carried on her bloody vehicle, part of the body and the blood of that parent, with which she herself was also sprinkled and stained, to the household gods of her and her husband’s family, through whose resentment followed, shortly after, a train of events suited to the iniquitous commencement of this reign. Servius Tullius reigned forty-four years, during which his conduct was such, that even a good and moderate successor would have found it difficult to support a competition with him. This circumstance also still farther enhanced his fame, that, together with him perished all regular and legal government. Mild and moderate as his administration was, yet, because the government was lodged in the hands of a single person, some authors tell us, he intended to have resigned it, had not the wickedness of his family broken off the designs which he meditated, for establishing the liberty of his country.
Y. R. 220. 532.XLIX. Thus began the reign of Lucius Tarquinius, who, from his subsequent behaviour, acquired the surname of the Proud; for this unworthy son-in-law prohibited the burial of the king, alleging that Romulus likewise had remained unburied. The principal senators, whom he suspected of favouring the interest of Servius, he put to death; and soon becoming apprehensive, that the precedent of acquiring the crown by wicked means, might be adopted, from his own practice, against himself, he kept an armed band about him, for the security of his person; for he had no kind of title to the crown, but that of force, holding it neither by the order of the people, nor with the approbation of the senate. And besides this, as he could place no reliance on the affection of his subjects, he was obliged to raise, in their fears, a fence to his authority. In order to diffuse these the more extensively, he took entirely into his own hands, the cognizance of capital offences, which he determined without consulting with any person whatever; so that he could put to death, banish, or impose fines, not only on those whom he suspected or disliked, but on persons, with respect to whom, he could have no other view, than that of plunder. Having, by these means, diminished the number of the senate, against whom his proceedings were chiefly levelled, he determined not to fill up the vacancies; hoping that the smallness of their number would expose that body to the greater contempt: and that they would show the less resentment, at their not being consulted on any business: for he was the first of the kings who discontinued the practice of his predecessors, of consulting the senate upon every occasion. In the administration of public affairs, he advised with none but his own private family. War, peace, treaties, alliances, he of himself, with such advisers as he chose, declared, contracted, and dissolved, without any order, either of the people, or of the senate. He took particular pains to attach the nation of the Latines to his interest, availing himself of foreign aid, the more effectually to ensure his safety at home: and he formed with their chiefs, not only connections of hospitality, but affinities: to Octavius Mamilius of Tusculum he gave his daughter in marriage. Mamilius was of the most illustrious family, by far, of any among the Latines, being descended, if we may give credit to fame, from Ulysses and the goddess Circe. By this match he engaged the support of his numerous friends and relations.
L. Tarquinius now possessed great influence among the Latine chiefs, when he issued orders, that they should assemble on a certain day, at the grove of Ferentina, saying, that he wished to confer with them on some matters of common concern. They accordingly met in great numbers, at the dawn of day: Tarquinius himself observed indeed the day, but did not come until a little before sun-set. Meanwhile, many topics were discussed, and various opinions uttered in the assembly. Turnus Herdonius, of Aricia, inveighed violently against Tarquinius, for not attending. “It was no wonder,” he said, “that the surname of proud had been bestowed on him at Rome;” for, at this time, they generally gave him that appellation, though only in private discourse. “Could any instance be given of greater pride, than his trifling thus with the whole nation of the Latines? After their chiefs had been brought together by his summons, at so great a distance from home, the very person who called the meeting did not attend. He was certainly making trial of their patience, intending, if they submitted to the yoke, to crush them, when they could not resist. For who did not see plainly, that he was aiming at sovereignty over the Latines? and if his own countrymen had reason to be pleased at having entrusted him with that power; or if, in reality, it had been entrusted to him, and not forcibly seized on through parricide, then the Latines ought also to entrust him with it. But no: not even in that case, because he was a foreigner. Yet, if the Romans repined at his government, exposed as they were to murders, banishment, and confiscations without end, what better prospect could the Latines entertain? If they listened to him, they would depart each to his own home, and would pay no more regard to the day of assembly, than was shown by the person who appointed it.” Whilst this man, who was naturally seditious and turbulent, and who had by these means acquired some degree of power at home, was thus haranguing the people, Tarquinius came into the assembly. This put an end to his discourse. Every one turned away from him to salute Tarquinius, who, being advised by his friends to make an apology for having come at that time of the day, when silence was made, told them, that “he had been chosen arbiter between a father and son, and had been detained by the pains which he was obliged to take to bring about a reconciliation; and that, as that business had consumed the day, he would, on the morrow, lay before them what he had to propose.” Even this, we are told, was not suffered by Turnus to pass without notice; for he observed, that “there could be no controversy shorter than one between a father and son, which might be despatched in a few words; if the son did not submit to his father, he should take the ill consequences.”
LI. Uttering these reflections against the Roman king, the Arician withdrew from the assembly; and Tarquinius, who was more incensed at his behaviour than he appeared to be, began immediately to contrive schemes for the destruction of Turnus, in order to strike the same terror into the Latines, by which he had depressed the spirits of his subjects at home. And as he could not, of his own mere authority, openly put him to death, he effected, by a false accusation, the ruin of an innocent man. By means of some Aricians, of the opposite faction, he bribed a servant of Turnus to suffer a large quantity of swords to be privately conveyed into his lodging: this part of his scheme being completed, during the course of that same night, Tarquinius, a little before day, called together about him the chiefs of the Latines, as if he had been alarmed by some extraordinary occurrence, and told them, that “his delay yesterday, as if it were the effect of the particular care of the gods, had been the means of preserving him and them from destruction:— that he had received information, that a plan had been laid by Turnus to murder him and the Latine chiefs, in order that he might enjoy alone the government of the Latines:— that he intended to have fallen upon them yesterday, in the assembly, but the business was deferred, because the person who called the meeting, and who was his principal object, was not there; this was the reason of all that abuse thrown on him for being absent; because, by that absence, he had frustrated his design:— that he had no doubt, but, if the intelligence was true, he would, early next morning, when the assembly met, come thither in arms, and attended by an armed force. He was told, that a vast number of swords had been carried to his house; whether that were false or not, might be instantly known, and he requested that they would go with him directly to Turnus.” They saw some grounds of suspicion in the violent temper of Turnus; his discourse the day before, and the delay of Tarquinius; and it seemed not impossible that the massacre might have been deferred on that account. They went, therefore, with minds inclined to believe the report, but at the same time determined, unless the swords were discovered, to consider all the rest as groundless. When they came to the spot, guards were placed round Turnus, who was roused from sleep; and the servants, who, out of affection to their master, prepared to use force, being secured, the swords, which had been concealed, were drawn out from every part of the lodging, and then the affair appeared manifest. Turnus was loaded with chains, and a great tumult ensuing, an assembly of the Latines was immediately summoned. There, on the swords being placed in the midst of them, to such a pitch of fury were they raised, that, not allowing him to make a defence, and using an extraordinary method of execution, they threw him into the reservoir of the water of Ferentina, where a hurdle being placed over him, and a heap of stones cast on that, he was drowned.
LII. Tarquinius, having then re-assembled the Latines, and highly commended them, for having inflicted on Turnus, as one convicted of parricide, the punishment which he had merited by his attempt to overturn the government, spoke to this purpose: “That he might, without doubt, take upon himself to act, in virtue of a right long since established, because all the Latines, deriving their origin from Alba, were comprehended in that treaty, by which, under Tullus, the whole Alban nation, together with their colonies, were subjected to the dominion of the Romans. However, for the sake of the general advantage of all parties, he rather wished, that that treaty should be renewed, and that the Latines should, as partners, enjoy the good fortune of the Roman people, than live always under the apprehension or endurance of the demolition of their cities, and the devastation of their lands, to which they had, during the reign of Ancus, first, and afterwards, in that of his father, been continually exposed.” He found no difficulty in persuading the Latines, though in that treaty the advantage lay on the side of the Romans: they saw, too, that the chiefs of the Latine nation, in their behaviour and sentiments, concurred with the king; and Turnus was a recent instance of the danger to be apprehended by any one who should attempt opposition. The treaty was therefore renewed, and orders were given to the young men of the Latines, that they should on a certain day, according to the treaty, attend in a body under arms, at the grove of Ferentina. And when, in obedience to the edict of the Roman king, they had assembled there, from all the several states, in order that they should not have a general of their own, nor a separate command, or their own colours, he mixed the Romans and Latines together in companies, by dividing every company into two parts, and then, forming two of these divisions, one of each nation, into one company, and having by this means doubled the number of the companies, he appointed centurions to command them.
LIII. Iniquitous as he was, in his conduct as king, his behaviour, at the head of an army, was not equally reprehensible: in that capacity, indeed, he would have equalled his predecessors, had not his degeneracy, in other particulars, detracted from the merit which, in that line, he possessed. He began the war against the Volscians, which lasted for more than two hundred years after his death, and took Suessa Pometia from them by storm; from the sale of the plunder of which place, having amassed silver and gold to the value of forty talents,* he conceived a design of erecing a temple to Jupiter, of such grandeur as should be worthy of the king of gods and men, worthy of the Roman empire, and of the dignity of the place itself; for the building of this temple, he set apart the money which arose from the spoils. He was soon after engaged in a war, which gave him employment longer than he expected, during which, having in vain attempted, by storm, to make himself master of Gabii, a town in his neighbourhood, and seeing no reason to hope for success from a blockade, after he had been repulsed from the walls, he at length resolved to pursue the attack, not in a method becoming a Roman, but by fraud and stratagem. Accordingly, whilst he pretended to have laid aside all thoughts of proceeding in the war, and to have his attention entirely engaged in laying the foundation of the temple, and the construction of other works in the city, his son Sextus, the youngest of three, pursuant to a plan concerted, fled as a deserter to Gabii, making grievous complaints of his father’s intolerable severity towards him, saying, that, “he now made his own family feel the effects of his pride, which hitherto had fallen only on strangers, and was uneasy at seeing a number even of his own children about him, so that he intended to cause the same desolation in his own house, which he had already caused in the senate house, and not to suffer any of his offspring, or any heir of the kingdom, to remain: that he himself had, with difficulty, made his escape from the sword of his father, and could in no place consider himself safe, except among the foes of Lucius Tarquinius. That the war against them, which was pretended to be laid aside, was not at an end; but, on the first opportunity, when he found them off their guard, he would certainly attack them. For his part, if, among them, suppliants could find no refuge, he would traverse every part of Latium, and if rejected there, would apply to the Volscians, the Æquans, and the Hernicians, nor rest, until he found some who were disposed to afford protection to children, from the cruel and unnatural severity of fathers. Perhaps, too, he should meet with those who might be inspired with ardour to take arms, and wage war, against the proudest of kings, and the most overbearing of nations.” The Gabians, supposing that, if they did not show some regard to him, he would go from them, full of resentment, to some other place, received him with every mark of kindness; told him, “he ought not to be surprised, that his father’s behaviour towards his children now, was no better than what he had formerly shown towards his subjects and allies; that if other objects could not be found, he would at last vent his rage on himself: assured him, that his coming was very acceptable to them, and that they expected, in a short time, to see the seat of war transferred, with his assistance, from the gates of Gabii, to the walls of Rome.”
LIV. He was immediately admitted to a share in their public councils; and on these occasions, while he declared, that in other affairs, he would be guided by the opinion of the Gabian elders, who had better knowledge of those matters than he could have, he took every opportunity of recommending war, in respect of which he assumed to himself a superior degree of judgment, because he was well acquainted with the resources of both nations, and knew how utterly detestable to his subjects the king’s pride had become, which even his own children could not endure. Whilst he thus, by degrees, worked up the minds of the Gabian chiefs to a renewal of the war, he used to go out himself, with the boldest of the youth, on expeditions and plundering parties; and, as all his words and actions were framed to the purpose of carrying on the deceit, their ill-grounded confidence in him increased to such a degree, that at length he was chosen commander-in-chief of the army. In this capacity, he fought several slight engagements with the Romans, in which he generally got the advantage: so that the Gabians, from the highest to the lowest, began to consider Sextus Tarquinius as a leader sent to them by the favour of the gods. Among the soldiers particularly, from his readiness to expose himself to danger and fatigue, and likewise from the liberal distribution of the spoil, he was so highly beloved, that Tarquinius was not more absolute at Rome, than Sextus was at Gabii. Finding himself, therefore, secure of a support sufficient to carry him through any enterprise, he sent one of his attendants to his father at Rome, to inquire in what manner he would choose that he should proceed, since the gods had granted to him the entire disposal of every thing at Gabii: to this messenger, no answer was given in words, I suppose because he did not seem fit to be trusted. The king, seemingly employed in deep deliberation, walked out into a garden adjoining the palace, followed by the messenger, and walking there in silence, as we are told, struck off with his cane the heads of the tallest poppies. The messenger, weary of repeating the question and waiting for an answer, returned to Gabii without having accomplished his business, as he thought; told what he himself had said, and what he had seen; that the king, either through anger or dislike, or the pride natural to his disposition, had not uttered a word. Sextus, readily comprehending his father’s meaning, and what conduct he recommended by those silent intimations, cut off all the principal men of the state; some by prosecutions before the people; others, who, being generally odious, could be attacked with greater safety, he put to death of his own authority; many were executed openly; several, against whom accusations would appear less plausible, were privately murdered; some who chose to fly were not prevented, others were forced into banishment; and the effects of the absentees, as well as of those who had suffered death, were distributed in largesses among the people: by these means, all sense of the public calamity was so entirely drowned in the sweets of bribery, plunder, and private profit, that, at length, the Gabian state, stripped of its counsellors and supporters, was delivered over, without a struggle, into the hands of the Roman king.
LV. Tarquinius, having thus acquired possession of Gabii, concluded a peace with the nation of the Æquans, renewed the treaty with the Etrurians, and then turned his thoughts to the internal business of the city: among which, the object of his principal concern was to leave the temple of Jupiter on the Tarpeian mount a monument of his reign and of his name, to testify, that of two Tarquinii both of whom reigned, the father had vowed, and the son completed it. And in order that the ground might be clear from the interference of any of the other gods, and the temple to be erected thereon, be appropriated wholly to Jupiter, he determined to cancel the inauguration of the temples and chapels, several of which had been vowed, first by Tatius during the very heat of the battle against Romulus, and afterwards consecrated there. It is related, that, during the preparations for founding this structure, the gods exerted their divine power, to exhibit indications of the stability of this great empire; for, whilst the birds admitted the cancelling the inaugurations of all the other chapels, they did not give the signs of approbation, in the case of the temple of Terminus; and that omen, and that augury, were deemed to import that the residence of Terminus must not be changed; and his being the only one of the gods who would not submit to be called forth from the boundaries consecrated to him, denoted that all things there were to stand firm and immoveable. After they had received this presage of its perpetual duration, there followed another prodigy, portending the greatness of the empire: a human head, with the face entire, is said to have appeared to those who were opening the foundation of the temple; which appearance denoted, without the help of any far-fetched allusion, that this would be the metropolis of the empire, and the head of the world. Such was the interpretation given of it by the soothsayers, both those who were in the city, and others whom they sent for from Etruria, to hold a consultation on the subject. This encouraged the king to enlarge the expense, so that the spoils of Pometia, which, according to his first design, were to have completed the edifice, were scarcely sufficient for the foundations. For this reason, besides his being the more ancient writer, I should rather believe Fabius, that these amounted to no more than forty talents,* than Piso, who writes, that forty thousand pounds weight of silver† were set apart for that purpose; a sum of money, that could not be expected out of the spoil of any one city in that age, and which must have been more than sufficient for laying the foundations even of the most magnificent of our modern structures. Intent on finishing the temple, he sent for workmen from all parts of Etruria, and converted to that use, not only the public money, but the public labour; and although this, which was in itself no small hardship, was added to the toils of military service, yet the people murmured the less, when they considered that they were employing their hands in erecting temples to the gods. They were afterwards obliged to toil at other works, which, though they made less show, were attended with greater difficulty; the erecting seats in the Circus, and conducting under ground the principal sewer, the receptacle of all the filth of the city; two works, to which the magnificence of modern times can scarcely produce any thing equal. After the people had been fatigued by these labours, the king, considering so great a multitude as a burthen to the city, where there was not employment for them, and wishing at the same time to extend the frontiers of his dominions, by means of colonies, sent a number of colonists to Signia and Circeii, to serve as barriers to the city, against an enemy, both by land and sea.
LVI. While he was thus employed, a dreadful prodigy appeared to him; a snake, sliding out of a wooden pillar, terrified the beholders, and made them fly into the palace. This not only struck the king himself with sudden terror, but filled his breast with anxious apprehensions: so that, whereas in the case of public prodigies, the Etrurian soothsayers only were applied to, being thoroughly frightened at this domestic apparition, as it were, he resolved to send to Delphi, the most celebrated oracle in the world; and judging it unsafe to entrust the answers which should be given to indifferent persons, he sent his two sons into Greece, through lands little known at that time, and seas still more so. Titus and Aruns set out, and, as a companion, was sent with them, Lucius Junius Brutus, son to Tarquinia, the king’s sister, a young man of a capacity widely different from the appearance which he had put on. Having heard that the principal men in the state, and among the rest, his brother, had been put to death by his uncle, he resolved that the king should find nothing to dread, either from his manners or his means, and to seek security in contempt. He took care, therefore, to fashion his behaviour to the semblance of foolishness, submitting himself and his fortune to the pleasure and rapacity of the king. Nor did he show any dislike to the surname of Brutus, content that, under the cover of that appellation, the genius which was to be the deliverer of the Roman people, should lie concealed, and wait the proper season for exertion. He was, at this time, carried to Delphi by the Tarquinii, rather as a subject of sport than as a companion; and is said to have brought as an offering to Apollo, a golden wand, inclosed in a staff of cornel-wood, hollowed for that purpose, an emblem figurative of the state of his own capacity. When they arrived there, and executed their father’s commission, the young men felt a wish to inquire to which of them the kingdom of Rome was to belong; and we are told that these words were uttered from the bottom of the cave. “Young men, which ever of you shall first kiss your mother, he shall possess the sovereign power at Rome.” The Tarquinii ordered that this matter should be kept secret with the utmost care; that Sextus, who had been left behind at Rome, might remain ignorant of the answer, so as to have no chance for the kingdom. They themselves had recourse to lots to determine which of them should first kiss their mother on their return to Rome: Brutus judged that the expression of Apollo had another meaning, and as if he had accidentally stumbled and fallen, he touched the earth with his lips, considering that she was the common mother of all mankind. On their return from thence to Rome, they found vigorous preparations going on for a war against the Rutulians.
LVII. Ardea was a city belonging to the Rutulians, a nation, considering the part of the world and the age, remarkably opulent; and this very circumstance gave occasion to the war; for the Roman king was earnestly desirous, both of procuring money for himself, his treasury being exhausted by the magnificence of his public works, and also of reconciling, by means of the spoils, the minds of his subjects, who were highly dissatisfied with his government: for, besides other instances of his pride, they thought themselves ill-treated by being engaged, for such a length of time, in the employments of handicrafts, and in labour fit for slaves. An attempt was made to take Ardea by storm, and that not succeeding, he adopted the plan of distressing the enemy by a blockade, and works erected round them. In this fixed post, as is generally the case when the operations of war are rather tedious than vigorous, leave of absence was readily granted, and to the principal officers, more readily than to the soldiers; the young men of the royal family in particular, frequently passed their leisure time in feasting and entertainments. It happened that while these were drinking together, at the quarters of Sextus Tarquinius, where Collatinus Tarquinius, the son of Egerius, also supped, mention was made of their wives; each extolled his own to the skies: on this a dispute arising, Collatinus told them, that “there was no need of words; it could easily be known, in a few hours, how much his Lucretia excelled the rest: we are young and strong; let us mount our horses, and inspect in person the behaviour of our wives: that must be the most unexceptionable proof which meets our eyes, on the unexpected arrival of the husband.” They were heated with wine: “Agreed,” was the word; at full speed they fly to Rome. Having arrived there at the first dusk of the evening, they proceeded thence to Collatia, where they found Lucretia, not like the king’s daughters-in-law, whom they had seen spending their time in luxurious entertainments among those of their own rank, but busily employed with her wool, though at that late hour, and sitting in the middle of the house, with her maids at work around her: the honour of superiority among the ladies mentioned in the dispute, was of course acknowledged to belong to Lucretia. Her husband, on his arrival, and the Tarquinii, were kindly received; and the husband, exulting in his victory, gave the royal youths a friendly invitation. There, Sextus Tarquinius, instigated by brutal lust, formed a design of violating Lucretia’s chastity by force, both her beauty and her approved modesty serving as incentives: after this youthful frolic of the night, they returned to the camp.
LVIII. A few days after, Sextus Tarquinius, without the knowledge of Collatinus, went to Collatia, with only a single attendant: he was kindly received by the family, who suspected not his design, and, after supper, conducted to the chamber where guests were lodged. Then, burning with desire, as soon as he thought that every thing was safe, and the family all at rest, he came with his sword drawn to Lucretia, where she lay asleep, and, holding her down, with his left hand pressed on her breast, said, “Lucretia be silent: I am Sextus Tarquinius; my sword is in my hand, if you utter a word, you die.” Terrified at being thus disturbed from sleep, she saw no assistance near, and immediate death threatening her. Tarquinius then acknowledged his passion, intreated, mixed threats with intreaties, and used every argument likely to have effect on a woman’s mind; but finding her inflexible, and not to be moved, even by the fear of death, he added to that fear, the dread of dishonour, telling her that, after killing her, he would murder a slave, and lay him naked by her side, that she might be said to have been slain in base adultery. The shocking apprehensions, conveyed by this menace, overpowering her resolution in defending her chastity, his lust became victorious; and Tarquinius departed, applauding himself for this triumph over a lady’s honour. But Lucretia, plunged by such a disaster into the deepest distress, despatched a messenger to Rome to her father, with orders to proceed to Ardea to her husband, and to desire them to come to her, each with one faithful friend; to tell them, that there was a necessity for their doing so, and speedily; for that a dreadful affair had happened. Spurius Lucretius came with Publius Valerius, the son of Volesus; Collatinus with Lucius Junius Brutus, in company with whom he chanced to be returning to Rome, when he was met by his wife’s messenger. They found Lucretia sitting in her chamber, melancholy and dejected: on the arrival of her friends, she burst into tears, and on her husband’s asking, “Is all well?” “Far from it,” said she, “for how can it be well with a woman who has lost her chastity? Collatinus, the impression of another man is in your bed; yet my person only has been violated, my mind is guiltless, as my death will testify. But give me your right hands and pledge your honour, that the adulterer shall not escape unpunished. He is Sextus Tarquinius, who, under the appearance of a guest, disguising an enemy, obtained here, last night, by armed violence, a triumph deadly to me, and to himself also, if ye be men.” They all pledged their honour, one after another, and endeavoured to comfort her distracted mind, acquitting her of blame, as under the compulsion of force, and charging it on the violent perpetrator of the crime, told her, that “the mind alone was capable of sinning, not the body, and that where there was no such intention, there could be no guilt.” “It is your concern,” said she, “to consider what is due to him; as to me, though I acquit myself of the guilt, I cannot dispense with the penalty, nor shall any woman ever plead the example of Lucretia, for surviving her chastity.” Thus saying, she plunged into her heart a knife, which she had concealed under her garment, and falling forward on the wound, dropped lifeless. The husband and father shrieked aloud.
LIX. But Brutus, while they were overpowered by grief, drawing the knife from the wound of Lucretia, and holding it out reeking with blood, before him, said, “By this blood, most chaste until injured by royal insolence, I swear, and call you, O ye gods, to witness, that I will prosecute to destruction, by sword, fire, and every forcible means in my power, both Lucius Tarquinius the Proud, and his impious wife, together with their entire race, and never will suffer one of them, nor any other person whatsoever, to be king in Rome.” He then delivered the knife to Collatinus, afterwards to Lucretius, and Valerius, who were filled with amazement, as at a prodigy, and at a loss to account for this unusual elevation of sentiment in the mind of Brutus. However they took the oath as directed, and converting their grief into rage, followed Brutus, who put himself at their head, and called on them to proceed, instantly to abolish kingly power. They brought out the body of Lucretia from the house, conveyed it to the Forum, and assembled the people, who came together quickly, in astonishment, as may be supposed, at a deed so atrocious and unheard of. Every one exclaimed with vehemence against the villainy and violence of the prince: they were deeply affected by the grief of her father, and also by the discourse of Brutus, who rebuked their tears and ineffectual complaints, and advised them, as became men, as became Romans, to take up arms against those who had dared to treat them as enemies. The most spirited among the youth offered themselves with their arms, and the rest followed their example. On which, leaving half their number at the gates to defend Collatia, and fixing guards to prevent any intelligence of the commotion being carried to the princes, the rest, with Brutus at their head, marched to Rome. When they arrived there, the sight of such an armed multitude spread terror and confusion wherever they came: but, in a little time, when people observed the principal men of the state marching at their head, they concluded, that whatever the matter was, there must be good reason for it. Nor did the heinousness of the affair raise less violent emotions in the minds of the people at Rome, than it had at Collatia: so that, from all parts of the city, they hurried into the Forum; where, as soon as the party arrived, a crier summoned the people to attend the tribune of the Celeres, which office happened at that time to be held by Brutus. He there made a speech, no way consonant to that low degree of sensibility and capacity, which, until that day, he had counterfeited; recounting the violence and lust of Sextus Tarquinius, the shocking violation of Lucretia’s chastity, and her lamentable death; the misfortune of Tricipitinus, in being left childless, who must feel the cause of his daughter’s death as a greater injury and cruelty, than her death itself: to these representations he added the pride of the king himself, the miseries and toils of the commons, buried under ground to cleanse sinks and sewers, saying, that “the citizens of Rome, the conquerors of all the neighbouring nations, were, from warriors, reduced to labourers and stone-cutters;” mentioned the barbarous murder of king Servius Tullius, his abominable daughter driving in her carriage over the body of her father, and invoked the gods to avenge the cause of parents. By descanting on these and other, I suppose, more forcible topics, which the heinousness of present injuries suggests at the time, but which it is difficult for writers to repeat, he inflamed the rage of the multitude to such a degree, that they were easily persuaded to deprive the king of his government and to pass an order for the banishment of Lucius Tarquinius, his wife, and children: Brutus himself, having collected and armed such of the young men as voluntarily gave in their names, set out for the camp at Ardea, in order to excite the troops there to take part against the king. The command in the city he left to Lucretius, who had some time before been appointed by the king to the office of præfect of the city.* During this tumult Tullia fled from her house; both men and women, wherever she passed, imprecating curses on her head, and invoking the furies, the avengers of parents.
LX. News of these proceedings having reached the camp, and the king, alarmed at such extraordinary events, having begun his march towards Rome, to suppress the commotions, Brutus, informed of his approach, turned into another road, in order to avoid a meeting, and very nearly at the same time, by different roads, Brutus arrived at Ardea, and Tarquinius at Rome. Tarquinius found the gates shut against him, and an order of banishment pronounced. The deliverer of the city was received in the camp with joy, and the king’s sons were driven thence with disgrace. Two of these followed their father, and went into exile at Cære, among the Etrurians. Sextus Tarquinius having retired to Gabii, as if to his own dominions, was slain by some persons, who were glad of an opportunity of gratifying old animosities, which he had excited there by his rapine and murders. Lucius Tarquinius Superbus reigned twenty-five years. The government of kings continued, from the building of the city to the establishment of its liberty, two hundred and forty-four years. After that, in an assembly of the Centuries, held by the præfect of the city, were elected, conformably to a plan found in the commentaries of Servius Tullius, two magistrates, called Consuls. These were, Lucius Junius Brutus, and Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus.Y. R. 245. 507.
* The Trojans were in number about six hundred.
* Indiges is the term applied to deified heroes, otherwise called gods terrestrial.
† It was called Alba, from a white sow with a litter of thirty young ones, found there by Æneas.
* For an account of the vestal virgins, see Dr. Adam’s Roman Antiquities, p. 314.
* See Adam, p. 312.
* For an account of augurs, auspices &c. see Adam, p. 296.
* Ara Maxima: it stood in the cattle market, where it remained in the time of Augustus.
* Without doubt, he framed the government, and the laws, nearly on the model of those established at Alba.
* About 3000 foot, and 300 horsemen.
† This expression must be understood in a qualified sense, in the same manner as when a magistrate, presiding at an election, is said to elect such and such persons. Romulus nominated one senator; each tribe, and each curia, chose three; and thus the number was made up.
* So called, from his having produced the first horse from the earth by a stroke of his trident. Romulus called him Consus, the god of counsel, as having suggested the scheme of seizing the women. The games, which he called Consualia, were afterwards termed the Roman, or the great games; they lasted, at first, one day, then two, three, and at length, nine days.
* So called, from the feretrum, or frame, supporting the spoils. The second spolia opima, or grand spoils, were offered by Cornelius Cossus, who killed Tolumnius, king of the Veientians; and the third by Claudius Marcellus, who killed Viridomarus, a king of the Gauls. The spoils, called spolia opima, or grand, or chief spoils, were so denominated when they were taken from a king or general-in-chief, commanding an army.
* So called from legere, to choose, to select. The legion consisted, at this time, of 3,000 foot and 300 horse. The number afterwards was generally 4,000 foot and 300 horse, and sometimes augmented to 6,000 foot and 400 horse. It was divided into 10 cohorts, 30 companies, and 60 centuries.
* From stare, to halt.
* This name it retained long after it was filled up, and became a part of the Forum.
† He divided the city into three tribes: the Ramnenses, so called from Romulus, being his original followers; the Titienses, from Titus Tatius, composed of the Sabines; and the Luceres, of those who had assembled in the Lucus, or sanctuary, or afterwards joined the Romans. Each tribe, he divided into ten curias, or wards. Each curia had its own priest, called curio, and its own place of worship, where, on certain stated days, sacrifices were offered to particular deities; and the people of the curia feasted together. The centuries of knights were named after the tribes out of which they were taken.
* Or, the Swift, if we suppose them to derive their name from the Latin word, celer. This must be allowed to be the most probable origin of the appellation, although it must be admitted to be by no means certain, that they were not so called, as some allege, from the name of their captain, Celer; while others contend that they were so called from the Greek word Κεληρ which signifies a horseman.
* He was the son of a Sabine nobleman, and had been married to a daughter of king Tatius, but was now a widower.
* Janus is the most ancient king in Italy, of whom any knowledge has been handed down to posterity; he was the first who introduced civilization, and the useful arts, among the wild inhabitants of that country. He is represented with two faces, as knowing both the past and the future; sometimes with four; in which latter form, one of the many temples dedicated to him at Rome, was erected; having four equal sides, on each side one door and three windows; the four doors were emblematical of the seasons; the twelve windows, of the months; and the whole, of the year.
† A small hill, to the east of the Palatine.
* For a full account of the duty and office of the different flamens, see Dr. Adam’s Roman Antiquities. Also for those of the vestal virgins, and the salii, mentioned in this chapter, see the same learned work, which may be considered as a perpetual commentary upon the Roman historians, in general, and Livy, in particular.
* From elicere, to solicit information.
* The duty of the Pater Patratus was, to attend the making of the treaty, and to ratify it by oath.
* The Comitium was a part of the Roman Forum, where, in early times, assemblies of the people were held; and the assemblies of the Curiæ always.
* This is the first instance of a regular triumph mentioned in the Roman History; the invention of which ceremony is, by some, ascribed to Tarquinius. For a full account of the Roman triumph, see Dr. Adam.
* 322l. 18s. 4d. according to Dr. Arbuthnot’s calculation.
† The elder, consisted of those who had attained to forty-six years of age; the younger, from seventeen to forty-six.
‡ 242l. 3s. 9d.
§ 161l. 9s. 2d.
* 80l. 14s. 7d.
† 35l. 10s. 5d.
‡ 32l. 5s. 10d.
§ 6l. 9s. 2d.
* So called from the victims, sus, ovis, taurus, a swine, a sheep, and bull; which, after being three times led round the army, were offered in sacrifice to Mars. See Adam.
* The præfect of the city was, in these times, a magistrate extraordinary, appointed to administer justice, and transact other necessary business, in the absence of the king, or consuls.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:57