The Story of Rome From the Earliest Times to the End of the Republic
by Arthur Gilman
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It is proposed to rehearse the lustrous story of Rome, from its beginning in the mists of myth and fable down to the mischievous times when the republic came to its end, just before the brilliant period of the empire opened.

As one surveys this marvellous vista from the vantage-ground of the present, attention is fixed first upon a long succession of well- authenticated facts which are shaded off in the dim distance, and finally lost in the obscurity of unlettered antiquity. The flesh and blood heroes of the more modern times regularly and slowly pass from view, and in their places the unsubstantial worthies of dreamy tradition start up. The transition is so gradual, however, that it is at times impossible to draw the line between history and legend. Fortunately for the purposes of this volume it is not always necessary to make the effort. The early traditions of the Eternal City have so long been recounted as truth that the world is slow to give up even the least jot or tittle of them, and when they are disproved as fact, they must be told over and over again as story.

Roman history involves a narrative of social and political struggles, the importance of which is as wide as modern civilization, and they must not be passed over without some attention, though in the present volume they cannot be treated with the thoroughness they deserve. The story has the advantage of being to a great extent a narrative of the exploits of heroes, and the attention can be held almost the whole time to the deeds of particular actors who successively occupy the focus or play the principal parts on the stage. In this way the element of personal interest, which so greatly adds to the charm of a story, may be infused into the narrative.

It is hoped to enter to some degree into the real life of the Roman people, to catch the true spirit of their actions, and to indicate the current of the national life, while avoiding the presentation of particular episodes or periods with undue prominence. It is intended to set down the facts in their proper relation to each other as well as to the facts of general history, without attempting an incursion into the domain of philosophy.


CAMBRIDGE, September, 1885.




The old king at Troy—Paris, the wayward youth—Helen carried off—The war of ten years—neas, son of Anchises, goes to Italy—His death— Fact and fiction in early stories—How Milton wrote about early England—How neas was connected with England—Virgil writes about neas—How Livy wrote about neas—Was neas a son of Venus?—Italy, as neas would have seen it—Greeks in Italy—How Evander came from Arcadia—How neas died—Thirty cities rise—Twins and a she-wolf— Trojan names in Italy—How the Romans named their children and themselves.



Augury resorted to—Romulus and Remus on two hills—Vultures determine a question—Pales, god of the shepherds—Beginning the city—Celer killed—An asylum—Bachelors want wives—A game of wife-snatching— Sabines wish their daughters back—Tarpeia on the hill—A duel between two hills—Two men named Curtius—Women interfere for peace—Where did Romulus go?—Society divided by Romulus—Numa Pompilius chosen king— Laws of religion given the people—Guilds established—The year divided into months—Tullus Hostilius king—Six brothers fight—Horatia killed —Ancus Martius king—The wooden bridge.



Magna Grcia—Cypselus, the democratic politician—Demaratus goes to Tarquinii—Etruscan relics—Lucomo's cap lifted—Lucomo changes his name—A Greek king of Rome—A circus and other great public works—A light around a boy's head—Servius Tullius king—How the kingdom passed from the Etruscan dynasty.



A king of the plebeians—A league with Latin cities—A census taken— The Seven Hills—Classes formed among the people—Assemblies of the people—How ace means one—Heads of the people—Armor of the different classes—A Lustration or Suovetaurilia—What is a lustrum?— Servius divides certain lands—A wicked husband and a naughty wife— King Servius killed—Sprinkled with a father's blood.



A tyrant king—The mysterious Sibyl of Cum comes to sell books—The head found on the Capitoline—A serpent frightens a king—A serious inquiry sent to Delphi—A hollow stick filled with gold helps a young man—A good wife spinning—A terrible oath—The Tarquins banished—A republic takes the place of the kingdom—The first of the long line of consuls—The good Valerius—The god Silvanus cries out to some effect— Lars Porsena of Clusium and what he tried to do—Horatius the brave— Rome loses land—A dictator appointed—Castor and Pollux help the army at Lake Regillus—Caius Marcius wins a crown—Appius Claudius comes to town.



The character of the Romans—Traits of the kings—Insignificance of Latin territory—Occupations—Art backward—A narrow religion—Who were the populus Romanus?—Patricians oppress the people—Wrongs of Roman money-lending—How a debtor flaunted his rags to good purpose— Appius Claudius defied—A secession to the Anio—Apologue of the body and its members—Laws of Valerius re-affirmed—Tribunes of the people appointed—Peace by the treaty of the Sacred Mount.



Coriolanus fights bravely—He enrages the plebeians—Women melt the strong man's heart—Plebeians gain ground—Agrarian laws begin to be made—Cassius, who makes the first, undermined—The family of the Fabii support the commons—A black day on the Cremara—Cincinnatus called from his plow—The quians subjugated—What a conquest meant in those days—The Aventine Hill given to the commons—The ten men make ten laws and afterwards twelve—The ten men become arrogant—How Virginia was killed—Appius Claudius cursed—The second secession of the plebeians— The third secession—The commons make gains—Censors chosen—The wonderful siege of Veii—How a tunnel brings victory—Camillus the second founder of Rome—How the territory was increased, but ill omens threaten.



What the Greeks thought when they shivered—A warlike people come into notice—Brennus leads the barbarians to victory—A voice from the temple of Vesta—Tearful Allia—The city alarmed and Camillus called for—How the sacred geese chattered to a purpose—Brennus successful, but defeated at last—A historical game of scandal—Camillus sets to work to make a new city—Camillus honored as the second founder of Rome—Manlius less fortunate—Poor debtors protected by a law of Stolo —A plague comes to Rome, and priests order stage-plays to be performed—The floods of the Tiber come into the circus.



Alexander the Great strides over Persia—Suppose he had attacked Rome? —The man with a chain, and the man helped by a crow—How the Samnites came into Campania—The memorable battle of Mount Gaurus—How Carthage thought best to congratulate Rome—Debts become heavy again—How Decius Mus sacrificed himself for the army—Misfortune at the Caudine Forks—A general muddle, in which another Mus sacrifices himself—Another secession of the commons—An agrarian law and an abolition of debts— What the wild waves washed up—Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, takes a lofty model—How Cineas asked hard questions—Blind Appius Claudius stirs up the people—Maleventum gets a better name—Ptolemy Philadelphus thinks best to congratulate Rome—How the Romans made roads—The classes of citizens.



How an old Bible city sent out a colony—Carthage attends strictly to its own business—Sicily a convenient place for a great fight—The Mamertines not far from Scylla and Charybdis—Ancient war-vessels and how they were rowed—The prestige of Carthage on the water destroyed— Xanthippus the Spartan helps the Carthaginians—The horrible fate of noble Regulus—Hamilcar, the man of lightning, comes to view—Gates of the temple of Janus closed the second time—A perfidious queen overthrown—Two Gauls and two Greeks buried alive—Hannibal hates Rome —Rome and Carthage fight the second time—Scipio and Fabius the Delayer fight for Rome—Hannibal crosses the Alps—The terrible rout at Lake Trasimenus—A business man beaten—Syracuse falls and Archimedes dies—Fabius takes Tarentum—A great victory at the Metaurus—War carried to Africa and closed at Zama—Hannibal a wanderer.



Tumultuous women stir up the city—What the Oppian Law forbade—Cato the Stern opposes the women—The women find a valorous champion—How did the matrons establish their high character?—Two parties look at the growing influence of ideas from Greece—What were those influences?—How Rome coveted Eastern conquests—How Flamininus fought at the Dog-heads—How the Grecians cried for joy at the Isthmian games —Great battles at Thermopyl and Magnesia, and their results— Philopoemen, Hannibal, and Scipio die—The battle of Pydna marks an era—Greece despoiled of its works of art—Cato wishes Carthage destroyed—Numantia destroyed—The slaves in Sicily give trouble.



Scipio gives away his daughter—Tiberius Gracchus serves the state— Romans without family altars or tombs—Cornelia urges Gracchus to do somewhat for the state—Gracchus misses an opportunity—Another son of Cornelia comes to the front—The younger Gracchus builds roads and makes good laws—Drusus undermines the reformer—Office looked upon as a means of getting riches—Marius and Sulla appear—Jugurtha fights and bribes—Metellus, the general of integrity—Marius captures Jugurtha—A shadow falls upon Rome—A terrible battle at Vercell—The slaves rise again—The Domitian law restricts the rights of the senate—The ill- gotten gold of Toulouse.



The agrarian laws of Appuleius—Luxury increases and faith falls away— Rome for the Romans—Another Drusus appears—The brave Marsians menace Rome—Ten new tribes formed—A war with Mithridates of Pontus—Marius and Sulla struggle and Marius goes to the wall—Sulla besieges Athens— Sulla threatens the senate—The capitol burned—A battle at the Colline Gate—Proscription and carnage—Sulla makes laws and retires to see the effect—A congiarium—A grand funeral and a cremation.



Tendency towards monarchy—Sertorius and his white fawn—Crassus and his great house—Cicero, the eloquent orator—Verres, the great thief— How Verres ran away—Catiline the Cruel—Csar, the man born to rule— Looking for gain in confusion—Lepidus flees after the fight of the Mulvian bridge—How the two young men caused gladiators to fight—What Spartacus did—Six thousand crosses—Pompey overawes the senate.



Pompey the principal citizen—Crassus feeds the people at ten thousand tables—How the pirates caught Csar, and how Csar caught the pirates —Gabinius makes a move—The Manilian law sets Pompey further on— Mithridates fights and flees—Times of treasons, stratagems, and spoils—Catiline plots—The sacrilege of Clodius—Csar pushes himself to the front—The last agrarian law—Csar's success in Gaul— Vercingetorix appears—Csar's conquests.



Pompey builds a theatre—Crassus must make his mark—Cato against Csar—Curio helps Csar—Solemn jugglery of the pontiffs—Curio warm enough—At the Rubicon—Crossing the little river—Pompey stamps in vain—Cato flees from Rome—Metellus stands aside—Pompey killed— Veni, vidi, vici—Honors and plans of Csar—The calendar reformed—Csar has too much ambition—'T was one of those coronets— The Ides of March—Antony, the actor—Antony the chief man in Rome— What next?.



How Octavius became a Csar—Agrippa and Cicero give him their help— Octavius wins the soldiers, and Cicero launches his Philippics—Antony, Lepidus, and Octavius become Triumvirs—Their first work a bloody one— Cicero falls—Brutus and Cassius defeated at Philippi—Antony forgets Fulvia—Antony and Octavius quarrel and meet for discussion at Tarentum—How Horace travelled to Brundusium—The duration of the Triumvirate extended five years—Cleopatra beguiles Antony a second time—The great battle off Actium—Octavius wins complete power, and a new era begins—The Republic ends.



How did these people live?—The first Roman house—The vestibule and the dark room—The dining-room and the parlor—Rooms for pictures and books—Cooking taken out of the atrium—How the houses were heated and lighted—Life in a villa—The extravagance of the pleasure villa—When a man and a woman had agreed to marry—How the bride dressed and what the groom did—The wife's position and work—The stola and the toga—Foot-gear from soccus to cothurnus—Breakfast, luncheon, and dinner—The formal dinner—How the Romans travelled, and how they sought office—The law and its penalties.



Grecian influence on Roman mental culture—Textbooks—Cato and Varro on education—Dictation and copy-books—The early writers—Fabius Pictor— Plautus—Terence—Atellan plays—Cicero's works—Varro's works—Csar and Catullus—Lucretius—Ovid and Tibullus—Sallust—Livy—Horace— Cornelius Nepos—Virgil and his works—Life at the villa of Mcenas.



The will of the gods sought for—The first temples—Festivals in the first month—Vinalia and Saturnalia—Fires of Vulcan and Vesta— Matronly and family services—No mythology at first—Colleges of priests needed—An incursion of Greek philosophers—Games of childhood —Checkers and other games of chance—The people cry for games—Games in the circus—The amphitheatre invented—Men and beasts fight—Funeral ceremonies—Charon paid—The mourning procession—Inurning the ashes —The columbarium—The Roman May-day—Change from rustic simplicity to urban orgies.







Once upon a time, there lived in a city of Asia Minor, not far from Mount Ida, as old Homer tells us in his grand and beautiful poem, a king who had fifty sons and many daughters. How large his family was, indeed, we cannot say, for the storytellers of the olden time were not very careful to set down the actual and exact truth, their chief object being to give the people something to interest them. That they succeeded well in this respect we know, because the story of this old king and his great family of sons and daughters has been told and retold thousands of times since it was first related, and that was so long ago that the bard himself has sometimes been said never to have lived at all. Still; somebody must have existed who told the wondrous story, and it has always been attributed to a blind poet, to whom the name Homer has been given.

The place in which the old king and his great family lived was Ilium, though it is better known as Troja or Troy, because that is the name that the Roman people used for it in later times. One of the sons of Priam, for that was the name of this king, was Paris, who, though very handsome, was a wayward and troublesome youth. He once journeyed to Greece to find a wife, and there fell in love with a beautiful daughter of Jupiter, named Helen. She was already married to Menelaus, the Prince of Lacedmonia (brother of another famous hero, Agamemnon), who had most hospitably entertained young Paris, but this did not interfere with his carrying her off to Troy. The wedding journey was made by the roundabout way of Phoenicia and Egypt, but at last the couple reached home with a large amount of treasure taken from the hospitable Menelaus.

This wild adventure led to a war of ten years between the Greeks and King Priam, for the rescue of the beautiful Helen. Menelaus and some of his countrymen at last contrived to conceal themselves in a hollow wooden horse, in which they were taken into Troy. Once inside, it was an easy task to open the gates and let the whole army in also. The city was then taken and burned. Menelaus was naturally one of the first to hasten from the smoking ruins, though he was almost the last to reach his home. He lived afterwards for years in peace, health, and happiness with the beautiful wife who had cost him so much suffering and so many trials to regain.

Among the relatives of King Priam was one Anchises, a descendant of Jupiter, who was very old at the time of the war. He had a valiant son, however, who fought well in the struggle, and the story of his deeds was ever afterwards treasured up among the most precious narratives of all time. This son was named neas, and he was not only a descendant of Jupiter, but also a son of the beautiful goddess Venus. He did not take an active part in the war at its beginning, but in the course of time he and Hector, who was one of the sons of the king, became the most prominent among the defenders of Troy. After the destruction of the city, he went out of it, carrying on his shoulders his aged father, Anchises, and leading by the hand his young son, Ascanius, or Iulus, as he was also called. He bore in his hands his household gods, called the Penates, and began his now celebrated wanderings over the earth. He found a resting-place at last on the farther coast of the Italian peninsula, and there one day he marvellously disappeared in a battle on the banks of the little brook Numicius, where a monument was erected to his memory as "The Father and the Native God." According to the best accounts, the war of Troy took place nearly twelve hundred years before Christ, and that is some three thousand years ago now. It was before the time of the prophet Eli, of whom we read in the Bible, and long before the ancient days of Samuel and Saul and David and Solomon, who seem so very far removed from our times. There had been long lines of kings and princes in China and India before that time, however, and in the hoary land of Egypt as many as twenty dynasties of sovereigns had reigned and passed away, and a certain sort of civilization had flourished for two or three thousand years, so that the great world was not so young at that time as one might at first think If only there had been books and newspapers in those olden days, what revelations they would make to us now! They would tell us exactly where Troy was, which some of the learned think we do not know, and we might, by their help, separate fact from fiction in the immortal poems and stories that are now our only source of information. It is not for us to say that that would be any better for us than to know merely what we do, for poetry is elevating and entertaining, and stirs the heart; and who could make poetry out of the columns of a newspaper, even though it were as old as the times of the Pharaohs? Let us, then, be thankful for what we have, and take the beginnings of history in the mixed form of truth and fiction, following the lead of learned historians who are and long have been trying to trace the true clue of fact in the labyrinth of poetic story with which it is involved.

When the poet Milton sat down to write the history of that part of Britain now called England, as he expressed it, he said: "The beginning of nations, those excepted of whom sacred books have spoken, is to this day unknown. Nor only the beginning, but the deeds also of many succeeding ages, yes, periods of ages, either wholly unknown or obscured or blemished with fables." Why this is so the great poet did not pretend to tell, but he thought that it might be because people did not know how to write in the first ages, or because their records had been lost in wars and by the sloth and ignorance that followed them. Perhaps men did not think that the records of their own times were worth preserving when they reflected how base and corrupt, how petty and perverse such deeds would appear to those who should come after them. For whatever reason, Milton said that it had come about that some of the stories that seemed to be the oldest were in his day regarded as fables; but that he did not intend to pass them over, because that which one antiquary admitted as true history, another exploded as mere fiction, and narratives that had been once called fables were afterward found to "contain in them many footsteps and reliques of something true," as what might be read in poets "of the flood and giants, little believed, till undoubted witnesses taught us that all was not feigned." For such reasons Milton determined to tell over the old stories, if for no other purpose than that they might be of service to the poets and romancers who knew how to use them judiciously. He said that he did not intend even to stop to argue and debate disputed questions, but, "imploring divine assistance," to relate, "with plain and lightsome brevity," those things worth noting.

After all this preparation Milton began his history of England at the Flood, hastily recounted the facts to the time of the great Trojan war, and then said that he had arrived at a period when the narrative could not be so hurriedly dispatched. He showed how the old historians had gone back to Troy for the beginnings of the English race, and had chosen a great-grandson of neas, named Brutus, as the one by whom it should be attached to the right royal heroes of Homer's poem. Thus we see how firm a hold upon the imagination of the world the tale of Troy had after twenty-seven hundred years.

Twenty-five or thirty years before the birth of Christ there was in Rome another poet, named Virgil, writing about the wanderings of neas. He began his beautiful story with these words: "Arms I sing, and the hero, who first, exiled by fate, came from the coast of Troy to Italy and the Lavinian shore." He then went on to tell in beautiful words the story of the wanderings of his hero,—a tale that has now been read and re-read for nearly two thousand years, by all who have wished to call themselves educated; generations of school-boys, and schoolgirls too, have slowly made their way through the Latin of its twelve books. This was another evidence of the strong hold that the story of Troy had upon men, as well as of the honor in which the heroes, and descent from them, were held.

In the generation after Virgil there arose a graphic writer named Livy, who wrote a long history of Rome, a large portion of which has been preserved to our own day. Like Virgil, Livy traced the origin of the Latin people to neas, and like Milton, he re-told the ancient stories, saying that he had no intention of affirming or refuting the traditions that had come down to his time of what had occurred before the building of the city, though he thought them rather suitable for the fictions of poetry than for the genuine records of the historian. He added, that it was an indulgence conceded to antiquity to blend human things with things divine, in such a way as to make the origin of cities appear more venerable. This principle is much the same as that on which Milton wrote his history, and it seems a very good one. Let us, therefore, follow it.

In the narrative of events for several hundred years after the city of Rome was founded, according to the early traditions, it is difficult to distinguish truth from fiction, though a skilful historian (and many such there have been) is able, by reading history backwards, to make up his mind as to what is probable and what seems to belong only to the realm of myth. It does not, for example, seem probable that neas was the son of the goddess Venus; and it seems clear that a great many of the stories that are mixed with the early history of Rome were written long after the events they pretend to record, in order to account for customs and observances of the later days. Some of these we shall notice as we go on with our pleasant story.

We must now return to neas. After long wanderings and many marvellous adventures, he arrived, as has been said, on the shores of Italy. He was not able to go rapidly about the whole country, as we are in these days by means of our good roads and other modes of communication, but if he could have done this, he would have found that he had fallen upon a land in which the inhabitants had come, as he had, from foreign shores. Some of them were of Greek origin, and others had emigrated from countries just north of Italy, though, as we now know that Asia was the cradle of our race, and especially of that portion of it that has peopled Europe, we suppose that all the dwellers on the boot-shaped peninsula had their origin on that mysterious continent at some early period.

If neas could have gone to the southern part of Italy,—to that part from which travellers now take the steamships for the East at Brindisi, he would have found some of the emigrants from the North. If he had gone to the north of the river Tiber, he would have seen a mixed population enjoying a greater civilization than the others, the aristocracy of which had come also from the northern mountains, though the common people were from Greece or its colonies. These people of Greek descent were called Etruscans, and it has been discovered that they had advanced so far in civilization, that they afterwards gave many of their customs to the city of Rome when it came to power. A confederacy known as the "Twelve Cities of Etruria" became famous afterwards, though no one knows exactly which the twelve were. Probably they changed from time to time; some that belonged to the union at one period, being out of it at another. It will be enough for us to remember that Veii, Clusium, Fiden, Volsinii, and Tarquinii were of the group of Etruscan cities at a later date.

The central portion of the country to which neas came is that known as Italia, the inhabitants of which were of the same origin as the Greeks. It is said that about sixty years before the Trojan war, King Evander (whose name meant good man and true) brought a company from the land of Arcadia, where the people were supposed to live in a state of ideal innocence and virtue, to Italia, and began a city on the banks of the Tiber, at the foot of the Palatine Hill. Evander was a son of Mercury, and he found that the king of the country he had come to was Turnus, who was also a relative of the immortal gods. Turnus and Evander became fast friends, and it is said that Turnus taught his neighbors the art of writing, which he had himself learned from Hercules, but this is one of the transparent fictions of the story. It may be that he taught them music and the arts of social life, and gave them good laws. What ever became of good Evander we do not know.

The king of the people among whom neas landed was one Latinus, who became a friend of his noble visitor, giving him his daughter Lavinia to wife, though he had previously promised her to Turnus. neas named the town in which he lived Lavinium, in honor of his wife. Turnus was naturally enraged at the loss of his expected bride, and made war upon both neas and Latinus. The Trojan came off victorious, both the other warriors being killed in the struggle. Thus for a short time, neas was left sole king of all those regions, with no one to dispute his title to the throne or his right to his wife; but the pleasure of ruling was not long to be his, for a short time after his accession to power, he was killed in battle on the banks of the Numicius, as has already been related. His son Ascanius left the low and unhealthy site of Lavinium, and founded a city on higher ground, which was called Alba Longa (the long, white city), and the mountain on the side of which it was, the Alban mountain. The new capital of Ascanius became the centre and principal one of thirty cities that arose in the plain, over all of which it seemed to have authority. Among these were Tusculum, Prneste, Lavinium, and Ardea, places of which subsequent history has much to say.

Ascanius was successful in founding a long line of sovereigns, who reigned in Alba for three hundred years, until there arose one Numitor who was dispossessed of his throne by a younger brother named Amulius. One bad act usually leads to another, and this case was no exception to the rule, for when Amulius had taken his brother's throne, he still feared that the rightful children might interfere with the enjoyment of his power. Though he supported Numitor in comfort, he cruelly killed his son and shut his daughter up in a temple. This daughter was called Silvia, or, sometimes, Rhea Silvia. Wicked men are not able generally to enjoy the fruits of their evil doings long, and, in the course of time, the daughter of the dethroned Numitor became the mother of a beautiful pair of twin boys, (their father being the god of war, Mars,) who proved the avengers of their grandfather. Not immediately, however. The detestable usurper determined to throw the mother and her babes into the river Tiber, and thus make an end of them, as well as of all danger to him from them. It happened that the river was at the time overflowing its banks, and though the poor mother was drowned, the cradle of the twins was caught on the shallow ground at the foot of the Palatine Hill, at the very place where the good Evander had begun his city so long before. There the waifs were found by one of the king's shepherds, after they had been, strangely enough, taken care of for a while by a she-wolf, which gave them milk, and a woodpecker, which supplied them with other food. Faustulus was the name of this shepherd, and he took them to his wife Laurentia, though she already had twelve others to care for. The brothers, who were named Romulus and Remus, grew up on the sides of the Palatine Hill to be strong and handsome men, and showed themselves born leaders among the other shepherds, as they attended to their daily duties or fought the wild animals that troubled the flocks.

The grandfather of the twins fed his herds on the Aventine Hill, nearer the river Tiber, just across a little valley, and a quarrel arose between his shepherds and those of Faustulus, in the course of which Remus was captured and taken before Numitor. The old man thus discovered the relationship that existed between him and the twins who had so long been lost. In consequence of the discovery of their origin, and the right to the throne that was their father's, they arose against their unworthy uncle, and with the aid of their followers, put him to death and placed Numitor in supreme authority, where he rightfully belonged. The twins had become attached to the place in which they had spent their youth, and preferred to live there rather than to go to Alba with their royal grandfather. He therefore granted to them that portion of his possessions, and there they determined to found a city.

Thus we have the origin of the Roman people. We see how the early traditions "mixed human things with things divine," as Livy said had been done to make the origin of the city more respectable; how neas, the far-back ancestor, was descended from Jupiter himself, and how he was a son of Venus, the goddess of love. How Romulus and Remus, the actual founders, were children of the god of war, and thus naturally fitted to be the builders of a nation that was to be strong and to conquer all known peoples on earth. The effort to ascribe to their nation an origin that should appear venerable to all who believed the stories of the gods and goddesses, was remarkably successful, and there is no doubt that it gave inspiration to the Roman people long after the worship of those divinities had become a matter of form, if not even of ridicule.

This was not all that was done, however, to establish the faith in the old stories in the minds of the people. In some way that it is not easy to explain, the names of the first heroes were fixed upon certain localities, just as those of the famous British hero, King Arthur, have long been fixed upon places in Brittany, Cornwall, and Southern Scotland. We find at a little place called Metapontem, the tools used by Epeus in making the wooden horse that was taken into Troy. The bow and arrows of Hercules were preserved at Thurii, near Sybaris; the tomb of Philoctetes, who inherited these weapons of the hero, was at Macalla, in Bruttium, not far from Crotona, where Pythagoras had lived; the head of the Calydonian Boar was at Beneventum, east of Capua, and the Erymanthian Boar's tusks were at Cum, celebrated for its Sibyl; the armor of Diomede, one of the Trojan heroes, was at Luceria, in the vicinity of Cann; the cup of Ulysses and the tomb of Elpenor were at Circei, on the coast; the ships of neas and his Penates were at Lavinium, fifteen miles south of Rome; and the tomb of the hero himself was at a spot between Ardea and Lavinium, on the banks of the brook Numicius. Most men are interested in relics of olden times, and these, so many and of such great attractiveness, were doubtless strong proofs to the average Roman, ready to think well of his ancestors, that tradition told a true story.

As we read the histories of other nations than our own, we are struck by the strangeness of many of the circumstances. They appear foreign (or "outlandish," as our great-grandparents used to say), and it is difficult to put ourselves in the places of the people we read of, especially if they belong to ancient times. Perhaps the names of persons and places give us as much trouble as any thing. It seems to us, perhaps, that the Romans gave their children too many names, and they often added to them themselves when they had grown up. They did not always write their names out in full; sometimes they called each other by only one of them, and at others by several. Marcus Tullius Cicero was sometimes addressed as "Tullius" and is often mentioned in old books as "Tully"; and he was also "M. Tullius Cicero." It was as if we were to write "G. Washington Tudela," and call Mr. Tudela familiarly "Washington." This would cause no confusion at the time, but it might be difficult for his descendants to identify "Washington" as Mr. Tudela, if, years after his death, they were to read of him under his middle name only. The Greeks were much more simple, and each of them had but one name, though they freely used nicknames to describe peculiarities or defects. The Latins and Etruscans seem to have had at first only one name apiece, but the Sabines had two, and in later times the Sabine system was generally followed. A Roman boy had, therefore, a given name and a family name, which were indispensable; but he might have two others, descriptive of some peculiarity or remarkable event in his life—as "Scvola," left-handed; "Cato," or "Sapiens," wise; "Coriolanus," of Corioli. "Appius Claudius Sabinus Regillensis" means Appius of the Claudian family of Regillum, in the country of the Sabines. "Lucius Cornelius Scipio Africanus" means Lucius, of the Cornelian family, and of the particular branch of the Scipios who won fame in Africa. These were called the prnomen (forename), nomen (name), cognomen (surname), and agnomen (added name).



The proverbs says that Rome was not built in a day. It was no easy task for the twins to agree just where they should even begin the city. Romulus thought that the Palatine Hill, on which he and his brother had lived, was the most favorable spot for the purpose, while Remus inclined no less decidedly in favor of the Aventine, on which Numitor had fed his flocks. In this emergency, they seem to have asked counsel of their grandfather, and he advised them to settle the question by recourse to augury, [Footnote: Augury was at first a system of divining by birds, but in time the observation of other signs was included. At first no plebeians could take the auspices, as they seem to have had no share in the divinities whose will was sought, but in the year 300, B.C., the college of augurs, then comprising four patricians, was enlarged by the admission of five plebeians. The augurs were elected for life.] a practice of the Etrurians with which they were probably quite familiar, for they had been educated, we are told, at Gabii, the largest of the towns of Latium, where all the knowledge of the region was known to the teachers.

Following this advice, the brothers took up positions at a given time on the respective hills, surrounded by their followers; those of Romulus being known as the Quintilii, and those of Remus as the Fabii. Thus, in anxious expectation, they waited for the passage of certain birds which was to settle the question between them. We can imagine them as they waited. The two hills are still to be seen in the city, and probably the two groups were about half a mile apart. On one side of them rolled the muddy waters of the Tiber, from which they had been snatched when infants, and around them rose the other elevations over which the "seven-hilled" city of the future was destined to spread. From morning to evening they patiently watched, but in vain. Through the long April night, too, they held their posts, and as the sun of the second day rose over the Coelian Hill, Remus beheld with exultation six vultures swiftly flying through the air, and thought that surely fortune had decided in his favor. The vulture was a bird seldom seen, and one that never did damage to crops or cattle, and for this reason its appearance was looked upon as a good augury. The passage of the six vultures did not, however, settle this dispute, as Numitor expected it would, for Romulus, when he heard that Remus had seen six, asserted that twelve had flown by him. His followers supported this claim, and determined that the city should be begun on the Palatine Hill. It is said that this hill, from which our word palace has come, received its name from the town of Pallantium, in Arcadia, from which Evander came to Italy.

The twenty-first of April was a festal day among the shepherds, and it was chosen as the one on which the new city should be begun (753 B.C.). In the morning of the day, it was customary, so they say, for the country people to purify themselves by fire and smoke, by sprinkling themselves with spring water, by formal washing of their hands, and by drinking milk mixed with grape-juice. During the day they offered sacrifices, consisting of cakes, milk, and other eatables, to Pales, the god of the shepherds. Three times, with faces turned to the east, a long prayer was repeated to Pales, asking blessings upon the flocks and herds, and pardon for any offences committed against the nymphs of the streams, the dryads of the woods, and the other deities of the Italian Olympus. This over, bonfires of hay and straw were lighted, music was made with cymbal and flute, and shepherds and sheep were purified by passing through the flames. A feast followed, the simple folk lying on benches of turf, and indulging in generous draughts of their homely wines, such, probably, as the visitor to-day may regale himself with in the same region. Towards evening, the flocks were fed, the stables were cleansed and sprinkled with water with laurel brooms, and laurel boughs were hung about them as adornments. Sulphur, incense, rosemary, and fir-wood were burned, and the smoke made to pass through the stalls to purify them, and even the flocks themselves were submitted to the same cleansing fumes.

The beginning of a city in the olden time was a serious matter, and Romulus felt the solemnity of the acts in which he was about to engage. He sent men to Etruria, from which land the religious customs of the Romans largely came, to obtain for him the minute details of the rites suitable for the occasion.

At the proper moment he began the Etrurian ceremonies, by digging a circular pit down to the hard clay, into which were cast with great solemnity some of the first-fruits of the season, and also handfuls of earth, each man throwing in a little from the country from which he had come. The pit was then filled up, and over it an altar was erected, upon the hearth of which a fire was kindled. Thus the centre of the new city was settled and consecrated. Romulus then harnessed a white cow and a snow-white bull to a plow with a brazen share, and holding the handle himself, traced the line of the future walls with a furrow (called the pomoerium [Footnote: Pomoerium is composed of post, behind, and murus, a wall. The word is often used as meaning simply a boundary or limit of jurisdiction. The pomoerium of Rome was several times enlarged.]), carrying the plow over the places where gates were to be left, and causing those who followed to see that every furrow as it fell was turned inwards toward the city. As he plowed, Romulus uttered the following prayer:

Do thou, Jupiter, aid me as I found this city; and Mavors [that is, Mars, the god of war and protector of agriculture], my father, and Vesta, my mother, and all other, ye deities, whom it is a religious duty to invoke, attend; let this work of mine rise under your auspices. Long may be its duration; may its sway be that of an all-ruling land; and under it may be both the rising and the setting of the day.

It is said that Jupiter sent thunder from one side of the heavens and lightnings from the other, and that the people rejoiced in the omens as good and went on cheerfully building the walls. The poet Ovid says that the work of superintending the building was given to one Celer, who was told by Romulus to let no one pass over the furrow of the plow. Remus, ignorant of this, began to scoff at the lowly beginning, and was immediately struck down by Celer with a spade. Romulus bore the death of his brother "like a Roman," with great fortitude, and, swallowing down his rising tears, exclaimed: "So let it happen to all who pass over my walls!"

Plutarch, who is very fond of tracing the origin of words, says that Celer rushed away from Rome, fearing vengeance, and did not rest until he had reached the limits of Etruria, and that his name became the synonym for quickness, so that men swift of foot were called Celeres by the Romans, just as we still speak of "celerity," meaning rapidity of motion. Thus the walls of the new city were laid in blood.

In one respect early Rome was like our own country, for Plutarch says that it was proclaimed an asylum to which any who were oppressed might resort and be safe; but it was more, for all who had incurred the vengeance of the law were also taken in and protected from punishment. Romulus is said to have erected in a wood a temple to a god called Asylus, where he "received and protected all, delivering none back— neither the servant to his master, the debtor to his creditor, nor the murderer into the hands of the magistrate; saying it was a privileged place, and they could so maintain it by an order of the holy oracle; insomuch that the city grew presently very populous." It was men, of course, who took advantage of this asylum, for who ever heard of women who would rush in great numbers to such a place? Rome was a colony of bachelors, and some of them pretty poor characters too, so that there did not seem to be a very good chance that they could find women willing to become their wives. Romulus, like many an ardent lover since, evidently thought that all was fair in love and war, and, after failing in all his efforts to lead the neighboring peoples to allow the Roman men to marry their women, he gave it out that he had discovered the altar of the god Consus, who presided over secret deliberations,—a very suitable divinity to come up at the juncture,—and that he intended to celebrate his feast.

Consus was honored on the twenty-first of August, and this celebration would come, therefore, just four months after the foundation of the city. There were horse and chariot races, and libations which were poured into the flames that consumed the sacrifices. The people of the country around Rome were invited to take part in the novel festivities, and they were nothing loth to come, for they had considerable curiosity to see what sort of a city had so quickly grown up on the Palatine Hill. They felt no solicitude, though perhaps some might have thought of the haughtiness with which they had refused the offers of matrimony made to their maidens. Still, it was safe, they thought, to attend a fair under the protection of religion, and so they went,—they and their wives and their daughters.

At a signal from Romulus, when the games were at the most exciting stage, and the strangers were scattered about among the Romans, each follower of Romulus siezed the maiden that he had selected, and carried her off. It is said that as the men made the siezure, they cried out, "Talasia!" which means spinning, and that at all marriages in Rome afterwards, that word formed the refrain of a song, sung as the bride was approaching her husband's house. We cannot imagine the disturbance with which the festival broke up, as the distracted strangers found out that they were the victims of a trick, and that their loved daughters had been taken from them. They called in vain upon the god in whose honor they had come, and they listened with suppressed threats of vengeance to Romulus, as he boldly went about among them telling them that it was owing to their pride that this calamity had fallen upon them, but that all would now be well with their daughters. Each new husband would, he said, be the better guardian of his bride, because he would have to take the place with her of family and home as well as of husband.

The brides were soon comforted, but their parents put on mourning for them and went up and down through the neighborhood exciting the inhabitants against the city of Romulus. Success crowned their efforts, and it was not long before Titus Tatius, king of the Sabines, from among whose people most of the stolen virgins had been taken, found himself at the head of an army sufficient to attack the warlike citizens of the Palatine. He was not so prompt, however, as his neighbors, and two armies from Latin cities had been collected and sent against Romulus, and had been met and overcome by him, before his arrangements were completed; the people being admitted to Rome as citizens, and thus adding to the already increasing power of the community.

The Romans had a citadel on the Capitoline Hill, and Tatius desired to win it. The guardian was named Tarpeius, and he had a daughter, Tarpeia, who was so much attracted by the golden ornaments worn by the Sabines, that she promised to open the citadel to them if each soldier would give his bracelet to her. This was promised, and as each entered he threw his golden ornament upon the poor maiden, until she fell beneath the weight and died, for they wished to show that they hated treachery though willing to profit by it. Her name was fixed upon the steep rock of the Capitoline Hill from which traitors were in after years thrown.

We now have the Sabines on one hill and the Romans on another, with a swampy plain of small extent between them, where the forum was afterward built. The Romans wished to retake the Capitoline Hill (which was also called the Hill of Saturn), and a battle was fought the next day in the valley. It is said that two men began the fight, Mettus Curtius, representing the Sabines, and Hostus Hostilius, the Romans, and that though the Roman was killed, Curtius was chased into the swamp, where his horse was mired, and all his efforts with whip and spur to get him out proving ineffectual, he left the faithful beast and saved himself with difficulty. The swamp was ever after known as Lacus Curtius, and this story might be taken as the true origin of its name (for lacus in Latin meant a marsh as well as a lake), if it were not that there are two other accounts of the reason for it. One story is that in the year 362 B.C.—that is, some four centuries after the battle we have just related, the earth in the forum gave way, and all efforts to fill it proving unsuccessful, the oracles were appealed to. They replied that the spot could not be made firm until that on which Rome's greatness was based had been cast into the chasm, but that then the state would prosper. In the midst of the doubting that followed this announcement, the gallant youth, Curtius, came forward, declaring that the city had no greater treasure than a brave citizen in arms, upon which he immediately leaped into the abyss with his horse. Thereupon the earth closed over the sacrifice. This is the story that Livy prefers. The third is simply to the effect that while one Curtius was consul, in the year 445 B.C., the earth at the spot was struck by lightning, and was afterwards ceremoniously enclosed by him at the command of the senate. This is a good example of the sort of myth that the learned call tiological—that is, myths that have grown up to account for certain facts or customs. The story of the carrying off of the Sabine women is one of this kind, for it seems to have originated in a desire to account for certain incidents in the marriage ceremonies of the Romans. We cannot believe either, though it is reasonable to suppose that some event occurred which was the basis of the tradition told in connection with the history of different periods. We shall find that, in the year 390, all the records of Roman history were destroyed by certain barbarians who burned the city, and that therefore we have tradition only upon which to base the history before that date. We may reasonably believe, however, that at some time the marshy ground in the forum gave way, as ground often does, and that there was difficulty in filling up the chasm. A grand opportunity was thus offered for a good story-teller to build up a romance, or to touch up the early history with an interesting tale of heroism. The temptation to do this would have been very strong to an imaginative writer.

The Sabines gained the first advantage in the present struggle, and it seemed as though fortune was about to desert the Romans, when Romulus commended their cause to Jupiter in a prayer in which he vowed to erect an altar to him as Jupiter Stator—that is, "Stayer," if he would stay the flight of the Romans. The strife was then begun with new vigor, and in the midst of the din and carnage the Sabine women, who had by this time become attached to their husbands, rushed between the fierce men and urged them not to make them widows or fatherless, which was the sad alternative presented to them. "Make us not twice captives!" they exclaimed. Their appeal resulted in peace, and the two peoples agreed to form one nation, the ruler of which should be alternately a Roman and a Sabine, though at first Romulus and Tatius ruled jointly. The women became thus dearer to the whole community, and the feast called Matronalia was established in their honor, when wives received presents from their husbands and girls from their lovers.

Romulus continued to live on the Palatine among the Romans, and Tatius on the Quirinal, where the Sabines also lived. Each people adopted some of the fashions and customs of the other, and they all met for the transaction of business in the Forum Romanum, which was in the valley of the Curtian Lake, between the hills. For a time this arrangement was carried on in peace, and the united nation grew in numbers and power. After five years, however, Tatius was slain by some of the inhabitants of Lavinium, and Romulus was left sole ruler until his death.

Under him the nation grew still more rapidly, and others were made subject to it, all of which good fortune was attributed to his prowess and skill. Romulus became after a while somewhat arrogant. He dressed in scarlet, received his people lying on a couch of state, and surrounded himself with a body of young soldiers called Celeres, from the swiftness with which they executed his orders. It was a suspicious fact that all at once, at a time when the people had become dissatisfied with his actions, Romulus disappeared (717 B.C.). Like Evander, he went, no one knew where, though one of his friends presented himself in the forum and assured the people under oath that one day, as he was going along the road, he met Romulus coming toward him, dressed in shining armor, and looking comelier than ever. Proculus, for that was the friend's name, was struck with awe and filled with religious dread, but asked the king why he had left the people to bereavement, endless sorrow, and wicked surmises, for it had been rumored that the senators had made away with him. Romulus replied that it pleased the gods that, after having built a city destined to be the greatest in the world for empire and glory, he should return to heaven, but that Proculus might tell the Romans that they would attain the height of power by exercising temperance and fortitude, in which effort he would sustain them and remain their propitious god Quirinus. An altar was accordingly erected to the king's honor, and a festival called the Quirinalia was annually celebrated on the seventeenth of February, the day on which he is said to have been received into the number of the gods.

Romulus left the people organized into two great divisions, Patricians and Clients: the former being the Populus Romanus, or Roman People, and possessing the only political rights; and the others being entirely dependent upon them. The Patricians were divided into three tribesthe Romans (Ramnes), the Etruscans (Luceres), and the Sabines (Tities, from Tatius). Another body, not yet organized, called Plebeians, or Plebs, was composed of inhabitants of conquered towns and refugees. These, though not slaves, had no political rights. Each tribe was divided into ten Curiae, and the thirty Curiae composed the Comitia Curiata, which was the sovereign assembly of the Patricians, authorized to choose the king and to decide all cases affecting the lives of the citizens. A number of men of mature age, known as the Patres, composed the Senate, which Romulus formed to assist him in the government. This body consisted of one hundred members until the union with the Sabines, when it was doubled, the Etruscans not being represented until a later time. The army was called a Legion, and was composed of a contribution of a thousand foot-soldiers and a hundred cavalry (Equites, Knights) from each tribe.

A year passed after the death of Romulus before another king was chosen, and the people complained that they had a hundred sovereigns instead of one, because the senate governed, and that not always with justness. It was finally agreed that the Romans should choose a king, but that he should be a Sabine. The choice fell upon Numa Pompilius, a man learned in all laws, human and divine, and two ambassadors were accordingly sent to him at his home at Cures, to offer the kingdom to him. The ambassadors were politely received by the good man, but he assured them that he did not wish to change his condition; that every alteration in life is dangerous to a man; that madness only could induce one who needed nothing to quit the life to which he was accustomed; that he, a man of peace, was not fitted to direct a people whose progress had been gained by war; and that he feared that he might prove a laughing-stock to the people if he were to go about teaching them the worship of the gods and the offices of peace when they wanted a king to lead them to war. The more he declined, the more the people wished him to accept, and at last his father argued with him that a martial people needed one who should teach them moderation and religion; that he ought to recognize the fact that the gods were calling him to a large sphere of usefulness. These arguments proved sufficient, and Numa accepted the crown. After making the appropriate offerings to the gods, he set out for Rome, and was met by the populace coming forth to receive him with joyful acclamations. Sacrifices were offered in the temples, and with impressive ceremonies the new authority was joyfully entrusted to him (715 B.C.).

As Romulus had given the Romans their warlike customs, so now Numa gave them the ceremonial laws of religion; but before entering upon this work, he divided among the people the public lands that Romulus had added to the property of the city by his conquests, by this movement showing that he was possessed of worldly as well as of heavenly wisdom. He next instituted the worship of the god Terminus, who seems to have been simply Jupiter in the capacity of guardian of boundaries. Numa ordered all persons to mark the limits of their lands by consecrated stones, and at these, when they celebrated the feast of Terminalia, sacrifices were to be offered of cakes, meal, and fruits. Moses had done something like this hundreds of years before, in the land of Palestine, when he wrote in his laws: "Thou shalt not remove thy neighbor's landmark, which they of old time have set, in thine inheritance which thou shalt inherit, in the land that the Lord thy God giveth thee." He had impressed it upon the people, repeating in a solemn religious service the words: "Cursed be he that removeth his neighbor's landmark," to which all the people in those primitive times solemnly said "Amen!" You will find the same sentiment repeated in the Proverbs of Solomon. When Romulus had laid out the pomoerium, he made the outline something like a square, and called it Roma Quadrata, that is "Square Rome," but he did not direct the landmarks of the public domain to be distinctly indicated. The consecration of the boundaries undoubtedly made the people consider themselves more secure in their possessions, and consequently made the state itself more stable.

In order to make the people feel more like one body and think less of the fact that they comprised persons belonging to different nations, Numa instituted nine guilds among which the workmen were distributed. These were the pipers, carpenters, goldsmiths, tanners, leather- workers, dyers, potters, smiths, and one in which all other handicraftsmen were united. Thus these men spoke of each other as members of this or that guild, instead of as Etruscans, Romans, and Sabines.

Human sacrifices were declared abolished at this time; the rites of prayer were established; the temple of Janus was founded (which was closed in time of peace and open in time of war); priests were ordained to conduct the public worship, the Pontifex Maximus [Footnote: Pontifex means bridge-builder (pons, a bridge, facere, to make), and the title is said to have been given to these magistrates because they built the wooden bridge over the Tiber, and kept it in repair, so that sacrifices might be made on both sides of the river. The building of this bridge is, however, ascribed to Ancus Martius at a later date, and so some think the name was originally pompifex (pompa, a solemn procession), and meant that the officers had charge of such celebrations.] being at the head of them, and the Flamens, Vestal Virgins, and Salii, being subordinate. Numa pretended that he met by night a nymph named Egeria, at a grotto under the Coelian Hill, not far from the present site of the Baths of Caracalla, and that from time to time she gave him directions as to what rites would be acceptable to the gods. Another nymph, whom Numa commended to the special veneration of the Romans, was named Tacita, or the silent. This was appropriate for one of such quiet and unobtrusive manners as this good king possessed.

Romulus is said to have made the year consist of but ten months, the first being March, named from Mars, the god whom he delighted to honor; but Numa saw that his division was faulty, and so he added two months, making the first one January, from Janus, the god who loved civil and social unity, whose temple he had built; and the second February, or the month of purification, from the Latin word februa. If he had put in his extra months at some other part of the year, he might have allowed it still to begin in the spring, as it naturally does, and we should not be obliged to explain to every generation why the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth months are still called the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth. [Footnote: We shall find that in the course of time this arrangement of the year proved very faulty in its turn, and that Julius Csar made another effort to reform it. (See page 247.)]

The poets said in the peaceful days of Numa, Rust eats the pointed spear and double-edged sword. No more is heard the trumpet's brazen roar, Sweet sleep is banished from our eyes no more,

and that over the iron shields the spiders hung their threads, for it was a sort of golden age, when there was neither plot, nor envy, nor sedition in the state, for the love of virtue and the serenity of spirit of the king flowed down upon all the happy subjects. In due time, after a long reign and a peaceful and useful life, Numa died, not by disease or war, but by the natural decline of his faculties. The people mourned for him heartily and honored him with a costly burial.

After the death of this king an interregnum followed, during which the senate ruled again, but it was not long before the Sabines chose as king a Roman, Tullus Hostilius, grandson of that Hostus Hostilius who had won distinction in the war with the Sabines. The new sovereign thought that the nation was losing its noble prestige through the quietness with which it lived among its neighbors, and therefore he embraced every opportunity to stir up war with the surrounding peoples, and success followed his campaigns. The peasants between Rome and Alba [Footnote: Alba became the chief of a league of thirty Latin cities, lying in the southern part of the great basin through which the Tiber finds its way to the sea, between Etruria and Campania.] afforded him the first pretext, by plundering each other's lands. The Albans were ready to settle the difficulty in a peaceful manner, but Tullus, determined upon aggrandizement, refused all overtures. It was much like a civil war, for both nations were of Trojan origin, according to the traditions. The Albans pitched their tents within five miles of Rome, and built a trench about the city. The armies were drawn up ready for battle, when the Alban leader came out and made a speech, in which he said that as both Romans and Sabines were surrounded by strange nations who would like to see them weakened, as they would undoubtedly be by the war, he proposed that the question which should rule the other, ought to be decided in some less destructive way.

It happened that there were in the army of the Romans three brothers known as the Horatii, of the same age as three others in the Alban army called the Curiatii, and it was agreed that these six should fight in the place of the two armies. At the first clash of arms two of the Romans fell lifeless, though every one of the Curiatii was wounded. This caused the Sabines to exult, especially as they saw the remaining Roman apparently running away. The flight of Horatius was, however, merely feigned, in order to separate the opposing brothers, whom he met as they followed him, and killed in succession. As he struck his sword into the last of the Albans, he exclaimed: "Two have I offered to the shades of my brothers; the third will I offer to the cause of this war, that the Roman may rule over the Alban!" A triumph [Footnote: A "triumph" was a solemn rejoicing after a victory, and included a pompa, or procession of the general and soldiers on foot with their plunder. Triumphs seem to have been celebrated in some style in the earliest days of Rome. In later times they increased very much in splendor and costliness.] followed; but it appears that a sister of Horatius, named Horatia, [Footnote: The Romans seem in one respect to have had little ingenuity in the matter of names, though generally they had too many of them, and formed that of a woman from the name of a man by simply changing the end of it from the masculine form to the feminine.] was to have married one of the Curiatii, and when she met her victorious brother bearing as his plunder the military robe of her lover that she had wrought with her own hands, she tore her hair and uttered bitter exclamations. Horatius in his anger and impatience thrust her through with his sword, saying: "So perish every Roman woman who shall mourn an enemy?" For this act, the victorious young man was condemned to death, but he appealed to the people, and they mitigated his sentence in consequence of his services to the state.

Another war followed, with the Etruscans this time, and the Albans not behaving like true allies, their city was demolished and its inhabitants removed to Rome, where they were assigned to the Coelian Hill. Some of the more noble among them were enrolled among the Patricians, and the others were added to the Plebs, who then became for the first time an organic part of the social body, though not belonging to the Populus Romanus (or Roman People), so called. On another occasion Tullus made war upon the Sabines and conquered them, but finally he offended the gods, and in spite of the fact that he bethought himself of the good Numa and began to follow his example, Jupiter smote him with a thunder-bolt and destroyed him and his house.

Again an interregnum followed, and again a king was chosen, this time Ancus Marcius, a Sabine, grandson of the good Numa, a man who strove to emulate the virtues of his ancestor. It is to be noticed that the four kings of Rome thus far are of two classes, the warlike and peaceful alternating in the legends. The neighbors expected that Ancus would not be a forceful king, and some of them determined to take advantage of his supposed weakness. He set himself to repair the neglected religion, putting up tables in the forum on which were written the ceremonial law, so that all might know its demands, and seeking to lead the people to worship the gods in the right spirit. Ancus seems to have united with his religious character, however, a proper regard for the rights of the nation, and when the Latins who lived on the river Anio, made incursions into his domain, thinking that he would not notice it, in the ardor of his services at the temples and altars, he entered upon a vigorous and successful campaign, conquering several cities and removing their inhabitants, giving them homes on the Aventine Hill, thus increasing the lands that could be divided among the Romans and adding to the number of the Plebeians. Ancus founded a colony at Ostia at the mouth of the Tiber, and built a fortress on the Janiculum Hill, across the river, connecting it with the other regions by means of the first Roman bridge, called the Pons Sublicius, or in simple English, the wooden bridge. This is the one that the Romans wanted to cut down at a later period, as we shall see, and had great difficulty in destroying. Another relic of Ancus is seen in a chamber of the damp Mamertine prison under the Capitoline Hill, the first prison in the city, rendered necessary by the increase of crime. After a reign of twenty-four years, Ancus Martius died, and a new dynasty, of Etruscan origin, began to control the fortunes of the now rapidly growing nation.



The city of Corinth, in Greece, was one of the most wealthy and enterprising on the Mediterranean in its day, and at about the time that Rome is said to have been founded, it entered upon a new period of commercial activity and foreign colonization. So many Greeks went to live on the islands around Italy, and on the shores of Italy itself, indeed, that that region was known as Magna Grcia, or Great Greece, just as in our day we speak of Great Britain, when we wish to include not England only, but also the whole circle of lands under British rule. At this time of commercial activity there came into power in Corinth a family noted for its wealth and force no less than for the luxury in which it lived, and the oppression, too, with which it ruled the people. One of the daughters of the sovereign married out of the family, because she was so ill-favored that no one in her circle was willing to have her as wife.

In due time the princess became the mother of a boy, of whom the oracle at Delphi prophesied that he should be a formidable opponent of the ruling dynasty. Whenever the oracle made such a prophecy about a child, it was customary for the ruler to try to make away with it, and that the ruler of Corinth did in this case. All efforts were unsuccessful, however, because his homely mother hid him in a chest when the spies came to the house. Now the Greek word for chest is kupsele, and therefore this boy was called Cypselus. He grew up to be a fine young man, and entered political life as champion of the people—the demos, as the Greeks would say, and was therefore a democratic politician. [Footnote: A politician is a person versed in the science of government, from the Greek words polis, a city, polites, a citizen. Though a very honorable title, it has been debased in familiar usage until it has come to mean in turn a partisan, a dabbler in public affairs, and even an artful trickster.]

He opposed the aristocratic rulers, and at last succeeded in overturning their government and getting into the position of supreme ruler himself. He ruled thirty years in peace, and was so much loved by the Corinthians that he went about among them in safety without any body-guard.

When Cypselus came into power the citizens of Corinth who belonged to the aristocratic family were obliged to go elsewhere, somewhat as those princes called migrs (emigrants) left France during the Revolution, in 1789. One of them, whose name was Demaratus, a wealthy and intelligent merchant, concluded to go westward, to Magna Grcia, into the part of the world from which his ships had brought him his revenues. Accordingly, accompanied by his family, a great retinue, and some artists and sculptors, he sailed away for Italy and settled at the Etruscan town of Tarquinii. He did not go more than five or six hundred miles from home, but his enterprise was as marked as that of our fathers was considered when, in the last generation, they removed from New York to Chicago, though the distance was not nearly so great. No wonder Demaratus thought that it would be a comfort to have with him some of the artists and sculptors whose genius had made his Corinthian home beautiful.

As he had come to Tarquinii to spend all his days, Demaratus married a lady of the place, and she became the mother of a son, Lucomo. When this young man grew up, he found that, though a native of the city, he was looked upon as a foreigner on his father's account, and that, though he belonged to a family of the highest rank and wealth through his mother's connections, he was excluded from political power and influence. He had inherited the love of authority that had possessed his father's ancestors, and as his father had migrated from home to gain peace, he felt no reluctance in leaving Tarquinii in the hope of gaining the power he thought his wealth and pedigree entitled him to. There was no more attractive field for his ambition than Rome presented, and Lucomo probably knew that that city had been from its very foundation an asylum for strangers. Thither, therefore, he decided to take himself.

We can imagine the removal, as the long procession of chariots and footmen slowly passed over the fifty miles that separated Tarquinii from Rome. Just above Civita Vecchia you may see on your modern map of Italy a town called Corneto, and a mile from that, perhaps, another named Turchina, which is all that remains of the old town in which Lucomo lived. Even now relics of the Tarquinians are found there, and there are many in the museums of Europe that illustrate the ancient civilization of the Etruscans, which was greater at this time than that of the Romans. On his journey Lucomo was himself seated in a chariot with his wife Tanaquil, whom he seems to have honored very highly, and the long train of followers stretched behind them. It represented all that great wealth directed by considerable cultivation could purchase, and must have formed an imposing sight. Rome was approached from the south side of the Tiber, by the way of the Janiculum Hill and over the wooden bridge.

When the emigrants reached the Janiculum, and saw the hills and the modest temples of Rome before them, an eagle, symbol of royalty, flew down, and gently stooping, took off Lucomo's cap. Then, after having flown around the chariot with loud screams, it replaced it, and was soon lost again in the blue heavens. It was as though it had been sent by the gods to encourage the strangers to expect good fortune in their new home. Tanaquil, who was well versed in the augury of her countrymen, embraced her husband; told him from what divinity the eagle had come, and from what auspicious quarter of the heavens; and said that it had performed its message about the highest part of the body, which was in itself prophetic of good.

Considerable impression must have been made upon the subjects of Ancus Martius as the distinguished stranger and his long suite entered the city over the bridge, and when Lucomo bought a fine house, and showed himself affable and courteous, he was received with a cordial welcome, and soon admitted to the rights of a Roman citizen. Seldom had the town received so acceptable an addition to its population. Lucomo soon changed his name to Lucius Tarquinius, and to this, in after years, when there were two of the same family name, the word Priscus, or Elder, was added. Tarquinius, as we may now call him, flattered the Romans by invitations to his hospitable mansion, where his entertainments added greatly to his popularity, and in time Ancus himself heard of his acts of kindness, and added his name to the list of the new citizen's intimate friends. Tarquinius was admitted by the king to private as well as public deliberations about matters of foreign and domestic importance, and doubtless his knowledge of other countries stood him in good stead on these occasions.

The stranger had taken the king and people by storm, and when Ancus died, he left his sons to the guardianship of Tarquinius, and the Populus Romanus chose him to be their king. Thus Rome came to have at the head of its affairs a man not a Roman nor a Sabine, but a citizen of Greek extraction, who was familiar with a much higher state of civilization than was known on the banks of the Tiber. The result is seen in the great strides in advance that the city took during his reign. The architectural grandeur of Rome dates its beginning from this time. Tarquinius laid out vast drains to draw away the water that stood in the Lacus Curtius, between the Capitoline and the Palatine hills, and these remain to this day, as any one who has visited Rome remembers—the mouth of the Cloaca Maxima (the great sewer) being one of the remarkable sights there. The king also drained other parts of the city; vowed to build, and perhaps began, the temple on the Capitoline; built a wall about the city, and erected the permanent buildings on the great forum. These works involved vast labor and expense, and must have been very burdensome to the people. Like other oppressive monarchs, Tarquinius planned games and festivities to amuse them. He enlarged the Circus Maximus, and imported boxers and horses from his native country to perform at games there, which were afterwards celebrated annually. Besides these victories of peace, this king conquered the people about him, and greatly added to the number of his subjects. He for the first time instituted the formal "triumph," as it was afterwards celebrated, riding into the city after a victory in a chariot drawn by four white horses, and wearing a robe bespangled with gold. He brought in also the augural science of his country, which had been only partially known before.

While Tarquinius was thus adding to the greatness of Rome, there appeared in the palace one of those marvels that the early historians delighted to relate, such as, indeed, mankind in all ages has been pleased with. A boy was asleep in the portico when a flame was seen encircling his little head, and the attendants were about to throw water upon it, when the queen interfered, forbidding the boy to be disturbed. She then brought the matter to the notice of her husband, saying: "Do you see this boy whom we are so meanly bringing up? He is destined to be a light in our adversity, and a help in our distress. Let us care for him, for he will become a great ornament to us and to the state." Tarquinius knew well the importance of his wife's advice, and educated the boy, whose name was Servius Tullius, in a way befitting a royal prince. In the course of time he married the king's daughter, and found himself in favor with the people as well as with his royal father-in-law.

For all the forty years of the prosperous reign of Tarquinius, the traditions would have us believe, the two sons of Ancus had been nursing their wrath and inwardly boiling over with indignation because they had been deprived of the kingship, and now, as they saw the popularity of young Servius, they determined to wrench the crown from him after destroying the king. They therefore sent two shepherds into his presence, who pretended to wish advice about a matter in dispute. While one engaged Tarquin's attention, the other struck him a fatal blow with his axe. The queen was, however, quick-witted enough to keep them from enjoying the fruit of their perfidy, for she assured the people from a window that the king was not killed but only stunned, and that for the present he desired them to obey the directions of Servius Tullius. She then called upon the young man to let the celestial flame with which the gods had surrounded his head in his youth arouse him to action. "The kingdom is yours!" she exclaimed; "if you have no plans of your own, then follow mine!" For several days the king's death was concealed, and Servius took his place on the throne, deciding some cases, and in regard to others pretending that he would consult Tarquinius (B.C. 578). Thus he made the senate and the people accustomed to seeing him at the head of affairs, and when the actual fact was allowed to transpire, Servius took possession of the kingdom with the consent of the senate, but without that of the people, which he did not ask. This was the first king who ascended the throne without the suffrages of the Populus Romanus. The sons of Ancus went into banishment, and the royal power, which had passed from the Romans to the Etruscans, now fell into the hands of a man of unknown citizenship, though he has been described as a native of Corniculum, one of the mountain towns to the northeast of Rome, which is never heard of excepting in connection with this reign.



Whatever may have been the origin of the new king, he was evidently not of the ruling class, the Populus Romanus, and for this reason his sympathies were naturally with the Plebeians, or, as they would now be called, the Commons. The long reign of Servius was marked by the victories of peace, though he was involved in wars with the surrounding nations, in which he was successful. These conquests seemed to fix the king more firmly upon the throne, but they did not render him much less desirous of obtaining the good-will of his subjects, and they never seemed to tempt him to exercise his power in a tyrannical manner. He thought that by marrying his two daughters to two sons of Tarquin, he might make his position on the throne more secure, and he accomplished this intention, but it failed to benefit him as he had expected.

Besides adding largely to the national territory, Servius brought the thirty cities of Latium into a great league with Rome, and built a temple on the Aventine consecrated to Diana (then in high renown at Ephesus), at which the Romans, Latins, and Sabines should worship together in token of their unity as one civil brotherhood, though it was understood that the Romans were chief in rank. On a brazen pillar in this edifice the terms of the treaty on which the league was based were written, and there they remained for centuries. The additions to Roman territory gave Servius an opportunity of strengthening his hold upon the commons, for he took advantage of it to cause a census to be taken under the direction of two Censors, on the basis of which he made new divisions of the people, and new laws by which the plebeians came into greater prominence than they had enjoyed before. The census showed that the city and suburbs contained eighty-three thousand inhabitants.

The increase of population led to the extension of the pomoerium, and Servius completed the city by including within a wall of stone all of the celebrated seven hills [Footnote: The "seven hills" were not always the same. In earlier times they had been: Palatinus, Cermalus, Velia, Fagutal, Oppius, Cispius, and Coelius. Oppius and Cispius, were names of summits of the Esquiline; Velia was a spur of the Palatine; Cermalus and Fagutal, according to Niebuhr, were not hills at all.]—the Palatine, Aventine, Capitoline, Coelian, Quirinal, Viminal, and Esquilian,—for, though new suburbs grew up beyond this wall, the legal limits of the city were not changed until the times of the empire.

The inhabitants within the walls were divided into four "regions" or districts—the Palatine, the Colline, the Esquiline, and the Suburran. The subjected districts outside, which were inhabited by plebeians, were divided into twenty-six other regions, thus forming thirty tribes containing both plebeians and patricians. The census gave Servius a list of all the citizens and their property, and upon the basis of this information he separated the entire population into six classes, comprising one hundred and ninety-three subdivisions or "centuries," thus introducing a new principle, and placing wealth at the bottom of social distinctions, instead of birth. This naturally pleased the plebeians, but was not approved by the citizens of high pedigree, who thus lost some of their prestige. The newly formed centuries together constituted the Comitia Centuriata (gathering of the centuries), or National Assembly, which met for business on the Campus Martius, somewhat after the manner of a New England "Town Meeting." In these conclaves they elected certain magistrates, gave sanction to legislative acts, and decided upon war or peace. This Comitia formed the highest court of appeal known to Roman law.

Besides this general assembly of the entire Populus Romanus, Servius established a Comitia in each tribe, authorized to exercise jurisdiction in local affairs.

The first of the six general classes thus established comprised the Horsemen, Equites, Knights, or Cavalry, consisting of six patrician centuries of Equites established by Romulus, and twelve new ones formed from the principal plebeian families. Next in rank to them were eighty centuries composed of persons owning property (not deducting debts) to the amount of one hundred thousand ases (s, copper, brass, bronze), and two centuries of persons not possessed of wealth, but simply Fabrm, or workmen who manufactured things out of hard material, so important to the state were such considered at the time. One would not think it very difficult to get admission to this high class, when it is remembered that an as (originally a pound of copper in weight) [Footnote: The English word ace gets its meaning, "one," from the fact that in Latin as signified the unit either of weight or measure. Two and a half ases were equal to a sestertius, and ten ases (or four sesterces) equalled one denarius, worth about sixteen cents.] was worth but about a cent and a half, and that a hundred thousand such coins would amount to only about fifteen hundred dollars; though, of course, we should have to make allowance for the price of commodities if we wished to arrive at the exact value in the money of our time. The second, third, and fourth centuries were arranged on a descending grade of property qualification, and the fifth comprised those persons whose property was not worth less than twelve thousand five hundred ases, or about two hundred dollars. The sixth class included all whose possessions did not amount to even so little as this. These were called Proletarii or Capite Censorum; caput, the Latin for head, being used in reference to these unimportant citizens for "person," as farmers use it nowadays when they enumerate animals as so many "head."

Though the new arrangement of Servius Tullius gave the plebeians power, it did not give them so much as might be supposed, because it was contrived that the richest class should have the greatest number of votes, and they with the Equites had so many that they were able to carry any measure upon which they agreed. The older men, too, had an advantage, for every class was divided into Seniors and Juniors, each of which had an equal number of votes, though it is apparent that the seniors must have been always in the minority. Servius did not dare to abolish the old Comitia Curiata, and he felt obliged to enact that the votes of the new Comitia should be valid only after having received the sanction of the more ancient body. Thus it will be seen that there were three assemblies, with sovereignty well defined.

The armor of the different classes was also accurately ordered by the law. The first class was authorized to wear, for the defence of the body, brazen helmets, shields, and coats of mail, and to bear spears and swords, excepting the mechanics, who were to carry the necessary military engines and to serve without arms. The members of the second class, excepting that they had bucklers instead of shields and wore no coats of mail, were permitted to bear the same armor, and to carry the sword and spear. The third class had the same armor as the second, excepting that they could not wear greaves for the protection of their legs. The fourth had no arms excepting a spear and a long javelin. The fifth merely carried slings and stones for use in them. To this class belonged the trumpeters and horn-blowers.

These reforms were very important, and very reasonable, too, but though they gained for the king many friends, it was rather among the plebeians than among the more wealthy patricians, and from time to time hints were thrown out that the consent of the people had not been asked when Servius took his seat upon the throne, and that without it his right to the power he wielded was not complete. There was a very solemn and striking ceremony on the Campus Martius after the census had been finished. It was called the Lustration or Suovetaurilia. The first name originated from the fact that the ceremony was a purification of the people by water, and the second because the sacrifice on the occasion consisted of a pig, a sheep, and an ox, the Latin names of which were sus, ovis, and taurus, these being run together in a single manufactured word. Words are not easily made to order, and this one shows how awkward they are when they do not grow naturally.

On the completion of the census (B.C. 566) Servius ordered the members of all the Centuries to assemble on the Campus Martius, which was enclosed in a bend of the Tiber outside of the walls that he built. They came in full armor, according to rank, and the sight must have been very grand and impressive. Three days were occupied in the celebration. Three times were the pig, the sheep, and the bull carried around the great multitude, and then, amid the flaunting of banners, the burning of incense, and the sounding of trumpets, the libation was poured forth, and the inoffensive beasts were sacrificed for the purification of the people. Once every five years the inhabitants were thus counted, and once in five years were they also purified, and in this way it came to pass that that period was known as a lustrum.

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown, says the proverb, and it was true in the case of Servius, for he could never forget that the people had not voted in his favor. For this reason he divided among them the lands that he had taken from the enemies he had defeated, and then, supposing that he had obtained their good-will, he called upon them to vote whether they chose and ordered that he should be king. When the votes came to be counted, Servius found that he had been chosen with a unanimity that had not been manifested before in the selection of a sovereign. Whatever confidence he may have derived from this vote, his place was not secure, and his fatal enemy proved to be in his own household.

It happened that of the two husbands of the daughters of Servius, one was ambitious and unprincipled, and the other quiet and peaceable. The same was true of their wives, only the unprincipled wife found herself mated with the well-behaving husband. Now the wicked wife agreed with the wicked husband that they should murder their partners and then marry together, thus making a pair, both members of which should be ambitious and without principle. This was accomplished, and then the wicked wife, whose name was Tullia, told her husband, whose name was Lucius Tarquinius, that what she wanted was not a husband whom she might live with in quiet like a slave, but one who would remember of whose blood he was, who would consider that he was the rightful king; and that if he would not do it he had better go back to Tarquinii or Corinth and sink into his original race, thus shaming his father and Tanaquil, who had bestowed thrones upon her husband and her son-in-law. The taunts and instigations of Tullia led Lucius to solicit the younger patricians to support him in making an effort for the throne. When he thought he had obtained a sufficient number of confederates, he one day rushed into the forum at an appointed time, accompanied by a body of armed men, and, in the midst of a commotion that ensued, took his seat upon the throne and ordered the senate to attend "King Tarquinius." That august body convened very soon, some having been prepared beforehand for the summons, and then Tarquinius began a tirade against Servius, whom he stigmatized as "a slave and the son of a slave," who had favored the most degraded classes, and had, by instituting the census, made the fortunes of the better classes unnecessarily conspicuous, so as to excite the envy and base passions of the meaner citizens.

Servius came to the senate-house in the midst of the harangue, and called to Lucius to know by what audacity he had taken the royal seat, and summoned the senate during the life of the sovereign. Lucius replied in an insulting manner, and, taking advantage of the king's age, seized him by the middle, carried him out, and threw him down the steps to the bottom! Almost lifeless, Servius was slain by emissaries of Lucius as he was making his way to his home on the Esquiline Hill (B.C. 534). The royal retinue, in their fright, left the body where it fell, and there it was when Tullia, returning from having congratulated her husband, reached the place. Her driver, terrified at the sight, stopped, and would have avoided the king's corpse, though the narrowness of the street made it difficult; but the insane daughter ordered him to drive on, and stained and sprinkled herself with her father's blood, which seemed to cry out for vengeance upon such a cruel act! The vengeance came speedily, as we shall see.



The new king was a tyrant. He was elected by no general consent of the people he governed; he allowed himself to be bound by no laws; he recognized no limit to his authority; and he surrounded himself with a body-guard for protection from the attacks of any who might wish to take the crown from him in the way that he had snatched it from his predecessor. As soon as possible after coming to the throne, he swept away all privilege and right that had been conceded to the commons, commanded that there should no longer be any of those assemblages on the occasions of festivals and sacrifices that had before tended to unite the people and to break the monotony of their lives; he put the poor at taskwork, and mistrusted, banished, or murdered the rich. To strengthen the position of Rome as chief of the confederates cities, and his own position as the ruler of Rome, he gave his daughter to Octavius Mamilius of Tusculum to wife; and to beautify the capital he warred against other peoples, and with their spoil pushed forward the work on the great temple on the Capitoline Hill, [Footnote: This hill is said to have received its name from the fact that as the men were preparing for the foundation of the temple, they came upon a human head, fresh and bleeding, from which it was augured that the spot was to become the head of the world. (Caput, a head.)] a wonderful and massy structure.

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