Page images
[blocks in formation]

Such was Rome, and such its neighbourhood; such also, as far as we can discover, was the earliest form of its society, and such the legends which fill up the place of its lost history. Even for the second period, on which we are now going to enter, we have no certain history; but a series of stories as beautiful as they are unreal, and a few isolated political institutions, which we cannot confidently connect with their causes or with their authors. As before then, I must first give the stories in their oldest and most genuine form; and then offer, in meagre contrast, all that can be collected or conjectured of the real




“Quis novus hic nostris successit sedibus hospes ?
Quem sese ore ferens, quam forti pectore et armis ?”




In the days of Ancus Marcius there came to Rome CHAP. from Tarquinii, a city of Etruria, a wealthy Etruscan

Of the and his wife'. The father of this stranger was a birth of

Tarquinius, Greek”, a citizen of Corinth, who left his native and how he land because it was oppressed by a tyrant, and found Rome. a home at Tarquinii. There he married a noble Etruscan lady, and by her he had two sons. But his son found, that for his father's sake he was still looked upon as a stranger; so he left Tarquinii, and went with his wife Tanaquil to Rome, for there, it was said, strangers were held in more honour. Now as he came near to the gates of Rome, as he was sitting in his chariot with Tanaquil his wife, an eagle came and plucked the cap from his head, and bore it aloft into the air; and then flew down again

came to

i Livy, I. 34.
? Livy, ibid. Dionys. III. 46–48. Cicero de Republicà, II. 19.


CHAP. and placed it upon his head, as it had been before.

So Tanaquil was glad at this sight, and she told her husband, for she was skilled in augury, that this was a sign of the favour of the gods, and she bade him be of good cheer, for that he would surely rise to

greatness. Of his Now when the stranger came to Rome, they favour with king Ancus. called him Lucius Tarquinius : ; and he was a brave

man and wise in council; and his riches won the good word of the multitude; and he became known to the king. He served the king well in peace and war, so that Ancus held him in great honour, and when he died he named him by his will to be the

guardian of his children. Of his deeds But Tarquinius was in great favour with the peoin war.

ple; and when he desired to be king, they resolved to choose him rather than the sons of Ancus. So he began to reign, and he did great works both in war and peace. He made war on the Latins, and took from them a great spoil". Then he made war on the Sabines, and he conquered them in two battles, and took from them the town of Collatia, and gave it to Egerius, his brother's son, who had come with him from Tarquinii. Lastly, there was another war with the Latins, and Tarquinius went round to their cities, and took them one after another; for none dared to go out to meet him in open battle. These were his acts in war.

Of his deeds

[ocr errors]

3 Cicero, Livy, and Dionysius, in locis citatis.

Livy, I. 35–38.


is works

He also did great works in peace s; for he made CHAP. vast drains to carry off the water from between the Palatine and the Aventine, and from between the in peace. Palatine and the Capitoline Hills. And in the space between the Palatine and the Aventine, after he had drained it, he formed the Circus, or great racecourse, for chariot and for horse races. Then in the space between the Palatine and the Capitoline he made a forum or market-place, and divided out the ground around it for shops or stalls, and made a covered walk round it. Next he set about building a wall of stone to go round the city; and he laid the foundations of a great temple on the Capitoline Hill, which was to be the temple of the gods of Rome. He also added a hundred new senators to the senate, and doubled the number of the horsemen in the centuries of the Ramnenses, Titienses, and Luceres, for he wanted to strengthen his force of horsemen ; and when he had done so, his horse gained him great victories over his enemies. Now he first had it in his mind to make three new of the

famous aucenturies of horsemen, and to call them after his own gur, Attus name. But Attus Navius, who was greatly skilled in augury, forbade him. Then the king mocked at his art, and said, “Come now, thou augur, tell me by thy auguries, whether the thing which I now have in my mind may be done or not.” And Attus Navius asked counsel of the gods by augury, and he an


6 Livy, I. 38. 35. Dionysius, 70, 71. Cicero de Divinat. I. 17, III. 67, 68.

o Livy, I. 36. Dionysius, III.


§ 32.

[ocr errors]

CHAP. swered, “ It may.” Then the king said, “ It was in IV. - my mind that thou shouldst cut in two this whetstone

with this razor. Take them, and do it, and fulfil thy augury if thou canst.” But Attus took the razor and the whetstone, and he cut, and cut the whetstone asunder. So the king obeyed his counsels, and made no new centuries, and in all things afterwards he consulted the gods by augury, and obeyed their

bidding How

Tarquinius reigned long and prospered greatly; Tarquinius chose and there was a young man brought up in his houseServius Tullius to be his hold, of whose birth some told wonderful tales, and heir, and how he was said that he was ’ the son of a god; but others said 8 murdered by the sons of that his mother was a slave, and his father was one king Ancus.

of the king's clients. But he served the king well, and was in favour with the people, and the king promised him his daughter in marriage. The young man was called Servius Tullius. But when the sons of king Ancus saw that Servius was so loved by king Tarquinius, they resolved to slay the king, lest he should make this stranger his heir, and so they should lose the crown for ever. So they set on two shepherds to do the deed, and these went to the king's palace, and pretended to be quarrelling with each other, and both called on the king to do them right. The king sent for them to hear their story: and while he was hearing one of them speak, the other struck him on the head with his hatchet, and then both of them fled. But Tanaquil, the king's wife, pretended

7 Dionysius, IV. 2. Ovid, Fasti, VI. 627.

8 Cicero de Repub. II. 21.
9 Livy, I. 40.

« PreviousContinue »