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Lucius Tarquinius Superbus (died 495 BC) was the legendary seventh and final
king of Rome The king of Rome ( la, rex Romae) was the chief magistrate Chief magistrate is a public official, executive or judicial, whose office is the highest in its class. Historically, the two different meanings of magistrate The term magistrate is ...
, reigning from 535 BC until the popular uprising in 509 BC that led to the establishment of the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the classical Roman civilization, run through public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an indiv ...
. He is commonly known as Tarquin the Proud, from his
cognomen A ''cognomen'' (; plural ''cognomina''; from ''con-'' "together with" and ''(g)nomen'' "name") was the third name of a citizen of ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC ...
''Superbus'' (
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
for "proud, arrogant, lofty"). Ancient accounts of the regal period mingle history and legend. Tarquin was said to have been the son or grandson of
Lucius Tarquinius Priscus Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, or Tarquin the Elder, was the legendary fifth king of Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (m ...
, the fifth king of Rome, and to have gained the throne through the murders of both his wife and his elder brother, followed by the assassination of his predecessor,
Servius Tullius Servius Tullius was the legendary sixth king of Rome The king of Rome ( la, rex Romae) was the chief magistrate Chief magistrate is a public official, executive or judicial, whose office is the highest in its class. Historically, the two d ...
. His reign is described as a tyranny that justified the abolition of the monarchy.


Background

Tarquin was said to be the son or grandson of Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, the fifth king of Rome, and
Tanaquil Tanaquil (Etruscan__NOTOC__ Etruscan may refer to: Ancient civilisation *The Etruscan language, an extinct language in ancient Italy *Something derived from or related to the Etruscan civilization **Etruscan architecture **Etruscan art **Etrusca ...

Tanaquil
. Tanaquil had engineered her husband's succession to the Roman kingdom on the death of
Ancus Marcius Ancus Marcius (–617 BC; reigned 642–617 BC)"Ancus Marcius" in ''Encyclopædia Britannica, The New Encyclopædia Britannica''. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 15th edn., 1992, Vol. 1, p. 379. was the Roman mythology, legendary fourth kin ...
. When the sons of Marcius subsequently arranged the elder Tarquin's assassination in 579 BC, Tanaquil placed
Servius Tullius Servius Tullius was the legendary sixth king of Rome The king of Rome ( la, rex Romae) was the chief magistrate Chief magistrate is a public official, executive or judicial, whose office is the highest in its class. Historically, the two d ...
on the throne, in preference to her own sons or grandsons. According to an Etruscan tradition, the hero Macstarna, usually equated with Servius Tullius, defeated and killed a Roman named
Gnaeus Tarquinius Gnaeus, also spelled Cnaeus, was a Ancient Rome, Roman praenomen derived from the Latin ''naevus'', a birthmark. It was a common name borne by many individuals throughout Roman history, including: Individuals *Gnaeus Acerronius Proculus, a consul ...
, and rescued the brothers Caelius and Aulus Vibenna from captivity. This may recollect an otherwise forgotten attempt by the sons of Tarquin the Elder to reclaim the throne. To forestall further dynastic strife, Servius married his daughters, known to history as Tullia Major and
Tullia Minor Tullia Minor is a semi-legendary figure in Roman history. She was the last queen of Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome ( ...
, to Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the future king, and his brother
Arruns Arruns, also spelled Aruns, is an Etruscan__NOTOC__ Etruscan may refer to: Ancient civilisation *The Etruscan language, an extinct language in ancient Italy *Something derived from or related to the Etruscan civilization **Etruscan architecture * ...
. One of Tarquin's sisters,
Tarquinia Tarquinia (), formerly Corneto, is an old city in the province of Viterbo Viterbo ( it, provincia di Viterbo) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1 ...
, married Marcus Junius Brutus, and was the mother of
Lucius Junius Brutus Lucius Junius Brutus ( 6th century BC) is the semi-legendary founder Founder or Founders may refer to: Places *Founders Park, a stadium in South Carolina, formerly known as Carolina Stadium * Founders Park, a waterside park in Islamorada, Florid ...
, one of the men who would later lead the overthrow of the
Roman Kingdom The Roman Kingdom, also referred to as the Roman monarchy, or the regal period of ancient Rome, was the earliest period of Roman history The history of Rome includes the history of the Rome, city of Rome as well as the Ancient Rome, civili ...
. The elder sister, Tullia Major, was of mild disposition, yet married the ambitious Tarquin. Her younger sister, Tullia Minor, was of fiercer temperament, but her husband Arruns was not. She came to despise him, and conspired with Tarquin to bring about the deaths of Tullia Major and Arruns. After the murder of their spouses, Tarquin and Tullia were married. Together, they had three sons:
Titus Titus Caesar Vespasianus ( ; 30 December 39 – 13 September 81 AD) was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles thro ...
,
Arruns Arruns, also spelled Aruns, is an Etruscan__NOTOC__ Etruscan may refer to: Ancient civilisation *The Etruscan language, an extinct language in ancient Italy *Something derived from or related to the Etruscan civilization **Etruscan architecture * ...
, and Sextus, and a daughter,
Tarquinia Tarquinia (), formerly Corneto, is an old city in the province of Viterbo Viterbo ( it, provincia di Viterbo) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1 ...
, who married
Octavius Mamilius Octavius Mamilius (died 498 BC) was ''princeps Princeps (plural: principes) is a Latin word meaning "first in time or order; the first, foremost, chief, the most eminent, distinguished, or noble; the first man, first person". As a title, "princep ...
, the prince of
Tusculum Tusculum is a ruined Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan c ...
.


Overthrow of Servius Tullius

Tullia encouraged her husband to advance his own position, ultimately persuading him to usurp Servius. Tarquin solicited the support of the patrician
senators
senators
, especially those from houses that had been raised to senatorial rank under Tarquin the Elder. He bestowed presents upon them, and spread criticism of Servius the king.Livy, i. 47. In time, Tarquin felt ready to seize the throne. He went to the senate-house with a group of armed men, sat himself on the throne, and summoned the senators to attend upon King Tarquin. He then spoke to the senators, denigrating Servius as a slave born of a slave; for failing to be elected by the senate and the people during an
interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organization, or social order. Archetypally, it was the period of time between the reign of one monarch and the next (coming from Latin ''i ...

interregnum
, as had been the tradition for the election of kings of Rome; for having become king through the machinations of a woman; for favouring the lower classes of Rome over the wealthy, and for taking the land of the upper classes for distribution to the poor; and for instituting the census so that the wealth of the upper classes might be exposed in order to excite popular envy. When word of this brazen deed reached Servius, he hurried to the curia to confront Tarquin, who leveled the same accusations against his father-in-law, and then in his youth and vigor carried the king outside and flung him down the steps of the senate-house and into the street. The king's retainers fled, and as he made his way, dazed and unattended, toward the palace, the aged Servius was set upon and murdered by Tarquin's assassins, perhaps on the advice of his own daughter.Livy, i. 48. Tullia, meanwhile, drove in her chariot to the senate-house, where she was the first to hail her husband as king. But Tarquin bade her return home, concerned that the crowd might do her violence. As she drove toward the Urbian Hill, her driver stopped suddenly, horrified at the sight of the king's body, lying in the street. But in a frenzy, Tullia herself seized the reins, and drove the wheels of her chariot over her father's corpse. The king's blood spattered against the chariot and stained Tullia's clothes, so that she brought a gruesome relic of the murder back to her house. The street where Tullia disgraced the dead king afterward became known as the ''Vicus Sceleratus,'' the Street of Crime.


Reign

Tarquin commenced his reign by refusing to bury the dead Servius, and then putting to death a number of leading senators, whom he suspected of remaining loyal to Servius. By not replacing the slain senators, and not consulting the senate on matters of government, he diminished both the size and the authority of the senate. In another break with tradition, Tarquin judged capital crimes without the advice of counselors, causing fear amongst those who might think to oppose him. He made a powerful ally when he betrothed his daughter to
Octavius Mamilius Octavius Mamilius (died 498 BC) was ''princeps Princeps (plural: principes) is a Latin word meaning "first in time or order; the first, foremost, chief, the most eminent, distinguished, or noble; the first man, first person". As a title, "princep ...
of
Tusculum Tusculum is a ruined Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan c ...
, among the most eminent of the Latin chiefs. Early in his reign, Tarquin called a meeting of the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...
leaders to discuss the bonds between Rome and the Latin towns. The meeting was held at a grove sacred to the goddess
Ferentina Ferentina was the patron goddess of the city Ferentinum, Latium Latium ( , ; ) is the region of central western Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting ...
. At the meeting,
Turnus Herdonius Turnus Herdonius was a leading citizen and statesman of ancient Aricia in Latium Latium ( , ; ) is the region of central western Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a ...
inveighed against Tarquin's arrogance, and warned his countrymen against trusting the Roman king. Tarquin then bribed Turnus' servant to store a large number of swords in his master's lodging. Tarquin called together the Latin leaders, and accused Turnus of plotting his assassination. The Latin leaders accompanied Tarquin to Turnus' lodging and, the swords then being discovered, the Latin's guilt was then speedily inferred. Turnus was condemned to be thrown into a pool of water in the grove, with a wooden frame, or ''cratis'', placed over his head, into which stones were thrown, drowning him. The meeting of the Latin chiefs then continued, and Tarquin persuaded them to renew their treaty with Rome, becoming her allies rather than her enemies. It was agreed that the soldiers of the Latins would attend at the grove on an appointed day, and form a united military force with the
Roman army The Roman army (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in ...
. Next, Tarquin instigated a war against the
Volsci The Volsci (, , ) were an Italic Osco-Umbrian The Osco-Umbrian, Sabellic or Sabellian languages are a group of Italic languages, the Indo-European languages that were spoken in Central and Southern Italy by the Osco-Umbrians before being replaced ...

Volsci
, taking the wealthy town of
Suessa Pometia Suessa Pometia ( el, ; also Pometia) was an ancient city of Latium Latium ( , ; ) is the region of central western Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consis ...
. He celebrated a triumph, and with the spoils of this conquest, he commenced the erection of the
Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus The Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, also known as the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus ( la, Aedes ''Aedes'' is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In ...

Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus
, which Tarquin the Elder had vowed. He then engaged in a
war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (new ...
with
Gabii Gabii was an ancient city of Latium, located due east of Rome along the Via Praenestina, which was in early times known as the ''Via Gabina''. It was on the south-eastern perimeter of an extinct volcanic crater lake, approximately circular in ...
, one of the Latin cities that had rejected the treaty with Rome. Unable to take the city by force of arms, Tarquin resorted to another stratagem. His son, Sextus, pretending to be ill-treated by his father, and covered with the bloody marks of stripes, fled to Gabii. The infatuated inhabitants entrusted him with the command of their troops, and when he had obtained the unlimited confidence of the citizens, he sent a messenger to his father to inquire how he should deliver the city into his hands. The king, who was walking in his garden when the messenger arrived, made no reply, but kept striking off the heads of the tallest poppies with his stick. Sextus took the hint, and put to death, or banished on false charges, all the leading men of Gabii, after which he had no difficulty in compelling the city to submit. Tarquin agreed upon a peace with the
Aequi 300px, Location of the Aequi (Equi) in central Italy, 5th century BC. The Aequi ( grc, Αἴκουοι and Αἴκοι) were an Italic tribe The Italic peoples were an ethnolinguistic group An ethnolinguistic group (or ethno-linguistic group) is ...
, and renewed the treaty of peace between Rome and the
Etruscans The Etruscan civilization () of ancient Italy The history of Italy covers the Ancient Period, the Middle Ages and the modern era. Since classical times, ancient Phoenicians, Magna Graecia, Greeks, Etruscan civilization, Etruscans, and Celts ha ...

Etruscans
. According to the
Fasti Triumphales The ''Acta Triumphorum'' or ''Triumphalia'', better known as the ''Fasti Triumphales'', or Triumphal Fasti, is a calendar of Roman magistrate The Roman magistrates were elected officials in Ancient Rome In historiography Historiogr ...
, he won a victory over the
Sabines The Sabines (; lat, Sabini; it, Sabini, all exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Sou ...
, and established Roman colonies at the towns of and
Circeii Monte Circeo or Cape Circeo ( it, Promontorio del Circeo , la, Mons Circeius) is a mountain remaining as a promontory A promontory is a raised mass of land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. ...
. At Rome, Tarquin leveled the top of the
Tarpeian Rock The Tarpeian Rock (; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of ...

Tarpeian Rock
, overlooking the
Forum Forum (plural forums or fora) may refer to: Common uses * Forum (legal), designated space for public expression in the United States *Forum (Roman), open public space within a Roman city **Roman Forum, most famous example *Internet forum, discus ...

Forum
, and removed a number of ancient
Sabine The Sabines (; lat, Sabini; it, Sabini, all exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Sou ...

Sabine
shrines, in order to make way for the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the
Capitoline Hill The Capitolium or Capitoline Hill ( ; it, Campidoglio ; la, Mons Capitolinus ), between the Forum Forum (plural forums or fora) may refer to: Common uses * Forum (legal), designated space for public expression in the United States *For ...
. He constructed tiers of seats in the circus, and ordered the excavation of Rome's great sewer, the ''
cloaca maxima The Cloaca Maxima ( lat, Cloāca Maxima, lit. ''Greatest Sewer'') was one of the world's earliest sewage system Sewerage (or sewage system) is the infrastructure that conveys sewage or surface runoff (stormwater, meltwater, rainwater) using s ...
''. According to one story, Tarquin was approached by the
Cumaean Sibyl The Cumaean Sibyl was the priestess presiding over the Apollonian oracle at Cumae, a Greek colony located near Naples, Italy. The word ''Sibyl (oracle), sibyl'' comes (via Latin) from the ancient Greek word ''sibylla'', meaning prophetess. There ...
, who offered him nine books of prophecy at an exorbitant price. Tarquin abruptly refused, and the Sibyl proceeded to burn three of the nine. She then offered him the remaining books, but at the same price. He hesitated, but refused again. The Sibyl then burned three more books before offering him the three remaining books at the original price. At last Tarquin accepted, in this way obtaining the
Sibylline Books The ''Sibylline Books'' ( la, Libri Sibyllini) were a collection of oracular An oracle is a person or agency Agency may refer to: * a governmental or other institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, r ...
.


Overthrow and exile

In 509 BC, having angered the Roman populace through the pace and burden of constant building, Tarquin embarked on a campaign against the
Rutuli The Rutuli or Rutulians were an ancient people in Italy. The Rutuli were located in a territory whose capital was the ancient town of Ardea, located about 35 km southeast of Rome. Thought to have been descended from the Umbri The Umbri wer ...
. At that time, the Rutuli were a very wealthy nation, and Tarquin was keen to obtain the spoils that would come with victory, in hopes of assuaging the ire of his subjects. Failing to take their capital of Ardea by storm, the king determined to take the city by siege. With little prospect of battle, the young noblemen in the king's army fell to drinking and boasting. When the subject turned to the virtue of their wives,
Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus Lucius Tarquinius Ar. f. Ar. n. Collatinus was one of the first two Roman consul, consuls of the Roman Republic in 509 BC, together with Lucius Junius Brutus. The two men had led the revolution which Overthrow of the Roman monarchy, overthrew th ...
claimed to have the most dedicated of spouses. With his companions, they secretly visited each other's homes, and discovered all of the wives enjoying themselves, except for
Lucretia According to Roman tradition, Lucretia ( /luːˈkriːʃə/ ''loo-KREE-shə'', Classical Latin Classical Latin is the form of Latin language Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch o ...

Lucretia
, the wife of Collatinus, who was engaged in domestic activities. Lucretia received the princes graciously, and together her beauty and virtue kindled the flame of desire in Collatinus' cousin, Sextus Tarquinius, the king's son. After a few days, Sextus returned to
Collatia Collatia was an ancient town of central Italy, c. 15 km northeast of Rome by the ''Via Collatina''. It appears in the legendary history of Rome as captured by Tarquinius Priscus. Virgil, Vergil speaks of it as a Latin colony of Alba Longa. I ...
, where he implored Lucretia to give herself to him. When she refused, he threatened to kill her, and claim that he had discovered her in the act of adultery with a slave, if she did not yield to him. To spare her husband the shame threatened by Sextus, Lucretia submitted to his whims. But when he had departed for the camp, she sent for her husband and father, revealing the whole affair, and accusing Sextus. Despite the pleas of her family, Lucretia took her own life out of shame. Collatinus, together with his father-in-law,
Spurius Lucretius Tricipitinus Spurius Lucretius Tricipitinus is a semi-legendary figure in early Roman history. He was the first Suffect Consul A consul held the highest elected political office The incumbent is the current holder of an official, office or position, us ...
, and his companions,
Lucius Junius Brutus Lucius Junius Brutus ( 6th century BC) is the semi-legendary founder Founder or Founders may refer to: Places *Founders Park, a stadium in South Carolina, formerly known as Carolina Stadium * Founders Park, a waterside park in Islamorada, Florid ...
and Publius Valerius, swore an oath to expel the king and his family from Rome. As Tribune of the Celeres, Brutus was head of the king's personal bodyguard, and entitled to summon the Roman comitia. This he did, and by recounting the various grievances of the people, the king's abuses of power, and by inflaming public sentiment with the tale of the rape of Lucretia, Brutus persuaded the comitia to revoke the king's
imperium In ancient Rome, ''imperium'' was a form of authority held by a Roman citizenship, citizen to control a military or governmental entity. It is distinct from ''auctoritas'' and ''potestas'', different and generally inferior types of power in t ...

imperium
and send him into exile. Tullia fled the city in fear of the mob, while Sextus Tarquinius, his deed revealed, fled to Gabii, where he hoped for the protection of the Roman garrison. However, his previous conduct there had made him many enemies, and he was soon assassinated. In place of the king, the ''comitia centuriata'' resolved to elect two
consuls A consul is an official representative of the government of one Sovereign state, state in the territory of another, normally acting to assist and protect the citizens of the consul's own country, as well as to facilitate trade and friendship be ...
to hold power jointly. Lucretius, the prefect of the city, presided over the election of the first consuls, Brutus and Collatinus. When word of the uprising reached the king, Tarquin abandoned Ardea, and sought support from his allies in Etruria. The cities of
Veii Veii (also Veius; it, Veio) was an important ancient Etruscan civilization, Etruscan city situated on the southern limits of Etruria and only north-northwest of Rome, Italy. It now lies in Isola Farnese, in the Comuni of the Province of Rome, c ...

Veii
and
Tarquinii Tarquinia (), formerly Corneto, is an old city in the province of Viterbo Viterbo ( it, provincia di Viterbo) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1 ...
sent contingents to join the king's army, and he prepared to march upon Rome. Brutus, meanwhile, prepared a force to meet the returning army. In a surprising reversal, Brutus demanded that his colleague, Collatinus, resign the consulship and go into exile, because he bore the hated name of Tarquinius. Stunned by this betrayal, Collatinus complied, and his father-in-law was chosen to succeed him. Meanwhile, the king sent ambassadors to the senate, ostensibly to request the return of his personal property, but in reality to subvert a number of Rome's leading men. When this plot was discovered, those found guilty were put to death by the consuls. Brutus was forced to condemn to death his two sons, Titus and Tiberius, who had taken part in the conspiracy. Leaving Lucretius in charge of the city, Brutus departed to meet the king upon the field of battle. At the
Battle of Silva Arsia A battle is an occurrence of combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or devic ...
, the Romans won a hard-fought victory over the king and his Etruscan allies. Each side sustained painful losses; the consul Brutus and his cousin, Arruns Tarquinius, fell in battle against each other. After this failure, Tarquin turned to
Lars Porsena Lars Porsena (or Porsenna; Etruscan: Pursenas) was an Etruscan__NOTOC__ Etruscan may refer to: Ancient civilisation *The Etruscan language, an extinct language in ancient Italy *Something derived from or related to the Etruscan civilization **E ...

Lars Porsena
, the king of
Clusium Clusium ( grc-gre, Κλύσιον, ''Klýsion'', or , ''Kloúsion''; Umbrian Umbrian is an extinct Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living ...
. Porsena's march on Rome and the valiant defense of the Romans achieved legendary status, giving rise to the story of , and the bravery of
Gaius Mucius Scaevola Gaius Mucius Cordus, better known with his later cognomen Scaevola ( , ), was an Ancient Rome, ancient Roman youth, possibly mythical, famous for his bravery. In 508 BC, during the Roman-Etruscan Wars#War with Clusium in 508 BC, war between Rome ...
. Accounts vary as to whether Porsena finally entered Rome, or was thwarted, but modern scholarship suggests that he was able to occupy the city briefly before withdrawing. In any case, his efforts were of no avail to the exiled Roman king. Tarquin's final attempt to regain the Roman kingdom came in 498 or 496 BC, when he persuaded his son-in-law, Octavius Mamilius, dictator of Tusculum, to march on Rome at the head of a Latin army. The Roman army was led by the dictator, Albus Postumius Albus, and his
Master of the Horse The Master of the Horse was (and in some cases, still is) a position of varying importance in several European nations. Magister Equitum (Ancient Rome) The original Master of the Horse (Latin ''Magister Equitum'') in the Roman Republic Th ...
,
Titus Aebutius Elva __NoToC__ Titus Aebutius Helva was a Roman senator and general from the early Roman Republic, Republic, who held the Roman consul, consulship in 499 BC. He was ''magister equitum'' under Aulus Postumius Albus Regillensis, Aulus Postumius Albus at ...
, while the elderly king and his last remaining son,
Titus Tarquinius Titus was the eldest son of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus Lucius Tarquinius Superbus (died 495 BC) was the legendary seventh and final king of Rome The king of Rome ( la, rex Romae) was the chief magistrate Chief magistrate is a public officia ...
, accompanied by a force of Roman exiles, fought alongside the Latins. Once more the battle was hard fought and narrowly decided, with both sides suffering great losses. Mamilius was slain, the master of the horse grievously injured, and Titus Tarquinius barely escaped with his life. But in the end, the Latins abandoned the field, and Rome retained her independence. After the Latin defeat and the death of his son-in-law, Tarquin went to the court of
Aristodemus In Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief ...
at
Cumae Cumae ( grc, Κύμη, (Kumē) or or ; it, Cuma) was the first ancient Greek colony on the mainland of Italy, founded by settlers from Euboea Euboea (, ) or Evia (, ; el, Εύβοια Euboea (, ) or Evia (, ; el, Εύβοια ...

Cumae
, where he died in 495.


Modern representations

William Shakespeare William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national p ...

William Shakespeare
alludes to Tarquin in his plays, ''
Titus Andronicus ''Titus Andronicus'' is a Shakespearean tragedy, tragedy by William Shakespeare believed to have been written between 1588 and 1593, probably in collaboration with George Peele. It is thought to be Shakespeare's first tragedy and is often seen ...

Titus Andronicus
'', ''
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened ...
'', ''
Coriolanus ''Coriolanus'' ( or ) is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1605 and 1608. The play is based on the life of the legendary Roman Republic, Roman leader Gaius Marcius Coriolanus, Caius Marcius Coriolanus. Sh ...
'', ''
Macbeth ''Macbeth'' (, full title ''The Tragedie of Macbeth'') is a Shakespearean tragedy, tragedy by William Shakespeare. It is thought to have been first performed in 1606 in literature, 1606. It dramatises the damaging physical and psychological ...

Macbeth
'', and ''
Cymbeline ''Cymbeline'' , also known as ''The Tragedie of Cymbeline'' or ''Cymbeline, King of Britain'', is a play by William Shakespeare set in British Iron Age, Ancient Britain () and based on legends that formed part of the Matter of Britain concerni ...
''. In 1765,
Patrick Henry Patrick Henry (May 29, 1736June 6, 1799) was an American attorney, planter, politician, and orator best known for his declaration to the Second Virginia Convention The Second Virginia Convention was a meeting of the Patriot legislature of V ...

Patrick Henry
gave a speech before the Virginia
House of Burgesses The House of Burgesses was the elected representative element of the Virginia General Assembly The Virginia General Assembly is the legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliber ...
, in opposition to the
Stamp Act of 1765 The Stamp Act of 1765 (short title: ''Duties in American Colonies Act 1765''; 5 George III, c. 12) was an act of the Parliament of Great Britain The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in May 1707 following the ratification of the ...
. Toward the end of his speech, he inserted as a rhetorical flourish, a comparison between
King George III George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 173829 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and of Monarchy of Ireland, Ireland from 25 October 1760 until Acts of Union 1800, the union of the two kingdoms on 1 January 1801, after which he wa ...

King George III
and various historical figures who were brought low by their enemies, including
Charles I Charles is a masculine given name predominantly found in English language, English and French language, French speaking countries. It is from the French form ''Charles'' of the Proto-Germanic, Proto-Germanic name ᚲᚨᚱᛁᛚᚨᛉ (in r ...

Charles I
,
Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman people, Roman general and statesman. A member of the First Triumvirate, Caesar led the Roman armies in the Gallic Wars before defeating his political rival Pompey Caesar's C ...

Caesar
, and in some accounts of the speech, Tarquin. The cultural phenomenon known as "
tall poppy syndrome The tall poppy syndrome is a cultural phenomenon in which people hold back, criticise, or sabotage those who have or are believed to have achieved notable success in one or more aspects of life, particularly intellectual or cultural wealth—"c ...
," in which persons of unusual merit are attacked or resented because of their achievements, derives its name from the episode in
Livy Titus Livius (; 59 BC – AD 17), known in English as Livy ( ), was a Ancient Rome, Roman historian. He wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people, titled , covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome before the traditiona ...
, in which Tarquin is said to have instructed his son, Sextus, to weaken the city of Gabii by destroying its leading men. The motif of using an unwitting messenger to deliver such a message, through the metaphor of cutting the heads off the tallest poppies, may have been borrowed from
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece, ancient Greek writer, geographer, and historian born in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire (now Bodrum, Turkey). He ...
, whose ''
Histories Histories or, in Latin, Historiae may refer to: * the plural of history * Histories (Herodotus), ''Histories'' (Herodotus), by Herodotus * ''The Histories'', by Timaeus (historian), Timaeus * The Histories (Polybius), ''The Histories'' (Polybius), ...
'' contain a similar story, involving ears of wheat instead of poppies. A passage concerning Livy's version of the story appears in Kierkegaard's ''
Fear and Trembling ''Fear and Trembling'' (original Danish language, Danish title: ''Frygt og Bæven'') is a philosophical work by Søren Kierkegaard, published in 1843 under the pseudonym ''Johannes de silentio'' (Latin for ''John of the Silence''). The title is ...

Fear and Trembling
''.
Benjamin Britten Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten (22 November 1913 – 4 December 1976) was an English composer, conductor, and pianist. He was a central figure of 20th-century British music, with a range of works including opera, other vocal m ...

Benjamin Britten
employed the character in his 1946
chamber opera Chamber opera is a designation for opera Opera is a form of theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or ima ...
''
The Rape of Lucretia ''The Rape of Lucretia'' (Op. 37) is an opera in two acts by Benjamin Britten, written for Kathleen Ferrier, who performed the Lucretia, title role. Ronald Duncan based his English-language, English libretto on André Obey's play '. Performanc ...
''.Andrew Clements,
The Origins of Britten's Controversial Opera, ''The Rape of Lucretia''
, in ''The Guardian'', 1 June 2001.
Tarquin is also shown in the fourth book of ''
The Trials of Apollo ''The Trials of Apollo'' is a pentalogy A pentalogy (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in ...
'' series by
Rick Riordan Richard Russell Riordan Jr. (; born June 5, 1964) is an American author. He is known for writing the ''Percy Jackson & the Olympians'' series, about a teenager named Percy Jackson who discovers he is a son of the List of Greek mythological fig ...
. He is depicted as a zombie king, who attacks the demigods for trying to rewrite the Sybilline Books.


References


Bibliography

*
Dionysius of Halicarnassus Dionysius of Halicarnassus ( grc, Διονύσιος Ἀλεξάνδρου Ἁλικαρνασσεύς, ; – after 7 BC) was a Greek historian Hellenic historiography (or Greek historiography) involves efforts made by Greeks to track and r ...
, ''Romaike Archaiologia'' (Roman Antiquities). * Titus Livius (
Livy Titus Livius (; 59 BC – AD 17), known in English as Livy ( ), was a Ancient Rome, Roman historian. He wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people, titled , covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome before the traditiona ...
), ''
History of Rome The history of Rome includes the history of the Rome, city of Rome as well as the Ancient Rome, civilisation of ancient Rome. Roman history has been influential on the modern world, especially in the history of the Catholic Church, and Roman law ...
''. * Gaius Plinius Secundus (
Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder#REDIRECT Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/2479), called Pliny the Elder (), was a Roman author, a naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, includi ...

Pliny the Elder
), '' Historia Naturalis'' (Natural History). *
Maurus Servius Honoratus Servius was a late fourth-century and early fifth-century grammarian Grammarian may refer to: * Alexandrine grammarians, philologists and textual scholars in Hellenistic Alexandria in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE * Biblical grammarians, schola ...
(Servius), ''Ad Virgilii Aeneidem Commentarii'' (Commentary on Vergil's Aeneid). * * ''The Oxford Companion to American Literature'', 6th ed., Oxford University Press, (1995). * D.P. Simpson, ''Cassell's Latin and English Dictionary'', Macmillan Publishing Company, New York (1963). * Timothy J. Cornell, ''The Beginnings of Rome: Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars (c. 1000–264 BC)'', Routledge, London (1995). * John Lippitt, ''Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Kierkegaard and 'Fear and Trembling, Routledge (2003).


External links


Britannica: Tarquin, King of Rome

Stemma Tarquiniorum
{{DEFAULTSORT:Tarquiniussuperbus, Lucius 6th-century BC births 495 BC deaths 5th-century BC Romans 6th-century BC Romans 6th-century BC monarchs Kings of Rome Monarchs who abdicated Etruscan kings Tarquinii