The History of Rome (Vol. 1-4)

Translator: Daniel Spillan
e-artnow, 2018
ISBN 978-80-268-9305-9
Editorial note: This eBook follows the original text.

Table of Contents

The History of Rome Vol. 1
The History of Rome Vol. 2
The History of Rome Vol. 3
The History of Rome Vol. 4

The History of Rome Vol. 1

Table of Contents
Book I
Book II
Book III
Book IV
Book V
Book VI
Book VII

Book I

Table of Contents

The coming of Æneas into Italy, and his achievements there; the reign of Ascanius in Alba, and of the other Sylvian kings. Romulus and Remus born. Amulius killed. Romulus builds Rome; forms a senate; makes war upon the Sabines; presents the opima spolia to Jupiter Feretrius; divides the people into curiæ; his victories; is deified. Numa institutes the rites of religious worship; builds a temple to Janus; and having made peace with all his neighbours, closes it for the first time; enjoys a peaceful reign, and is succeeded by Tullus Hostilius. War with the Albans; combat of the Horatii and Curiatii. Alba demolished, and the Albans made citizens of Rome. War declared against the Sabines; Tullus killed by lightning. Ancus Marcius renews the religious institutions of Numa; conquers the Latins, confers on them the right of citizenship, and assigns them the Aventine hill to dwell on; adds the hill Janiculum to the city; enlarges the bounds of the empire. In his reign Lucumo comes to Rome; assumes the name of Tarquinius; and, after the death of Ancus, is raised to the throne. He increases the senate, by adding to it a hundred new senators; defeats the Latins and Sabines; augments the centuries of knights; builds a wall round the city; makes the common sewers; is slain by the sons of Ancus after a reign of thirty-eight years; and is succeeded by Servius Tullius. He institutes the census; closes the lustrum, in which eighty thousand citizens are said to have been enrolled; divides the people into classes and centuries; enlarges the Pomœrium, and adds the Quirinal, Viminal, and Esquiline hills to the city; after a reign of forty years, is murdered by L. Tarquin, afterwards surnamed Superbus. He usurps the crown. Tarquin makes war on the Volsci, and, with the plunder taken from them, builds a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus. By a stratagem of his son, Sextus Tarquin, he reduces the city of Gabii; after a reign of twenty-five years is dethroned and banished, in consequence of the forcible violation of the person of Lucretia by his son Sextus. L. Junius Brutus and L. Tarquinius Collatinus first created consuls.


Whether in tracing the history of the Roman people, from the foundation of the city, I shall employ myself to a useful purpose,1 I am neither very certain, nor, if I were, dare I say: inasmuch as I observe, that it is both an old and hackneyed practice,2 later authors always supposing that they will either adduce something more authentic in the facts, or, that they will excel the less polished ancients in their style of writing. Be that as it may, it will, at all events, be a satisfaction to me, that I too have contributed my share3 to perpetuate the achievements of a people, the lords of the world; and if, amidst so great a number of historians,4 my reputation should remain in obscurity, I may console myself with the celebrity and lustre of those who shall stand in the way of my fame. Moreover, the subject is both of immense labour, as being one which must be traced back for more than seven hundred years, and which, having set out from small beginnings, has increased to such a degree that it is now distressed by its own magnitude. And, to most readers, I doubt not but that the first origin and the events immediately succeeding, will afford but little pleasure, while they will be hastening to these later times,5 in which the strength of this overgrown people has for a long period been working its own destruction. I, on the contrary, shall seek this, as a reward of my labour, viz. to withdraw myself from the view of the calamities, which our age has witnessed for so many years, so long as I am reviewing with my whole attention these ancient times, being free from every care6 that may distract a writer's mind, though it cannot warp it from the truth. The traditions which have come down to us of what happened before the building of the city, or before its building was contemplated, as being suitable rather to the fictions of poetry than to the genuine records of history, I have no intention either to affirm or refute. This indulgence is conceded to antiquity, that by blending things human with divine, it may make the origin of cities appear more venerable: and if any people might be allowed to consecrate their origin, and to ascribe it to the gods as its authors, such is the renown of the Roman people in war, that when they represent Mars, in particular, as their own parent and that of their founder, the nations of the world may submit to this as patiently as they submit to their sovereignty.—But in whatever way these and such like matters shall be attended to, or judged of, I shall not deem of great importance. I would have every man apply his mind seriously to consider these points, viz. what their life and what their manners were; through what men and by what measures, both in peace and in war, their empire was acquired7 and extended; then, as discipline gradually declined, let him follow in his thoughts their morals, at first as slightly giving way, anon how they sunk more and more, then began to fall headlong, until he reaches the present times, when we can neither endure our vices, nor their remedies. This it is which is particularly salutary and profitable in the study of history, that you behold instances of every variety of conduct displayed on a conspicuous monument; that from thence you may select for yourself and for your country that which you may imitate; thence note what is shameful in the undertaking, and shameful in the result, which you may avoid. But either a fond partiality for the task I have undertaken deceives me, or there never was any state either greater, or more moral, or richer in good examples, nor one into which luxury and avarice made their entrance so late, and where poverty and frugality were so much and so long honoured; so that the less wealth there was, the less desire was there. Of late, riches have introduced avarice, and excessive pleasures a longing for them, amidst luxury and a passion for ruining ourselves and destroying every thing else. But let complaints, which will not be agreeable even then, when perhaps they will be also necessary, be kept aloof at least from the first stage of commencing so great a work. We should rather, if it was usual with us (historians) as it is with poets, begin with good omens, vows and prayers to the gods and goddesses to vouchsafe good success to our efforts in so arduous an undertaking.


Now first of all it is sufficiently established that, Troy having been taken, the utmost severity was shown to all the other Trojans; but that towards two, Æneas and Antenor, the Greeks forbore all the rights of war, both in accordance with an ancient tie of hospitality, and because they had ever been the advisers of peace, and of the restoration of Helen—then that Antenor after various vicissitudes came into the innermost bay of the Adriatic Sea, with a body of the Heneti, who having been driven from Paphlagonia in consequence of a civil commotion, were in quest both of a settlement and a leader, their king Pylæmenes having been lost at Troy; and that the Heneti and Trojans, having expelled the Euganei, who dwelt between the sea and the Alps, took possession of the country; and the place where they first landed is called Troy; from whence also the name of Trojan is given to the canton; but the nation in general is called Veneti: that Æneas was driven from home by a similar calamity, but the fates leading him to the founding of a greater empire, he came first to Macedonia: that he sailed from thence to Sicily in quest of a settlement: that from Sicily he made for the Laurentine territory; this place also has the name of Troy. When the Trojans, having disembarked there, were driving plunder from the lands,—as being persons to whom, after their almost immeasurable wandering, nothing was left but their arms and ships,—Latinus the king, and the Aborigines, who then occupied those places, assembled in arms from the city and country to repel the violence of the new-comers. On this point the tradition is two-fold: some say, that Latinus, after being overcome in battle, made first a peace, and then an alliance with Æneas: others, that when the armies were drawn out in battle-array, before the signals were sounded, Latinus advanced to the front of the troops and invited the leader of the adventurers to a conference. That he then inquired who they were, whence (they had come), or by what casualty they had left their home, and in quest of what they had landed on the Laurentine territory: after he heard that the host were Trojans, their chief Æneas, the son of Anchises and Venus, and that, driven from their own country and their homes, which had been destroyed by fire, they were seeking a settlement and a place for building a town, struck with admiration of the noble origin of the nation and of the hero, and their spirit, alike prepared for peace or war, he confirmed the assurance of future friendship by giving his right hand: that upon this a compact was struck between the chiefs, and mutual greetings passed between the armies: that Æneas was hospitably entertained by Latinus: that Latinus, in the presence of his household gods, added a family league to the public one, by giving Æneas his daughter in marriage. This event confirms the Trojans in the hope of at length terminating their wanderings by a fixed and permanent settlement. They build a town. Æneas calls it Lavinium, after the name of his wife. In a short time, too, a son was the issue of the new marriage, to whom his parents gave the name of Ascanius.


The Aborigines and Trojans were soon after attacked together in war. Turnus, king of the Rutulians, to whom Lavinia had been affianced before the coming of Æneas, enraged that a stranger had been preferred to himself, made war on Æneas and Latinus together. Neither side came off from that contest with cause for rejoicing. The Rutulians were vanquished; the victorious Aborigines and Trojans lost their leader Latinus. Upon this Turnus and the Rutulians, diffident of their strength, have recourse to the flourishing state of the Etruscans, and their king Mezentius; who holding his court at Cœre, at that time an opulent town, being by no means pleased, even from the commencement, at the founding of the new city, and then considering that the Trojan power was increasing much more than was altogether consistent with the safety of the neighbouring states, without reluctance joined his forces in alliance with the Rutulians. Æneas, in order to conciliate the minds of the Aborigines to meet the terror of so serious a war, called both nations Latins, so that they might all be not only under the same laws, but also the same name. Nor after that did the Aborigines yield to the Trojans in zeal and fidelity towards their king Æneas; relying therefore on this disposition of the two nations, who were now daily coalescing more and more, although Etruria was so powerful, that it filled with the fame of its prowess not only the land, but the sea also, through the whole length of Italy, from the Alps to the Sicilian Strait, though he might have repelled the war by means of fortifications, yet he led out his forces to the field. Upon this a battle ensued successful to the Latins, the last also of the mortal acts of Æneas. He was buried, by whatever name human and divine laws require him to be called,8 on the banks of the river Numicius. They call him Jupiter Indiges.


Ascanius, the son of Æneas, was not yet old enough to take the government upon him; that government, however, remained secure for him till the age of maturity. In the interim, the Latin state and the kingdom of his grandfather and father was secured for the boy under the regency of his mother (such capacity was there in Lavinia). I have some doubts (for who can state as certain a matter of such antiquity) whether this was the Ascanius, or one older than he, born of Creusa before the fall of Troy, and the companion of his father in his flight from thence, the same whom, being called Iulus, the Julian family call the author of their name. This Ascanius, wheresoever and of whatever mother born, (it is at least certain that he was the son of Æneas,) Lavinium being overstocked with inhabitants, left that flourishing and, considering these times, wealthy city to his mother or step-mother, and built for himself a new one at the foot of Mount Alba, which, being extended on the ridge of a hill, was, from its situation, called Longa Alba. Between the founding of Lavinium and the transplanting this colony to Longa Alba, about thirty years intervened. Yet its power had increased to such a degree, especially after the defeat of the Etrurians, that not even upon the death of Æneas, nor after that, during the regency of Lavinia, and the first essays of the young prince's reign, did Mezentius, the Etrurians, or any other of its neighbours dare to take up arms against it. A peace had been concluded between the two nations on these terms, that the river Albula, now called Tiber, should be the common boundary between the Etrurians and Latins. After him Sylvius, the son of Ascanius, born by some accident in a wood, ascends the throne. He was the father of Æneas Sylvius, who afterwards begot Latinus Sylvius. By him several colonies, called the ancient Latins, were transplanted. From this time, all the princes, who reigned at Alba, had the surname of Sylvius. From Latinus sprung Alba; from Alba, Atys; from Atys, Capys; from Capys, Capetus; from Capetus, Tiberinus, who, being drowned in crossing the river Albula, gave it a name famous with posterity. Then Agrippa, the son of Tiberinus; after Agrippa, Romulus Silvius ascends the throne, in succession to his father. The latter, having been killed by a thunderbolt, left the kingdom to Aventinus, who being buried on that hill, which is now part of the city of Rome, gave his name to it. After him reigns Proca; he begets Numitor and Amulius. To Numitor, his eldest son, he bequeaths the ancient kingdom of the Sylvian family. But force prevailed more than the father's will or the respect due to seniority: for Amulius, having expelled his brother, seizes the kingdom; he adds crime to crime, murders his brother's male issue; and under pretence of doing his brother's daughter, Rhea Sylvia, honour, having made her a vestal virgin, by obliging her to perpetual virginity he deprives her of all hopes of issue.


But, in my opinion, the origin of so great a city, and the establishment of an empire next in power to that of the gods, was due to the Fates. The vestal Rhea, being deflowered by force, when she had brought forth twins, declares Mars to be the father of her illegitimate offspring, either because she believed it to be so, or because a god was a more creditable author of her offence. But neither gods nor men protect her or her children from the king's cruelty: the priestess is bound and thrown into prison; the children he commands to be thrown into the current of the river. By some interposition of providence,9 the Tiber having overflowed its banks in stagnant pools, did not admit of any access to the regular bed of the river; and the bearers supposed that the infants could be drowned in water however still; thus, as if they had effectually executed the king's orders, they expose the boys in the nearest land-flood, where now stands the ficus Ruminalis (they say that it was called Romularis). The country thereabout was then a vast wilderness. The tradition is, that when the water, subsiding, had left the floating trough, in which the children had been exposed, on dry ground, a thirsty she-wolf, coming from the neighbouring mountains, directed her course to the cries of the infants, and that she held down her dugs to them with so much gentleness, that the keeper of the king's flock found her licking the boys with her tongue. It is said his name was Faustulus; and that they were carried by him to his homestead to be nursed by his wife Laurentia. Some are of opinion that she was called Lupa among the shepherds, from her being a common prostitute, and that this gave rise to the surprising story. The children thus born and thus brought up, when arrived at the years of manhood, did not loiter away their time in tending the folds or following the flocks, but roamed and hunted in the forests. Having by this exercise improved their strength and courage, they not only encountered wild beasts, but even attacked robbers laden with plunder, and afterwards divided the spoil among the shepherds. And in company with these, the number of their young associates daily increasing, they carried on their business and their sports.


They say, that the festival of the lupercal, as now celebrated, was even at that time solemnized on the Palatine hill, which, from Palanteum, a city of Arcadia, was first called Palatium, and afterwards Mount Palatine. There they say that Evander, who belonged to the tribe of Arcadians,10 that for many years before had possessed that country, appointed the observance of a feast, introduced from Arcadia, in such manner, that young men ran about naked in sport and wantonness, doing honour to Pan Lycæus, whom the Romans afterwards called Inuus. That the robbers, through rage at the loss of their booty, having lain in wait for them whilst intent on this sport, as the festival was now well known, whilst Romulus vigorously defended himself, took Remus prisoner; that they delivered him up, when taken, to king Amulius, accusing him with the utmost effrontery. They principally alleged it as a charge against them, that they had made incursions upon Numitor's lands, and plundered them in a hostile manner, having assembled a band of young men for the purpose. Upon this Remus was delivered to Numitor to be punished. Now, from the very first, Faustulus had entertained hopes that the boys whom he was bringing up were of the blood royal; for he both knew that the children had been exposed by the king's orders, and that the time at which he had taken them up agreed exactly with that period: but he had been unwilling that the matter, as not being yet ripe for discovery, should be disclosed, till either a fit opportunity or necessity should arise. Necessity came first; accordingly, compelled by fear, he discovers the whole affair to Romulus. By accident also, whilst he had Remus in custody, and had heard that the brothers were twins, on comparing their age, and observing their turn of mind entirely free from servility, the recollection of his grand-children struck Numitor; and on making inquiries11 he arrived at the same conclusion, so that he was well nigh recognising Remus. Thus a plot is concerted for the king on all sides. Romulus, not accompanied by a body of young men, (for he was unequal to open force,) but having commanded the shepherds to come to the palace by different roads at a fixed time, forces his way to the king; and Remus, with another party from Numitor's house, assists his brother, and so they kill the king.


Numitor, at the beginning of the fray, having given out that enemies had invaded the city, and assaulted the palace, after he had drawn off the Alban youth to secure the citadel with a garrison and arms, when he saw the young men, after they had killed the king, advancing to congratulate him, immediately called an assembly of the people, and represented to them the unnatural behaviour of his brother towards him, the extraction of his grand-children, the manner of their birth and education, and how they came to be discovered; then he informed them of the king's death, and that he was killed by his orders. When the young princes, coming up with their band through the middle of the assembly, saluted their grandfather king, an approving shout, following from all the people present, ratified to him both that title and the sovereignty. Thus the government of Alba being committed to Numitor, a desire seized Romulus and Remus to build a city on the spot where they had been exposed and brought up. And there was an overflowing population of Albans and of Latins. The shepherds too had come into that design, and all these readily inspired hopes, that Alba and Lavinium would be but petty places in comparison with the city which they intended to build. But ambition of the sovereignty, the bane of their grandfather, interrupted these designs, and thence arose a shameful quarrel from a beginning sufficiently amicable. For as they were twins, and the respect due to seniority could not determine the point, they agreed to leave to the tutelary gods of the place to choose, by augury, which should give a name to the new city, which govern it when built.


Romulus chose the Palatine and Remus the Aventine hill as their stands to make their observations. It is said, that to Remus an omen came first, six vultures; and now, the omen having been declared, when double the number presented itself to Romulus, his own party saluted each king; the former claimed the kingdom on the ground of priority of time, the latter on account of the number of birds. Upon this, having met in an altercation, from the contest of angry feelings they turn to bloodshed; there Remus fell from a blow received in the crowd. A more common account is, that Remus, in derision of his brother, leaped over his new-built wall, and was, for that reason, slain by Romulus in a passion; who, after sharply chiding him, added words to this effect: "So shall every one fare, who shall dare to leap over my fortifications."12 Thus Romulus got the sovereignty to himself; the city, when built, was called after the name of its founder. His first work was to fortify the Palatine hill where he had been educated. To the other gods he offers sacrifices according to the Alban rite; to Hercules, according to the Grecian rite, as they had been instituted by Evander. There is a tradition, that Hercules, having killed Geryon, drove his oxen, which were extremely beautiful, into those places; and that, after swimming over the Tiber, and driving the cattle before him, being fatigued with travelling, he laid himself down on the banks of the river, in a grassy place, to refresh them with rest and rich pasture. When sleep had overpowered him, satiated with food and wine, a shepherd of the place, named Cacus, presuming on his strength, and charmed with the beauty of the oxen, wished to purloin that booty, but because, if he had driven them forward into the cave, their footsteps would have guided the search of their owner thither, he therefore drew the most beautiful of them, one by one, by the tails, backwards into a cave. Hercules, awaking at day-break, when he had surveyed his herd, and observed that some of them were missing, goes directly to the nearest cave, to see if by chance their footsteps would lead him thither. But when he observed that they were all turned from it, and directed him no other way, confounded, and not knowing what to do, he began to drive his cattle out of that unlucky place. Upon this, some of the cows, as they usually do, lowed on missing those that were left; and the lowings of those that were confined being returned from the cave, made Hercules turn that way. And when Cacus attempted to prevent him by force, as he was proceeding to the cave, being struck with a club, he was slain, vainly imploring the assistance of the shepherds. At that time Evander, who had fled from the Peloponnesus, ruled this country more by his credit and reputation than absolute sway. He was a person highly revered for his wondrous knowledge of letters,13 a discovery that was entirely new and surprising to men ignorant of every art; but more highly respected on account of the supposed divinity of his mother Carmenta, whom these nations had admired as a prophetess, before the coming of the Sibyl into Italy. This prince, alarmed by the concourse of the shepherds hastily crowding round the stranger, whom they charged with open murder, after he heard the act and the cause of the act, observing the person and mien of the hero to be larger, and his gait more majestic, than human, asked who he was? As soon as he was informed of his name, his father, and his native country, he said, "Hail! Hercules! son of Jupiter, my mother, a truth-telling interpreter of the gods, has revealed to me, that thou shalt increase the number of the celestials; and that to thee an altar shall be dedicated here, which some ages hence the most powerful people on earth shall call Ara Maxima, and honour according to thy own institution." Hercules having given him his right hand, said, "That he accepted the omen, and would fulfil the predictions of the fates, by building and consecrating an altar." There for the first time a sacrifice was offered to Hercules of a chosen heifer, taken from the herd, the Potitii and Pinarii, who were then the most distinguished families that inhabited these parts, having been invited to the service and the entertainment. It so happened that the Potitii were present in due time, and the entrails were set before them; when they were eaten up, the Pinarii came to the remainder of the feast. From this time it was ordained, that while the Pinarian family subsisted, none of them should eat of the entrails of the solemn sacrifices. The Potitii, being instructed by Evander, discharged this sacred function as priests for many ages, until the office, solemnly appropriated to their family, being delegated to public slaves, their whole race became extinct. This was the only foreign religious institution which Romulus adopted, being even then an abettor of immortality attained by merit, to which his own destinies were conducting him.


The duties of religion having been duly performed, and the multitude summoned to a meeting, as they could be incorporated into one people by no other means than fixed rules, he gave them a code of laws, and judging that these would be best respected by this rude class of men, if he made himself dignified by the insignia of authority, he assumed a more majestic appearance both in his other appointments, and especially by taking twelve lictors to attend him. Some think that he chose this number of officers from that of the birds, which in the augury had portended the kingdom to him. I do not object to be of the opinion of those who will have it that the apparitors (in general), and this particular class of them,14 and even their number, was taken from their neighbours the Etrurians, from whom were borrowed the curule chair, and the gown edged with purple; and that the Etrurians adopted that number, because their king being elected in common from twelve states, each state assigned him one lictor. Meanwhile the city increased by their taking in various lots of ground for buildings, whilst they built rather with a view to future numbers, than for the population15 which they then had. Then, lest the size of the city might be of no avail, in order to augment the population, according to the ancient policy of the founders of cities, who, after drawing together to them an obscure and mean multitude, used to feign that their offspring sprung out of the earth, he opened as a sanctuary, a place which is now enclosed as you go down "to the two groves."16 Hither fled from the neighbouring states, without distinction whether freemen or slaves, crowds of all sorts, desirous of change: and this was the first accession of strength to their rising greatness. When he was now not dissatisfied with his strength, he next sets about forming some means of directing that strength. He creates one hundred senators, either because that number was sufficient, or because there were only one hundred who could name their fathers. They certainly were called Fathers, through respect, and their descendants, Patricians.17


And now the Roman state was become so powerful, that it was a match for any of the neighbouring nations in war, but, from the paucity of women, its greatness could only last for one age of man; for they had no hope of issue at home, nor had they any intermarriages with their neighbours. Therefore, by the advice of the Fathers, Romulus sent ambassadors to the neighbouring states to solicit an alliance and the privilege of intermarriage for his new subjects. "That cities, like every thing else, rose from very humble beginnings. That those which the gods and their own merit aided, gained great power and high renown. That he knew full well, both that the gods had aided the origin of Rome, and that merit would not be wanting. Wherefore that, as men, they should feel no reluctance to mix their blood and race with men." No where did the embassy obtain a favourable hearing: so much did they at the same time despise, and dread for themselves and their posterity, so great a power growing up in the midst of them. They were dismissed by the greater part with the repeated question, "Whether they had opened any asylum for women also, for that such a plan only could obtain them suitable matches?" The Roman youth resented this conduct bitterly, and the matter unquestionably began to point towards violence. Romulus, in order that he might afford a favourable time and place for this, dissembling his resentment, purposely prepares games in honour of Neptunus Equestris; he calls them Consualia. He then orders the spectacle to be proclaimed among their neighbours; and they prepare for the celebration with all the magnificence they were then acquainted with, or were capable of doing, that they might render the matter famous, and an object of expectation. Great numbers assembled, from a desire also of seeing the new city; especially their nearest neighbours, the Cæninenses, Crustumini, and Antemnates. Moreover the whole multitude of the Sabines came, with their wives and children. Having been hospitably invited to the different houses, when they had seen the situation, and fortifications, and the city crowded with houses, they became astonished that the Roman power had increased so rapidly. When the time of the spectacle came on, and while their minds and eyes were intent upon it, according to concert a tumult began, and upon a signal given the Roman youth ran different ways to carry off the virgins by force. A great number were carried off at hap-hazard, according as they fell into their hands. Persons from the common people, who had been charged with the task, conveyed to their houses some women of surpassing beauty, destined for the leading senators. They say that one, far distinguished beyond the others for stature and beauty, was carried off by the party of one Thalassius, and whilst many inquired to whom they were carrying her, they cried out every now and then, in order that no one might molest her, that she was being taken to Thalassius; that from this circumstance this term became a nuptial one. The festival being disturbed by this alarm, the parents of the young women retire in grief, appealing to the compact of violated hospitality, and invoking the god, to whose festival and games they had come, deceived by the pretence of religion and good faith. Neither had the ravished virgins better hopes of their condition, or less indignation. But Romulus in person went about and declared, "That what was done was owing to the pride of their fathers, who had refused to grant the privilege of marriage to their neighbours; but notwithstanding, they should be joined in lawful wedlock, participate in all their possessions and civil privileges, and, than which nothing can be dearer to the human heart, in their common children. He begged them only to assuage the fierceness of their anger, and cheerfully surrender their affections to those to whom fortune had consigned their persons." (He added,) "That from injuries love and friendship often arise; and that they should find them kinder husbands on this account, because each of them, besides the performance of his conjugal duty, would endeavour to the utmost of his power to make up for the want of their parents and native country." To this the caresses of the husbands were added, excusing what they had done on the plea of passion and love, arguments that work most successfully on women's hearts.


The minds of the ravished virgins were soon much soothed, but their parents by putting on mourning, and tears and complaints, roused the states. Nor did they confine their resentment to their own homes, but they flocked from all quarters to Titus Tatius, king of the Sabines; and because he bore the greatest character in these parts, embassies were sent to him. The Cæninenses, Crustumini, and Antemnates were people to whom a considerable portion of the outrage extended. To them Tatius and the Sabines seemed to proceed somewhat dilatorily. Nor even do the Crustumini and Antemnates bestir themselves with sufficient activity to suit the impatience and rage of the Cæninenses. Accordingly the state of the Cæninenses by itself makes an irruption into the Roman territory. But Romulus with his army met them ravaging the country in straggling parties, and by a slight engagement convinces them, that resentment without strength is of no avail. He defeats and routs their army, pursues it when routed, kills and despoils their king in battle, and having slain their general takes the city at the first assault. From thence having led back his victorious army, and being a man highly distinguished by his exploits, and one who could place them in the best light, went in state to the capitol, carrying before him, suspended on a frame curiously wrought for that purpose, the spoils of the enemy's general, whom he had slain, and there after he had laid them down at the foot of an oak held sacred by the shepherds, together with the offering, he marked out the bounds for a temple of Jupiter, and gave a surname to the god: "Jupiter Feretrius," he says, "I, king Romulus, upon my victory, present to thee these royal arms, and to thee I dedicate a temple within those regions which I have now marked out in my mind, as a receptacle for the grand spoils, which my successors, following my example, shall, upon their killing the kings or generals of the enemy, offer to thee." This is the origin of that temple, the first consecrated at Rome. It afterwards so pleased the gods both that the declaration of the founder of the temple should not be frustrated, by which he announced that his posterity should offer such spoils, and that the glory of that offering should not be depreciated by the great number of those who shared it. During so many years, and amid so many wars since that time, grand spoils have been only twice gained,18 so rare has been the successful attainment of that honour.


Whilst the Romans are achieving these exploits, the army of the Antemnates, taking advantage of their absence, makes an incursion into the Roman territories in a hostile manner. A Roman legion being marched out in haste against these also, surprise them whilst straggling through the fields. Accordingly the enemy were routed at the very first shout and charge: their town taken; and as Romulus was returning, exulting for this double victory, his consort, Hersilia, importuned by the entreaties of the captured women, beseeches him "to pardon their fathers, and to admit them to the privilege of citizens; that thus his power might be strengthened by a reconciliation." Her request was readily granted. After this he marched against the Crustumini, who were commencing hostilities; but as their spirits were sunk by the defeat of their neighbours, there was still less resistance there. Colonies were sent to both places, but more were found to give in their names for Crustuminum, because of the fertility of the soil. Migrations in great numbers were also made from thence to Rome, chiefly by the parents and relatives of the ravished women. The last war broke out on the part of the Sabines, and proved by far the most formidable: for they did nothing through anger or cupidity; nor did they make a show of war, before they actually began it. To prudence stratagem also was added. Sp. Tarpeius commanded the Roman citadel; Tatius bribes his maiden daughter with gold, to admit armed soldiers into the citadel: she had gone by chance outside the walls to fetch water for the sacrifice. Those who were admitted crushed her to death by heaping their arms upon her; either that the citadel might seem rather to have been taken by storm, or for the purpose of establishing a precedent, that no faith should, under any circumstances, be kept with a traitor. A story is added, that the Sabines commonly wore on their left arm golden bracelets of great weight, and large rings set with precious stones, and that she bargained with them for what they had on their left hands; hence that their shields were thrown upon her instead of the golden presents. There are some who say that in pursuance of the compact to deliver up what was on their left hands, she expressly demanded their shields, and that appearing to act with treachery, she was killed by the reward of her own choosing.


The Sabines, however, kept possession of the citadel, and on the day after, when the Roman army, drawn up in order of battle, filled up all the ground lying between the Palatine and Capitoline hills, they did not descend from thence into the plain, till the Romans, fired with resentment, and with a desire of retaking the citadel, advanced to attack them. Two chiefs, one on each side, animated the battle, viz. Mettus Curtius on the part of the Sabines, Hostus Hostilius on that of the Romans. The latter, in the front ranks, supported the Roman cause by his courage and bravery, on disadvantageous ground. As soon as Hostus fell, the Roman line immediately gave way and was beaten to the old gate of the Palatium. Romulus, himself too carried away with the general rout, raising his arms to heaven, says, "O Jupiter, commanded by thy birds, I here laid the first foundation of the city on the Palatine hill. The Sabines are in possession of the citadel, purchased by fraud. From thence they are now advancing hither, sword in hand, having already passed the middle of the valley. But do thou, father of gods and men, keep back the enemy at least from hence, dispel the terror of the Romans, and stop their shameful flight. Here I solemnly vow to build a temple to thee as Jupiter Stator, as a monument to posterity, that this city was saved by thy immediate aid." Having offered up this prayer, as if he had felt that his prayers were heard, he cries out, "At this spot, Romans, Jupiter, supremely good and great, commands you to halt, and renew the fight." The Romans halted as if they had been commanded by a voice from heaven; Romulus himself flies to the foremost ranks. Mettus Curtius, on the part of the Sabines, had rushed down at the head of his army from the citadel, and driven the Romans in disorder over the whole ground now occupied by the forum. He was already not far from the gate of the Palatium, crying out, "We have defeated these perfidious strangers, these dastardly enemies. They now feel that it is one thing to ravish virgins, another far different to fight with men." On him, thus vaunting, Romulus makes an attack with a band of the most courageous youths. It happened that Mettus was then fighting on horseback; he was on that account the more easily repulsed: the Romans pursue him when repulsed: and the rest of the Roman army, encouraged by the gallant behaviour of their king, routs the Sabines. Mettus, his horse taking fright at the din of his pursuers, threw himself into a lake; and this circumstance drew the attention of the Sabines at the risk of so important a person. He, however, his own party beckoning and calling to him, acquires new courage from the affection of his many friends, and makes his escape. The Romans and Sabines renew the battle in the valley between the hills; but Roman prowess had the advantage.


At this juncture the Sabine women, from the outrage on whom the war originated, with hair dishevelled and garments rent, the timidity of their sex being overcome by such dreadful scenes, had the courage to throw themselves amid the flying weapons, and making a rush across, to part the incensed armies, and assuage their fury; imploring their fathers on the one side, their husbands on the other, "that as fathers-in-law and sons-in-law they would not contaminate each other with impious blood, nor stain their offspring with parricide, the one19 their grandchildren, the other their children. If you are dissatisfied with the affinity between you, if with our marriages, turn your resentment against us; we are the cause of war, we of wounds and of bloodshed to our husbands and parents. It were better that we perish than live widowed or fatherless without one or other of you." The circumstance affects both the multitude and the leaders. Silence and a sudden suspension ensue. Upon this the leaders come forward in order to concert a treaty, and they not only conclude a peace, but form one state out of two. They associate the regal power, and transfer the entire sovereignty to Rome. The city being thus doubled, that some compliment might be paid to the Sabines, they were called Quirites, from Cures. As a memorial of this battle, they called the place where the horse, after getting out of the deep marsh, first set Curtius in shallow water, the Curtian Lake. This happy peace following suddenly a war so distressing, rendered the Sabine women still dearer to their husbands and parents, and above all to Romulus himself. Accordingly, when he divided the people into thirty curiæ, he called the curiæ by their names. Since, without doubt, the number of the Sabine women was considerably greater than this, it is not recorded whether those who were to give their names to the curiæ were selected on account of their age, or their own or their husbands' rank, or by lot. At the same time three centuries of knights were enrolled, called Ramnenses, from Romulus; Tatienses, from Titus Tatius. The reason of the name and origin of the Luceres is uncertain.


Thenceforward the two kings held the regal power not only in common, but in concord also. Several years after, some relatives of king Tatius beat the ambassadors of the Laurentes, and when the Laurentes commenced proceedings according to the law of nations, the influence of his friends and their importunities had more weight with Tatius. He therefore drew upon himself the punishment due to them; for he is slain at Lavinium, in a tumult which arose on his going thither to an anniversary sacrifice. They say that Romulus resented this with less severity than the case required, either by reason of their association in the kingly power being devoid of cordiality, or because he believed that he was justly killed. He therefore declined going to war; in order, however, that the ill-treatment of the ambassadors and the murder of the king might be expiated, the treaty was renewed between the cities of Rome and Lavinium. With this party, indeed, peace continued, contrary to expectation; another war broke out much nearer home, and almost at the very gates. The Fidenates, thinking that a power too near to themselves was growing to a height, resolve to make war, before their strength should become as great as it was apparent it would be. An armed body of young men being sent in, all the land is laid waste between the city and Fidenæ. Then turning to the left, because the Tiber confined them on the right, they continue their depredations to the great consternation of the peasantry. The sudden alarm reaching the city from the country, served as the first announcement. Romulus, roused at this circumstance, (for a war so near home could not admit of delay,) leads out his army: he pitches his camp a mile from Fidenæ. Having left there a small garrison, marching out with all his forces, he commanded a party of his soldiers to lie in ambush in a place20hidden by thick bushes which were planted around. Then advancing with the greater part of the foot and all the horse, and riding up to the very gates of the city in a disorderly and menacing manner, he drew out the enemy, the very thing he wanted. The same mode of fighting on the part of the cavalry likewise made the cause of the flight, which was to be counterfeited, appear less surprising: and when, the horse seeming irresolute, as if in deliberation whether to fight or fly, the infantry also retreated, the enemy suddenly rushed from the crowded gates, after they had made an impression on the Roman line, are drawn on to the place of ambuscade in their eagerness to press on and pursue. Upon this the Romans, rising suddenly, attack the enemy's line in flank. The standards of those who had been left behind on guard, advancing from the camp, further increase the panic. The Fidenates, thus dismayed with terrors from so many quarters, turn their backs almost before Romulus, and those who had accompanied him on horseback, could wheel their horses round; and those who a little before had pursued men pretending to fly, now ran back to the town in much greater disorder, for their flight was in earnest. They did not however get clear of the enemy: the Romans pressing on their rear rush in as it were in one body before the gates could be shut against them.


The minds of the Veientes being excited by the contagious influence of the Fidenatian war, both from the tie of consanguinity, for the Fidenates also were Etrurians, and because the very proximity of situation, in case the Roman arms should be turned against all their neighbours, urged them on, they made an incursion on the Roman territories, more to commit depredations than after the manner of a regular war. Accordingly, without pitching a camp, or awaiting the approach of the enemy's army, they returned to Veii, carrying with them the booty collected from the lands; the Roman army on the other side, when they did not find the enemy in the country, being prepared for and determined on a decisive action, cross the Tiber. And when the Veientes heard that they were pitching a camp, and intended to advance to the city, they came out to meet them, that they might rather decide the matter in the open field, than be shut up and fight from their houses and walls. Here the Roman king obtained the victory, his power not being aided by any stratagem, merely by the strength of his veteran army: and having pursued the routed enemies to their walls, he made no attempt on the city, strong as it was by its fortifications, and well defended by its situation: on his return he lays waste their lands, rather from a desire of revenge than booty. And the Veientes, being humbled by that loss no less than by the unsuccessful battle, send ambassadors to Rome to sue for peace. A truce for one hundred years was granted them after they were fined a part of their land. These are the principal transactions which occurred during the reign of Romulus, in peace and war, none of which seem inconsistent with the belief of his divine original, or of the deification attributed to him after death, neither his spirit in recovering his grandfather's kingdom, nor his project of building a city, nor that of strengthening it by the arts of war and peace. For by the strength attained from that outset under him, it became so powerful, that for forty years after it enjoyed a profound peace. He was, however, dearer to the people than to the fathers; but above all others he was most beloved by the soldiers. And he kept three hundred of them armed as a body-guard not only in war but in peace, whom he called Celeres.