Lucius Tarquinius Superbus

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Lucius Tarquinius Superbus (also called Tarquin the Proud or Tarquin II) was the last of the seven legendary kings of Rome, son of Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, and son-in-law of Servius Tullius. Tarquin ruled between 535 BC and 510 BC, in the years immediately before the founding of the Roman Republic. Tarquin was upset that he did not inherit the throne from his father, and to add insult to his perceived injury, his predecessor Servius Tullius was the son of a slave. With his wife's help, he summoned the Senate and proclaimed himself to be king of Rome. Henchmen then murdered Tullius, and Tarquin's wife destroyed her father's body by driving a chariot over it. To further his grip on power, Tarquin orchestrated the murders of key senators who supported Tullius and proceeded at once to repeal the recent reforms in the constitution, seeking to establish a pure despotism in their place. Wars were waged with the Latins and Etruscans, but the lower classes were deprived of their arms and employed in erecting monuments of regal magnificence (and some important public works, such as the Cloaca Maxima), while the sovereign recruited his armies from his own retainers and from the forces of foreign allies.

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[edit] Reign

When king Tarquin was approached by the Cumaean Sibyl, she offered him nine books of prophecy at an exorbitant price. Tarquin refused abruptly, and the Sibyl proceeded to burn three of the nine. She then offered him the remaining books, but at the same price. Tarquin hesitated, but refused again. The Sibyl then burned three more books and again offered Tarquin the three remaining Sibylline Books at the original price. At last Tarquin accepted. The books were consulted at many portentous moments in Roman history, though they were edited and changed many times to agree with the appropriate epoch of Roman history. For example, when Hannibal decimated the Roman Legions at Cannae, the books were consulted and recommended that two Gauls and two Greeks be buried alive in the city's marketplace. The magistrates duly followed the advice, showing a traditional willingness to commit atrocities to ensure the well-being of their nation.

Tarquin's authority over the city was confirmed by three actions:

  1. his leveling of the top of the Tarpeian Rock that overlooked the Forum and the removal of its ancient Sabine shrines
  2. the completion of the fortress temple to Jupiter on the nearby Capitoline Hill
  3. the fortunate marriage of his son to the daughter of Octavius Mamilius of Tusculum, an alliance that secured him powerful assistance in the field

[edit] Deposition

Tarquin's reign was characterised by bloodshed and violence; his son Sextus Tarquinius's rape of Lucretia precipitated a revolt, led by Lucretia's kinsman Lucius Junius Brutus (himself a member of the Tarquin dynasty) and Lucretia's widowed husband. The uprising resulted in the expulsion of most of the royal family, after Tarquin had reigned for twenty-five years, and Brutus became one of the first consuls of the Roman Republic.

After his exile, Tarquin attempted to gain the support of other Etruscan and Latin kings, claiming that the republicanism would spread beyond Rome. His family was of Etruscan origin. Even though the powerful Etruscan lord Lars Porsenna of Clusium (modern Chiusi) backed Tarquin's return, all efforts to force his way back to the throne were in vain. Tarquin died in exile at Cumae in Campania in 496 BC. Tarquin's death ended the time of the Kings, the Roman people would no longer trust sole power in one ruler and so a Republic was formed.

[edit] Cultural References

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Kings of Rome
Romulus and Remus 753717 - Numa Pompilius 717673- Tullus Hostilius 673642 - Ancus Marcius 642617 -
Lucius Tarquinius Priscus 616579 - Servius Tullius 578535- Lucius Tarquinius Superbus 535510/509
bg:Тарквиний Горди

de:Lucius Tarquinius Superbus es:Lucio Tarquinio el Soberbio fr:Tarquin le Superbe hr:Lucije Tarkvinije Oholi it:Tarquinio il Superbo he:לוקיוס טארקוויניוס סופרבוס ka:ტარკვინიუსი, ლუციუს სუპერბუსი la:Lucius Tarquinius Superbus lt:Tarkvinijus Išdidusis hu:Tarquinius Superbus nl:Lucius Tarquinius Superbus pl:Tarkwiniusz Pyszny pt:Tarquínio, o Soberbo ro:Lucius Tarquinius Superbus ru:Луций Тарквиний Гордый sk:Tarquinius Superbus fi:Lucius Tarquinius Superbus sv:Tarquinius Superbus

Lucius Tarquinius Superbus

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