Tarquinius the Superb

The last king

He was without a doubt the most controversial of the seven kings of Rome. Of Etruscan descent, he will marry both daughters of Tarquinio Prisco, organizing the murder of their father and the seizure of power with his wife.

The myth tells that one day he entered the senate and sat on the throne of the king who was absent at that moment. Priscus rushed to the senate as soon as he was warned and a violent discussion arose that led the young man to push the old king down the steps of the senate.

He still managed to escape but in an attempt to save himself he was run over by a chariot driven by his own daughter.

Tarquinio Prisco took absolute power over Rome, some sources speak of an armed guard at his service. His first act as king was to prevent the burial of Tarquinio Priscus.

However, his reign was long, about 26 years, the criticism is divided because although his customs were unpopular with the people who were under their absolute command, from a military point of view he proved to be a skilled leader and strategist.

Rome stood out at that time as a conquering force in the area of ​​central Italy and thanks to the spoils of war Tarquinius the superb completed the work on the sewer Maximus and the temple of Jupiter in the Capitoline.

Then a dark foreboding dream presents itself to the king one night. He sends his children to have the dream interpreted by the oracle of Delphi, one of the companions to the expedition is Lucio Giuno Brutus, who will later be one of the supporters of the king’s expulsion.

The myth tells that during the siege of a city with which Rome was at war one of the sons of the tyrant returns to Rome and rapes a Roman noblewoman, she out of shame will reach the siege camp and take her own life in front of everyone.

The woman’s body will then be brought back to Rome by Brutus who, in conversation with the senators, will have Tarquinius declared the proud and all his family will be banned, their goods seized and donated to the people who had suffered so much the tyranny of the king.

Upon hearing of it, Tarquinio tried to return to the city but the army was no longer on his side. He led the rest of his existence in exile in Cuma in Campania, he tried several times to regain power by coalescing with several cities previously defeated and conquered by Rome but always came out defeated.

In the meantime the republic had been proclaimed in Rome and the first two consuls were elected: Brutus and Licio Tarquinio Collatino.

He died in exile and when the news reached Rome there were manifestations of jubilation throughout the city.

The very long period of the republic opens for Rome, almost 500 years in which between civil wars three rival factions and outside for the conquest of new territories, Rome will find itself at the head of a vast territory, domination over the whole Mediterranean and a multiethnic people made up of extremely diverse populations.

It will be possible, without any stumbling block in the course of history, to manage all this with an army by now perfectly trained and oiled war machine, a right that guaranteed written laws and solid and well-positioned borders.

Roma Caput Mundi was being born.

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