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Rome and the Roman Empire

 

by Alexander Moiseev

 

05.15.98

 

Rome

 

The accounts of the regal period have come down overlaid with such a

mass of myth and legend that few statements can be accepted as factual;

the Roman historians of later times, lacking authentic records, relied

on fabrications of a patriotic records, relied on fabrications of a

patriotic fancy.

 

The Legendary Period of the kings(753-510 BC)

 

Rome was said to have been founded by Latin colonists from Alba Longa, a

nearby city in ancient Latium. The legendary date of the founding was

753 BC; it was ascribed to Romulus and Remus, the twin sons of Rhea

Silvia, a vestal virgin and the daughter of Numitor, king of Alba Longa.

Later legend carried the ancestry of the Romans back to the Trojans and

their leader Aeneas, whose son Ascanius, or lulus, was the founder and

the first king of Alba Longa. The tales concerning Romulus’s rule,

notably the rape of the Sabine women and the war with the Sabines under

the leader Titus Tatius, point to an early infiltration of Sabine

peoples or to a union of Latin and Sabine elements at the beginning. The

three tribes, the Ramnes, Titieus, and Luceres, that appear in the

legend of Romulus as the parts of the new commonwealth suggest that Rome

arose from the amalgamation of three stocks, thought to be Latin,

Sabine, and Etruscan.

 

The seven kings of the regal period and the dates traditionally assigned

to their regns are as follows: Romulus, from 753 to 715 BC; Numa

Pompilius, from 715 to 676 or 672 BC, to whom was attributed the

introduction of many religious customs; Tullus Hostilius, from 673 to

641 BC, a warlike king, who destroyed Alba Longa and fought against the

Sabines; Ancus Marcius, from 641 to 616 BC, said to have built the port

of Astia and to have captured many Latin towns, transferring their

inhabitants to Rome; Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, from 616 to 578 BC,

celebrated both for his military exploits against neighboring peoples

and for his construction of public buildings at Rome; Servius Tullius,

from 578 to 534 BC, famed for his new constitution and for the

enlargement of the boundaries of the city; and Lucius Tarquinius

Superbus, from 534 to 510 BC, the seventh and the last king, whose

tyrannical rule was overthrow when his son ravished Lucretia, the wife

of a kinsman. Tarquinius was banished, and attempts by Etruscan or Latin

cities to reinstate him on the throne at Rome were unavailing.

 

Although the names, dates, and events of the regal period are considered

as belonging to the regal of fiction and myth rather than to that of

factual history, certain facts seem well attested: the existence of an

early rule by kings; the growth of the city and its struggles with

neighboring peoples; the conquest of Rome by Etruria and the

establishment of a dynasty of Etruscan princes, symbolized by the rule

of the Tarquins; the overthrow of this alien control; and the abolition

of the kingship. The existence of certain social and political

conditions may also be accepted, such as the division of the beginning

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