Ancient Roman Democracy: The king Romulus was one of the two legendary founders of Rome, the city bearing his namesake. Legend has it that for a short time following his death, Rome was ruled for a brief time by powerful senators. Soon, however, the residents of the city demanded a new king. Numa Pompillius, a Sabine, was chosen and proved himself to be a peaceful man and wise king.
Ancient Roman Democracy
He ordered the creation of fairer laws and chose not to initiate combat with any of Rome’s neighbors. It is said Numa built temples and named a great number of men to care for them, he selected the Vestals, built a temple dedicated to Janus, and he developed Rome’s original lunar calendar based on the cycles of the moon. He reigned for forty-five years.
Again, there was a short period before reigns, and afterward, Tullus Hostillius rules Rome. Numa Pompillius, a wise man, had wanted peace for the fledgling city, but as indicated by his name, Tullus was bold and fierce and hurriedly went off to war.
Roman Democracy Facts
Despite the fact the Roman people were not very enthused about the war at the time, they struggled fiercely with the Albans. Repeatedly Rome waged war in Alban fields and was driven back. At the time the Albans were almost the equals of Rome, and neither city was always the victor.
Ancus Marcus, the grandson of Numa Pompillius, was the fourth king of Rome. As monarch, he acted wisely, and, like his grandfather, wanted to avoid confrontation. However, at the time Rome was being fiercely attacked by the Latins, and Ancus acted quickly, destroying the Latin city and leading its population back to Rome to inhabit the Aventine Hill.
Roman Democracy Timeline
During his reign, a wooden bridge was built across the Tiber, and by means of this, the Janiculum was joined with the city. A prison was built beneath the Capitoline and Ostia, Rome’s chief port was founded. He extended the territory of Rome to the sea.
After Ancus Marcus Etruscan leaders obtained the Roman monarchy. Tarquinius Priscus had migrated with his wife out of Etruria to Rome. As as a Roman, he was lauded by the people and the king himself. He served as the tutor, or guardian, of the kings, own two sons. Following Ancus’ death, he cleverly maneuvered himself into the throne.
He waged many wars and seized the territories of a large number of enemies. He also built the Circus Maximus and established the Roman games. Both in war and in peace, Tarquin ruled Rome well.
Historical Facts about Roman Democracy
However, trouble was brewing. The two songs of Ancus Marcus determined to Kill Tarquinius and seize the throne. The ordered two shepherds to kill the king, but the shepherds only succeeding in mortally wounding him, and the king lay on his deathbed for several days before passing.
Tanaquil, the queen, did not announce the death of her husband until she had used her influence to allow Servius Tullius to gain the people’s favor, and he was quickly made king by the people. He prudently used his power, ordering the first census of the Roman people.
Still, there was a problem remaining. Lucius Tarquinius, son of Tarquinius Priscus, desired the throne, and with his evil wife, daughter of Servius Tullius, he planned to kill the king and rule himself. He succeeded, and Rome was ruled by this unfair king for many years.
A large number of citizens were either driven from the city or killed. He murdered his sisters’ sons because he worried they would attempt to overthrow him. However, one boy named Janius pretended to be mentally retarded and avoided death because he was not thought to be a threat. He was nicknamed Brutus.
In the meantime, a great number of citizens were demanding that Tarquinius (nicknamed Superbus, proud or haughty) be expelled from the kingdom. And as if things couldn’t become worse, Rome soon discovered Superbus’ son, Sextus, was worse than the king himself.
Brutus, the former member of Tarquin’s house, witnessed a Roman lady, Lucretia, kill herself on account of Sextus. Irate, he vowed to the father and husband of the woman, “Hear me! I will drive Lucius Tarquinius with his wife and all his children out of the city Rome! Never again will a Tarquin rule Rome!”
Thereby, Brutus became a leader of the Roman people and proceeded to expel Tarquin’s wife, along with his friends and sons, from the city. The king attacked the walls of Andrea, nearby, and when he realized he was fighting a losing battle, marched on Rome. However, the guards shut the gates of the city on sight of the monarch, and seeing the danger, the King escaped to Etruria, where Sextus was killed by his enemies.
Roman Republic Government
Thereby, the kings were expelled from Rome, and two consuls, Lucius Junius Brutus and Tarquinius Collantinus, were elected to administrate. A small faction of Romans was not happy with the new republic, and the songs of Brutus were among them. They planned to overthrow their father, but hearing of their plan, Brutus made it clear that the future of Rome was more important to him and promptly had his sons executed for treason.
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