CHAPTER L. LEGENDARY ROME.
AENEAS, son of Anchíses and Venus, fled from Troy after its capture by the Greeks (1184?) and came to Italy. He was accompanied by his son IÚLUS and a number of brave followers. LATÍNUS, who was king of the district where Aenéas landed, received him kindly, and gave him his daughter, LAVINIA, in marriage. Aenéas founded a city, which he named LAVINIUM, in honor of his wife. After his death, Iúlus, also called ASCANIUS, became king. He founded on Mount Albánus a city, which he called ALBA LONGA, and to it transferred the capital.
Here a number of kings ruled in succession, the last of whom was SILVIUS PROCAS, who left two sons, NUMITOR, the older, and AMULIUS. They divided the kingdom, the former choosing the property, the latter the crown. Numitor had two children, a son and a daughter. Amulius, fearing that they might aspire to the throne, murdered the son, and made the daughter, RHEA SILVIA, a Vestal virgin. This he did to prevent her marrying, for this was forbidden to Vestal virgins. She, however, became pregnant by Mars, and had twin sons, whom she named ROMULUS and REMUS. When Amulius was informed of this, he cast their mother into prison, and ordered the boys to be drowned in the Tiber.
At this time the river was swollen by rains, and had overflowed its banks. The boys were thrown into a shallow place, escaped drowning, and, the water subsiding, they were left on dry land. A she wolf, hearing their cries, ran to them and suckled them. FAUSTULUS, a shepherd who was near by, seeing this, took the boys home and reared them. When they grew up and learned who they were, they killed Amulius, and gave the kingdom to their grandfather, Numitor. Then (753) they founded a city on Mount Palatínus, which they called ROME, after Romulus. While they were building a wall around this city, Remus was killed in a quarrel with his brother.
Romulus, first king of Rome, ruled for thirty-seven years (753-716). He found the city needed inhabitants, and to increase their number he opened an asylum, to which many refugees fled. But wives were needed. To supply this want, he celebrated games, and invited the neighboring people, the SABINES, to attend the sports. When all were engaged in looking on, the Romans suddenly made a rush and seized the Sabine virgins. This bold robbery caused a war, which finally ended in a compromise, and a sharing of the city with the Sabines. Romulus then chose one hundred Senators, whom he called PATRES. He also divided the people into thirty wards. In the thirty-seventh year of his reign he disappeared, and was believed to have been taken up into heaven.
One year followed without any king, and then NUMA POMPILIUS(716-673), a Sabine from Cures, was chosen. He was a good man, and a great lawgiver. Many sacred rites were instituted by him to civilize his barbarous subjects. He reformed the calendar, and built a temple to the god Janus. TULLUS HOSTILIUS(673-641) succeeded him. His reign was noted for the fall of Alba Longa. Then came ANCUS MARCIUS (640-616), the grandson of Numa. He was a good ruler and popular. He conquered the Latins, enlarged the city, and built new walls around it. He was the first to build a prison, and to bridge the Tiber. [Footnote: This bridge was called the pons sublicius i. e. a bridge resting on piles.] He also founded a city at its mouth, which he called OSTIA.
The next three kings were of Etruscan origin. LUCIUS TARQUINIUS PRISCUS (616-578) went to Rome first during the reign of Ancus, and, becoming a favorite of his, was appointed guardian of his sons. After the death of Ancus, he wrested the government from them, and became king himself. He increased the Senators to two hundred, carried on many wars successfully, and thus enlarged the territory of the city. He built the CLOÁCA MAXIMA, or great sewer, which is used to-day. Tarquin also began the temple of JUPITER CAPITOLÍNUS, on the Capitoline Hill. He was killed in the thirty-eighth year of his reign by the sons of Ancus, from whom he had snatched the kingdom.
His successor was his son-in-law, SERVIUS TULLIUS (578-534), who enlarged the city still more, built a temple to Diána, and took a census of the people. It was found that the city and suburbs contained 83,000 souls. Servius was killed by his daughter, Tullia, and her husband, Tarquinius Superbus, son of Priscus.
TARQUINIUS SUPERBUS succeeded to the throne (534-510). He was energetic in war, and conquered many neighboring places, among which was Ardea, a city of the Rutuli. He finished the temple of Jupiter, begun by his father. He also obtained the SIBYLLINE BOOKS. A woman from Cumae, a Greek colony, came to him, and offered for sale nine books of oracles and prophecies; but the price seemed exorbitant, and he refused to purchase them. The sibyl then burned three, and, returning, asked the same price for the remaining six. The king again refused. She burned three more, and obtained from the monarch for her last three the original price. These books were preserved in the Capitol, and held in great respect. They were destroyed with the temple by fire, on July 6, 83. Two men had charge of them, who were called duoviri sacrórum. The worship of the Greek deities, Apollo and Latóna, among others, was introduced through these books.