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HISTORY OF ROME.
8. Our history in this Book falls naturally into three divisions:
The records of the First Period, so far as they relate to persons, are largely mixed with fable, and it is impossible to separate the fanciful from the real. The student is recommended to read the stories of the kings, in their earliest and most attractive form, in Dr. Arnold's History of Rome. Under their beautiful mythical guise, these legends present, doubtless, a considerable amount of truth. Our limits only admit a statement of the popular ancient belief concerning the rise of Rome, among the other and older nations which inhabited Italy.
9. Central and southern Italy were occupied, from the earliest known times, by three races, the Etrus'cans, Italians, and Iapygians. The latter were nearly related to the Greeks, as has been proved by their language and the identity of their objects of worship. They therefore mingled readily with the Hellenic settlers (see ? 6), and Greek civilization quickly took root and flourished throughout southern Italy. The Italians proper so called because, when united, they became the ruling race in Italy-arrived later in the peninsula than the Iapygians. They came from the north, and crowded into closer quarters the half-Hellenic inhabitants of the south. They consisted of four principal races: the Umbrians, Sabines, Oscans, and Latins. Of these the first three were closely connected, while the Latins were distinct. The latter formed a confederacy of thirty cities, or cantons, and met every year on the Alban Mount to offer a united sacrifice to Jupiter Latia'ris, the protecting deity of the Latin race. During this festival wars were suspended, as in Elis during the Olympic Games.
10. The Etruscans, or Tuscans, were wholly different in language, appearance, and character from the other nations of Italy. Their origin is wrapped in mystery. Some suppose them to have been Turanian, and thus allied to the Lapps, Finns, and Estho'nians of northern Europe, and the Basques of Spain; others, and the greater number, believe the mass of the people to have been Pelasgi-that race which overspread Greece and Italy at a remoter period than history can reach - but to have been absorbed and enslaved by a more powerful people from the north, who called themselves Rasena, while they were named by others Etruscans. History first finds these invaders in Rhæ'tia, the country about the head-waters of the Ad'ige, the Danube, and the Rhine; then traces them to the plain of the Po, where, at a very early period, they formed
a league of twelve cities; and thence south of the Apennines into Tus'cany, which, reduced in limits, still bears their name.
Here they formed a similar but quite distinct confederacy of the same number of cities. For a time their dominion extended across the peninsula, and their fleets commanded both the "Upper" and the Lower Sea," the latter, of which derived from them its ancient name, Tyrrhenian. They conquered Campania, and built there a third cluster of twelve cities, of which Cap'ua was the chief; but they lost this portion of their territory in wars with the Samnites. Many relics of Etruscan art exist, in the massive walls of their cities, their castings in bronze, figures in terra-cotta, and golden chains, bracelets, and other ornaments, which prove them to have been a luxurious and wealthy people. Their religion was of a gloomy and superstitious character. They sought to know the will of their gods by auguries drawn from thunder and lightning, from the flight of birds, or from the entrails of slain beasts; and to avert their wrath by sacrifices prescribed and regulated by an elaborate ritual. To learn these rites formed a large part of the education of a young Tuscan noble.
11. The Romans, who were destined to be for nearly twelve centuries the dominant race of Italy and the world, belonged to the Latin branch of the Italian family. A Greek tradition celebrated by Virgil, and believed by most Romans in the days of the empire, traced their origin to a company of Trojan emigrants, led to the shores of Italy by Ene'as, son of Priam, after the fall of Troy. (See Book III, % 14.) But the Latin coast was at that time densely populated, and the new comers, if any such there were, must soon have been absorbed and lost among the older inhabitants.
12. The common legends assigned the building of Rome to Romʼulus, grandson of Nu'mitor, an Alban prince. Numitor had been deprived of his crown by his brother Amulius, who also killed the son of the deposed king, and compelled his daughter Silvia to become a vestal. Beloved of Mars, she became, however, the mother of Romulus and Remus, whereupon her uncle caused her to be thrown, with her twin sons, into the Anio, a tributary of the Tiber. The rivers had overflowed their banks; when they subsided, the cradle containing the infant princes. was overturned at the foot of the Palatine Mount. Nourished by a wolf, and fed by a woodpecker sacred to Mars, they grew to be hardy young shepherds, and distinguished themselves in combats with wild beasts and robbers.
At the age of twenty they became aware of their royal birth, and having conquered Amulius, restored their grandfather to his throne. But they still loved the home of their youth, and resolved to build a new city on the banks of the Tiber. The brothers, differing in their
choice of a site, consulted the auspices. After watching all night, Remus, at dawn, saw six vultures; but Romulus, at sunrise, saw twelve. The majority of the shepherds voted the decision to Romulus, and it was ever after believed that the twelve vultures denoted twelve centuries, during which the dominion of the city should endure.
13. His shepherd comrades being too few to satisfy his ambition, Romulus offered asylum on the Cap'itoline to homicides and runaway slaves, thus enrolling among his subjects the refuse of the neighboring tribes. To obtain wives for these adventurers, he invited the Latins and Sabines to witness games in honor of Neptune; and when not only men, but women and children were assembled, the runners and wrestlers rushed into the crowd and carried away whom they would. War followed, in which the Latins were thrice defeated. The Sabine king, Titus Tatius, marched with a powerful army upon Rome, obtained possession of the Capitoline fortress through the treachery of the maiden Tarpe'ia, the daughter of its commander, and nearly defeated the forces of Romulus in a long and obstinate battle.
The Sabine women, however, now reconciled to their fate, came between their fathers and husbands, beseeching them with tears to be reconciled, since, whoever should be conquered, the grief and loss must be their own. A lasting peace was made, and the two kings agreed to reign jointly over the united nations, Romulus holding his court on the Palatine, and Titus Tatius on the Capitoline and Quirinal hills. After the death of Tatius, Romulus ruled alone. At the end of a prosperous reign of thirtyseven years, he was reviewing his troops one day in the Field of Mars, when the sun became suddenly darkened, a tempest agitated earth and air, and Romulus disappeared. The people mourned him as dead, but they were comforted by his appearing in a glorified form to one of their number, assuring him that the Romans should become lords of the world, and that he himself, under the name of Quiri'nus, would be their guardian.
14. After a year's interregnum, Numa, a Sabine of wise and peaceful character, was chosen king. He was revered in after ages as the religious founder of Rome, no less than Romulus as the author of its civil and military institutions. The wisdom and piety of his laws were attributed to the nymph Ege'ria, who met him by a fountain in a grove, and dictated to him the principles of good government. The few records of this king and his predecessor belong rather to mythology than to history:
15. Tullus Hostilius, the third king of Rome, is the first of whose deeds we have any trustworthy account. He conquered Alba Longa, and transferred its citizens to the Cælian Hill in Rome. This new city then became the protectress of the Latin League, with the right of presiding
at the annual festival, though it was never, like Alba, a member of the League, but a distinct power in alliance with it. The federal army was commanded alternately by a Roman and a Latin general; and the lands acquired in the wars of the League were equally divided between the two contracting parties, thus giving to Rome, it is evident, a far greater share than to any other city.
16. The citizens of consolidated Rome now constituted three tribes: the Ram'nes, or original Romans, on the Palatine; the Tit'ies, or Sabines, on the Capitoline and Quirinal; and the Lu'ceres, on the Calian. Each tribe consisted of ten cu'ric, or wards, and each curia of ten houses, or clans (gentes). The patrician, or noble, houses, which alone enjoyed the rights of citizenship, thus numbered three hundred. The heads of all the houses constituted the Senate, while the Comit'ia Curia'ta, or public assembly, included all citizens of full age.
Rome, at this period, contained only two classes beside the Patricians. These were the clients and slaves. The former were the poorer people who belonged to no gens, and therefore, though free, had no civil rights. They were permitted to choose a patron in the person of some noble, who was bound to protect their interests, if need were, in courts of law. The client, on the other hand, followed his patron to war as a vassal; contributed to his ransom, or that of his children, if taken prisoners; and paid part of the costs of any lawsuit in which the patron might be engaged, or of his expenses in discharging honorable offices in the state. The relation on either side descended from father to son. It was esteemed a glory to a noble family to have a numerous clientage, and to increase that which it had inherited from its ancestors. The clients bore the clan-name * of their patron. Slaves were not numerous in the days of the kings. During the Republic, multitudes of captives were brought into the market by foreign wars; and at the close of that period, at least half the inhabitants of Roman territory were bondsmen.
17. Ancus Martius conquered many Latin towns, and transported their citizens to Rome, where he assigned them the Aventine Hill as a residence. Of these new settlers some became clients of the nobility, but the wealthier class scorned this dependent condition, and relied upon the protection of the king. Hence arose a new order in the state, the Plebs, or commonalty, which was destined to become, in later times, equally important with the nobility. It included, beside the conquered
* A Patrician had at least three names: his own personal appellation, as Ca'ius, Marcus, or Lu'cius; the name of his clan, and the name of his family. Many Romans had a fourth name, derived from some personal peculiarity or memora ble deed. Thus Pub'lius Cornelius Scip'io Africa'nus belonged to the Cornelian gens, the Scipio family, and received a surname from his brilliant achievements in Africa. His clients bore the name Cornelius.
people, foreign settlers who came for trade, for refuge, or for employment in the army; clients whose protecting families had become extinct; and sons of patricians who had married wives of inferior rank. Ancus extended the Roman territory to the sea; built the port-town of Os'tia, and established salt-works in its vicinity; fortified the Janiculan Hill, opposite Rome, for a defense against the Etruscans; and constructed the Mamertine, the first Roman prison.
18. Lucius Tarquin'ius Priscus was of Greek origin, though he took his name from the Etruscan town Tarquinii, where he was born. The characteristics of his race were shown in the magnificent works with which he embellished Rome. He drained the lower parts of the city by a great system of sewers, and restrained the overflow of the Tiber by a wall of massive masonry, at the place at the place where the Cloa'ca Maxima entered the river. In the valley thus redeemed from inundation he built the Forum, with its surrounding rows of porticos and shops; and constructed the Circus Maximus for the celebration of the Great Games, which had been founded by Romulus, and resembled in most of their features the athletic contests of the Greeks.