Roma Krallık Dönemi

CKM 2018-19 / Aziz Yardımlı


Roman Krallık Dönemi (İÖ 753-509)


The Growth of Roman power in Italy to 218 BC

The Growth of Roman power in Italy to 218 BC

The Growth of Roman power in Italy to 218 BC
Reference Map of Ancient Italy. Northern Map.

Reference Map of Ancient Italy. Southern Map.


  Roman Kingdom 753-509
  • Roma Krallık ile başladı (İÖ 753-509).


  • Roma’nın kuruluşu için İÖ birinci yüzyıl ortalarında tarihçi Marcus Terrentius Varro tarafından verilen tarih İÖ 753 idi.
  • Roma’nın mitsel kurucusu Romulus tarafından İÖ 753’ten 721’e dek yönetildiği görüşü de benzer olarak mitseldir.


  • Roma’nın sitesine İÖ ikinci binyıl ortalarında ilk yerleşenler Latinler idi.
  • Roma orta İtalya’da Latium olarak bilinen ve kuzeyde Etruria ve güneyde Samnium ile komşu olan bir alanda kuruldu.
  • Daha güneyde Roma’nın erken yıllarında yüksek gönenç düzeyleri ile gelişmiş Yunan koloni kentleri bulunuyordu.
  • Roma yakınında başat güç Etrüskler idi.
  • Etrüsk dili Hint-Avrupa dil grubuna ait olmayan yalıtılmış bir dildir.
  • Romalılar İÖ 509 sıralarında Etrüsk kralları altında yönetilmeye son vererek konsüllerin yönetimindeki Cumhuriyeti kurdular.

🛑 Theodor Mommsen: “Römische Geschichte”

Theodor Mommsen: Römische Geschichte — Kapitel 4

(LINK) "So lehrt uns die Sprachforschung drei italische Urstämme unterscheiden, den iapygischen, den etruskischen und den italischen, wie wir ihn nennen wollen, von welchen der letztere in zwei Hauptzweige sich spaltet: das latinische Idiom und dasjenige, dem die Dialekte der Umbrer, Marser, Volsker und Samniten angehören."

"Böylece dil araştırması bize üç İtalyan kökensel kabilesini ayırdetmeyi öğretir: Iapygian, Etrüskan ve İtalyan diyeceğimiz kabileler. Bunlardan sonuncusu iki ana dala ayrılır: Latin idiomu, ve Umber, Marser, Volsker ve Samnit lehçelerine ait olanlar."


Romulus and Remus

Romulus and Remus (W)

In Roman mythology, Romulus and Remus are twin brothers, whose story tells the events that led to the founding of the city of Rome and the Roman Kingdom by Romulus. The killing of Remus by his brother, and other tales from their story, have inspired artists throughout the ages. Since ancient times, the image of the twins being suckled by a she-wolf has been a symbol of the city of Rome and the Roman people. Although the tale takes place before the founding of Rome around 750 BC, the earliest known written account of the myth is from the late 3rd century BC. Possible historical basis for the story, as well as whether the twins' myth was an original part of Roman myth or a later development, is a subject of ongoing debate.


Romulus and Remus were born in Alba Longa, one of the ancient Latin cities near the future site of Rome. Their mother, Rhea Silvia was a vestal virgin and the daughter of the former king, Numitor, who had been displaced by his brother Amulius. In some sources, Rhea Silvia conceived them when their father, the god Mars, visited her in a sacred grove dedicated to him. Through their mother, the twins were descended from Greek and Latin nobility.

Italy Before Roman Conquest.

Etruscan civilization, 750 BC.

The Shepherd Faustulus Bringing Romulus and Remus to His Wife,” Nicolas Mignard (1654).


Seeing them as a possible threat to his rule, King Amulius ordered them to be killed and they were abandoned on the bank of the river Tiber to die. They were saved by the god Tiberinus, Father of the River, and survived with the care of others, at the site of what would eventually become Rome. In the most well-known episode, the twins were suckled by a she-wolf, in a cave now known as the Lupercal. Eventually, they were adopted by Faustulus, a shepherd. They grew up tending flocks, unaware of their true identities. Over time, they became natural leaders and attracted a company of supporters from the community.

When they were young adults, they became involved in a dispute between supporters of Numitor and Amulius. As a result, Remus was taken prisoner and brought to Alba Longa. Both his grandfather and the king suspected his true identity. Romulus, meanwhile, had organized an effort to free his brother and set out with help for the city. During this time they learned of their past and joined forces with their grandfather to restore him to the throne. Amulius was killed and Numitor was reinstated as king of Alba. The twins set out to build a city of their own.

Rome timeline
Roman Kingdom and Republic
753 BC According to legend, Romulus founds Rome.
753–509 BC Rule of the seven Kings of Rome.
509 BC Creation of the Republic.
390 BC The Gauls invade Rome. Rome sacked.
264–146 BC Punic Wars.
146–44 BC Social and Civil Wars. Emergence of Marius, Sulla, Pompey and Caesar.
44 BC Julius Caesar assassinated.

After arriving back in the area of the seven hills, they disagreed about the hill upon which to build. Romulus preferred the Palatine Hill, above the Lupercal; Remus preferred the Aventine Hill. When they could not resolve the dispute, they agreed to seek the gods' approval through a contest of augury. Remus first saw 6 auspicious birds but soon afterward, Romulus saw 12, and claimed to have won divine approval. The new dispute furthered the contention between them. In the aftermath, Remus was killed either by Romulus or by one of his supporters. Romulus then went on to found the city of Rome, its institutions, government, military and religious traditions. He reigned for many years as its first king.

Primary sources

The origins of the different elements in Rome's foundation myth are a subject of ongoing debate. They may have come from the Romans' own indigenous origins, or from Hellenic influences that were included later. Definitively identifying those original elements has so far eluded the classical academic community. Although the tale takes place before the founding of Rome around 750 BC, the earliest known written account of the myth is from the late 3rd century BC. There is an ongoing debate about how and when the "complete" fable came together.

Some elements are attested to earlier than others, and the storyline and the tone were variously influenced by the circumstances and tastes of the different sources as well as by contemporary Roman politics and concepts of propriety. Whether the twins' myth was an original part of Roman myth or a later development is the subject of an ongoing debate. Sources often contradict one another. They include the histories of Livy, Plutarch, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, and Tacitus as well as the work of Virgil and Ovid. Quintus Fabius Pictor's work became authoritative to the early books of Livy's Ab Urbe Condita, Dionysius of Halicarnassus's Roman Antiquities, and Plutarch’s Life of Romulus.

These three works have been among the most widely read versions of the myth. In all three works, the tales of the lupercal and the fratricide are overshadowed by that of the twins' lineage and connections to Aeneas and the deposing of Amulius. The latter receives the most attention in the accounts. Plutarch dedicates nearly half of his account to the overthrow of their uncle.

Modern scholarship

Modern scholarship approaches the various known stories of Romulus and Remus as cumulative elaborations and later interpretations of Roman foundation-myth. Particular versions and collations were presented by Roman historians as authoritative, an official history trimmed of contradictions and untidy variants to justify contemporary developments, genealogies and actions in relation to Roman morality. Other narratives appear to represent popular or folkloric tradition; some of these remain inscrutable in purpose and meaning. Wiseman sums the whole as the mythography of an unusually problematic foundation and early history.

The three canonical accounts of Livy, Dionysius, and Plutarch provide the broad literary basis for studies of Rome's founding mythography. They have much in common, but each is selective to its purpose. Livy's is a dignified handbook, justifying the purpose and morality of Roman traditions of his own day. Dionysius and Plutarch approach the same subjects as interested outsiders, and include founder-traditions not mentioned by Livy, untraceable to a common source and probably specific to particular regions, social classes or oral traditions. A Roman text of the late Imperial era, Origo gentis Romanae (The origin of the Roman people) is dedicated to the many "more or less bizarre", often contradictory variants of Rome's foundation myth, including versions in which Remus founds a city named Remuria, five miles from Rome, and outlives his brother Romulus.

Roman historians and Roman traditions traced most Roman institutions to Romulus. He was credited with founding Rome's armies, its system of rights and laws, its state religion and government, and the system of patronage that underpinned all social, political and military activity. In reality, such developments would have been spread over a considerable span of time. Some were much older and others much more recent. To most Romans, the evidence for the veracity of the legend and its central characters seemed clear and concrete, an essential part of Rome's sacred topography. One could visit the Lupercal, where the twins were suckled by the she-wolf, or offer worship to the deified Romulus-Quirinus at the "shepherd's hut", or see it acted out on stage, or simply read the Fasti.

The legend as a whole encapsulates Rome's ideas of itself, its origins and moral values. For modern scholarship, it remains one of the most complex and problematic of all foundation myths, particularly in the manner of Remus's death. Ancient historians had no doubt that Romulus gave his name to the city. Most modern historians believe his name a back-formation from the name Rome; the basis for Remus's name and role remain subjects of ancient and modern speculation. The myth was fully developed into something like an "official", chronological version in the Late Republican and early Imperial era; Roman historians dated the city's foundation to between 758 and 728 BC, and Plutarch reckoned the twins' birth year as 771 BC. A tradition that gave Romulus a distant ancestor in the semi-divine Trojan prince Aeneas was further embellished, and Romulus was made the direct ancestor of Rome's first Imperial dynasty. Possible historical bases for the broad mythological narrative remain unclear and disputed. The image of the she-wolf suckling the divinely fathered twins became an iconic representation of the city and its founding legend, making Romulus and Remus preeminent among the feral children of ancient mythography.



In its early years, the Romans shared Italy with several other peoples. The dominant power in the neighborhood of Rome was the Etruscans. We don’t know very much about these people, in part because we haven’t figured out how to read their distinctive language. But the evidence suggests that Rome was ruled by Etruscan kings until the Romans revolted and established a republic — an event that is traditionally dated to 509 BC. East of Rome were other tribes speaking languages related to the Romans’ native Latin. And by 400 BC, the prosperous and technologically sophisticated Greeks had established colonies at Italy’s southern tip.

Etrurians heavily influenced Latins, but they were very different from each other. Italy today is a direct evolution of Latin Rome, which started to be the official culture in all Italy during the Empire, but before that Italy (which only existed as the purely geographical definition, not the nation or cultural one) was a bunch of different cultures that were sometimes more or less different which each other but that shared some common influences like the Greeks. Etrurians were as different as you can get from Latin Italians, they didn't even have an Indo-European language, so it makes sense that anon differed between Etrurians and Italians.

Buildings in the Roman Forum

The Roman Forum Restored. "A History of Rome," by Robert Fowler Leighton. New York: Clark & Maynard. 1888. (L)

Rome 400 BC. (W: List of ancient Italic peoples)

“Not without reason did gods and men choose this spot for the founding of our city — the healthy hills, the convenient river by which produce from the inland regions could be brought in, and sea-borne commerce received; the sea itself, near enough for convenience but not exposed by too great proximity to the danger of foreign fleets; our location in the middle of Italy — all these advantages make it of all places in the world the best for a city destined to grow great.”

Livy, 5.54.

Rome Magnum Palatine Capitoline Hills

The Roman Forum (Latin: Forum Romanum, Italian: Foro Romano) is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum. It was for centuries the center of Roman public life: the site of triumphal processions and elections, venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches, and nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city's great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history. Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archeological excavations attracting numerous sightseers. Many of the oldest and most important structures of the ancient city were located on or near the Forum. The Kingdom's earliest shrines and temples were located on the southeastern edge. These included the ancient former royal residence, the Regia (8th century BC), and the Temple of Vesta (7th century BC), as well as the surrounding complex of the Vestal Virgins, all of which were rebuilt after the rise of imperial Rome. Other archaic shrines to the northwest, such as the Umbilicus Urbis and the Vulcanal (Shrine of Vulcan), developed into the Republic's formal Comitium (assembly area). This is where the Senate — as well as Republican government itself — began. The Senate House, government offices, tribunals, temples, memorials and statues gradually cluttered the area. Over time the archaic Comitium was replaced by the larger adjacent Forum and the focus of judicial activity moved to the new Basilica Aemilia (179 BC). (L)


Roman Kingdom

Roman Kingdom (W)

Before the Roman Empire, ancient Italy comprised a group of cultures which absorbed each other’s ideas through trade. This map dated from 700-400 BCE.

The Roman Kingdom, also referred to as the Roman monarchy, or the regal period of ancient Rome, was the earliest period of Roman history, when the city and its territory were ruled by kings.

Little is certain about the kingdom's history, as no records and few inscriptions from the time of the kings survive, and the accounts of this period written during the Republic and Empire are thought to be based on oral tradition. According to these legends, the Roman Kingdom began with the city's founding circa 753 BC, with settlements around the Palatine Hill along the river Tiber in central Italy, and ended with the overthrow of the kings and the establishment of the Republic circa 509 BC.

At Rome, archaeological investigation shows human habitation on the Palatine and Esquiline hilltops, with some traces in the intervening valleys, from the early first millennium BC onwards. This date roughly corresponds to the legendary foundation by Romulus in 753 BC. Later writers romanticised whatever folk memories remained of this early Rome; here, the poet Virgil sends his hero Aeneas (a refugee from Troy and founder of the Roman race) on a tour of the city’s future site with the humble local king Evander, where he sees cattle grazing in what would one day be the heart of the city:

“… they came to the house of humble Evander, and saw cattle here and there, mooing where the Roman Forum and the fashionable Carinae district would be.

Virgil, Aeneid VIII.359-61.


The traditional version of Roman history, which has come down to us principally through

recounts that a series of seven kings ruled the settlement in Rome's first centuries. The traditional chronology, as codified by Varro (116 BC-27 BC), allows 243 years for their combined reigns, an average of almost 35 years. Since the work of Barthold Georg Niebuhr, modern scholarship has generally discounted this schema. The Gauls destroyed many of Rome's historical records when they sacked the city after the Battle of the Allia in 390 BC (according to Varro; according to Polybius, the battle occurred in 387/6), and what remained eventually fell prey to time or to theft. With no contemporary records of the kingdom surviving, all accounts of the Roman kings must be carefully questioned.


Outline of the Birth and Rise of Romulus (L)


  • After the birth of Mars' sons Romulus and Remus, the king orders them to be left to die in the Tiber River.
  • When the basket in which the twins were placed washes up on shore, a wolf suckles them and a woodpecker named Picus feeds them until....
  • The shepherd Faustulus finds the twins and brings them into his home.
  • When they grow up, Romulus and Remus restore the throne of Alba Longa to its rightful ruler, their maternal grandfather.
  • Then they set out to found their own city.
  • Sibling rivalry leads Romulus to slay his brother.
  • Romulus then becomes the first king and founder of the city of Rome.
  • Rome is named after him.


The kings, excluding Romulus, who according to legend held office by virtue of being the city's founder, were all elected by the people of Rome to serve for life, with none of the kings relying on military force to gain or keep the throne.

The insignia of the kings of Rome were twelve lictors wielding the fasces bearing axes, the right to sit upon a Curule chair, the purple Toga Picta, red shoes, and a white diadem around the head. Of all these insignia, the most important was the purple toga.

Kings of Rome

Year King Other notable information
753-717 BC Romulus Myth of Romulus and Remus; founder of Rome; established Roman Senate, army, first religious institutions.
716-673 BC Numa Pompilius Established many of Rome's most important religious and political institutions; introduced twelve-month solar calendar.
673-642 BC Tullus Hostilius Defeated and destroyed Alba Longa; integrated the noble Alban families into the Roman aristocracy.
640-616 BC Ancus Marcius Established port of Ostia; defeated the Sabines.
616-579 BC Tarquinius Priscus Expanded Roman hegemony over Latium; doubled membership in the Senate to 600; drained the Roman Forum, and constructed the Cloaca Maxima and the Circus Maximus.
578-535 BC Servius Tullius Established the Servian Tribes and the centuries; built the Temple of Dianaand a new wall around the city; instituted the Compitalia.
535-509 BC Tarquinius Superbus Last King of Rome; overthrew Servius; conquered various Latin cities and established colonies; built the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus; deposed and Roman Republic established.

The King

Roma Kralları

753-716 BC Romulus
715-673 BC Numa Pompilius
673-642 BC Tullus Hostilius
642-616 BC Ancus Marcius
616-579 BC L. Tarquinius Priscus
578-535 BC Servius Tullius
535-509 BC L. Tarquinius Superbus

The king was invested with supreme military, executive, and judicial authority through the use of imperium, formally granted to the king by the Comitia Curiata with the passing of the Lex curiata de imperio at the beginning of each king's reign. The imperium of the king was held for life and protected him from ever being brought to trial for his actions. As being the sole owner of imperium in Rome at the time, the king possessed ultimate executive power and unchecked military authority as the commander-in-chief of all Rome's legions. Also, the laws that kept citizens safe from magistrates' misuse of imperium did not exist during the monarchical period.

Another power of the king was the power to either appoint or nominate all officials to offices. The king would appoint a tribunus celerum to serve as both the tribune of Ramnes tribe in Rome and as the commander of the king's personal bodyguard, the Celeres. The king was required to appoint the tribune upon entering office and the tribune left office upon the king's death. The tribune was second in rank to the king and also possessed the power to convene the Curiate Assembly and lay legislation before it.

Another officer appointed by the king was the praefectus urbi, who acted as the warden of the city. When the king was absent from the city, the prefect held all of the king's powers and abilities, even to the point of being bestowed with imperium while inside the city.

The king even received the right to be the only person to appoint patricians to the Senate.


Roman Senate.

According to legend, Romulus established the Senate after he founded Rome by personally selecting the most noble men (wealthy men with legitimate wives and children) to serve as a council for the city. As such, the Senate was the King’s advisory council as the Council of State. The Senate was composed of 300 Senators, with 100 Senators representing each of the three ancient tribes of Rome: the Ramnes (Latins), Tities (Sabines), and Luceres (Etruscans) tribes. Within each tribe, a Senator was selected from each of the tribe's ten curiae. The king had the sole authority to appoint the Senators, but this selection was done in accordance with ancient custom.

Under the monarchy, the Senate possessed very little power and authority as the king held most of the political power of the state and could exercise those powers without the Senate's consent. The chief function of the Senate was to serve as the king’s council and be his legislative coordinator. Once legislation proposed by the king passed the Comitia Curiata, the Senate could either veto it or accept it as law. The king was, by custom, to seek the advice of the Senate on major issues. However, it was left to him to decide what issues, if any, were brought before them and he was free to accept or reject their advice as he saw fit. Only the king possessed the power to convene the Senate, except during the interregnum, during which the Senate possessed the authority to convene itself.


📹 The Roman Senate during the Monarchy (VİDEO)

📹 The Roman Senate during the Monarchy (LINK)


A Roman wedding.

“The Roman Bath,” Emmanuel Oberhausen.

📹 History of Rome — 1 — The Foundation of Rome (VİDEO)

History of Rome — 1 — The Foundation of Rome (LINK)


Sabine Women
  • Sabinler orta İtalya’nın dağlarında yaşayan İtalik bir kabile idi.
  • Halikarnassuslu Dionysius tarafından sözü edilen kimi efsanelere göre, Sabinlerin başlangıçta Yunan kenti Sparta ile bağlantıları vardı.
  • Plutark Sabinlerin bir Sparta kolonisi olduğunu yazar.


  • Efsaneye göre, Romalılar Sabin kadınlarını yeni kurulan Roma kentini nüfuslandırmak için kaçırdılar.
  • “Sabin Kadınlarına Tecavüz” yanlış adlandırmadır ve doğrusu “Sabin Kadınlarının Kaçırılması”dır (Latince “rapere” sözcüğü “ele geçirmek, götürmek, kaçırmak, talan etmek” gibi anlamlara gelir).
  • Sonuçta ortaya çıkan Roma-Sabin savaşını kadınlar çocukları ile birlikte kendilerini çarpışmakta olan kocalarının ve babalarının ortasına atarak sonlandırdılar (Plutark).

Legend of the Sabine women (W)

Legend says that the Romans abducted Sabine women to populate the newly built Rome. The resultant war ended only by the women throwing themselves and their children between the armies of their fathers and their husbands. The Rape of the Sabine Women became a common motif in art; the women ending the war is a less frequent but still reappearing motif.

🎨 Sabine Women

“The Rape Of The Sabines — The Abduction,” by Charles Christian Nahl (1870).

“The Rape Of The Sabines — The Captivity,” by Charles Christian Nahl (1871).

“The Rape Of The Sabines — The Invasion,” by Charles Christian Nahl (1871).


To boost the population of Rome, Romulus welcomed everyone to the new city regardless of their pasts. This attracted a large number of ex-slaves, criminals, and freemen to Rome. The population grew quickly, and the city expanded onto the nearby hills of the Capitoline, Aventine, Caelian and Quirinal.

Romulus' policies for increasing the city's population resulted in a disproportionate amount of men. This forced Romulus to come up with a cunning plan. He arranged for a large festival to take place in Rome and he invited the population of a nearby Sabine city. At the festival, Romulus and his men abducted as many of the unmarried Sabine women as they could. An event that would later become known as the 'Rape of the Sabine Women'.


"The Romans and the Sabines: The Abduction; The Captivity; The Invasion"

  • Charles Christian Nahl
  • American artist, born in Germany,1818-1878
  • 1870-1871
  • Oil on Canvas
  • 56.125 in. x 44.25 in.


The Painting & The Artist

The work is composed of mostly of male Roman soldiers and Sabine women, with grass visible at the bottom and smoke bellowing into the blue sky. Charles Nahl uses precise line quality, blended hues, and correct anatomy to form each character and object within his composition. The people’s skin and clothing appear to have smooth texture to them while the plants are more rough and rigid. He uses saturated complementary colors on the main three people, while the rest in the background are unsaturated. Most of the composition’s weight is in the middle to show how crowded the scene is, while the top and bottom have more space to let the focal point breathe.

“The Rape of the Sabine Women” (Peter Paul Rubens).


“The Rape of the Sabine Women” is a painting by Peter Paul Rubens. It is now in the Belfius Collection.

It was commissioned by Philip IV of Spain in 1639 but was still incomplete on Rubens' death a year later. It was completed by the Brussels painter Gaspar de Crayer. Other version of this painting is now in the National Gallery, London.

Plutarch ('Lives' II, 14 and 19) relates that the Sabine tribe were invited to games in Rome; at a given signal from their king, Romulus, the Romans carried off the women. The background shows the later episode when the Sabines attacked the Romans and were defeated. The Romans and Sabines fight in the background beyond the rail that separates the audience from the games. The abduction is set before classical architecture, but the women wear 17th-century Flemish dress. (L)

LINK (The National Gallery website): The Rape of the Sabine Women
LINK (W): Peter Paul Rubens

“The Abduction of the Sabine Women” (Nicolas Poussin; probably 1633-34).


According to Roman mythology, the neighboring Sabines were invited to a festival with the intention of forcibly retaining their young women as wives. When the Roman leader Romulus raised his cloak, his warriors seized the women. This dramatic story gave Poussin the opportunity to display his command of gesture and pose and his knowledge of ancient sculpture and architecture. The man at the right wears a yellow lorica made of leather. The painting belonged to the maréchal de Créquy, who was the French ambassador to Rome from June 1633 to July 1634, and then to Cardinal Richelieu. (L)

“The Intervention of the Sabine Women” (Jacques-Louis David, 1799).


Painting by Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825), oil on canvas, 1799. On display at the Louvre Museum, Paris, France. The Abduction (or Rape) of the Sabine Women is an episode in the legendary history of Rome, traditionally said to have taken place in 750 BC, in which the first generation of Roman men acquired wives for themselves from the neighboring Sabine families.

Fearing the emergence of a rival society, the Sabines refused to allow their women to marry the Romans. Consequently, the Romans planned to abduct Sabine women, during a festival of Neptune Equester and proclaimed the festival among Rome's neighbours. At the festival Romulus gave a signal, at which the Romans grabbed the Sabine women and fought off the Sabine men. The indignant abductees were soon implored by Romulus to accept Roman husbands.

In the ensuing war, once Rome gained the upper hand, the Sabine women intervened and implored the two warring parties to reconcile.

Recounted by Livy and Plutarch (Parallel Lives II, 15 and 19), it provided a subject for Renaissance and post-Renaissance works of art that combined a suitably inspiring example of the hardihood and courage of ancient Romans with the opportunity to depict multiple figures, including heroically semi-nude figures, in intensely passionate struggle.

(Text from Wikipedia, edited)

LINK (Ancient History Encyclopedia)


First the Sabines dominated, but soon the virile Romans overcame them. In the midst of the bloody battle, just as the Romans were on the point of annihilating their opponents, the Sabine women rushed onto the battle field. They literally placed their bodies between the opponents, and begged them--as brothers and fathers on one side, and husbands on the other--to cease fighting in honor of the bond of marriage that united the two tribes.

"Silence fell. Not a man moved. A moment later Romulus and the Sabine commander stepped forward to make peace. Indeed they went further: the two peoples were united under a single government, with Rome as the seat of power." (Livy, The Early History of Rome, Book I of the Ab Urbe Condita.)

LINK: The Rape of the Sabine Women.

“Ratto delle Sabine,” Pietro da Cortona, Capitoline Museums.


Romulus, descendant of the Alban King Numitor, was the founder and first king of Rome. Initially a tiny settlement on the banks of the Tiber, Rome grew and prospered under Romulus' leadership. Most of the tribe was made up of men fleeing from other tribes: refugees, escaped slaves or prisoners, or anyone looking for a better life. These men were often powerful warriors, thus Rome's strength was least for that generation.

But what Rome lacked was women. Without females to reproduce with, the tribe would quickly die out. Simple enough--they thought--just propose intermarriage with the neighboring tribes. Problem was, no one wanted to give their daughters to a group of rough bandits. Romulus and his tribe were rejected out of hand.

Far from being deterred, Romulus decided to add kidnapping to fratricide on his resume of how he built Rome. The Romans cleverly hid their resentment at being rejected and proposed a festival with solemn games, honoring Consualia. All neighboring tribes were invited to take part, including the prosperous mountain tribe, the Sabines.

The tribes were amazed at the vastness and prosperity of the new city. And when the attention of all was distracted by the performances, the Romans attacked. They forcibly carried off the youngest of the Sabine women (reserving the most beautiful for Senators and patricians) while their families fled in terror. The women, who were at first outraged at this violence, were eventually persuaded by Romulus that their situation was really not so bad. They were not to be captives, but legally wedded wives, enjoying citizenship and the same rights of their husbands. As Livy puts it, they were asked to "moderate their anger, and give their hearts to those whom fortune had given their persons."

In time they grew to live peaceably, even happily, with their new husbands. But eventually their offended families came for revenge. After failed attempts by other tribes whose daughters had also been stolen, the Sabines succeeded in entering the city. When a young Roman maiden, daughter of the commander Spurius Tarpeius, went outside the city to fetch water, she encountered Sabine soldiers, who bribed her to let them into the city. She easily agreed, asking for their large gold bracelets in return. Instead, they crushed her to death with their shields for her treachery, and attacked the city.

LINK: The Rape of the Sabine Women.

Giambologna, “Abduction of a Sabine Woman,” 1581-83, marble, 410 cm high (Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence).


One of the most recognized works by one of the least well-known artists

Giambologna’s Abduction of a Sabine Woman is one of the most recognized works of sixteenth-century Italian art by one of the least well-known artists of the period. And while Giambologna may not be a household name like Michelangelo, his influence on late sixteenth- and early seventeenth- century European art was extensive and long lasting. The Abduction of a Sabine Woman is located in a spot few tourists miss — the Loggia dei Lanzi, just outside of the Palazzo Vecchio, in Florence.

The story of how Giambologna came to create the Sabine sculpture is almost as interesting as the historical tale it represents. Giambologna (born Jean du Boulogne in Douai in Flanders), arrived in Florence sometime around 1552, and within a few short years was court sculptor to the Medici and running his own large and productive workshop. Giambologna was highly regarded for his small to mid-size works in marble and bronze which were collected by connoisseurs and sent as Medicean diplomatic gifts all across Europe.

LINK: Smarthistory




While the story itself is hardly new, one could be surprised by a couple of less known details:

  • The motivation of Romulus is not that clear – The ancient authors (e.g. Dionysius) list several reasons for the deed. One of them is the general lack of women, but the other two are connected to the king’s long-term strategy. According to one version, he orchestrated the abduction to provoke the war. This theory counts on his warlike nature and a goal to establish Rome as a force to be reckoned with from the very beginning. An alternative story proposes the very opposite motivation. Romulus sought long-term allies and knew that no alliance is stronger than one based on family ties. Therefore he established those ties even at the expense of early war.

  • The “Rape” of the Sabine women is an incorrect translation – Although this is the word most frequently used to describe the incident, it is far from precise in describing the event. The Latin word “raptio” meant “abduction” or “seizure” rather than “rape”. Moreover, Dionysius wrote that Romulus gave a strict order not to touch the women on the first night in a sexual way.

  • Abduction of women was a Greek custom at the time. Several authors, including Dionysius who was a Greek himself, claimed that the Rape of the Sabines was not that special and the Greeks had been doing it for ages. Plutarch mentions Spartans as one of those engaging in this practice.

  • Romulus consulted the deed with the king of Alba Longa and got permission to do it – as with many other things, Romulus asked Numitor, the king of Alba Longa for advice. Rome was a colony of Alba Longa and Numitor, Romulus’ grandfather and the Alban king, often provided advice. In this case, Numitor had no objections.

  • Almost seven hundred women were seized by the Romans – Dionysius gives us a specific number - 683 (his source being probably Iuba), Valerius Antias claims there were 527, but there was also a version talking about only 30 abducted women (the Romans allegedly named their 30 curiae after them)

  • Not all seized women were Sabines – Romulus invited many neighbours to the festival. In fact, three cities (Ceanina, Antemnae, and Crustumerium) declared war on Rome before the Sabines did. Romulus, however, defeated them quickly.

  • The “Rape” is said to have happened on the 18th of August in the year of Rome’s founding (traditionally 753 BCE). It was the day of the Consualia festival in Rome.

  • The festival that was used as an excuse for inviting the Sabines was a religious one. The sources differ what deity was celebrated. Some mention a god called Consus, notable for giving advice. Others (apparently a majority) identify the deity Neptune, the god of horses.

  • The abduction took place either at the theatre or at chariot races. While the version with the races appears to be widely spread and older, the one with the theatre is used by Ovid in his Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love) accompanied with some good advice on how to pick up women in public places.

  • The events of rape inspired the Roman wedding traditions – One of the abducted virgins, especially notable for her beauty, was seized by the plebeian group appointed by a certain Thalassius. Running through the streets they were often asked to whom do they bring her and they responded “Thalassius!”. This word later became part of Roman weddings as a wedding-cry. Also, the custom of carrying the bride over the porch originates here, as the seized virgins were carried by their abductors violently to their bedrooms.


Authored By Viktor Susnyak January 26, 2019





Sabines (W)

Map showing the location of the Sabines. The border with Latium to the south was the Anieneriver; however, it is possible that Sabines extended to Lake Regillus slightly to the south of it near Gabii.

The Sabines (Latin: Sabini; Ancient Greek: Σαβῖνοι Sabĩnoi; Italian: Sabini, all exonyms) were an Italic people that lived in the central Apennine Mountains of ancient Italy, also inhabiting Latium north of the Anio before the founding of Rome.

The Sabines divided into two populations just after the founding of Rome, which is described by Roman legend. The division, however it came about, is not legendary. The population closer to Rome transplanted itself to the new city and united with the preexisting citizenry, beginning a new heritage that descended from the Sabines but was also Latinized. The second population remained a mountain tribal state, coming finally to war against Rome for its independence along with all the other Italic tribes. After losing, it became assimilated into the Roman Republic.


There is little record of the Sabine language; however, there are some glosses by ancient commentators, and one or two inscriptions have been tentatively identified as Sabine. There are also personal names in use on Latin inscriptions from the Sabine country, but these are given in Latin form. Robert Seymour Conway, in his Italic Dialects, gives approximately 100 words which vary from being well attested as Sabine to being possibly of Sabine origin. In addition to these he cites place names derived from the Sabine, sometimes giving attempts at reconstructions of the Sabine form. Based on all the evidence, the Linguist List tentatively classifies Sabine as a member of the Umbrian Group of Italic languages of the Indo-European family.

Historical geography

Latin-speakers called the Sabines' original territory, straddling the modern regions of Lazio, Umbria, and Abruzzo, Sabinium. To this day, it bears the ancient tribe's name in the Italian form of Sabina. Within the modern region of Lazio (or Latium), Sabina constitutes a sub-region, situated north-east of Rome, around Rieti.


According to Dionysius of Halicarnassus, many Roman historians (including Porcius Cato and Gaius Sempronius) regarded the origins of indigenous Romans to be Greek, even though their knowledge was derived from Greek legendary accounts.

Dionysius regarded Lista as the mother-city of the Aborigines. Ancient historians debated the specific origins of the Sabines. Zenodotus of Troezen claimed that the Sabines were originally Umbrians that changed their name after being driven from the Reatine territory by the Pelasgians. However, Porcius Cato argued that the Sabines were a populace named after Sabus, the son of Sancus (a divinity of the area sometimes called Jupiter Fidius).

In another account mentioned in Dionysius's work, a group of Lacedaemonians fled Sparta since they regarded the laws of Lycurgus as too severe. In Italy, they founded the Spartan colony of Foronia (near the Pomentine plains) and some from that colony settled among the Sabines. According to the account, the Sabine habits of belligerence (aggressive or warlike behavior) and frugality (prudence in avoiding waste) were known to have derived from the Spartans. Plutarch also mentions, in the Life of Numa Pompilius, “Sabines, who declare themselves to be a colony of the Lacedaemonians.”




Latium (W)

Early Latium and Campania

Latium is the region of central western Italy in which the city of Rome was founded and grew to be the capital city of the Roman Empire. Latium was originally a small triangle of fertile, volcanic soil on which resided the tribe of the Latins or Latians. It was located on the left bank (east and south) of the River Tiber, extending northward to the River Anio (a left-bank tributary of the Tiber) and southeastward to the Pomptina Palus (Pontine Marshes, now the Pontine Fields) as far south as the Circeian promontory. The right bank of the Tiber was occupied by the Etruscan city of Veii, and the other borders were occupied by Italic tribes. Subsequently, Rome defeated Veii and then its Italic neighbours, expanding Latium to the Apennine Mountains in the northeast and to the opposite end of the marsh in the southeast. The modern descendant, the Italian Regione of Lazio, also called Latium in Latin, and occasionally in modern English, is somewhat larger still, but not as much as double the original Latium.

The ancient language of the Latins, the tribespeople who occupied Latium, was to become the immediate predecessor of the Old Latin language, ancestor of Latin and the Romance languages. Latium has played an important role in history owing to its status as the host of the capital city of Rome, at one time the cultural and political centre of the Roman Empire. Consequently, Latium is home to celebrated works of art and architecture.


  Latins (Italic tribe)

Latins (Italic tribe)

Latins (Italic tribe) (W)

Map of 5th century-BC Latium and surrounding regions that were eventually annexed by Rome to form "New Latium". The Alban Hills, a region of early Latin settlement (from c. 1000 BC) and the site of the Latiar, the most important Latin communal festival, are located under the "U" in latium. The region's two main lakes, Nemi and Albanus, are visible under the "I". The leading Latin city-states of Rome, Tibur (Tivoli), Praeneste (Palestrina), Ardea and Gabii are shown.

The Latins (Latin: Latini), sometimes known as the Latians, were an Italic tribe which included the early inhabitants of the city of Rome.

From about 1000 BC, the Latins inhabited the small region known to the Romans as Old Latium (Latium Vetus), that is, the area between the river Tiber and the promontory of Mount Circeo 100 kilometres (62 mi) SE of Rome.

The Latins were an Indo-European people who probably migrated into the Italian Peninsula during the late Bronze Age (1200-900 BC). Their language, Latin, belonged to the Italic branch of Indo-European. Their material culture, known as the Latial culture, was a distinctive subset of the Proto-Villanovan culture that appeared in parts of the Italian peninsula in the first half of the 12th century BC. The Latins maintained close culturo-religious relations until they were definitively united politically under Rome in 338 BC, and for centuries beyond. These included common festivals and religious sanctuaries.

The rise of Rome as by far the most populous and powerful Latin state from c. 600 BC led to volatile relations with the other Latin states, which numbered about 14 in 500 BC. In the period of the Tarquin monarchy (c. 550-500 BC), it appears that Rome acquired political hegemony over the other states.

The mainstream scenario for the migration of the Indo-European peoples in the period 4000–1000 BC. Known as the Kurgan hypothesis, the scenario envisages the IE peoples migrating outwards from an original homeland in the steppe of southern Russia, North of the Caucasus mountains (purple zone). The red zone indicates the possible extent of IE expansion by c. 2500 BC, the orange zone by c. 1000 BC. Note the movement of the Italic branch from the secondary zone (around Moravia) into the Italian peninsula.

After the fall of the Roman monarchy in c. 500 BC, there appears to have been a century of military alliance between Rome and the other Latins to confront the threat posed to all Latium by raiding by the surrounding Italic mountain-tribes, especially the Volsci and Aequi. This system progressively broke down after c. 390 BC, when Rome's aggressive expansionism led to conflict with other Latin states, both individually and collectively. In 341-338 BC, the Latin states jointly fought the Latin War against Rome in a final attempt to preserve their independence. The war resulted in 338 BC in a decisive Roman victory. The other Latin states were either annexed or permanently subjugated to Rome.




The Latins belonged to a group of Indo-European (“IE”) tribes, conventionally known as the Italic tribes, that populated central and southern Italy during the Italian Iron Age (which began around 900 BC). The most widely accepted theory suggests that Latins and other proto-Italic tribes first entered Italy in the late Bronze Age Proto-Villanovan culture, then part of the central European Urnfield culture system.

In particular various authors, like Marija Gimbutas, had noted important similarities between proto-Villanova, the South-German Urnfield culture of Bavaria-Upper Austria and Middle-Danube Urnfield culture. According to David W. Anthony proto-Latins originated in today’s eastern Hungary, kurganized around 3100 BC by the Yamna culture, while Kristian Kristiansen associated the proto-Villanovans with the Velatice-Baierdorf culture of Moravia and Austria. This is further confirmed by the fact that the subsequent Villanovan culture of Central Italy, which introduced iron-working to the Italian peninsula, was so closely related to the Central European Urnfield culture (c. 1300-750 BC), and Hallstatt culture (which succeeded the Urnfield culture), that it is not possible to tell them apart in their earlier stages. Furthermore, the contemporary Canegrate culture of Northern Italy represented a typical western example of the western Hallstatt culture, whose diffusion most probably took place in a Celtic-speaking context.

  Latin Language

The tribe spoke the Latin language, a member of the western branch of the Italic languages, in turn a branch of the Indo-European (IE) family of languages.

The Lapis Niger, probably the oldest extant Latin inscription (c. 600 BC)

The oldest extant inscription in the Latin language
is believed to be engraved on the Lapis Niger ("Black Stone") discovered in 1899 in the Roman Forum, dating from around 600 BC: in the mid-Roman kingdom, according to the traditional Roman chronology, but more likely close to its inception. Written in a primitive form of Archaic Latin, it indicates that the Romans remained Latin-speakers in the period when some historians have suggested that Rome had become "Etruscanised" in both language and culture. It also lends support to the existence of the Kings of Rome in this era, whom some historians regarded as mythical: the inscription contains the word recei, the word for "king" in the dative singular in archaic Latin — regi in classical Latin. However, it has been objected that the word may refer to a religious official, such as the rex sacrorum, rather than the political king of Rome.

IronAge Italy. — Approximate distribution of languages in Iron Age Italy during the sixth century BC.

The first settlers of the site of Rome were people we call Latins, one of a number of Italic peoples who settled Italy from the mid-second millennium BC. Rome was in an area of central Italy known as Latium, with Etruria (home of the Etruscans) to the north and Samnium to the east. Further south, colony cities founded by Greek settlers were beacons of sophistication and wealth during Rome’s early years.




Etruria (W)

📹 The Rise of the Roman Empire (Etruscan Civilization) (VİDEO)

📹 The Rise of the Roman Empire (Etruscan Civilization) (LINK 10:27)

EPISODE 1: RISE OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE Two thousand years ago, one civilisation held the entire Western world in its grasp. From Northern Europe to Africa and the Middle East. It imposed laws, ideas and a single language. Rome was the super power of the ancient world. Indeed later super powers never stopped learning the lessons of her spectacular rise and fall. Rome truly was a colossal empire. During the rise of the Roman Empire, it was not always easy to separate virtue from vice, or hero from villain. Indeed, all too often, they were one and the same. Rome was still an adolescent discovering who it wanted to be, and its dream of greatness was a prlude to a nightmare. It was not for another 100 years that the state would mature and commit to one enduring view of itself. It would be the army, more than any other force that was destined to shape Rome's lasting identity.



The area covered by the Etruscan civilization.

Etruria (usually referred to in Greek and Latin source texts as Tyrrhenia Greek: Τυρρηνία) was a region of Central Italy, located in an area that covered part of what are now Tuscany, Lazio, and Umbria.

Etruscan Etruria

The ancient people of Etruria are labeled Etruscans. Their complex culture was centered on numerous city-states that rose during the Villanovan period in the ninth century BC, and they were very powerful during the Orientalizing Archaic periods.

The ancient people of Etruria are labeled Etruscans. Their complex culture was centered on numerous city-states that rose during the Villanovan period in the ninth century BC, and they were very powerful during the Orientalizing Archaic periods.

The Etruscans were a dominant culture in Italy by 650 BC, surpassing other ancient Italic peoples such as the Ligures, and their influence may be seen beyond Etruria's confines in the Po River Valley and Latium, as well as in Campania and through their contact with the Greek colonies in Southern Italy (including Sicily). Indeed, at some Etruscan tombs, such as those of the Tumulus di Montefortini at Comeana (see Carmignano) in Tuscany, physical evidence of trade has been found in the form of grave goods — fine faience ware cups are particularly notable examples. Such trade occurred either directly with Egypt or through intermediaries such as Greek or Phoenician sailors.

Rome, buffered from Etruria by the Silva Ciminia, the Ciminian Forest, was influenced strongly by the Etruscans, with a series of Etruscan kings ruling at Rome until 509 BC when the last Etruscan king Lucius Tarquinius Superbus was removed from power and the Roman Republic was established.

The Etruscans are credited with influencing Rome’s architecture and ritual practice; it was under the Etruscan kings that important structures such as the Capitolium, Cloaca Maxima, and Via Sacra were realized.

The Etruscan civilization was responsible for much of the Greek culture imported into early Republican Rome, including the twelve Olympian gods, the growing of olives and grapes, the Latin alphabet (adapted from the Greek alphabet), and architecture like the arch, sewerage and drainage systems.

Roman Etruria

In the augustean organization of Italy, Etruria was the name of a region (Regio VII), whose borders were the Tiber, the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Apuan Alps and the Apennines, roughly coincident with those of Etruscan Etruria.


  Etruscan Civilization

Etruscan civilization

Etruscan civilization (W)

Extent of Etruscan civilisation and the twelve Etruscan League cities

The Etruscan civilization is the modern name given to a civilization of ancient Italy in the area corresponding roughly to Tuscany, south of the Arno river, western Umbria, northern and central Lazio, with offshoots also to the north in the Po Valley, in the current Emilia-Romagna, south-eastern Lombardy and southern Veneto, and to the south, in some areas of Campania.

As distinguished by its unique language, this civilization endured from before the time of the earliest Etruscan inscriptions (c. 700 BC) until its assimilation into the Roman Republic, beginning in the late 4th century BC with the Roman–Etruscan Wars.

Culture that is identifiably Etruscan developed in Italy after about 900 BC, approximately with the Iron Age Villanovan culture, regarded as the oldest phase of Etruscan civilization.

The latter gave way in the 7th century BCE to a culture that was influenced by Ancient Greek culture, during the Archaic (Orientalizing period) and the Hellenistic period.

At its maximum extent, during the foundational period of Rome and the Roman Kingdom, Etruscan civilization flourished in three confederacies of cities: of Etruria (Tuscany, Latium and Umbria), of the Po Valley with the eastern Alps, and of Campania. The league in northern Italy is mentioned in Livy. The decline was gradual, but by 500 BCE the political destiny of Italy had passed out of Etruscan hands. The last Etruscan cities were formally absorbed by Rome around 100 BCE.

Although the Etruscans developed a system of writing, the Etruscan language remains only partly understood, and only a handful of texts of any length survive, making modern understanding of their society and culture heavily dependent on much later and generally disapproving Roman and Greek sources. Politics was based on the small city and probably the family unit. In their heyday, the Etruscan elite grew very rich through trade with the Celtic world to the north and the Greeks to the south and filled their large family tombs with imported luxuries. Archaic Greece had a huge influence on their art and architecture, and Greek mythology was evidently very familiar to them.

📹 Tombs of the Etruscans (LINK)

📹 The Etruscans — Legacy of a Lost Civilization (LINK)

This orientation video was part of the Memphis Wonders Series at Pink Palace Museum in Memphis, TN. Footage was filmed and edited by Calvin Dean, and produced by Michael Baldridge for Baldridge Studios in Memphis. Shot in various "Cities of the Dead" including Cerveteri, Norcha, Orveito and Rome, Italy, this video explores the enigmatic people who predated the Romans.

📹 Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia (UNESCO/NKH) (VİDEO)

Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia (UNESCO/NKH) (LINK)

Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia

These two large Etruscan cemeteries reflect different types of burial practices from the 9th to the 1st century BC, and bear witness to the achievements of Etruscan culture. Which over nine centuries developed the earliest urban civilization in the northern Mediterranean. Some of the tombs are monumental, cut in rock and topped by impressive tumuli (burial mounds). Many feature carvings on their walls, others have wall paintings of ...

Source: UNESCO TV / © NHK Nippon Hoso Kyokai URL:


Etruscan territories and major spread pathways of Etruscan products.


The Etruscans called themselves Rasenna, which was syncopated to Rasna or Raśna, while the ancient Romans referred to the Etruscans as the Tuscī or Etruscī (singular Tuscus). Their Roman name is the origin of the terms “Toscana,” which refers to their heartland, and "Etruria", which can refer to their wider region. In Attic Greek, the Etruscans were known as Tyrrhenians (Τυρρηνοί, Turrhēnoi, earlier Τυρσηνοί Tursēnoi), from which the Romans derived the names Tyrrhēnī, Tyrrhēnia (Etruria), and Mare Tyrrhēnum (Tyrrhenian Sea), prompting some to associate them with the Teresh (Sea Peoples).

Etruscan couple (Louvre, Room 18).

The origins of the Etruscans are mostly lost in prehistory, although Greek historians as early as the 5th century BC repeatedly associated the Tyrrhenians (Turrhēnoi/Τυρρηνοί, Tursēnoi/Τυρσηνοί) with Pelasgians, which could both be broad descriptive terms. Strabo and the Homeric Hymn to Dionysus make mention of the Tyrrhenians as pirates. Thucydides, Herodotus and Strabo all denote Lemnos as settled by Pelasgians, whom Thucydides identifies as "belonging to the Tyrrhenians" (τὸ δὲ πλεῖστον Πελασγικόν, τῶν καὶ Λῆμνόν ποτε καὶ Ἀθήνας Τυρσηνῶν). Although both Strabo and Herodotus agree that Tyrrhenus/Tyrsenos, son of Atys, king of Lydia, led the migration, Strabo specifies that it was the Pelasgians of Lemnos and Imbros who followed Tyrrhenus to the Italian Peninsula. A link between Lemnos and the Tyrrhenians was further manifested by the discovery of the Lemnos Stele, whose inscriptions were written in a language which shows strong structural resemblances to the language of the Etruscans. This has led to the suggestion of a "Tyrrhenian language group" comprising Etruscan, Lemnian, and the Raeticspoken in the Alps.

Hellanicus of Lesbos records a Pelasgian migration from Thessaly to the Italian peninsula, noting that "the Pelasgi made themselves masters of some of the lands belonging to the Umbri.”

By contrast, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, a Greek writer living in Rome, dismisses many of the ancient theories of the other Greek historians and postulates that the Etruscans were indigenous people who had always lived in Etruria.

Furthermore, Dionysius of Halicarnassus is the first ancient writer who reports the endonym of the Etruscans: Rasenna.

Livy in his Ab Urbe Condita Libri says the Rhaetians were Etruscans driven into the mountains by the invading Gauls, and asserts that the inhabitants of Raetia were of Etruscan origin.

Pliny the Elder also put the Etruscans in the context of the Rhaetian people to the north and wrote in his Natural History (CE 79).


Genetic research

Historians have no literature and no original Etruscan texts of religion or philosophy; therefore, much of what is known about this civilization derives from tomb findings. A mtDNA study in 2004 stated that the Etruscans had no significant heterogeneity, and that all mitochondrial lineages observed among the Etruscan samples appear typically European or West Asian, but only a few haplotypes were shared with modern populations. Allele sharing between the Etruscans and modern populations is highest among Germans (seven haplotypes in common), the Cornish from South West England (five haplotypes in common), the Turks (four haplotypes in common), and the Tuscans (two haplotypes in common).

A mitochondrial DNA study (2013) also suggests that the Etruscans were probably an indigenous population, showing that Etruscans appear to fall very close to a Neolithic population from Central Europe and to other Tuscan populations, strongly suggesting that the Etruscan civilization developed locally from the Villanovan culture, and that genetic links between Tuscany and Western Anatolia date back at least 5,000 years during the Neolithic, and the "most likely separation time between Tuscany and Western Anatolia falls around 7,600 years ago". The ancient Etruscan samples had mitochondrial DNA haplogroups (mtDNA) JT (predominantly J) and U5, with a minority of mtDNA H1b. According to British archeologist Phil Perkins, "there are indications that the evidence of DNA can support the theory that Etruscan people are autochthonous in central Italy".


  Etruscan (mekh Rasnal)

  • Etrüsk dili Etruria’da (Tuskany ve Umbria) Etrüskler tarafından İS 1’inci yüzyıla dek konuşuldu.
  • İmparator Cladius (İÖ 10-İS 54) 20 hiç biri günümüze ulaşmayan ciltlik bir Etrüsk tarihi yazdı.
  • Etrüsk dili bir zamanlar Alplerde konuşulan Raetian dili ile, ve bir zamanlar Lemnos (Limni) adasında konuşulan Lemnian ile akraba idi.
  • Etrüsk alfabesi İtalya’ya Euboealı Yunanlılar tarafından getirilen Yunan alfabesinin bir türü idi.
  • En eski yazıt İÖ 6’ncı yüzyıl ortalarındandır.
  • Mezar taşları, vazolar, yontular, aynalar ve mücevherler üzerinde 13.000 kadar Etrüsk yazıtı bulunmuştur. (L)
  • Etrüsk alfabesi Latin alfabesinin kaynağı idi.
  • Etrüsk dilini okuyabildiği bilinen son kişi Roma İmparatoru Cladius (İÖ 10-İS 54) idi (Cladius Etrüskler üzerine şimdi yitik olan Tyrrenikr başlıklı 20 ciltlik bir inceleme yazdı ve ayrıca yine yitik olan bir sözlük de derledi). (W)

Etruscan language

Etruscan language (W)

Perugia, Museo archeologico Nazionale dell'Umbria, cippo di Perugia, III sec. a.C.

The Cippus Perusinus, a stone tablet bearing 46 lines of incised Etruscan text, one of the longest extant Etruscan inscriptions. 3rd or 2nd century BC. (W)

The Etruscan language was the spoken and written language of the Etruscan civilization, in Italy, in the ancient region of Etruria (modern Tuscany plus western Umbria and northern Latium) and in parts of Corsica, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Lombardy and Campania.

Etruscan influenced Latin, but eventually was completely superseded by it. The Etruscans left around 13,000 inscriptions which have been found so far, only a small minority of which are of significant length; some bilingual inscriptions with texts also in Latin, Greek, or Phoenician; and a few dozen loanwords, such as the name Roma, but Etruscan's influence was significant. Attested from 700 BC to AD 50, the relation of Etruscan to other languages has been a source of long-running speculation and study, with its being referred to at times as an isolate, one of the Tyrsenian languages, and a number of other less well-known possibilities.

Grammatically, the language is agglutinating, with nouns and verbs showing suffixed inflectional endings and ablaut in some cases.

Nouns show four cases, singular and plural numbers, and masculine and feminine genders.

Phonologically, Etruscan appears uncomplicated, with a four-vowel system and an apparent contrast between aspirated and unaspirated stops. The language shows phonetic change over time, with the loss and then re-establishment of word-internal vowels due to the effect of Etruscan's strong word-initial stress.

Etruscan religion influenced that of the Romans, and many of the few surviving Etruscan language artifacts are of votive or religious significance. Etruscan was written in an alphabet derived from the Greek alphabet; this alphabet was the source of the Latin alphabet. The Etruscan language is also believed to be the source of certain important cultural words of Western Europe such as 'military' and 'person', which do not have obvious Indo-European roots.


The phonology of Etruscan is known through the alternation of Greek and Etruscan letters in some inscriptions (for example, the Iguvine Tablets), and many individual words are known through loans into or from Greek and Latin, as well as explanations of Etruscan words by ancient authors. A few concepts of word formation have been formulated (see below). Modern knowledge of the language is incomplete.

Tyrsenian family hypothesis

Approximate area of Tyrsenian languages.

In 1998, Helmut Rix put forward the view that Etruscan is related to other members of what he called the “Tyrsenian language family.” Rix's Tyrsenian family of languages — composed of Rhaetian, anciently spoken in the eastern Alps, and Lemnian, together with Etruscan — has gained acceptance among scholars. Rix's Tyrsenian family has been confirmed by Stefan Schumacher, Norbert Oettinger, Carlo De Simone and Simona Marchesini. Common features between Etruscan, Rhaetian, and Lemnian have been found in morphology, phonology, and syntax. On the other hand, lexical correspondences are rarely documented, due to the scanty number of Rhaetian and Lemnian texts, and, above all, due to the very ancient date at which these languages split, because the split must have taken place before the Bronze Age. The Tyrsenian family, or Common Tyrrhenic, in this case is often considered to be Paleo-European and to predate the arrival of Indo-European languages in southern Europe.

It has been proposed to possibly be part of a wider Paleo-European “Aegean” language family, which would also include Minoan, Eteocretan (possibly descended from Minoan) and Eteocypriot. This has been proposed by G. M. Facchetti, and supported by S. Yatsemirsky, referring to some similarities between Etruscan and Lemnian on one hand, and Minoan and Eteocretan on the other. It has also been proposed that this language family is related to the pre-Indo-European languages of Anatolia, based upon place name analysis.

Isolate hypothesis

Etruscan was traditionally considered to be a language isolate. In the first century BC, the Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus stated that the Etruscan language was unlike any other. Giuliano Bonfante, a leading scholar in the field, argued in 1990 that “it resembles no other language in Europe or elsewhere.”

Other hypotheses

The interest in Etruscan antiquities and the Etruscan language found its modern origin in a book by a Renaissance Dominican friar, Annio da Viterbo, a cabalist and orientalist now remembered mainly for literary forgeries. In 1498, Annio published his antiquarian miscellany titled Antiquitatum variarum (in 17 volumes) where he put together a theory in which both the Hebrew and Etruscan languages were said to originate from a single source, the "Aramaic" spoken by Noah and his descendants, founders of the Etruscan city, Viterbo. Annio also started to excavate Etruscan tombs, unearthing sarcophagi and inscriptions, and made a bold attempt at deciphering the Etruscan language.

The 19th century saw numerous attempts to reclassify Etruscan. Ideas of Semitic origins found supporters until this time. In 1858, the last attempt was made by Johann Gustav Stickel, Jena University in his Das Etruskische […] als semitische Sprache erwiesen. A reviewer concluded that Stickel brought forward every possible argument which would speak for that hypothesis, but he proved the opposite of what he had attempted to do. In 1861, Robert Ellis proposed that Etruscan was related to Armenian, which is nowadays acknowledged as an Indo-European language. Exactly 100 years later, a relationship with Albanian was to be advanced by Zecharia Mayani, but Albanian is also known to be an Indo-European language.

Several theories from the late 19th and early 20th centuries connected Etruscan to Uralic or even Altaic languages. In 1874, the British scholar Isaac Taylor brought up the idea of a genetic relationship between Etruscan and Hungarian, of which also Jules Martha would approve in his exhaustive study La langue étrusque (1913). In 1911, the French orientalist Baron Carra de Vaux suggested a connection between Etruscan and the Altaic languages. The Hungarian connection was recently revived by Mario Alinei, Emeritus Professor of Italian Languages at the University of Utrecht. Alinei's proposal has been rejected by Etruscan experts such as Giulio M. Facchetti, Finno-Ugric experts such as Angela Marcantonio, and by Hungarian historical linguists such as Bela Brogyanyi.

The idea of a relation between the language of the Minoan Linear A scripts was taken into consideration as the main hypothesis by Michael Ventris before he discovered that, in fact, the language behind the later Linear B script was Mycenean, a Greek dialect. iulio Mauro Facchetti, a researcher who has dealt with both Etruscan and Minoan, put forward this hypothesis again in 2001, comparing some Minoan words of known meaning with similar Etruscan words.

Others have suggested that Tyrsenian languages may yet be distantly related to early Indo-European languages, such as those of the Anatolian branch. More recently, Robert S. P. Beekes argued in 2002 that the people later known as the Lydians and Etruscans had originally lived in northwest Anatolia, with a coastline to the Sea of Marmara, whence they were driven by the Phrygians circa 1200 BC, leaving a remnant known in antiquity as the Tyrsenoi. A segment of this people moved south-west to Lydia, becoming known as the Lydians, while others sailed away to take refuge in Italy, where they became known as Etruscans. This account draws on the well-known story by Herodotus (I, 94) of the Lydian origin of the Etruscans or Tyrrhenians, famously rejected by Dionysius of Halicarnassus (book I), partly on the authority of Xanthus, a Lydian historian, who had no knowledge of the story, and partly on what he judged to be the different languages, laws, and religions of the two peoples.

In 2006, Frederik Woudhuizen went further on Herodotus' traces, suggesting that Etruscan belongs to the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European family, specifically to Luwian. Woudhuizen revived a conjecture to the effect that the Tyrsenians came from Anatolia, including Lydia, whence they were driven by the Cimmerians in the early Iron Age, 750-675 BC, leaving some colonists on Lemnos. He makes a number of comparisons of Etruscan to Luwian and asserts that Etruscan is modified Luwian. He accounts for the non-Luwian features as a Mysian influence: "deviations from Luwian [...] may plausibly be ascribed to the dialect of the indigenous population of Mysia." According to Woudhuizen, the Etruscans were initially colonizing the Latins, bringing the alphabet from Anatolia.

Another proposal, currently pursued mainly by a few linguists from the former Soviet Union, suggests a relationship with Northeast Caucasian (or Daghestanian) languages.

📹 The Sound of the Etruscan Language (Alphabet, Numbers & Sample Texts) (LINK)

Etruscan (Mekh Rasnal)

Etruscan (Mekh Rasnal)

Native to: Ancient Etruria
Region: Italian Peninsula
Extinct: AD 180
Language family:
Writing system: Old Italic script

The Etruscan language was the spoken and written language of the Etruscan civilization, in Italy, in the ancient region of Etruria (modern Tuscany plus western Umbria and northern Latium) and in parts of Corsica, Campania, Veneto, Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna. Etruscan influenced Latin, but was eventually completely superseded by it. The Etruscans left around 13,000 inscriptions which have been found so far, only a small minority of which are of significant length; some bilingual inscriptions with texts also in Latin, Greek, or Phoenician; and a few dozen loanwords, such as the name Roma, but Etruscan's influence was significant. Attested from 700 BC to AD 50, the relation of Etruscan to other languages has been a source of long-running speculation and study, with it being referred to at times as an isolate, one of the Tyrsenian languages, and a number of other less well-known possibilities.
Archaic Etruscan alphabet (7th-5th centuries BC)

Neo-Etruscan alphabet (4th-3rd centuries BC)

Etruscan numerals



This temple and (this) statue have been dedicated to Uni / Astarte. Thefariei Velianas, head of the community, donated it for the worship of our peoples. This gift of this temple and sanctuary and the consecration of its boundaries during his three year term in the month of Xurvar (June?) in this way, and in Alsase (July?) this record together with the divinity/statue shall thus be buried by order of the Zilach that the years may outlast the stars.


Etruscan alphabet
A comparison of the numbers from 1 to 10 in various languages (L)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Sumerian desh min pesh lim i i-ash i-min i-us i-lin Hu
Akkadian ishten shena shalash erbe h.amish shishshu sebe samane tishe esher
Phoenician -h-d sh-nm sh-l-sh -r-b h.-m-sh sh-sh sh-b s-h-m-n t-sh -sh-r
Etruscan thu zal ci huth maK sa semph cezp nutph sar
Latin unus duo tres quatuor quinque sex septem octo novem decem
Oscan uinus dus tris petora pompe sehs seften uhto nuven deken
Umbrian uns tuf trif petur- pumpe sehs nuvim desem
Basque bat bi hiru lau bost sei zazpi zortzi bederatzi hamar
Greek heis duo treis tettares pente hex hepta okto ennea deka


📹 Prof. Mario Alinei: Etruscans were Turkic | Etrusker waren ein Turkvolk [EN subtitles] (VİDEO)

Prof. Mario Alinei: Etruscans were Turkic | Etrusker waren ein Turkvolk [EN subtitles] (LINK)

The proponents of the “heroic Aryan invasion” theory might be disappointed, but the PCP it is much more in keeping with all scientific data. PCP offers a better explanation for key moments of European History, notwithstanding the “consensus of scientists” for the “traditional” theories. E.g. the origin of Romance languages, of the Etruscans, of the Celtic migrations.



Lucretia Sextus Tarquinus’un tecavüzü üzerine utançtan kendini öldürdü. Roma’da Tarquinlerin egemenliğine karşı ayaklanmaya götüren olay daha sonra Avrupa’da ancak 16’ncı yüzyıldan sonra algılanmaya başladı ve paralel realitelerde yaşamakta olan sanatçılar için gözde temalardan biri oldu. Moral olarak, olay insan değerinin ancak özgür ruhların hakkı olduğunu ve gösterir. Lucretia’nın yargısının arkasında ne bir Tanrı korkusu, ne bir ceza gözdağı vardır. Özgür Romalı moral yargısında saltık olarak yalnız ve salt kendi duyuncuna bağımlıdır.


Lucretia’nın Roma’da krallığın sonlanmasına ve Cumhuriyete götüren son eylemi Roma’da istencin ve ona bağlı etik karakterin eriştiği düzeye tanıklık eder. Bir daha monarşiye geri dönülmeyeceğine ant içen Cumhuriyet Roması civitasın doğduğu ve büyüdüğü yer oldu — ve yurttaşlık bilinci ve hakkı henüz evrensel olmasa da öyle olması için hiçbir iç engel yoktu. Bir haydutlar ve kaçaklar grubu olarak başlayan Roma’yı çevresindeki çok daha yüksek ve güçlü kültürlerinin üzerine yükselten ve sonunda onların egemeni yapan etmen Roma’yı tanımlayan bireysel özgürlük tini idi. Tiranların gücü kırıldı ve Cumhuriyet döneminde Roma gerçek imperium olan civitas tarafından yönetildi. İki Konsül ve tüm geri kalan magisterler seçim yoluyla belirleniyor ve görev süreleri Konsüller için bir yıl iken başka magisterler için bir kaç yılı geçmiyordu. Roma kendi yasasının egemenliği altına girdi, ve yaklaşık 2.000 yıl süren tarihinde sonuna dek öyle kaldı.


Cumhuriyetin sınırlı demokrasisi Roma insan niteliğinin gelişmesine olanak tanıdı. Küçük bir kent ile başlayan Roma’nın sınırları dize getiremediği despotik kültürlerin — Batıda Germenlerin ve Doğuda Perslerin — sınırlarına dek genişledi ve Roma Akdeniz’i çevreleyen üç kıtanın dinç topraklarından oluşan Batı Dünyasının gerçek tanımlayıcısı oldu. İmparatorluk döneminde de Roma tini bireysel özgürlüğü tanıyan karakterini sürdürdü ve en sonunda evrensel eşitlik ve özgürlük bilincinin doğduğu ve gelişip yayıldığı uygarlık alanı oldu.


Philippe Bertrand (French, 1663–1724).


Lucretia (d. 510) (W)

According to Roman tradition, Lucretia or Lucrece (Latin: Lucretia; died c. 510 BC) was a noblewoman in ancient Rome whose rape by Sextus Tarquinius (Tarquin), an Etruscan king’s son, was the cause of a rebellion that overthrew the Roman monarchy and led to the transition of Roman government from a kingdom to a republic. There are no contemporary sources; information regarding Lucretia, her rape and suicide, and the consequence of this being the start of the Roman Republic, come from the later accounts of Roman historian Livy and Greco-Roman historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus..

The incident kindled the flames of dissatisfaction over the tyrannical methods of the last king of Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. As a result, the prominent families instituted a republic, drove the extensive royal family of Tarquin from Rome, and successfully defended the republic against attempted Etruscan and Latian intervention. As a result of its sheer impact, the rape itself became a major theme in European art and literature.

One of the first two consuls of the Roman Republic, Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus was Lucretia's husband. All the numerous sources on the establishment of the republic reiterate the basic events of Lucretia's story, though accounts vary slightly. Lucretia's story is not considered a myth by most historians, but rather a historical legend about an early history that was already a major part of Roman folklore before it was first written about. The evidence points to the historical existence of a woman named Lucretia and a historical incident that played a critical part in the real downfall of a real monarchy. Many of the specific details, though, are debatable, and vary depending on the writer. Post-Roman uses of the legend typically became mythical in portrayal, being of artistic rather than historical merit.

As the events of the story move rapidly, the date of the incident is probably the same year as the first of the fasti. Dionysius of Halicarnassus, a major source, sets this year "at the beginning of the sixty-eighth Olympiad ... Isagoras being the annual archon at Athens"; that is, 508/507 BC (the ancient calendars split years over modern ones). Lucretia therefore died in 508 BC. The other historical sources tend to support this date, but the year is debatable within a range of about five years.


🎨 Lucretia in Art

“Dead Lucrecia” (1804), by Spanish sculptor Damià Campeny, Barcelona.
Lucretia is the most fascinating heroine of the antiquity. A woman whose story is suspended between truth and legend, and portrayed in several works of art. Thanks to her, the Roman people found the strength to stage a rebellion against the monarchy ruled by the Family of Tarquin and to establish the Roman Republic. (L)

Less common depiction of Lucretia weaving with her ladies, 1633, Willem de Poorter.

“Tarquinius and family are expelled, probably by a group of the leading noble ‘patrician’ clans and supposedly after the rape of Lucretia by Tarquinius’ son Sextus; revolt led by the king’s nephew Lucius Iunius Brutus and his ally Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus. The official story has the new Republic exiling all royals and banning the names of Tarquinius and King – which is at odds with the leadership of the new state by one consul with that name and the other related to the exiled ruler.”
— “A Chronology of the Roman Empire,” Ed. by Timothy Venning, 2011.

“Tarquinius and Lucretia,” (1610) by Rubens (Hermitage Museum). (W)

The accounts of the violence against Lucretia emphasize the excess of tyrannical power, the banishment and death of the offender, and the creation of a new civil order. Whether Lucretia was a real woman or mythical figure, her life is representative of Rome under tyrant ruling. Her rape and suicide acts as a metaphor for the brutal treatment of Romans under tyrant ruling and the citizens’ willingness to die so that the future of Rome may have a higher moral statute. (L)

“Lucretia and her Husband Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus,” by Titian (around 1515). (W)

Lucretia poised with a dagger, about to commit suicide, was becoming a very common subject in art. However, the addition of a male figure just behind her is all but unique. The Kunsthistorisches Museum now calls this figure Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, Lucretia's husband, but the Royal Collection identifies him as her rapist, Sextus Tarquinius (known as Tarquin), as do most sources. Her husband was present at her death, according to most of the differing Roman accounts of the story, and Tarquin was not. If the figure is intended to be Tarquin, the setting must be the night before, with Lucretia perhaps making her plan.

“The Story of Lucretia,” by Sandro Botticelli, (Florence, 1444 or 1445-1510). Tempera and oil on panel, 83.8 x 176.8 cm panel. (LINK) (LINK: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum)

According to legend, Lucretia’s brutal rape and tragic suicide precipitated the foundation of the Roman Republic. Botticelli distilled Lucretia’s shocking story into three episodes, beginning at the left. Beautiful and chaste, she attracts the unwanted attention of the king’s son, who threatens Lucretia at knifepoint with sexual assault or a dishonorable death. Raped, she collapses in shame before her outraged family, depicted at the right, and ultimately commits suicide.

The public display of Lucretia’s corpse galvanized the rebels led by Brutus. Brandishing a sword, he rallies an army to overthrow the corrupt regime. The architectural setting of the rebellion remakes the past into the present, likening ancient Rome to Renaissance Florence. Botticelli transformed Lucretia’s body — dagger embedded in her chest — into an emblem of liberty, like the Christian hero and Florentine icon David, who stands on the column above her.


🔎 Sandro Botticelli — “The Story of Lucretia”

  Numa Pompilius (753-673 BC; reigned 715-673 BC)

Egeria Gives the Laws of Rome to Numa Pompilius. Felice Giani (1758-1823) (oil on canvas, 1806).

  • Barışçıl Numa savaşçı Romulus ile karşıtlık içinde durur.
  • Numa Pompilius (715-673) Roma’nın Romulus’u izleyen mitsel ikinci kralı idi.
  • Numa Sabin kökenli idi.
  • Vestal Erdenler, Mars ve Jupiter kültleri, tanrılaştırılmış Romulus (Quirinus) ve pontifex maximus gibi, Roma’nın en önemli dinsel ve politik kurumlarının birçoğu ona yüklenir.

Numa Pompilius, King of Rome

Numa Pompilius, King of Rome (B)

Numa Pompilius, (flourished c. 700 BC), second of the seven kings who, according to Roman tradition, ruled Rome before the founding of the Republic (c. 509 BC).

Numa is said to have reigned from 715 to 673. He is credited with the formulation of the religious calendar and with the founding of Rome’s other early religious institutions, including the Vestal Virgins; the cults of Mars, Jupiter, and Romulus deified (Quirinus); and the office of pontifex maximus. These developments were actually, however, the result of centuries of religious accretion. According to legend, Numa is the peaceful counterpart of the more bellicose Romulus (the legendary founder of Rome), whom he succeeded after an interregnum of one year.

His supposed relationship with Pythagoras was known even in the Roman Republic to be chronologically impossible, and the 14 books relating to philosophy and religious (pontifical) law that were uncovered in 181 BC and attributed to him were clearly forgeries.


🎨 Numa Pompilius

Numa Pompilius (W)

Numa Pompilius (753-673 BC; reigned 715_673 BC) was the legendary second king of Rome, succeeding Romulus. He was of Sabine origin, and many of Rome’s most important religious and political institutions are attributed to him.

The nymph Egeria dictating the laws of Rome to Numa Pompilius, by Ulpiano Checa.


Egeria (Latin: Ēgeria) was a nymph attributed a legendary role in the early history of Rome as a divine consort and counselor of Numa Pompilius, the second Sabine king of Rome, to whom she imparted laws and rituals pertaining to ancient Roman religion. Her name is used as an eponym for a female advisor or counselor.

Egeria may predate Roman myth: she could have been of Italic origin in the sacred forest of Aricia in Latium, her immemorial site, which was equally the grove of Diana Nemorensis ("Diana of Nemi"). At Aricia there was also a Manius Egerius, a male counterpart of Egeria.

According to mythology she counseled and guided the King Numa Pompilius (Latin "numen" designates "the expressed will of a deity") in the establishment of the original framework of laws and rituals of Rome. Numa is reputed to have written down the teachings of Egeria in "sacred books" that he had buried with him. When a chance accident brought them back to light some 500 years later, the Senate deemed them inappropriate for disclosure to the people, and ordered their destruction. What made them inappropriate was some matter of religious nature with "political" bearing that apparently has not been handed down by Valerius Antias, the source that Plutarch was using. Dionysius of Halicarnassus hints that they were actually kept as a very close secret by the Pontifices.

LINK (W): Egeria (mythology)

Numa Pompilius and the Nymph Egeria, Felice Giani, Palazzo Milzetti, Faenza, 1802-1805.


Legend goes that the widowed king was in the habit of taking long walks in the woods (in a part of Rome now known as the Villa Caffarella) with the beautiful nymph, during which she instructed him on how to run the country and its religious institutions. They would hole up in her nymphaeum for hours on end, as the works of so many celebrated artists have illustrated. All this religious and political talk was just too romantic for the young nymph and she fell head-over-heels for the aging monarch and, supposedly, the two married.

“Egeria mourns Numa” (1669) by Claude Lorrain.


The precise level of her relationship to Numa has been described diversely. She is typically given the respectful label coniuncta ("consort"); Plutarch is very evasive as of the actual mode of intimacy between Numa and Egeria, and hints that Numa himself entertained a level of ambiguity. By Juvenal's day that tradition was treated more critically. Juvenal called her Numa's Amica (or "girlfriend") in a sceptical phrase.

Numa Pompilius died in 673 BC of old age. According to Ovid's Metamorphoses, with Numa's death Egeria melted into tears of sorrow, thus becoming a spring (...donec pietate dolentis / mota soror Phoebi gelidum de corpore fontem / fecit...), traditionally identified with the one nearby Porta Capena in Rome.

“Apse of the Ninfeo d'Egeria, Parco Cafarella, Rome.

Egeria spring in Rome

A spring and a grove once sacred to Egeria stand close to a gate of Rome, the Porta Capena. Its waters were dedicated to the exclusive use of the Vestals. The ninfeo, a favored picnic spot for nineteenth-century Romans, can still be visited in the archaeological park of the Caffarella, between the Appian Way and the even more ancient Via Latina, nearby the Baths of Caracalla (a later construction).

In the second century, when Herodes Atticus recast an inherited villa nearby as a great landscaped estate, the natural grotto was formalized as an arched interior with an apsidal end where a statue of Egeria once stood in a niche; the surfaces were enriched with revetments of green and white marble facings and green porphyry flooring and friezes of mosaic. The primeval spring, one of dozens of springs that flow into the river Almone, was made to feed large pools, one of which was known as Lacus Salutaris or "Lake of Health". Juvenal regretted an earlier phase of architectural elaboration:

Nymph of the Spring! More honour’d hadst thou been,
If, free from art, an edge of living green,
Thy bubbling fount had circumscribed alone,
And marble ne’er profaned the native stone.

Juvenal, Satire 3.17–20, as translated by William Gifford.


Numa Pompilius and the Nymph Egeria.

According to Plutarch, Numa was the youngest of Pomponius's four sons, born on the day of Rome's founding (traditionally, 21 April 753 BC). He lived a severe life of discipline and banished all luxury from his home. Titus Tatius, king of the Sabines and a colleague of Romulus, gave in marriage his only daughter, Tatia, to Numa. After 13 years of marriage, Tatia died, precipitating Numa's retirement to the countryside. According to Livy, Numa resided at Cures immediately before being elected king.

Titus Livius (Livy) and Plutarch refer to the story that Numa was instructed in philosophy by Pythagoras but discredit it as chronologically and geographically implausible.

Plutarch reports that some authors credited him with only a single daughter, Pompilia. Pompilia's mother is variously identified as Numa's first wife Tatia or his second wife Lucretia. She is said to have married the future first pontifex maximusNuma Marcius, and by him gave birth to the future king Ancus Marcius.

Other authors, according to Plutarch, gave Numa, in addition, five sons, Pompo (or Pomponius), Pinus, Calpus, Mamercus, and Numa, from whom the noble families (gentes) of the Pomponii, Pinarii, Calpurnii, Aemilii, and Pompilii respectively traced their descent. Still other writers, writes Plutarch, believed these were fictional genealogies to enhance the status of these families.


After the death of Romulus, there was an interregnum of one year in which the royal power was exercised by members of the Senate in rotation for five days in a row. In 715 BC, after much bickering between the factions of Romulus (the Romans) and Tatius (the Sabines), a compromise was reached, and the Sabine Numa was elected by the senate as the next king.

Agent of the gods

Numa Pompilius and the Nymph Egeria. — Numa Pompilius Conversing with Egeria in her Grotto, Bertel Thorvaldsen, Thorvaldsen Museum, Copenhagan, 1792.
Numa was traditionally celebrated by the Romans for his wisdom and piety. In addition to the endorsement by Jupiter, he is supposed to have had a direct and personal relationship with a number of deities, most famously the nymph Egeria, who according to legend taught him to be a wise legislator. According to Livy, Numa claimed that he held nightly consultations with Egeria on the proper manner of instituting sacred rites for the city. Plutarch suggests that he played on superstition to give himself an aura of awe and divine allure, in order to cultivate more gentle behaviours among the warlike early Romans, such as honoring the gods, abiding by law, behaving humanely to enemies, and living proper, respectable lives.

Numa was said to have authored several "sacred books" in which he had written down divine teachings, mostly from Egeria and the Muses. Plutarch (citing Valerius Antias) and Livy record that at his request he was buried along with these "sacred books", preferring that the rules and rituals they prescribed be preserved in the living memory of the state priests, rather than preserved as relics subject to forgetfulness and disuse. About half of these books—Plutarch and Livy differ on their number—were thought to cover the priesthoods he had established or developed, including the flamines, pontifices, Salii, and fetiales and their rituals. The other books dealt with philosophy (disciplina sapientiae). According to Plutarch, these books were recovered some four hundred years later (in reality almost five hundred years, i. e. in 181 BC according to Livy 40:29:3-14) at the occasion of a natural accident that exposed the tomb. They were examined by the Senate, deemed to be inappropriate for disclosure to the people, and burned. Dionysius of Halicarnassus hints that they were actually kept as a very close secret by the pontifices.

Numa is reputed to have constrained the two minor gods Picus and Faunus into delivering some prophecies of things to come.

Numa, supported and prepared by Egeria, reportedly held a battle of wits with Jupiter himself, in an apparition whereby Numa sought to gain a protective ritual against lightning strikes and thunder.

Once, when a plague was ravaging the population, a brass shield fell from the sky and was brought to Numa. He declared that Egeria had told him it was a gift from Jupiter to be used for Rome's protection. He ordered ceremonies to give thanks for the gift and quickly brought about an end to the plague. The Ancile became a sacred relic of the Romans and was placed in the care of the Salii.

Institutions attributed to Numa

One of Numa's first acts was the construction of a temple of Janus as an indicator of peace and war. The temple was constructed at the foot of the Argiletum, a road in the city. After securing peace with Rome's neighbours, the doors of the temples were shut and remained so for all the duration of Numa's reign, a unique case in Roman history.

Another creation attributed to Numa was the cult of Terminus, a god for boundaries. Through this rite, which involved sacrifices at private properties, boundaries and landmarks, Numa reportedly sought to instill in Romans the respect of lawful property and non-violent relationships with neighbours. The cult of Terminus, preached Numa, involved absence of violence and murder. The god was a testament to justice and a keeper of peace. In a somehow comparable, more moral rather than legal fashion, Numa sought to associate himself with one of the roles of Vegoia in the religious system of the neighbouring Etruscans by deciding to set the official boundaries of the territory of Rome, which Romulus had never wanted, presumably with the same concern of preserving peace.

Egeria Handing Numa Pompilius his Shield, Angelica Kauffmann, 1794.

Recognizing the paramount importance of the Ancile, King Numa had eleven matching shields made, so perfect that no one, even Numa, could distinguish the original from the copies. These shields were the Ancilia, the sacred shields of Jupiter, which were carried each year in a procession by the Salii priests. Numa also established the office and duties of Pontifex Maximus and instituted (Plutarch's version) the flamen of Quirinus, in honour of Romulus, in addition to those of Jupiter and Mars that already existed. Numa also brought the Vestal Virgins to Rome from Alba Longa. Plutarch adds that they were then at the number of two, were later augmented to four by Servius Tullius and stayed so through the ages.

By tradition, Numa promulgated a calendar reform that adjusted the solar and lunar years, introducing the months of January and February.

In other Roman institutions established by Numa, Plutarch thought he detected a Laconian influence, attributing the connection to the Sabine culture of Numa, for "Numa was descended of the Sabines, who declare themselves to be a colony of the Lacedaemonians."

Livy and Dionysius give a largely concordant picture of the vast founding work carried out by Numa concerning Roman religion and religious institutions. Livy's account is concise: it occupies the whole chapters 20 and 21 of his first book.

Numa was credited with dividing the immediate territory of Rome into pagi and establishing the traditional occupational guilds of Rome:

"So, distinguishing the whole people by the several arts and trades, he formed the companies of musicians, goldsmiths, carpenters, dyers, shoemakers, skinners, braziers, and potters; and all other handicraftsmen he composed and reduced into a single company, appointing every one their proper courts, councils, and observances." (Plutarch)

Plutarch, in like manner, tells of the early religion of the Romans, that it was imageless and spiritual. He says Numa "forbade the Romans to represent the deity in the form either of man or of beast. Nor was there among them formerly any image or statue of the Divine Being; during the first one hundred and seventy years they built temples, indeed, and other sacred domes, but placed in them no figure of any kind; persuaded that it is impious to represent things Divine by what is perishable, and that we can have no conception of God but by the understanding".

LINK: Numa Pompilius and the Nymph Egeria


  📜 Laws of the Kings, 753-510 BC

📜 Laws of the Kings, 753-510 BC

Laws of the Kings, 753-510 BC (L)

Laws of the Kings, 753-510 BC
Laws of the Kings, 753-510 BC


The history of early Rome and its seven kings is largely legendary, but the Romans of classical times had certain customs and institutions inherited from their remote past. To provide a sanction for these, they ascribed them to their traditional kings ... Romulus and his six successors. It was believed that a certain Sextus (or Publius) Papirius, a contemporary of Tarquin the Proud, the last king, had committed these laws to writing. Papirius is entitled to the same uncertain standing in scientific history as the traditional seven kings; but there is no question that oral tradition preserved many rules and customs, which antiquarians and historians have recorded for posterity.

Bruns, Girard, and Riccobono have made collections of these laws, of which Girard's Textes is the smallest. Riccobono's text, as found in FIRA, has been taken for this translation, which reproduces its marks of omission.



I. Romulus (753-716 BC)

1. After Romulus had distinguished the persons of higher rank from those of inferior condition, then he passed laws and apportioned the duties for each to do: the patricians to be priests and magistrates and judges; the plebeians to be farmers, cattle breeders, and artisans of gainful trades. ... He entrusted and gave the plebeians to the patricians by permitting each plebeian ... to choose for his patron the patrician whom he wished ... and by calling this protection patronage.

2. The following regulations in regard to patronage were determined then by him: the patricians were required to interpret the law for their own clients; ... to bring suit on behalf of clients when wronged; ... and to support them in the action; ... the clients were required to contribute to the dowry of their patrons... daughters, when they were given in marriage and their parents were impoverished; ... to pay ransom to the enemy, if their patrons or their children became prisoners of war; to discharge the obligation from their own resources, if their patron was condemned in a private suit or incurred a monetary penalty in a public suit.... In common to both it was neither holy nor lawful to bring suit, to testify, or to cast a vote the one against the other. ... He who was convicted of doing any of these things was held by the law of treason, which Romulus enacted, so that it was lawful for anyone to slay the person convicted of this crime, as a sacrifice to the god of the underworld.

3. After Romulus had regulated these matters, he immediately resolved to appoint senators, with whom he would administer public affairs, and he chose 100 men from the patricians. ... When he had determined these regulations, he distinguished the ... powers which he wished each class to have. For the king he chose the following prerogatives: first, to have the chief authority in rites and sacrifices, ... then, to maintain the guardianship of the laws and the national customs, ... to judge in person the greatest crimes, but to leave the lesser crimes to the senators, ... to summon the Senate and to convoke the Assembly, to have absolute command in war. To the council of the Senate ... he assigned the following authority: to decide and to vote on whatever matter the king introduced. ... To the common people he granted these three things: to elect the magistrates and to ratify the laws and to decide on war whenever the king permitted ... The people did not vote all together, but they were convoked by curias.

4. Romulus compelled the citizens ... to rear every male child and the first-born of the females, and he forbade them to put to death any child under three years of age, unless it was a cripple or a monster from birth. He did not prevent the parents from exposing such children, provided that they had displayed them first to their five nearest neighbors and had secured their approval. For those who disobeyed the law he prescribed the confiscation of half of their property as well as other penalties.

5. To many persons he assigned administration of divine worship; ... he ordained by law that from each curia two men over fifty years old should be appointed; ... and he ordered that these men should have these honors no for any determined period, but for all their life, freed from military service because of their age and from municipal duties because of the law. ... He ordained by law that all priests. ... should be appointed by the curias and that they should be confirmed by the persons who interpret divine matters by divination.

6. By the enactment of a single ... law ... Romulus brought the women to great prudence and orderly conduct ... The law was as follows: A woman united with her husband by a sacred marriage shall share in all his possessions and in his sacred rites.

7. The cognates sitting in judgment with the husband ... were given power to pass sentence in cases of adultery and ... if any wife was found drinking wine Romulus allowed the death penalty for both crimes.

8. The lawgiver of the Romans gave the father absolute power over his son throughout his whole lifetime, whether for imprisonment, for flogging, for keeping in bonds for labor in the fields, or for putting to death ... He also allowed the father to sell his son ... and he permitted the father to make profit from his son until the third sale. ... After the third sale the son was released from the father's power.

9. He also made certain laws, one of which is severe, namely, that which does not permit a wife to divorce her husband, but gives him power to divorce her for the used drugs or magic on account of children or for counterfeiting the keys or for adultery. The law ordered that if he should divorce her for any other cause part of his estate should go to the wife and that part should be dedicated to Ceres. Anyone who sold his wife was sacrificed to the gods of the underworld.

10. It is strange, ... when he established no penalty against patricides, that he called all homicide patricide.

11. If a daughter-in-law strikes her father-in-law she shall be dedicated as a sacrifice to his ancestral deities.

12. This extent of the year was ordained by Romulus, who . . . determined that the year must be of ten months, but of 304 days, and so arranged the months that, of these, four should have thirty-one days, but six should have thirty days.

13. It is reported variously when ... was the first intercalation. Licinius Macer, indeed, assigns to Romulus the origin of this practice.

II. Numa Pompilius (716-673 BC)

1. Numa ordered that fish which have no scales, except the scar, should not be offered to the gods.

2. When spoils of the first class are captured by a general with a citizen army under his auspices, he shall sacrifice an ox to Jupiter Feretrius. To the captor 300 pounds of bronze shall properly be given. In spoils of the second dais the captor shall sacrifice a boar, a ram, and an ox. full grown or sucklings, as he chooses, on the Altar of Mars in the Campus Martius. The captor shall receive 200 pounds of bronze. For spoils of the third class he shall sacrifice a ram to Janus Quirinus. The captor shall receive 100 pounds of bronze. The commanding general shall make propitiatory sacrifice to the gods.

3. From Numa's ... laws, in which this also has been written: if a father allows his son to marry a wife who legally will have a share in his religious rites and his prophet the father no longer shall have the right to sell his son.

4. Having embraced . . . all his legislation about religious matters in writing, he divided it into eight parts, as many as were the classes of priests.

5. Legislation about the boundaries of landed property: Having ordered each one to draw a line around his own landed property and to set stones on the boundaries, he consecrated the stones to Jupiter Terminus. . . . But he ordained by law that if anyone destroyed or displaced the boundaries the person who had done this should be dedicated as a sacrifice to the god.

6. He made holidays and business days, because at some time or other it would be profitable that nothing should be discussed in the popular Assembly.

7. One shall not sprinkle the funeral pyre with wine.

8. He ordained it an act of impiety to make libations to the gods with wine from unpruned vines.

9.On the vestal virgins he conferred high honors, among which was the right of making a will while their fathers lived and of doing all other juristic acts without a guardian.

10. He determined that the time allotted for mourning should be according to certain ages and times. For example, mourning for a child under three years of age was forbidden; for an older child a month of morning was allowed for every year of his age until ten years, but no longer, for ten months was the limit of the period of longest mourning for anyone. And for this period the widows of the deceased remain unmarried. If a widow had remarried earlier, she sacrificed a cow in calf according to his law.

11. Of his other political institutions, the distribution of the populace according to crafts is particularly admired ... This was the distribution according to crafts: flutists, goldsmiths, carpenters, dyers, cobblers, leatherworkers, coppersmiths, potters. The remaining crafts he combined in one and from all these he produced one composite group, assigning associations and assemblies and religious worships appropriate to each class, etc.

12. A royal law forbids the burial of a pregnant woman before the child is extracted from the womb. Whoever violates this law is deemed to have destroyed the child’s expectancy of life along with the mother.

13. A concubine shall not touch the Altar of Juno. If she touches it she shall sacrifice, with her hair unbound, a ewe lamb to Juno.

14. If a thunderbolt kills a man one shall not lift the body above the knees. If a man is killed by a thunderbolt the proper burial ritual shall not be performed.

15. If anyone acts contrary to this law he shall be dedicated as a sacrifice to Jupiter.

16. If anyone with malice aforethought slays a free man he shall be guilty of parricide.

17. In Numa’s laws it is provided that if anyone kills another accidentally he shall offer a ram for the life of the slain man to his agnates in the presence of the assembled people.

18. Numa added fifty days, ... so that the year was extended to 354 days, within which he believed that the moon's twelve courses were completed. And to these fifty added by him he annexed six others, drawn from those six months that had thirty days, ... and the fifty-six days thus created he divided in an equal way into two new months: and .. . the former he named January and willed it to be the first of the year, ... the latter he dedicated to the god Februus. ... A little later Numa added a day, which he gave to January ... in honor of an unequal number. Therefore, January, April, June, Sextilis, September, November, December were reckoned with twenty-nine days; ... but March, May, Quintilis, and October had thirty days each, but February retained twenty-eight days.

19. This also was established by Numa: that priests should have their hair cut with bronze, but not with iron, shears.

20. Numa Pompilius ordained that if anyone plowed up a boundary stone both he and his oxen should be dedicated as a sacrifice to the gods.

III. Tullus Hostilius (673-640 BC)

1. He established the law by which wars should be declared. And this law ... he consecrated by fetial religious rite, so that every war which had not been announced and dedared should be adjudged unjust and impious.

2.There is a law, ... which is still in effect, enacted because of that event, ... ordering that if triplets are born they shall be maintained at public expense until puberty.

3.For his comrades and the accomplices of his treachery the king established courts and executed those of them convicted according to the law concerning deserters and traitors.

4.The king ... said: ...According to the law I create duumvirs to judge treason in the case of Horatius. ... The law was in a dreadful formula: ...The duumvirs shall judge treason. If the accused appeals from the duumvirs he shall prosecute his case by appeal; if they win, the lictor shall veil the head of the accused, shall hang him by a rope on a barren tree, shall scourge him either within the pomerium or outside the pomerium.

5.Claudius added that the rites and the expiations in accordance with the laws of King Tullus ... should be administered by the pontiffs.

IV. Ancus Marcius (640-616 BC)

1.Since Numa had instituted religious rites in peace, that religious ceremonies relating to war might be established by him and that wars not only should be waged, but also should be declared by some ritual, he copied from the ancient tribe of the Aequiculi the law, which now the fetials have, by which satisfaction is sought.

V. Lucius Tarquinius Priscus (616-578 BC)

1.Tarquin, ... when he enacted a law about his own power, first doubled. . the original number of senators, and called the old senators ... of the greater families, ... and these he asked their opinion first, and called those added by him ... of the lesser families....

2.The envoys ... were present ... bringing ... the symbols of sovereignty, with which they used to decorate their own kings, carrying a gold crown and an ivory throne and a scepter having an eagle on the tip and a purple tunic rnarked with gold and an embroidered purple robe. These honors Tarquin did not use immediately on receiving them, as most of the Roman writers relate, but, after allowing to the Senate and to the people the decision whether these things should be accepted, he then adopted them when all had so wished.

VI. Servius Tullius (578-534 BC)

1.He sanctioned laws by the curias on contracts and on delicts these laws were about fifty in number.

2.For a person who had not registered himself he set the penalty that he should be deprived of his property and, after having been scourged, should be sold into slavery.

3.Tullius permitted. . . freed slaves to share equality of civil rights. For, having ordered them along with all other freemen to register their properties, he distributed them among the four tribes in the city. ... And he allowed them to share all the privileges common to the other plebeians.

4.He separated public from private lawsuits and himself ma the examinations of the crimes relating to the public, but appointed private persons to be judges of private lawsuits and for them ordained norms and rules, which he himself had written as laws.

5.He instituted ... the census ... and distinguished classes and centuries ... and rank in accordance with the census.

6.If a son beats his father but the latter cries aloud the son shall be dedicated as a sacrifice to his ancestral deities.

VII. Lucius Tarquinius Superbus (534-510 BC)

1.He abolished all ... the laws written by Tullius, according to which ... the people were not injured, as previously, by the patricians in their contracts. He did not leave even the tablets on which these laws had been written, but he also ordered them to be removed from the Forum and he destroyed them

. VIII. The Black Stone 48

This very ancient inscription found in the Roman Forum near the reputed grave of Romulus is in a poor state of preservation. Written in archaic letters and still unintelligible, it may be a boundary stone marking the limits of some sacred precinct or it may contain some laws of a very early period.

Ancient Roman statutes : translation, with introduction, commentary, glossary, and index
by Allan Chester Johnson, Paul Robinson Coleman-Norton, Frank Card Bourne ; general editor, Clyde Pharr
Austin : University of Texas Press, 1961. Used with the Permission of the University of Texas Press.


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