The Exile of Tarquin, and the First Consuls

This event is depicted in Chapter 55 of Book One of Livy's History of Rome. King Tarquin the Proud (Tarquinius Superbus in Latin) was finally given the old heave-ho by “the Roman People”, though as Livy tells it, his overthrow was basically by the other nobles rather than the people (though of course there was popular support for the move). The final spark to the kindling as it were was the Rape of Lucretia by Tarquin’s son Sextus. The general anti-Royal feeling that this event provoked led to open rebellion, instigated by Tarquin’s nephew Lucius Junius Brutus (whose father Tarquin had had killed) and Lucretia’s husband Lucius Collatinus Tarquinius, who again was also related to Tarquin. As with The Construction of The Temple Of Jupiter, I'll leave Livy to provide a full description. Translation thanks go again to my Latin teacher, Bill Huntingdon. This is a fairly literal translation, with additions marked [in brackets], so you’ll have to excuse the artificial and sometimes tautological sound of the sentences.

News of these events having been conveyed to the camp [at Ardea], when the king, alarmed by the new turn of events, was hastening to Rome to put down the rising, Brutus changed his route – for he had sensed his arrival – so as not to meet him; and around the same time by different routes, Brutus came to Ardea, Tarquin to Rome. The gates were closed to Tarquin and his exile decreed: the joyful camp received the liberator of the city and the king’s sons were exiled from there. Two followed their father who went to be exiles in Caere among the Etruscans. Sextus Tarquinius the other son of Tarquin, having set out to Gabii as if into his own kingdom, was killed by the avengers of old feuds which he himself had provoked for himself through murders and robberies.

Lucius Tarquin the Proud reigned for 25 years. There were kings at Rome for 244 years, from the founding of the city to its liberation. Then at the assembly by centuries, two Consuls, Lucius Junius Brutus and Lucius Collatinus Tarquinius, were created by the prefect of the city, in accordance with the memoranda of Servius Tullius.

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