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traditions describe the spread of independence in spirit amongst the Romans, and the commencement of a more liberal treatment of the people whom they vanquished, in the midst of a flood of strife that rose higher than ever around the seven hills. Strange signs were seen, and fearful calamities occurred; in the midst of which Tullus forgot his prowess, and sought to appease the gods for having spent his days in bloodshed. But when he laid down his arms and turned to prayers, he was struck dead. Ancus Marcius, the reputed grandson of Numa, succeeded. He, too, was a warrior; for the times and the people required a lusty, not a gentle king;” yet he did not seem to return from his campaigns as Tullus did, with the single wish to renew them without a day's repose. On the contrary, Ancus made it his care, in the intervals of conflict, to provide for such as were willing to live by peaceful occupations. He opened a port at Ostia, whither his dominion already extended; built a prison for the ruffian and the criminal; confirmed the laws which Numa appeared to have made in vain; and left a name renowned for what he had done in peace as well as in War.” The glory of Ancus Marcius was the foundation of the order of the Plebeians. Having overcome, as the nearly authentic story runs, some of the Latin people, he endowed them with certain rights of citizenship, and gave them a dwelling-place upon the Aven
78 “Tempora Tullo regi aptiora 79 “Belli pacisque et artibus et quam Numae.” Liv., I. 32. gloria par.” Liv., I. 35.
tine.” The privileges they received were, it is true, of a very inferior kind, amounting to no more than a domicile with which abundant occupation and limited protection might be connected; for, although the strangers retained their places in their own Gentes, or Names, if any such they had, they were enrolled in none of the Roman Names, and were totally debarred, not only from all political authority, but even from the right of appeal, by which, so long as they were not clients, their personal freedom could alone have been secured. It is not, therefore, as a new infusion of freemen that they can be regarded in the time of their introduction into Rome; yet their number and their spirit were full of promise for the future. The first of them may have been the settlers whom Romulus and his allies conquered before their city could be founded; but the influx of immigrants, voluntary or involuntary, from Alba, had already far surpassed the few that might then have remained of the earlier class; and when a fresh host came flocking in from the Latin towns which Ancus overcame, there were enough of the old comers and the new, to have a title of their own, and to be regarded as a separate part of the Roman people. Many named and numbered with the rest still dwelt upon their former lands, or on as much of these as they were allowed, saved from the overthrow that had befallen them; so that a country population was formed, at the same time that the population of the city was increased by the Plebeians. The spirit of the new class was more than commensurate with its numbers. Neither they of whom it was at first nor they of whom it was afterwards composed could forget that they had been free before they had been conquered; and their determination to recover themselves in later times is the lifespring of Roman liberty. The genius of Rome to maintain, as well as to make, its conquests is clear as day in the admission and settlement of the Plebeians. It was not merely that the vanquished were spared, nor even that they were adopted, though as inferiors, by the victors; but it was besides, that the territory which the Romans could neither have tilled nor garrisoned by themselves was cultivated and defended by the very men from whom it had been wrested, because they were allowed to hold a part of it, as if they had never been conquered. We shall see hereafter how the Romans could, at the same time, get the lion's share. For the present, it is more judicious to use the materials we actually have in the legend of Tarquinius, in order to measure the ability of the conquering nation to gain something else than lands or subjects from its wars. Tarquinius or Tarquin, the fifth king, came to Rome from Etruria, in the reign of Ancus Marcius. He was reputed to be of Greek descent, and the Etruscan wife whom he had espoused was said to be greatly skilled in the divination for which her people were celebrated throughout Italy. Thus armed at all points with knowledge of which the Romans had never yet attained the use, or even the idea, the stranger took them, as it were, by storm; becoming, first, the friend and chosen counsellor of the king, and then, through liberality—for he was rich as well as learned—and kindly intelligence, securing the favor of every class amongst his new countrymen.” Ancus left his children in Tarquin's care; nor was it any violation of the trust he had received, that the guardian became the successor of their father; for, as we have already read, the Curies elected whom they pleased to the throne, and Tarquin, if the tale be true, obtained their votes unasked, – so much had his cultivation and his affability predisposed them in
80 Cic, Rep., II. 18. Dion. Hal., III. 43. Liv., I. 33.
So runs the legend; but there can be no hesitation
in declaring that it covers some series of greater events of which the history is gone. If Tarquin came as an immigrant, he must have brought with him a host of followers; if as a conqueror,” it must have been at the head of an army which, like their leader, preferred the country they vanquished to that they had left behind them. These are only suppositions; but they rest upon the fact, impossible to be concealed, that the reign of Tarquin was distinguished by great changes in the early civilization. The city was new-furnished with works of utility and ornament; a forum was built, and a great temple founded on the Capitoline; while the old leaven in the services of religion was restored by the renewal of bloody sacrifices, and the erection of images in places where they could be worshipped. It may be that these were the natural steps for the Romans to have taken, had they been left alone, or brought under the convenient influence at the convenient time; for it seems irrational to suppose that any solitary Tarquin could have persuaded or obliged his people to take them in such a way as characterizes the whole history of a nation who never seemed to seek or to welcome their civilization, but to receive it simply because it came to them at suitable seasons, to minister to their pride, or their material rather than intellectual power. It need scarcely be said, that this coldness on the part of the Romans arose from no perception of the fatal errors which lurked in all the knowledge of ancient days; but any warmth towards civilization into which they were apparently betrayed was for a long time the result of policy or of actual necessity. A few words may now complete the legend which makes Tarquin, for evident reasons, and notwithstanding the memories of Numa, the author of the Roman civilization. He came with numerous dependents, or he would have done nothing, who either set the example, or else obliged the Romans to obey them without example, of working upon the new temple, offering the horrid sacrifice, and laboring where they were bid, instead of warring where they willed; it being apparently no
81 Dion. Hal., IV. 1. Liv., I. 34. Cic., Rep., II. 20.
* “Regnum accipit ob industriam atque elegantiam.” Flor., I. 5.
& As Müller says, in his Etrus
ker, Introd., Cap. II. sect. 16; where an ingenious commentary will be found concerning both the Tarquins and Servius Tullius.