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Volscians and AEquians on the one hand, and from the Etruscans and Sabines on the

other. The old writers also agree that the Latini were a mixed people, and not

the descendants of a single tribe. Tradition records in what manner the mixture

was effected. Father AEneas, prince of Troy, son of Anchises and Venus, fled from

the ruins of the city which had just been sacked by Agamemnon and his Greeks, and

taking his father, his son, and a company of refugees, escaped into foreign

lands. After seven years of wandering the colony came, under the guidance of

fate, to the shores of Latium. Here the native tribes-the aborigines, so called

by the Latin authors-were ruled by their king, Latinus. With him AEneas, led on

by the promise that he should become the founder of a great state and nation,

went to war. Latinus was killed, and his subjects incorporated with the immigrant

people. To make the union secure, and to win the affections of the conquered

tribe, AEneas married Lavinia, the daughter of. Latinus, thus recognizing the

royalty of the native line. The combined people became the Latini lulus, son of

the great Trojan leader, founded Lavinium. He became king of Alba, and from him

were Romulus and Remus descended.

This tradition is further elaborated by Cato and Varro, who make the population

already existing in Latium previously to the Trojan immigration to have been

itself a mixed race. By these authors it is stated that the aboriginal Pelasgic

tribes had been conquered by a race which came down from the Central Apennines.

The old people were called the Siculi, and the new were these leading Samnites,

who had been driven from their own territories by the Sabines, as already

narrated. With the lapse of time a union of the dominant and subject tribes in

Latium was effected; and this composite people was in its turn amalgamated with

the Trojan colonists to form those Latini who were the principal actors in the

drama of early Rome.

It will thus appear that the Latin race was composed of two principal elements,

both of an unmistakable Aryan or Indo-European origin. Of the two peoples that

combined to constitute the Latins, the one was allied by race affinity to the

Graeco-Pelasgic family, and the other with the Oscan or primitive Italic stock;

but both were traceable, albeit by different routes, to the same Asiatic source.

Whatever may be the value of the various traditions, how far from the truth the

fictions of the credulous historians and poets of the classical ages may fall

from an actual solution of the prehistoric problems of the Roman race, certain it

is that this great people had an origin in common with the Greeks and the Celts,

the Persians and the Hindus. They were all Aryan and all descended from that vast

fountain of human power and enterprise, the old Bactrian homestead of all the

Indo-Europic peoples.

The first conquest made by the Latins was that of the Rutuli. These were a

prehistoric tribe living in Latium at the time of the Trojan immigration. Their

capital town was Ardea, a colony established at a very early period by Pelasgian

Argives. It is said by Niebuhr to have been the chief maritime city of Latium in

the times preceding the coming of AEneas. The Latins made war upon the Rutuli,

and it is not wonderful that the latter, a peaceable people, should have been

overcome by the descendants of Eastern warriors. From the first, AEneas and his

successors adopted the policy of incorporating the subjugated tribes with the

Latins. By this means the process of race composition was carried on to an extent

not often equaled in the beginnings of national history. In a short time there

was grouped about Alba Longa a confederation of friendly cities. Finally, the

capital town was destroyed and its people removed to Rome. With that event the

supremacy previously claimed and exercised by Alba was transferred to the new

city on the Tiber. The other Latin cities, however, were slow to recognize the

leadership of the ambitious town of Romulus, and made a league to prevent the

usurpation. This alliance was supported by the people known as Prisci Latini,

that is, Ancient Latins- an appellation which may have owed its origin to the

fact that those who composed the league supported the old regime rather than the

assumptions advanced by the early kings of Rome.