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impregnable Palatine, suburbs sprang up and extended themselves to the

surrounding hills, until in a brief period all seven of the celebrated eminencies

were included within the city. The original Palatine stronghold was soon

increased by the addition of the Sabine settlement on the Quirinal and Capitoline

hills. The Ramnes and the Sabines were kinsmen and were easily merged into one

people. On the basis of this strong composition of original tribes was built the

tremendous fabric of the Roman people. The Ramnes and Titienses were each divided

into ten curioe, or wards; and from this division into curiae the people were

called Quirites. (1) The place of their meeting was the low ground between the

Palatine and the Quirinal; hence the comitium. The choice of the kings by

alternation from the one tribe and the other rests on no better authority than a

reasonable tradition. Such is the history of primitive Rome with the fabulous

part omitted.

Resuming the legend, we are told that after an interregnum of a year, Romulus was

succeeded, in B. C. 716, by Numa Pompilius. During the intervening year the

senators had exercised the royal authority by turns; but the people demanded an

election, and the choice fell on Numa. There was a debate in the senate as to

whether the election should be from the Ramnes or from the Sabines; but the

influence of the latter tribe prevailed, and their favorite was elected. He was

from the Sabine town of Cures, and was greatly famed for his wisdom.

Up to this time the civil and social institutions of Rome had been without form

and void. Numa became the lawgiver of the city. Nor was there wanting to him a

source of inspiration. In the beautiful valley of Caffarella, near Rome, was a

grotto, to which he repaired, and was met there by the nymph Egeria, who dictated

to him these wise laws which he gave to the people. Egeria became his wife, and

when he died, being inconsolable with grief, she wept herself into a fountain of

pure water. On the sculptures she is represented as one of the Muses, clad in a

flowing robe, naked as to her feet, her hair blown back and descending, as she

writes, in an open volume on her knees.

At the first Numa gave his attention to the equitable division of the lands which

Romulus had gained by conquest. He next established the worship of the god

Terminus-him who gave the landmark and the boundary. Thus was there instilled

into the minds of the early Romans a sacred respect for the limits of possession

and the rights of landed ownership.

The industrial pursuits were divided into nine vocations, and each artisan was

assigned to membership, according to his business. The Roman ceremonial law was

also instituted, and the duties appertaining to the various offices of religion

clearly defined. The rites of worship were prescribed, and the gradations in the

priesthood fixed by law. The pontiffs were made the highest in rank, and were

charged with the enforcement of the statutes relating to religion. The augurs,

the flamens, the vestal virgins, and the Salii were each assigned to their

respective ranks and duties; and the religion of the state was thus in its forms

and functionaries reduced to a system of definite practices.

During the reign of Numa Pompilius there was-if we may trust the word of Livy-nor

war nor plague nor famine. It was a kind of golden age in that early kingdom

which lies just over the border-lines of authentic history. The melting of Egeria

into tears might well have been an allegory of popular grief for the sage old

Sabine, who had done so much to soothe the chaotic elements of primitive Rome. Of

course, the popular tradition which derives his wisdom in law and precept from

the doctrines of Pythagoras is-being an anachronism -devoid of truth. The

derivation would have had to be by the philosopher from the prehistoric sage of

old Rome.

According to Livy, the reign of Numa covered a period of thirty-nine years, and

it might not be doubted that the peace thus afforded the Ramnes gave time and

opportunity for the development of that rugged strength which, beginning in the

brawn of robbers, became invincible in the soldiers of the Republic. The sacred

Books of Numa __________________________________ 1 Perhaps the best derivation of

Quirites is from curiae, both words being, as it appears, derived from the root

sku, meaning to cover or protect.