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ROME-LEGENDS AND TRADITIONS.

were buried beside him under the hill Janiculum, and are said to have been

discovered after a period of five hundred years.

In the eighty-first year of the city Tullus Hostilius, the third king of Rome,

succeeded to the throne. His character was in every particular strongly

contrasted with that of his predecessor. The process of his election was exactly

reversed from the method adopted in the case of Numa. The latter was chosen with

Roman consent from among the Sabines; the former with Sabine consent from among

the Romans. There is in this no doubt a gleam of historic truth as well as a

measure of poetic equity. Numa was a man of peace; Hostilius a warrior. His

whole career was enacted in arms. By him the power of the city was greatly

extended. He consolidated the Romans by military organization, and revived the

spirit which had slumbered and rested during the reign of Pompilius. His first

war was with the people of Alba, whom their more aggressive neighbors had come to

regard with contempt. The old tie of kinship was forgotten in that enmity which

would not permit two masters in Latium. When, however, the Roman and Alban armies

were about to engage in battle it was remembered that the struggle would in all

probability leave the victor so weakened that both conquered and conqueror would

perhaps fall an easy prey to the Etruscans, who constantly menaced the northern

frontier. It was accordingly agreed that three champions should be selected from

each side and by them the battle should be decided. On the side of Rome three

brothers-the Horatii-were chosen; and for Alba also appeared three other

brothers-the Curiatii. These went forth between the lines and began battle. The

fight was fiercely contested. At last two of the Horatii were slain, but the

third, who was still unhurt, turned upon the three Curiatii, all three of whom

were wounded and separated at some distance, and killed them one by one.

The victory remained with Rome; but the day closed with a bloody tragedy. The

sister of Horatius loved one of the Curiatii, and on his return from the triumph

which he had so hardly won upbraided him with the murder of her lover. The

passionate Horatius, maddened into a frenzy by what seemed to him the unpatriotic

conduct of his sister, slew her on the spot. For this deed he was tried and

condemned to death; but in accordance with a custom just then beginning to

prevail, he appealed to the people to save him from his fate. (1) The popular

voice decided in his favor; for the Romans could not be induced to assent to the

execution of one by whom the city had so recently been saved from conquest

______________________________ It is related that in the course of the trial the

father of Horatius justified the deed done by his son, saying that he himself

would have killed his daughter for her unpatriotic conduct.