UNIVERSAL BISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.
Perhaps the conduct of Tullus, in the emergency, became a precedent for that part
of the Roman constitution which granted the right of an appeal to the people. The
character of this third mythical king, who seems to have been are version to the
original type of barbarians by whom Rome was founded, is still further
illustrated in his merciless severity towards Mettus Fufetius, the Alban king,
who, after the victory of the Horatii, had submitted to the Romans. It appears
that the Albans had incited the Fidenates to join the Veientines in making war on
the Romans. When the latter called on the Albans as their allies, they were
prevented by their king from giving the required aid. For this treacherous
conduct Hostilius, as soon as he had gained the victory over the Veientines,
seized Fufetius, tied him between two chariots, and had him torn asunder.
The end of this king was as violent as his life. After a reign of thirty-two
years, while he was attempting to perform a sacrifice to Jupiter Tonans, the
offended god shot forth a flash of lightning, and Hostilius was struck dead on
In reviewing these mythical histories of the first three kings of Rome, it is
impossible not to recognize the partial work of the two great elements of Roman
society. The characters and lives of the first and third kings are distinctly
plebeian, and the story is recited as a plebeian tradition. The Ramnes were
indeed a plebeian folk; but the Sabines were preeminently patrician in their
notions and sympathies. The second king, Pompilius, was a patrician, and so in
the legend of mythical Rome he became the hero of the patrician ballad-makers and
story-tellers, while the plebeians found delight in repeating and hearing
repeated the ferocious deeds of their favorite robbers, Romulus and Hostilius.
The striking contrasts of the early lay are to be explained rather by the
subsequent preferences of plebeian and patrician Rome than by actual differences
of character in the mythical chiefs who were dignified with the name of king. It
is hardly to be doubted that both Romulus and Hostilius, who are represented in
the legend as taken away by the gods, were killed by the patricians. The
turbulence of these rulers and their failure to respect the privileges of the
priests, who were wholly of the nobles, were more than could be borne by the
Sabine element in society, and their lives paid the forfeit.
The fourth king of Rome was Ancus Martius. He seems in most respects to be a
reproduction of Numa. His history is a mixture of confused and contradictory
traditions. He is represented, in the main, as a peaceable ruler who encouraged
his people to devote themselves to agriculture. To him is attributed the founding
of the port of Ostia, though it is impossible to see what use a nation without a
navy or knowledge of navigation could make of a seaport. In his military career
he is represented as having conquered that part of the Latini who had not yet
submitted to the Romans, and established them on the Aventine Hill.
The old legend further recites that Ancus restored the services of religion,
which had not been properly observed during the preceding reign, and reformed the
statutes of the state. In the way of public works, the Sublician, or wooden
bridge of Rome, and the gloomy prison dug in the Tarpeian Hill are ascribed to
Ancus; and he is also celebrated, though with how much truth it is useless to
conjecture, as having given the first encouragement to incipient commerce. His
reign, which extended from the 81st to the 111th year of the city- that is, from
B. C. 673 to 643-was without serious reverses of fortune, and his last end is
said to have been as peaceful as his reign was prosperous.
The accession of the fifth king of Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, is brought in
with an elaborate fiction. The story goes that a certain Corinthian, named
Demaratus, had fled from his own country and found a home at the Etruscan town of
Tarquinii. Here he married a woman named Tanaquil, who was accomplished in the
interpretation of auguries and omens, and by her was persuaded to remove to Rome.
Having established himself in the city, he was appointed by Ancus Martius as
guardian of his sons. He managed to ingratiate himself with the people, whose