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UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.

the time the supreme command should be vested in an officer called Dictator, who

should exercise discretionary power in all matters pertaining to the war. The

first to be chosen to this high office was Marcus Valerius, who now took command

for the defense of the city against Tarquin and the Latin league. The two armies

met at Lake Regillus, and a bloody battle was fought, in which for a long time

victory inclined to neither side. At length the Romans, hotly assailed by a band

of their exiled countrymen, led by Tarquin himself, began to waver. In the

supreme crisis Valerius vowed a temple to Castor and Pollux if they would save

his people from defeat. At that instant the twin gods themselves, mounted on two

white chargers, appeared suddenly at the head of the Roman knights and led them

upon the foe. The tide immediately turned against the Latins. They were

completely routed. Tarquin escaped to Cumae, and found refuge with Aristodemus

until his death. Rome was no more alarmed with the rumor of his coming.

It will thus be seen that the tradition of ancient, Rome runs forward to a time

subsequent to the overthrow of the kingdom. The early Republic is as much

involved in the shadows of fable as are the later times of the kings. Until the

present century these old legends were accepted as historic truth; but the age of

credulity has given place to the age of skepticism and critical inquiry. In the

light of careful research the old-time fictions are brushed away like gossamer.

Of contemporary records early Rome has left us not a vestige. Vague traditions,

handed down orally from generation to generation, are the substance of what the

modern world has had to rely on relative to the beginnings and earlier

development of the Roman state. Why, therefore, should such stories be believed?

If we are called to look over the ground calmly and decide what is and what is

not entitled to credence, the amount preserved would be but trifling. What should

be said of such a story as that of Romulus? Look at his birth, Ilis nurture by a

she-wolf, his mythical