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FROM THE FOUNDING OF ROME, 753 B. C., TO THE CONQUESTS OF GREECE AND
CARTHAGE, 146 B. 0. = 607 YEARS.
EARLY ITALY: ROME UNDER THE KINGS: ENDING 010 B. G.
ANALYSIS. I. ITALY-names and extent of -2. Mountains, and fertile plains.-3. Climate.
Principal States and tribes.—5. Our earliest information of Italy. Etruscan civilization (The Etruscans. The Tiber.)–6. Southern Italy and Sicily colonized by Greeks. The rise of Rome, between the Etruscans on the one side and the Greeks on the other.-7. Sources and character of early Roman history.-8. The Roman legends, down to the founding of Alba.(Lavin' ium Latium. Alba.]—9. The Roman legends continued, down to the saving of Rom' alus and Remus.–10. To the death of Amu' lius.—11. Auguries for selecting the site and Dame of a city.–12. The FOUNDING OF Rome. (Description of Ancient and Modern Rome.) 13. Stratagem of Romulus to procure wives for his followers. (Sabines.]—14. WAR WITH THE SABINES. Treachery and fate of Tarpéia.-15. Reconciliation and union of the Sabines and Romans. Death of Tullius. (Laurentines.]–16. The intervening period, to the death of Rotn' ulas. Death of Rom' ulus.
17. Rule of the senators. Election of NUMA, the 2d king. His institutions, and death. (Jánus.]—18. Reign of TULLIUS Hostil'lus, the 3d king, and first dawn of historic truth.19. Legend of the Horatii and Curiátil.–20. Tragic death of Horátia. Submission, treachery, and removal of the Albans. Death of Tul' lius.-21. The reign of Ancus Mar' tius, the 4th king. (Ostia.]—22. TARQUIN THE ELDER, the 5th king. His origin. Unanimously called to the throne. (Tarquin' ii.)-23. His wars. His public works. His death.-24. SER' vius TUL' Lius, the 6th king. Legends concerning him. Wars, &c.-25. Division of the people into centuries. Federal union with the Latins. Administration of Justice, &c.-26. Displease ure of the patricians, and murder of Servius.-27. The reign of TARQUIN THE PROUD, the 7th king. His reign disturbed by dreams and prodigies.-28. The dispute between Sextus, bis brothers, and Collatinus. How settled. (Ardea Collåtia.]—29. The story of Lucretia, and banishment of the Tarquins.
1. ITALY, known in ancient times by the names Hespéra, Ausonra, Satur' nia, and (Enotria, comprises the whole of the central penin. sula of southern Europe, extending from the Alps in a southern direction nearly seven hundred and seventy miles, with a breadth varying from about three hundred and eighty miles in northern Italy, to less than eighty near its centre.
2. The mountains of Italy are the Alps on its north-western boundary, and the Apennines, which latter pass through the peninsula nearly in its centre, and send off numerous branches on both sides. They are much less rugged than the Alps, and abound in rich forests and
pasture land. But though for the most part mountainous, Italy has some plains of considerable extent and extraordinary fertility. Of these the most extensive, and the richest, is that of Lombardy in the north, watered by the river Po and its numerous branches, embracing an area of about two hundred and fifty miles in length, with a breadth varying from fifty to one hundred and twenty miles, and now containing a vast number of cities. The next great plain stretches along the western coast of central Italy about two hundred miles, from the river Arno in Tuscany, to Terracína, sixty miles south-east from Rome. Although this plain was once celebrated for its fertility, and was highly cultivated and populous, it is now comparatively a desert, a consequence of the prevalence of malaria, which infects these districts to such an extent as to render them at certain portions of the year all but uninhabitable. The third great plain (the Apú. lian) lies along the eastern coast, towards the southern extremity of the peninsula, and includes the territory occupied by the ancient Daúnians Peucétians, and Messápians. A great portion of this plain has a sandy and thirsty soil, and is occupied mostly as pasture land in winter. The plain of Naples, on the western coast, is highly fertile, and densely peopled.
3. The climate of Italy is in general delightful, the excessive heats of summer being moderated by the influence of the mountains and the surrounding seas, while the cold of winter is hardly ever extreme. In the Neapolitan provinces, which lie in the latitude of central and southern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, snow is rare, and the finest fruits are found in the valleys throughout the winter. At the very southern extremity of Italy, which is in the latitude of Richmond, Virginia, the thermometer never falls to the freezing point. From a variety of circumstances it appears that the climate of Italy has undergone a considerable change, and that the winters are now less cold than formerly; although probably the summerheat was much the same in ancient times as at present.
4. The principal States of ancient Italy were Cisal' pine Gaul, Etruria, Umbria, Picénum, Látium, Campánia, Sam' nium, Apúlia, Calábria, Lucánia, and Brutiórum A'ger,--the situation of which, together with the names of the principal tribes that inhabited them, may be learned from the map of Ancient Italy accompanying this volume. (See Maps Nos. VIII. and X.)
5. The earliest reliable information that we possess of Italy represents the country in the possession of numerous independent tribes,
many of which, especially those in the southern part of the peninsula, were, like the early Grecians, of Pelas' gic origin. Of these tribes, the Etrúrians or Etrus' cans,' inhabiting the western coasts above the Tiber," were the most important; as it appears that, before the founding of Rome, they had attained to a considerable degree of power and civilization; and two centuries after that event they were masters of the commerce of the western Mediterranean. Many works of art attributed to them still exist, in the walls of cities, in vast dikes to reclaim lands from the sea, and in subterranean tunnels cut through the sides of hills to let off the lakes which had formed in the craters of extinct volcanoes.
6. It appears that during the height of Etrus' can power in Italy, the southern portions of the peninsula, together with Sicily, first began to be colonized by Grecians, who formed settlements at Cúmæ and Neap'olis, as early as the tenth or eleventh century before the Christian era, and at Taren'tum, Crotóna, Nax'os, and Syracuse, in the latter part of the eighth century; and such eventually became the number of the Grecian colonies that all southern Italy, in connection with Sicily, received the name of Magna Grecia. (Sce p. 115.) But while the old Etrúrian civilization remained nearly stationary, fettered, as in ancient Egypt, by the sway of a sacerdotal caste, whose privileges descended by inheritance, and while the Greek colonies were dividing and weakening their power by allowing to every city an independent sovereignty of its own, there arose on the western coast, between the Etrus' cans on the one side and the Greeks on the other, the small commonwealth of Rome, whose power ere long eclipsed that of all its rivals, and whose dominion was destined, eventually, to overshadow the world.
L The Etrurians, or Etrus' cans, were the inhabitants of Etruria, a celebrated country of Italy, lying to the north and west of the Tiber. They were farther advanced in civilization than any of their European cotemporaries, except the Greeks, but their origin is involved in obscurity, and of their early history little is known, as their writings have long since perished, and their hieroglyphic inscriptions on brass are ulterly unintelligible. (Maps Nos. VIII. and X.)
2. The river Tiber, called by the ancient Latins Albula, and by the Greeks Thymbris, the most celebrated, though not the largest river of Italy, rises in the Tuscan Apennines, and has a general southerly course about one hundred and thirty miles until it reaches Rome, when it turns south-west, and enters the Mediterranean by two mouths, seventeen miles from Rome, terminating in a marshy pestiferous tract. Its waters have a yellowish hue, being discolored by the mud with which they are loaded. Anciently the Tiber was capable of receiving vessels of considerable burden at Rome, and small boats to within a short distance of its source, but the entrance of the river from the sea, and its subsequent navigation, have become so difficult, that the harbor of Ostia at its month has long been relinquished, and Civita Vecchia is now the port of Rome, althoug! at the distance of thirty-six miles north, with which it is connected merely by a road. (Maps Nos. VIII. and X.)
7. What historians have related of the founding of Rome, and of the first century, at least, of its existence, has been drawn from numerous traditionary legends, known, from their character, to be mostly fabulous, and has therefore no valid claims to authenticity. Still it is proper to relate, as an introduction to what is better known, the story most accredited by the Romans themselves, and contained in their earliest writings, while at the same time we express the opinion that it has little or no foundation in truth.a
8. The Roman legends state that, immediately after the fall of Troy, Ænéas, a celebrated Trojan warrior, escaping from his devoted country, after seven years of wanderings arrived on the western coast of Italy, where he established a colony of his countrymen, and built the city of Lavin' ium.' From Latínus, a king of the country, whom he had slain in battle, and whose subjects he incorporated with his own followers, the united people were called Latini or Latins, and their country Látium. After the lapse of thirty years, which were occupied mostly in wars with neighboring tribes, the Latins, now increased to thirty hamlets, removed their capital to Alba,' a new city which they built on the Alban Mount, and which continued to be the head of the confederate people during three centuries.
9. The old Roman legends go on to state, that, at an uncertain date, Prócas, king of Alba, left two sons at his death, and that Númitor the elder, being weak and spiritless, suffered Amúlius the younger to wrest the government from him, to murder the only son, and to consecrate the daughter of his brother to the service of the temple, in the character of a vestal virgin. But the attempts of Amúlius to remove all claimants of the throne were fruitless, for Syl' via, the daughter of Númitor, became the mother of twin sons,
1. Lavin' ium, a city of Latium, was about eighteen miles south of Rome. The modern village of Practica, about three miles from the coast, is supposed to occupy the site of the ancient city. (Maps Nos. VIII. and X.)
2. Ancient Latium extended from the Tiber southward along the coast about fifty miles, to the Circæan promontory. It was afterwards extended farther south to the river Liris, and at still later period to the Vulturnus. The early inhabitants of Latium were the Latins, (also a general term applied to all the inhabitants of Látium,) Rutulians, Hernicians, and Volscians (Maps Nos. VIII, and X.)
3. Alba appears to have beon about afteen miles south-east from Rome, on the eastern shore of the Alban lake, and on the western declivity of the Alban Mount. The modern villa of Palazzuolo is supposed to mark the site of the ancient Alban city. (Map No. X.)
2. "The Trojan legend is doubtless a home sprung fable, having not the least historical trath, aor oven the slightest historical importance.”—Niebuhr's Rom. Hist., i. p. 107.
“Niebuhr has shown the oarly history of Rome to be unworthy of credit, and made it impor Able for any one to revive the old belief."— Anthon's Clas. Dict.; article Rome.
Rom' ulus and Rémus, by Mars, the god of war. Amúlius ordered that the mother and her babes should be drowned in the Tiber ; but while Syl' via perished, the infants, placed in a cradle of rushes, floated to the shore, where they were found by a she wolf, which carried them to her den, and nursed them as her own offspring.
10. After awhile the children were discovered by the wife of a shepherd, who took them to her cottage on the Palatine hill, where they grew up with her twelve sons,—and being the stoutest and bravest of the shepherd lads, they became their leaders in every wild foray, and finally the heads of rival factions—the followers of Ron'ulus being called Quinctil' ii, and those of Rémus Fábii. At length Rémus having been seized and dragged to Alba as a robber, the secret of the royal parentage of the youths was made known to Rom' ulus, who armed a band of his comrades and rescued Rémus from danger. The brothers then slew the king Amúlius, and the people of Alba again became subject to Nómitor.
11. Rom' ulus and Rémus next obtained permission from their grandfather to build a city for themselves and their followers on the banks of the Tiber; but as they disputed about the location and Dame of the city, each desiring to call it after his own name, they agreed to settle their disputes by auguries. Each took his station at midnight on his chosen hill, Rom' ulus on the Pal' atine, and Rémus on the Av' entine, and there awaited the omens. Rémus had the first augury, and saw six vultures flying from north to south; but scarcely were the tidings brought to Rom' ulus when a flock of twelve vultures flew past the latter. Each claimed the victory, but the party of Rom' ulus, being the stronger, confirmed the authority of their leader.
12. Rom' ulus then proceeded to mark out the limits of the city by cutting a furrow round the foot of the Palatine hill, which he inclosed, on the line thus drawn, with a wall and ditch. But scarcely had the walls begun to rise above the surface, when Rémus, still resenting the wrong he had suffered, insultingly leaped over the puny rampart, and was immediately slain, either by Rom' ulus or one of his followers. His death was regard. ed as an omen that no one should cross the walls but to his destruc. tion. Soon the slight defences were completed, and a thousand rude huts marked the beginning of the "eternal city Rome," within whose
1. See description of Rome page 582 and Map. No. 2.