When Romulus had duly attended to the worship of the gods, he called the people together and gave them the rules of law, since nothing else but law could unite them into a single body politic.
But these, he was persuaded, would only appear binding in the eyes of a rustic people in case he should invest his own person with majesty, by adopting emblems of authority. He therefore put on a more august state in every way, and especially by the assumption of twelve lictors.1
Some think the twelve birds which had given him an augury of kingship led him to choose this number. For my part, I am content to share the opinion of those who derive from the neighbouring Etruscans (whence were borrowed the curule chair and purple-bordered toga) not only the type of attendants but their number as well —a number which the Etruscans themselves are thought to have chosen because each [p. 33]
of the twelve cities which united to elect the king2
contributed one lictor.
Meanwhile the City was expanding and reaching out its walls to include one place after another, for they built their defences with an eye rather to the population which they hoped one day to have than to the numbers they had then.
Next, lest his big City should be empty, Romulus resorted to a plan for increasing the inhabitants which had long been employed by the founders of cities, who gather about them an obscure and lowly multitude and pretend that the earth has raised up sons to them. In the place which is now enclosed, between the two groves as you go up the hill,3
he opened a sanctuary.
Thither fled, from the surrounding peoples, a miscellaneous rabble, without distinction of bond or free, eager for new conditions; and these constituted the first advance in power towards that greatness at which Romulus aimed.
He had now no reason to be dissatisfied with his strength, and proceeded to add policy to strength. He appointed a hundred senators, whether because this number seemed to him sufficient, or because there were no more than a hundred who could be designated Fathers.4
At all events, they received the designation of Fathers from their rank, and their descendants were called patricians.