Tarquin, thus put in possession of Gabii, made peace with the Aequians, and renewed the treaty with the Etrurians. Then he turned his thoughts to the business of the city. The chief whereof was that of leaving behind him the temple of Jupiter on the Tarpeian mount, as a monument of his name and reign; [since posterity would remember] that of two Tarquinii, both kings, the father had vowed, the son completed it.
And that the area, excluding all other forms of worship, might be entirely appropriated to Jupiter, and his temple, which was to be erected upon it, he resolved to unhallow several small temples and chapels, which had been vowed first by king Tatius, in the heat of the battle against Romulus, and which he afterwards consecrated and dedicated.
In the very beginning of founding this work it is said that the gods exerted their divinity to presage the future greatness of this empire; for though the birds declared for the unhallowing of all the other temples, they did not admit of it with respect to that of Terminus.
This omen and augury were taken to import that Terminus's not changing his residence, and being the only one of the gods who was not called out of the places devoted to their worship, presaged the duration and stability of their empire.
This being deemed an omen of the perpetuity, there followed another portending the greatness of the empire. It is reported that the head of a man, with the face entire, appeared to the workmen when digging the foundation of the temple.
The sight of this phenomenon unequivocally presaged that this temple should be the metropolis of the empire, and the head of the world; and so declared the soothsayers, both those who were in the city, and those whom they had sent for from Etruria, to consult on this subject.
The king was encouraged to enlarge the expense; so that the spoils of Pometia, which had been destined to complete the work, scarcely sufficed for laying the foundation.
On this account I am more inclined to believe Fabius Pictor, besides his being the more ancient historian, that there were only forty talents, than Piso, who says that forty thousand pounds weight of silver were set apart for that purpose;
a sum of money neither to be expected from the spoils of any one city in those times, and one that would more than suffice for the foundation of any structure, even though exhibiting the magnificence of modern structures.