Summary of book I
Arrival of Aeneas in Italy and his deeds. Reign of
Ascanius, and after him of the Silvii, at Alba. Romulus
and Remus born to Mars by the daughter of Numitor.
Amulius killed. The City founded by Romulus. The
senate chosen. War with the Sabines. Spolia opima
dedicated to Jupiter Feretrius. The people divided into
wards. The Fidenates and Veientes conquered. Romulus deified.
Numa Pompilius handed on religious rites. The door
of Janus's temple closed.
Tullus Hostilius ravaged the country of the Albans.
Battle of the triplets. Punishment of Mettius Fufetius.
Tullus slain by a thunderbolt.
Ancus Martius conquered the Latins; founded Ostia.
Tarquinius Priscus defeated the Latins; made a circus;
conquered the neighbouring peoples; built walls and
The head of Servius Tullius gave forth flames. Servius
Tullius conquered the Veientes and divided the people
into classes; dedicated a temple to Diana.
Tarquinius Superbus slew Tullius and seized the kingship. Tullia's crime against her father. Turnus Herdonius killed by the machinations of Tarquinius. War with
the Volsci. Gabii sacked,1
in consequence of the fraud
of Sextus Tarquinius. The Capitol commenced. The
altars of Termo and Juventa could not be moved.2
Lucretia slew herself. Expulsion of Superbus. The kings
reigned 255 years.3
Having beaten the Latins,4
he assigned them the Aventine Hill; planted a colony at Ostia; extended the
boundaries and revived the ceremonies established by
It was he who is said to have asked the augur, Attus
Navius, to test his skill, whether the thing he was thinking of could be accomplished and, when Attus replied
that it could, to have bid him cut a whetstone in two with
a razor, Attus is said forthwith to have done.
He reigned 24 years. In his reign Lucumo, son of the
Corinthian Demaratus, came from Tarquinii, an Etruscan
city, to Rome, and being received into the friendship of
Ancus began to bear the name of Tarquinius Priscus, and
after the death of Ancus succeeded to the kingship. He
added a hundred members to the senate; subjugated the
Latins; gave games in the circus; increased the centuries of knights; surrounded the city with a wall; made
sewers. He was killed by the sons of Ancus after ruling
His successor was Servius Tullius, son of a noblewoman, a captive from Corniculum. It is related that
when he was still a babe, lying in the cradle, his head
burst into flames. He conducted the first census and
closed the lustrum, and it is said that 80,000 were
assessed. He enlarged the pomerium; added to the city
the Quirinal, Viminal, and Esquiline Hills; and with
the Latins erected a temple to Diana on the Aventine.
He was killed by Lucius Tarquinius, son of Priscus, on
the advice of his own daughter Tullia, after reigning
After him Lucius Tarquinius Superbus seized the kingdom, without the authorization of either Fathers or
People. He kept armed men about him to protect him.
He waged war with the Volsci, and out of their spoils
built a temple to Jupiter on the Capitol. He brought
Gabii under his sway by guile. When his sons had gone
to Delphi and were consulting the oracle as to which of
them should be king in Rome, answer was made that he
should reign who should first kiss his mother. This
response the princes themselves explained otherwise, but
Junius Brutus, who had accompanied them, pretended to
fall upon his face, and kissed the earth. And the outcome sanctioned his act. For when Tarquinius Superbus
had brought all men to hate him by the violence of his
behaviour, and finally Lucretia, whose chastity had been
violated at night by the king's son Sextus, summoned her
father Tricipitinus and her husband Collatinus and, adjuring them not to leave her death unavenged, killed
herself with a knife, Tarquinius was expelled, chiefly
through the efforts of Brutus, after a reign of 25 years.
Then the first consuls were chosen, Lucius Junius Brutus
and Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus.