But although in this way the senators were thought to rule constitutionally and without oppression, they roused suspicions and clamorous charges that they had changed the form of government to an oligarchy, and were holding the state in tutelage among themselves, and were unwilling to be ruled by a king. Therefore it was agreed by both factions that one should appoint a king from the other.
This was thought the best way to end their prevailing partisanship, and the king thus appointed would be equally well-disposed to both parties, being gracious to the one as his electors, and friendly to the other because of his kinship with them. Then, as the Sabines gave the Romans their option in the matter, it seemed to them better to have a Sabine king of their own nomination, than to have a Roman made king by the Sabines.
They took counsel, therefore, among themselves, and nominated Numa Pompilius from among the Sabines, a man who had not joined the emigrants to Rome, but was so universally celebrated for his virtues that, when he was nominated, the Sabines accepted him with even greater readiness than those who had chosen him. Accordingly, after making their decision known to the people, the leading senators of both parties were sent as ambassadors to Numa, begging him to come and assume the royal power.
Numa belonged to a conspicuous city of the Sabines called Cures, from which the Romans, together with the incorporated Sabines, took the joint name of Quirites. He was a son of Pompon, an illustrious man, and was the youngest of four brothers. He was born, moreover, by some divine felicity, on the very day when Rome was founded by Romulus, that is, the twenty-first day of April.1
By natural temperament he was inclined to the practice of every virtue, and he had subdued himself still more by discipline, endurance of hardships, and the study of wisdom. He had thus put away from himself not only the infamous passions of the soul, but also that violence and rapacity which are in such high repute among Barbarians, believing that true bravery consisted in the subjugation of one's passions by reason.
On this account he banished from his house all luxury and extravagance, and while citizen and stranger alike found in him a faultless judge and counsellor, he devoted his hours of privacy and leisure, not to enjoyments and money-making, but to the service of the gods, and the rational contemplation of their nature and power. In consequence he had a great name and fame, so that Tatius, the royal colleague of Romulus at Rome, made him the husband of his only daughter, Tatia.
He was not, however, so exalted by his marriage as to go to dwell with his royal father-in-law, but remained among the Sabines ministering to his aged father. Tatia, too, preferred the quiet life which her husband led as a private citizen to the honour and fame which she had enjoyed at Rome because of her father. But she died, as we are told, in the thirteenth year after her marriage.