Then the Sabine women, whose wrong had given rise to the war, with loosened hair and torn [p. 49]
garments, their woman's timidity lost in a sense of1
their misfortune, dared to go amongst the flying missiles, and rushing in from the side, to part the hostile forces and disarm them of
their anger, beseeching their fathers on this side, on that their husbands, that fathers-in-law and sons-in-law should not stain themselves with impious bloodshed, nor pollute with parricide the suppliants' children, grandsons to one party and sons to the other.
“If you regret,” they continued, “the relationship that unites you, if you regret the marriage-tie, turn your anger against us; we are the cause of war, the cause of wounds, and even death to both our husbands and our parents. It will be better for us to perish than to live, lacking either of you, as widows or as orphans.”
It was a touching plea, not only to the rank and file, but to their leaders as well. A stillness fell on them, and a sudden hush. Then the leaders came forward to make a truce, and not only did they agree on peace, but they made one people out of the two.
They shared the sovereignty, but all authority was transferred to Rome. In this way the population was doubled, and that some concession might after all be granted the Sabines, the citizens were named Quirites, from the town of Cures.2
As a reminder of this battle they gave the name of Curtian Lake to the pool where the horse of Curtius first emerged from the deep swamp and brought his rider to safety.3
The sudden exchange of so unhappy a war for a joyful peace endeared the Sabine women even more to their husbands and parents, and above all to [p. 51]
And so, when he divided the4
people into thirty curiae,
he named these wards after the women.5
Undoubtedly the number of the women was somewhat greater than this, but tradition does not tell whether it was their age, their own or their husbands' rank, or the casting of lots, that determined which of them should give their names to the wards.
At the same time there were formed three centuries of knights: the Ramnenses were named after Romulus; the Titienses after Titus Tatius; the name and origin of the Luceres are alike obscure.6
From this time forth the two kings ruled not only jointly but in harmony.