Aunt Charlotte's stories of Roman history for the little ones

Material Information

Aunt Charlotte's stories of Roman history for the little ones
Yonge, Charlotte Mary, 1823-1901
Marcus Ward & Co ( Publisher )
Royal Ulster Works ( Publisher )
Place of Publication:
London (Charles Street Strand)
Marcus Ward & Co.
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
359 p. : ill. ; 18 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
History -- Juvenile literature -- Rome ( lcsh )
Juvenile literature -- 1877 ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1877 ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1877
Children's literature ( fast )
Publishers' catalogues ( rbgenr )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Northern Ireland -- Belfast
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )


General Note:
Added illustrated t.-p.
General Note:
Includes 4 p. publisher's catalog.
General Note:
Simultaneously published by Royal Ulster Works, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Charlotte M. Yonge.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections ( with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
023928088 ( ALEPH )
02059188 ( OCLC )
AHM6597 ( NOTIS )


This item has the following downloads:



















































































































































































































































































































































































Full Text

,- -

-- I ^ B HH'-V I,^


_____^^^^^^^^^^^^^B^^^^^B^ *j 'a--.-tii^^^^B^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

- Ill^

U /
az. ^/, /I^>

The Baldwin Library
M 1 iofA



-- --- --



uniform biitly torirs of Boman iMstor "

AUNT CHARLOTTE'S Stories of English History for
the Little Ones. In Fifty easy Chapters, with a Frontispiece in Colours by H.
STACY MARKS, A.R.A.; a Half-page Picture to each Chapter, and an Illuminated
Title-page. New Edition, with Questions. Square Octavo, Cloth Extra, Bevelled
Boards, Gilt Edges. Price 6/-

A UNT CHARLOTTE'S Stories of Frenc/z History for
the Little Ones. In Forty-eight easy Chapters, with a Frontispiece in Colours
by H. STACY MARKS, A.R.A.; Twelve Full-page Illustrations, and an Illuminated
Title-page. New Edition, with Questions. Square Octavo, Cloth Extra, Bevelled
Boards, Gilt Edges. Price 6/-

A UNT CHARLOTTE'S Stories of Bible History for the
Little Ones. Three Readings and One Picture for each Sunday in the Year,
with an Illuminated Title-page and Frontispiece in Colours. Square Octavo, Cloth
Extra, Bevelled Boards, Gilt Edges. Price 6/-

A UNT CHARLOTTE'S Stories of Greek History for the
Little Ones. In Forty-five easy Chapters, with a Frontispiece in Colours by
Walter Crane; an Illuminated Title-page and numerous Illustrations. Square Octavo,
Cloth Extra, Bevelled Boards, Gilt Edges. Price 6/-


AUNT CHARLOTTE'S Stories of German History for
the Little Ones. Profusely Illustrated.


'* *S F
." ... e.

7 7-

A ..RA .: .U ..
, .. : "

'" I: iL ; '
.il !
-?- ,
., 2; ."" '


is 0

,. . -- -- --* ..**..... - t .-_.. .. !-

or r T Heir of Redcc.


^^^ or th p e hittle pOn (s

^ ^Author of 'Tle Heir of Redctyffe &c.

V I.
/ ,N .,,








T HIS sketch of the History of Rome covers the
period till the reign of Charles the Great as
head of a new Western Empire, the history of
which will be given in the next volume. The
history has been given as briefly as could be done
consistently with such details as can alone make it
interesting to children.

Nov., 1876.


I.- Italy 11
II.-The Wanderings of /Eneas 18
III.-The Founding of Rome. B.C. 753-713 25
IV.-Numa and Tullus. B.C. 713-618 35
V.-The Driving Out of the Tarquins. B.C. 578-309 . 43
VI.-The War with Porsena 51
VII.-The Roman Government 60
VIII.-Menenius Agrippa's Fable. B.C. 494 67
IX.-Coriolanus and Cincinnatus. B.C. 458 74
X.-The Decemvirs. B.C. 450 8
XI.-Camillus' Banishment. B.C. 390 88
XII.-The Sack of Rome. B.C. 390 96
XIII.-The Plebeian Consulate. B.C. 367 . 103
XIV.-The Devotion of Decius. B.C. 357 l 09
XV.-The Samnite Wars 116
XVI.-The War with Pyrrhus. 280-271 122
XVII.-The First Punic War. 264-240 129
XVIII.-Conquest of Cisalpine Gaul. 240-219 . 138
XIX.-The Second Punic War. 219 145

6 Contents.

XX.-The First Eastern War. 215-183 152
XXI.-The Conquest of Greece, Corinth, and Carthage.
179-145 16o
XXII.-The Gracchi. 137-122 167
XXIII.-The Wars of Marius. 106-98 174
XXIV.-The Adventures of Marius. 93-84 .18o
XXV.-Sulla's Proscription. 88-71 .. 187
XXVI.-The Career of Pompeius. 70-63 194
XXVII.-Pompeius and Caesar. 61-48 .. 200
XXVIII.-Julius Caesar. 48-44 209
XXIX.-The Second Triumvirate. 44-33 217
XXX.-Caesar Augustus. B.C 33-A.D. 14 225
XXXI.-Tiberius and Caligula. A.D. 14-41 234
XXXII.-Claudius and Nero. A.D. 41-68 244
XXXIII.-The Flavian Family. 62-96 .. 252
XXXIV.-The Age of the Antonines. 96-194 261
XXXV.-The Praetorian Influence. 197-284. 270
XXXVI.-The Division of the Empire. 284-312. 280
XXXVII.-Constantine the Great. 312-337 287
XXXVIII.-Constantius. 337-364 296
XXXIX.-Valentinian and his Family. 364-392 303
XL.-Theodosius the Great. 392-395 310
XLI.-Alaric the Goth. 395-410 318
XLII.-The Vandals. 403 .. 326
XLIII.-Attila the Hun. 435-457 -. 335
XLIV.-Theodoric the Ostrogoth. 457-561 342
XLV.-Belisarius. 533-563 1 349
XLVI.-Pope.Gregory the Great. 563-800 355


~--0-0>@<0 PAGE
Saturn ..14
Vesta 15
Venus 19
Alba Longa . 22
Vestal Virgins 26
Romulus and Remus .27
The Forum 31
Janus ... 37
Tullia Driving over the King's Body . 41
The Sybil's Cave 45
Rome under the Kings. 49
Brutus Condemning his Sons 53
Roman Ensigns, Standards, Trumpets, &c. 56
Slinger, Foot Soldier, Lictor, and Horseman . 64
Interior of Roman House 66
Tarpeian Rock 67
Female Costumes 70
Ploughing 34, 78
Husbandry 79
Temple of Jupitor Stator 83
Chariot Races 86
Arrow Machine 89

8 List of Illustrations.

Siege Machine 92
The Gauls and the Roman Senator 97
Camillus and Brennus 101
Costumes 04
Guest Chamber. 8 18
Esculapius 112
Appian Way 114
Under the Yoke .. I19
Pyrrhus. 123
Roman Orator 126
Roman Ship .. 130
Roman Order of Battle .. .134
Hannibal's Vow 42
Lake Trasimenus 147
Archimedes 150
The Triumph of Scipio 153
Ruins of Aqueduct at Carthage 163
Cornelia and her Sons 170
Roman Centurion 173
Marius 175
Marius in the Marsh 183
Cornelius Sulla 189
Cicero ... 199
Pompeius 202
Romans and Gauls 203
Gladiators 206
Scala Gemonia and Entrance to Dungeons at Rome 208
Julius Caesar 210
Cato 211
Dying Gladiator 214
Marcus Antonius ... 218
Caius Octavius .. 224
Rome in the time of Augustus Caesar 229

List of Illustrations. 9

Agrippina 236
Funeral Solemnities in the Columbarium of the House of Julius Caesar 239
Tiberius ....... 243
Claudius 245
Nero 248
Mamertine Prison 249
Arch of Titus 255
Table of Shew-Bread, &c., on Arch of Titus 260
Trajan's Rock 264
Hadrian's Mole 265
Marcus Aurelius 269
Septimius Severus 271
Alexander Severus 273
Roman Proclamation 275
The Catacombs at Rome 277
Diocletian 281
Diocletian in Retirement 284
Church in the Basilica 288
Council of Nicea 291
Julian 298
The Bosphorus 301
Goths 306
Roman Hall of Justice 313
Bas Relief on Pillar in Constantinople 320
Alaric's Burial 324
The Forum, Restored .327
Vandals Plundering 331
Hunnish Camp 336
Hunnish Horsemen 338
Romulus Augustus Resigns the Crown 345


AM going to tell you next about the most
famous nation in the world. Going west-
:_:_ ward from Greece another peninsula stretches
down into the Mediterranean. The Apennine Moun-
tains run down like a limb stretching out of the Alps
to the south eastward, and on them seems formed
that land, shaped somewhat like a leg, which is called
Round the streams that flowed down from these hills,
valleys of fertile soil formed themselves, and a great
many different tribes and people took up their abode
there, before there was any history to explain their
coming. Putting together what can be proved about

12 Stories of Roman History.

them, it is plain, however, that most of them came
of that old stock from which the Greeks descended,
and to which we belong ourselves, and they spoke a
language which had the same root as ours and as the
Greek. From one of these nations the best known
form of this, as it was polished in later times, was
called Latin, from the tribe who spoke it.
About the middle of the peninsula there runs down,
westward from the Apennines, a river called the Tiber,
flowing rapidly between seven low hills, which recede
as it approaches the sea. One, in especial, called the
Palatine Hill, rose separately, with a flat top and steep
sides, about four hundred yards from the river, and
girdled in by the other six. This was the place where
the great Roman power grew up from beginnings, the
truth of which cannot now be discovered.
There were several nations living round these hills
-the Etruscans, Sabines, and Latins being the chief.
The homes of these nations seem to have been in the
valleys round the spurs of the Apennines, where they
had farms and fed their flocks; but above them was
always the hill which they had fortified as strongly as
possible, and where they took refuge if their enemies
attacked them. The Etruscans built very mighty
walls, and also managed the drainage of their cities
wonderfully well. Many of their works remain to this

Italy. 13

day, and, in especial, their monuments have been opened,
and the tomb of each chief has been found, adorned
with figures of himself, half lying, half sitting; also
curious pottery in red and black, from which something
of their lives and ways is to be made out. They spoke
a different language from what has become Latin, and
they had a different religion, believing in one great
Soul of the World, and also thinking much of rewards
and punishments after death. But we know hardly
anything about them, except that their chiefs were
called Lucumos, and that they once had a wide power
which they had lost before the time of history. The
Romans called them Tusci, and Tuscany still keeps its
The Latins and the Sabines were more alike, and
also more like the Greeks. There were a great many
settlements of Greeks in the southern parts of Italy,
and they learnt something from them. They had a
great many gods. Every house had its own guardian.
These were called Lares, or Penates, and were gener-
ally represented as little figures of dogs lying by the
hearth, or as brass bars with dogs' heads. This is the
reason that the bars which close in an open hearth are
still called dogs. Whenever there was a meal in the
house, the master began by pouring out wine to the
Lares, and also to his own ancestors, of whom he

14 Stories of Roman History.

kept figures; for these natives thought much of their
families, and all one family had the same name, like
our surname, such as Tullius or Appius, the daughters
only changing it by making it end in a instead of us,
and the men having separate names standing first,
such as Marcus or
X-N., \ ,,,. N Lucius, though their
Sisters were only
E d numbered to dis-
tinguish them.
Each city had a
guardian spirit, each
stream its nymph,
each wood its faun;
also there were
_- gods to whom the
boundary stones of
estates were dedi-
cated. There was
SA'URN. a goddess of fruits
called Pomona, and a god of fruits named Vertumnus.
In their names the fields and the crops were solemnly
blest, and all were sacred to Saturn. He, according
to the old legends, had first taught husbandry, and
when he reigned in Italy there was a golden age,
when every one had his own field, lived by his own

Italy. 15

handiwork, and kept no
slaves. There was a feast
in honour of this time every
year called the Saturnalia,
when for a few days the
slaves were all allowed to
act as if they were free, and
have all kinds of wild sports
and merriment. Afterwards,
when Greek learning came
in, Saturn was mixed up
with the Greek Kronos, or
Time, who devours his off-
spring, and the reaping-hook
his figures used to carry for
harvest became Time's
scythe. The sky-god, Zeus
or Deus Pater (or father),
was shortened into Jupiter;
Juno was his wife, and Mars
was god of war, and in Greek
times was supposed to be the
same as Ares; Pallas Athene
was joined with the Latin
Minerva; Hestia, the god-
dess of the hearth, was called

16 Stories of Roman History.

Vesta; and, in truth, we talk of the Greek gods by their
Latin names. The old Greek tales were not known to
the Latins in their first times, but only afterwards learnt
from the Greeks. They seem to have thought of their
gods as graver, higher beings, further off, and less
capricious and fanciful than the legends about the
weather had made them seem to the Greeks. Indeed,
these Latins were a harder, tougher, graver, fiercer,
more business-like race altogether than the lively
Greeks; not so clever, thoughtful, or poetical, but
with more of what we should now call sterling stuff in
At least so it was with that great nation which spoke
their language, and seems to have been an offshoot
from them. Rome, the name of which is said to mean
the famous, is thought to have been at first a cluster
of little villages, with forts to protect them on the hills,
and temples in the forts. Jupiter had a temple on the
Capitoline Hill, with cells for his worship, and that of
Juno and Minerva; and the two-faced Janus, the god
of gates, had his upon the Janicular Hill. Besides
these, there were the Palatine, the Esquiline, the
Aventine, the Caelian, and the Quirinal. The people
of these villages called themselves Quirites, or spear-
men, when they formed themselves into an army and
made war on their neighbours, the Sabines and Latins,

Italy. 17

and by-and-by built a wall enclosing all the seven hills,
and with a strip of ground within, free from houses,
where sacrifices were offered and omens sought for.
The history of these people was not written till
long after they had grown to be a mighty and terrible
power, and had also picked up many Greek notions.
Then they seem to have made their history backwards,
and worked up their old stories and songs to explain
the names and customs they found among them, and
the tales they told were formed into a great history by
one Titus Livius. It is needful to know these stories
which every one used to believe to be really history;
so we will tell them first, beginning, however, with a
story told by the poet Virgil.

I ________________--


Y OU remember in the Greek history the burning of
Troy, and how Priam and all his family were
cut off. Among the Trojans there was a prince
called ZEneas, whose father was Anchises, a cousin
of Priam, and his mother was said to be the god-
dess Venus. When he saw that the city was lost,
he rushed back to his house, and took his old father
Anchises on his back, giving him his Penates, or
little images of household gods, to take care of, and
led by the hand his little son Iulus, or Ascanius, while
his wife Creusa followed close behind, and all the
Trojans who could get their arms together joined him,
so that they escaped in a body to Mount Ida; but just
as they were outside the city he missed poor Creusa,
and though he rushed back and searched for her every-
where, he never could find her. For the sake of his
care for his gods, and for his old father, he is always
known as the pious /Eneas.
- __

The IWanderings of A neas. 19

In the forests of
Mount Ida he built
ships enough to set
forth with all his fol-
lowers in quest of the \---
new home which his
mother, the goddess
Venus, gave him hopes
of. He had adventures\
rather like those of
Ulysses as he sailed
about the Mediterra-
nean. Once in the
Strophades, some clus-
ters belonging to the
Ionian Islands, when
he and his troops had
landed to get food, and
were eating the flesh
of the numerous goats
which they found
climbing about the
rocks, down on them
came the harpies, horri-
ble birds with women's VENUS.
faces and hooked hands, with which they snatched away

20 Stories of Roman History.

the food and spoiled what they could not eat. The
Trojans shot at them, but the arrows glanced off their
feathers and did not hurt them. However, they all
flew off except one, who sat on a high rock, and
croaked out that the Trojans would be punished for
thus molesting the harpies by being tossed about till
they should reach Italy, but there they should not
build their city till they should have been so hungry
as to eat their very trenchers.
They sailed away from this dismal prophetess, and
touched on the coast of Epirus, where /Eneas found
his cousin Helenus, son to old Priam, reigning over a
little new Troy, and married to Andromache, Hector's
wife, whom he had gained after Pyrrhus had been
killed. Helenus was a prophet, and he gave /Eneas
much advice. In especial he said that, when the
Trojans should come to Italy, they would find, under
the holly-trees by the river side, a large white old sow
lying on the ground, with a litter of thirty little pigs
round her, and this should be a sign to them where
they were to build their city.
By his advice the Trojans coasted round the south
of Sicily, instead of trying to pass the strait between
the dreadful Scylla and Charybdis, and just below
Mount Etna an unfortunate man came running down
to the beach begging to be taken in. He was a Greek,

The Wanderings of ,Eneas. 21

who had been left behind when Ulysses escaped from
Polyphemus' cave, and had made his way to the forests,
where he had lived ever since. They had just taken
him in when they saw the Cyclops coming down, with
a pine-tree for a staff, to wash the burning hollow of
his lost eye in the sea, and they rowed off in great terror.
Poor old Anchises died shortly after, and, while his
son was still sorrowing for him, Juno, who hated every
Trojan, stirred up a terrible tempest, which drove the
ships to the south, until, just as the sea began to calm
down, they came into a beautiful bay, enclosed by tall
cliffs with woods overhanging them. Here the tired
wanderers landed, and, lighting a fire, /Eneas went in
quest of food. Coming out of the forest, they looked
down from a hill, and beheld a multitude of people
building a city, raising walls, houses, towers, and
temples. Into one of these temples /Eneas entered,
and to his amazement he found the walls sculptured
with all the story of the siege of Troy, and all his
friends so perfectly represented, that he burst into
tears at the sight.
Just then a beautiful queen, attended by a whole
troop of nymphs, came into the temple. This lady
was Dido; her husband, Sichaeus, had been king of
Tyre, till he was murdered by his brother Pygmalion,
who meant to have married her, but she fled from him

22 Stories of Roman History.

with a band of faithful Tyrians and all her husband's
treasure, and had landed on the north coast of Africa.
There she begged of the chief of the country as much
land as could be enclosed by a bullock's hide. He
granted this readily; and Dido, cutting the hide into


the finest possible strips, managed to measure off with
it ground enough to build the splendid city which
she had named Carthage. She received AEneas most
kindly, and took all his men into her city, hoping to
keep them there for ever, and make him her husband.

The Wcanderings of AEneas. 23

iEneas himself was so happy there, that he forgot all
his plans and the prophecies he had heard, until Jupiter
sent Mercury to rouse him to fulfil his destiny. He
obeyed the call; and Dido was so wretched at his de-
parture that she caused a great funeral pile to be built,
laid herself on the top, and stabbed herself with /Eneas'
sword: the pile was burnt, and the Trojans saw the
flame from their ships without knowing the cause.
By-and-by AEneas landed at a place in Italy named
Cumae. There dwelt one of the Sybils. These were
wondrous virgins whom Apollo had endowed with
deep wisdom; and when AEneas went to consult the
Cumaean Sybil, she told him that he must visit the
under-world of Pluto to learn his fate. First, however,
he had to go into a forest, and find there and gather
a golden bough, which he was to bear in his hand to
keep him safe. Long he sought it, until two doves, his
mother's birds, came flying before him to show him
the tree where gold gleamed through the boughs, and
he found the branch growing on the tree as mistletoe
grows on the thorn.
Guarded with this, and guided by the Sybil, after a
great sacrifice, /Eneas passed into a gloomy cave,
where he came to the river Styx, round which flitted
all the shades who had never received funeral rites,
and whom the ferryman, Charon, would not carry over.

24 Stories of Roman History.

The Sybil, however, made him take ZEneas across, his
boat groaning under the weight of a human body. On
the other side stood Cerberus, but the Sybil threw him
a cake of honey and of some opiate, and he lay asleep,
while /Eneas passed on and found in myrtle groves all
who had died for love, among them, to his surprise, poor
forsaken Dido. A little further on he found the home
of the warriors, and held converse with his old Trojan
friends. He passed by the place of doom for the
wicked, Tartarus; and in the Elysian fields, full of
laurel groves and meads of asphodel, he found the
spirit of his father Anchises, and with him was allowed
to see the souls of all their descendants, as yet unborn,
who should raise the glory of their name. They are
described on to the very time when the poet wrote
to whom we owe all the tale of the wanderings of
IEneas, namely, Virgil, who wrote the lEneid, whence
all these stories are taken. He further tells us that
AEneas landed in Italy just as his old nurse Caieta
died, at the place which is still called Gaeta. After
they had buried her, they found a grove, where they
sat down on the grass to eat, using large round cakes
or biscuits to put their meat on. Presently they came
to eating up the cakes. Little Ascanius cried out, We
are eating our very tables;" and /Eneas, remembering
the harpy's words, knew that his wanderings were over.

B.C. 753-713.

VIRGIL goes on to tell at much length how the
king of the country, Latinus, at first made friends
with AEneas, and promised him his daughter Lavinia
in marriage; but Turnus, an Italian chief who had
before been a suitor to Lavinia, stirred up a great war,
and was only conquered and killed after much hard
fighting. However, the white sow was found in the
right place with all her little pigs, and on the spot was
founded the city of Alba Longa, where IEneas and
Lavinia reigned until he died, and his descendants,
through his two sons, Ascanius or Iulus, and IEneas
Silvius, reigned after him for fifteen generations.
The last of these fifteen was Amulius, who took the
throne from his brother Numitor, who had a daughter
named Rhea Silvia, a Vestal virgin. In Greece, the
sacred fire of the goddess Vesta was tended by good
men, but in Italy it was the charge of maidens, who

26 Stories of Roman History.


I i"t-
ii iii iil til: il t ,


were treated with great honour, but were never allowed
to marry under pain of death. So there was great

The Founding of Rome. 27

anger when Rhea Silvia became the mother of twin
boys, and, moreover, said that her husband was the god
Mars. But Mars did not save her from being buried
alive, while the two babes were put in a trough on the
waters of the river Tiber, there to perish. The river

[v\ j \ / /


had overflowed its banks, and left the children on dry
ground, where, however, they were found by a she-
wolf, who fondled and fed them like her own offspring,
until a shepherd met with them and took them home
to his wife. She called them Romulus and Remus, and
bred them up as shepherds.

28 Stories of Roman History.

When the twin brothers were growing into manhood,
there was a fight between the shepherds of Numitor
and Amulius, in which Romulus and Remus did such
brave feats that they were led before Numitor. He
enquired into their birth, and their foster-father told
the story of his finding them, showing the trough in
which they had been laid; and thus it became plain
that they were the grandsons of Numitor. On finding
this out, they collected an army, with which they drove
away Amulius, and brought their grandfather back to
Alba Longa.
They then resolved to build a new city for them-
selves on one of the seven low hills beneath which ran
the yellow river Tiber; but they were not agreed on
which hill to build, Remus wanting to build on the
Aventine Hill, and Romulus on the Palatine. Their
grandfather advised them to watch for omens from the
gods, so each stood on his hill and watched for birds.
Remus was the first to see six vultures flying, but
Romulus saw twelve, and therefore the Palatine Hill
was made the beginning of the city, and Romulus was
chosen king. Remus was affronted, and when the mud
wall was being raised around the space intended for
the city, he leapt over it and laughed, whereupon
Romulus struck him dead, crying out, So perish all
who leap over the walls of my city."

The Founding of Rome. 29

Romulus traced out the form of his city with the
plough, and made it almost a square. He called the
name of it Rome, and lived in the midst of it in a mud
hovel, covered with thatch, in the midst of about fifty
families of the old Trojan race, and a great many young
men, outlaws and runaways from the neighboring
states, who had joined him. The date of the building
of Rome was supposed to be A.D. 753; and the Romans
counted their years from it, as the Greeks did from the
Olympiads, marking the date A.U.C., anno urbis condite,
the year of the city being built. The youths who
joined Romulus could not marry, as no one of the
neighboring nations would give his daughter to one
of these robbers, as they were esteemed. The nearest
neighbours to Rome were the Sabines, and the Romans
cast their eyes in vain on the Sabine ladies, till old
Numitor advised Romulus to proclaim a great feast in
honour of Neptune, with games and dances. All the
people in the country round came to it, and when the
revelry was at its height each of the unwedded Romans
seized on a Sabine maiden and carried her away to his
own house. Six hundred and eighty-three girls were
thus seized, and the next day Romulus married them
all after the fashion ever after observed in Rome.
There was a great sacrifice, then each damsel was
told, Partake of your husband's fire and water;" he

30 Stories of Roman History.

gave her a ring, and carried her over his threshold,
where a sheepskin was spread, to show that her duty
would be to spin wool for him, and she became his
Romulus himself won his own wife, Hersilia, among
the Sabines on this occasion; but the nation of course
took up arms, under their king Tatius, to recover their
daughters. Romulus drew out his troops into the
Campus Martius, or field of Mars, just beneath the
Capitol, or great fort on the Saturnian Hill, and
marched against the Sabines; but while he was
absent, Tarpeia, the daughter of the governor of the
little fort he had left on the Saturnian Hill, promised
to let the Sabines in on condition they would give her
what they wore on their left arms, meaning their
bracelets, but they hated her treason even while they
took advantage of it, and no sooner were they within
the gate than they pelted her with their heavy shields,
which they wore on their left arms, and killed her.
The cliff on the top of which she died is still called the
Tarpeian rock, and criminals were executed by being
thrown from the top of it. Romulus tried to regain
the Capitol, but the Sabines rolled down stones on the
Romans, and he was stunned by one that struck him
on the head; and though he quickly recovered and
rallied his men, the battle was going against him,

-_--i---- --`~~- ~ __------I-- :- ... .."" 7

,'i, =71'IillLl it i,
=' , 4 , f, Q 11.. h .. r
z ... r "-. -=- -'

--I-LT==_~;~_--_i~ ._=o_, -~ .., } -" ----

S.... ," TF ...
--_P*$ -I

~- ~L,1~-~- -T'-- :7
?- _-==--= -K -=_=='E
........... .... Y_--: : : _"_4-;




The Founding of Rome. 33

when all the Sabine women, who had been nearly two
years Roman wives, came rushing out, with their little
children in their arms and their hair flying, begging
their fathers and husbands not to kill one another.
This led to the making of a peace, and it was agreed
that the Sabines and Romans should make but one
nation, and that Romulus and Tatius should reign
together at Rome. Romulus lived on the Palatine
Hill, Tatius on the Tarpeian, and the valley between
was called the Forum, and was the market-place, and
also the spot where all public assemblies were held.
All the chief arrangements for war and government
were believed by the Romans to have been laws of
Romulus. However, after five years, Tatius was
murdered at a place called Lavinium, in the middle of
a sacrifice, and Romulus reigned alone till, in the midst
of a great assembly of his soldiers outside the city, a
storm of thunder and lightning came on, and every
one hurried home, but the king was nowhere to be
found; for, as some say, his father Mars had come
down in the tempest and carried him away to reign
with the gods, while others declared that he was
murdered by persons, each of whom carried home a
fragment of his body that it might never be found.
It matters less which way we tell it, since the story of
Romulus was quite as much a fable as that of AEneas ;

34 Stories of Roman History.

only it must be remembered as the Romans themselves
believed it. They worshipped Romulus under the name
of Quirinus, and called their chief families Quirites,
both words coming from ger (a spear); and the she-
wolf and twins were the favourite badge of the empire.
The Capitoline Hill, the Palatine, and the Forum all
still bear the same names.

'1 7,

^ '~

B.C. 713-618.
T was understood between the Romans and the
Sabines that they should have by turns a king from
each nation, and, on the disappearance of Romulus, a
Sabine was chosen, named Numa Pompilius, who had
been married to Tatia, the daughter of the Sabine king
Tatius, but she was dead, and had left one daughter.
Numa had, ever since her death, been going about from
one grove or fountain sacred to the gods to another
offering up sacrifices, and he was much beloved for his
gentleness and wisdom. There was a grove near
Rome, in a valley, where a fountain gushed forth from
the rock; and here Egeria, the nymph of the stream, in
the shade of the trees, counselled Numa on his govern-
ment, which was so wise that he lived at peace with all
his neighbours. When the Romans doubted whether
it was' really a goddess who inspired him, Egeria con-
vinced them, for the next time he had any guests in

36 Stories of Roman History.

his house, the earthenware plates with homely fare on
them were changed before their eyes into golden dishes
with dainty food. Moreover, there was brought from
heaven a bronze shield, which was to be carefully kept,
since Rome would never fall while it was safe. Numa
had eleven other shields like it made and hung in the
temple of Mars, and, yearly, a set of men dedicated to
the office bore them through the city with songs and
dances. Just as all warlike customs were said to
have been invented by Romulus, all peaceful and
religious ones were held to have sprung from Numa
and his Egeria. He was said to have fixed the
calendar and invented the names of the months, and
to have built an altar to Good Faith to teach the
Romans to keep their word to one another and to all
nations, and to have dedicated the bounds of each
estate to the Dii Termini, or Landmark Gods, in whose
honour there was a feast yearly. He also was said
to have had such power with Jupiter as to have per-
suaded him to be content without receiving sacrifices
of men and women. In short, all the better things in
the Roman system were supposed to be due to the
gentle Numa.
At the gate called Janiculum stood a temple to the
watchman god Janus, whose figure had two faces, and
held the keys, and after whom was named the month

Numa and Tullus. 37

January. His temple was always open in time of war,
and closed in time of peace.
Numa's reign was counted as
the first out of only three times i_ (
in Roman history that it was
Numa was said to have
reigned thirty-eight years, and
then he gradually faded away,
and was buried in a stone coffin
outside the Janicular gate, all
the books he had written being,
by his desire, buried with him.
Egeria wept till she became a JANUS.
fountain in her own valley; and so ended what in
Roman faith answered to the golden age of Greece.
The next king was of Roman birth, and was named
Tullus Hostilius. He was a great warrior, and had a
war with the Albans until it was agreed that the two
cities should join together in one, as the Romans and
Sabines had done before; but there was a dispute
which should be the greater city in the league, and it
was determined to settle it by a combat. In each city
there was a family where three sons had been born at
a birth, and their mothers were sisters. Both sets
were of the same age-fine young men, skilled in
_________ I

38 Stories of Roman History.

weapons; and it was agreed that the six should fight
together, the three whose family name was Horatius
on the Roman side, the three called Curiatius on the
Alban side, and whichever set gained the mastery
was to give it to his city.
They fought in the plain between the camps, and
very hard was the strife until two of the Horatii were
killed and all the three Curiatii were wounded, but the
last Horatius was entirely untouched. He began to
run, and his cousins pursued him, but at different
distances, as one was less hindered by his wound than
the others. As soon as the first came up, Horatius
slew him, and so the second and the third; as he cut
down this last he cried out, To the glory of Rome I
sacrifice thee." As the Alban king saw his champion
fall, he turned to Tullus Hostilius and asked what his
commands were. "Only to have the Alban youth
ready when I need them," said Tullus.
A wreath was set on the victor's head, and, loaded
with the spoil of the Curiatii, he was led into the city
in triumph. His sister came hurrying to meet him;
she was betrothed to one of the Curiatii, and was in
agony to know his fate; and when she saw the garment
she had spun for him hanging bloodstained over her
brother's shoulders, she burst into loud lamentations.
Horatius, still hot with fury, struck her dead on the

Numa and Tullus. 39

spot, crying, So perish every Roman who mourns the
death of an enemy of his country." Even her father
approved the cruel deed, and would not bury her in his
family tomb-so stern were Roman feelings, putting
the honour of the country above everything. How-
ever, Horatius was brought before the king for the
murder, and was sentenced to die; but the people
entreated that their champion might be spared, and he
was only made to pass under what was called the yoke,
namely, spears set up like a doorway.
Tullus Hostilius gained several victories over his
neighbours, but he was harsh and presuming, and
offended the gods, and, when he was using some spell
such as good Numa had used to hold converse with
Jupiter, the angry god sent lightning and burnt up him
and his family. The people then chose Ancus Martius,
the son of Numa's daughter, who is said to have ruled
in his grandfather's spirit, though he could not avoid
wars with the Latins. The first bridge over the
Tiber, named the Sublician, was said to have been
built by him. In his time there came to Rome a
family called Tarquin. Their father was a Cor-
inthian, who had settled in an Etruscan town named
Tarquinii, whence came the family name. He was
said to have first taught writing in Italy, and, indeed,
the Roman letters which we still use are Greek letters

40 Stories of Roman History.

made simpler. His eldest son, finding that because of
his foreign blood he could rise to no honours in Etruria,
set off with his wife Tanaquil, and their little son
Lucius Tarquinius, to settle in Rome. Just as they
came in sight of Rome, an eagle swooped down from
the sky, snatched off little Tarquin's cap, and flew up
with it, but the next moment came down again and
put it back on his head. On this Tanaquil foretold
that her son would be a great king, and he became so
famous a warrior when he grew up, that, as the children
of Ancus were too young to reign at their father's
death, he was chosen king. He is said to have been
the first Roman king who wore a purple robe and
golden crown, and in the valley between the Palatine
and Aventine Hills he made a circus, where games
could be held like those of the Greeks; also he placed
stone benches and stalls for shops round the Forum,
and built a stone wall instead of a mud one round the
city. He is commonly called Tarquinus Priscus, or
the elder.
There was a fair slave girl in his house, who was
offering cakes to Lar, the household spirit, when he
appeared to her in bodily form. When she told the
king's mother, Tanaquil, she said it was a token that
he wanted to marry her, and arrayed her as a bride for
him. Of this marriage there sprang a boy called

Numa and Tullus. 41

Servius Tullus. When this child lay asleep, bright
flames played about his head, and Tanaquil knew he
would be great, so she caused her son Tarquin to give
him his daughter in marriage when he grew up. This
greatly offended the two sons of Ancus Martius, and

I f" t I Jll

they hired two young men to come before him as
woodcutters, with axes over their shoulders, pretending
to have a quarrel about some goats, and while he was
listening to their cause they cut him down and mortally
il : -., % --

thy ire two yon men to coebfrehma

42 Stories of Roman History.

wounded him. He had lost his sons, and had only
two baby grandsons, Aruns and Tarquin, who could
not reign as yet; but while he was dying, Tanaquil
stood at the window and declared that he was only
stunned and would soon be well. This, as she in-
tended, so frightened the sons of Ancus that they fled
from Rome; and Servius Tullus, coming forth in the
royal robes, was at once hailed as king by all the
people of Rome, being thus made king that he might
protect his wife's two young nephews, the two little

B.C. 578-309.
SERVIUS TULLUS was looked on by the Romans as
Shaving begun making their laws, as Romulus had
put their warlike affairs in order, and Numa had settled
their religion. The Romans were all in great clans or
families, all with one name, and these were classed in
tribes. The nobler ones, who could count up from
old Trojan, Latin, or Sabine families, were called
Patricians-from pater, a father-because they were
fathers of the people; and the other families were
called Plebeian, from plebs, the people. The patricians
formed the Senate or Council of Government, and
rode on horseback in war, while the plebeians fought
on foot. They had spears, round shields, and short
pointed swords, which cut on each side of the blade.
Tullus is said to have fixed how many men of each
tribe should be called out to war. He also walled in
the city again with a wall five miles round; and he

44 Stories of Roman History.

made many fixed laws, one being that when a man
was in debt his goods might be seized, but he himself
might not be made a slave. He was the great friend
of the plebeians, and first established the rule that a
new law of the Senate could not be made without the
consent of the Comitia, or whole free people.
The Sabines and Romans were still striving for the
mastery, and a husbandman among the Sabines had a
wonderfully beautiful cow. An oracle declared that
the man who sacrificed this cow to Diana upon the
Aventine Hill would secure the chief power to his
nation. The Sabine drove the cow to Rome, and was
going to kill her, when a crafty Roman priest told him
that he must first wash his hands in the Tiber, and
while he was gone sacrificed the cow himself, and by
this trick secured the rule to Rome. The great horns
of the cow were long after shown in the temple of
Diana on the Aventine, where Romans, Sabines, and
Latins every year joined in a great sacrifice.
The two daughters of Servius were married to their
cousins, the two young Tarquins. In each pair there
was a fierce and a gentle one. The fierce Tullia was
the wife of the gentle Aruns Tarquin; the gentle
Tulla had married the proud Lucius Tarquin. Aruns'
wife tried to persuade her husband to seize the throne
that had belonged to his father, and when he would

The Driving out of the Tarquins. 45

not listen to her, she agreed with his brother Lucius
that, while he murdered her sister, she should kill his
brother, and then that they should marry. The horrid
deed was carried out, and old Servius, seeing what a

wicked pair were likely to come after him, began to
consider with the Senate whether it would not be
better to have two consuls or magistrates chosen
every year than a king. This made Lucius Tarquin

46 Stories of Roman History.

the more furious, and, going to the Senate, where the
patricians hated the king as the friend of the plebeians,
he stood upon the throne, and was beginning to tell
the patricians that this would be the ruin of their
greatness, when Servius came in and, standing on the
steps of the doorway, ordered him to come down.
Tarquin sprang on the old man and hurled him back-
wards, so that the fall killed him, and his body was
left in the street. The wicked Tullia, wanting to
know how her husband had sped, came out in her
chariot on that road. The horses gave back before
the corpse. She asked what was in their way; the
slave who drove her told her it was the king's body.
" Drive on," she said.. The horrid deed caused the
street to be known ever after as Sceleratus," or the
wicked. But it was the plebeians who mourned for
Servius; the patricians in their anger made Tarquin
king, but found him a very hard and cruel master, so
that he is generally called Tarquinius Superbus, or
Tarquin the proud. In his time the Sybil of Cumae,
the same wondrous maiden of deep wisdom who had
guided /Eneas to the realms of Pluto, came, bringing
nine books of prophecies of the history of Rome, and
offered them to him at a price which he thought too
high, and refused. She went away, destroyed three,
and brought back the other six, asking for them double


The Driving out of the Tarquins. 47

the price of the whole. He refused. She burnt three
more, and brought him the last three with the price
again doubled, because the fewer they were, the more
precious. He bought them at last, and placed them in
the Capitol, whence they were now and then taken to
be consulted as oracles.
Rome was at war with the city of Gabii, and as the
city was not to be subdued by force, Tarquin tried
treachery. His eldest son, Sextus Tarquinius, fled to
Gabii, complaining of ill-usage of his father, and show-
ing marks of a severe scourging. The Gabians be-
lieved him, and he was soon so much trusted by them
as to have the whole command of the army and
manage everything in the city. Then he sent a
messenger to his father to ask what he was to do
next. Tarquin was walking through a cornfield. He
made no answer in words, but with a switch cut off the
heads of all the poppies and taller stalks of corn, and
bade the messenger tell Sextus what he had seen.
Sextus understood, and contrived to get all the chief
men of Gabii exiled or put to death, and without them
the city fell an easy prey to the Romans.
Tarquin sent his two younger sons and their cousin
to consult the oracle at Delphi, and with them went
Lucius Junius, who was called Brutus because he was
supposed to be foolish, that being the meaning of the


48 Stories of Roman History.

word; but his folly was only put on, because he feared
the jealousy of his cousins. After doing their father's
errand, the two Tarquins asked who should rule Rome
after their father. He," said the priestess, who
shall first kiss his mother on his return." The two
brothers agreed that they would keep this a secret
from their elder brother Sextus, and, as soon as they
reached home, both of them rushed into the women's
rooms, racing each to be the first to embrace their
mother Tullia; but at the very entrance of Rome
Brutus pretended to slip, threw himself on the ground
and kissed his Mother Earth, having thus guessed the
right meaning of the answer.
He waited patiently, however, and still was thought
a fool when the army went out to besiege the city of
Ardea; and while the troops were encamped round it,
some of the young patricians began to dispute which
had the best wife. They agreed to put it to the test
by galloping late in the evening to look in at their
homes and see what their wives were about. Some
were idling, some were visiting, some were scolding,
some were dressing, some were asleep; but at Collatia,
the farm of another of the Tarquin family, thence
called Collatinus, they found his beautiful wife Lucretia
among her maidens spinning the wool of the flocks.
All agreed that she was the best of wives; but the


The Driving out of the Tarquins. 49

wicked Sextus Tarquin only wanted to steal her from
her husband, and, going by night to Collatia, tried to
make her desert her lord, and when she would not
listen to him he ill-treated her cruelly, and told her

-- _=- _

21-0- --. _

-- --- --
S _I-I--r _ Z - ---- ,.


that he should accuse her to her husband. She was
so overwhelmed with grief and shame that in the
morning she sent for her father and husband, told
them all that had happened, and saying that she could

50 Stories of Roman History.

not bear life after being so put to shame, she drew out
a dagger and stabbed herself before their eyes-think-
ing, as all these heathen Romans did, that it was better
to die by one's own hand than to live in disgrace.
Lucius Brutus had gone to Collatia with his cousin,
and while Collatinus and his father-in-law stood
horror-struck, he called to them to revenge this crime.
Snatching the dagger from Lucretia's breast, he galloped
to Rome, called the people together in the Forum, and,
holding up the bloody weapon in his hand, he made
them a speech, asking whether they would any longer
endure such a family of tyrants. They all rose as one
man, and choosing Brutus himself and Collatinus to be
their leaders, as the consuls whom Servius Tullus had
thought of making, they shut the gates of Rome, and
would not open them when Tarquin and his sons would
have returned. So ended the kingdom of Rome.



Y ROM the time of the flight of the Tarquins, Rome
was governed by two consuls, who wore all the
tokens of royalty except the crown. Tarquin fled
into Etruria, whence his grandfather had come, and
thence tried to obtain admission into Rome. The two
young sons of Brutus and the nephews of Collatinus
were drawn into a plot for bringing them back again,
and on its discovery were brought before the two
consuls. Their guilt was proved, and their father
sternly asked what they had to say in their defence.
They only wept, and so did Collatinus and many of
the senators, crying out, Banish them, banish them."
Brutus, however, as if unmoved, bade the executioners
do their office. The whole Senate shrieked to hear
a father thus condemn his own children, but he was
resolute, and actually looked on while the young men
were first scourged and then beheaded.
Collatinus put off the further judgment in hopes to

52 Stories of Roman History.

save his nephews, and Brutus told them that he had
put them to death by his own power as a father, but
that he left the rest to the voice of the people, and
they were sent into banishment. Even Collatinus was
thought to have acted weakly, and was sent into exile
-so determined were the Romans to have no one
among them who would not uphold their decrees to
the utmost. Tarquin advanced to the walls and cut
down all the growing corn around the Campus Martius
and threw it into the Tiber; there it formed a heap
round which an island was afterwards formed. Brutus
himself and his cousin Aruns Tarquin soon after killed
one another in single combat in a battle outside the
walls, and all the women of Rome mourned for him as
for a father.
Tarquin found a friend in the Etruscan king called
Lars Porsena, who brought an army to besiege Rome
and restore him to the throne. He advanced towards
the gate called Janiculum upon the Tiber, and drove
the Romans out of the fort on the other side the river.
The Romans then retreated across the bridge, placing
three men to guard it until all should be gone over
and it could be broken down.
There stood the brave three-Horatiu& Lartius, and
Herminius-guarding the bridge while their fellow-
citizens were fleeing across it, three men against a

The WIar witd Porsena. 53

S7- )

i i


54 Stories of Roman History.

whole army. At last the weapons of Lartius and
Herminius were broken down, and Horatius bade
them hasten over the bridge while it could still bear
their weight. He himself fought on till he was
wounded in the thigh, and the last timbers of the
bridge were falling into the stream. Then, spreading
out his arms, he called upon Father Tiber to receive
him, leapt into the river and swam across amid a
shower of arrows, one of which put out his eye, and
he was lame for life. A statue of him "halting on
his thigh" was set up in the temple of Vulcan,
and he was rewarded with as much land as one
yoke of oxen could plough in a day, and the 300,000
citizens of Rome each gave him a day's provision
of corn.
Porsena then blockaded the city, and when the
Romans were nearly starving he sent them word that
he would give them food if they would receive their
old masters; but they made answer that hunger was
better than slavery, and still held out. In the midst
of their distress, a young man named Caius Mucius
came and begged leave of the consuls to cross the
Tiber and go to attempt something to deliver his
country. They gave leave, and creeping through the
Etruscan camp he came into the king's tent just as
Porsena was watching his troops pass by in full order.

The W ar with Porsena. 55

One of his counsellors was sitting beside him so richly
dressed that Mucius did not know which was king, and,
leaping towards them, he stabbed the counsellor to
the heart. He was seized at once and dragged before
the king, who fiercely asked who he was, and what
he meant by such a crime. The young man answered
that his name was Caius Mucius, and that he was
ready to do and dare anything for Rome. In answer
to threats of torture, he quietly stretched out his right
hand and thrust it into the flame that burnt in a
brazier close by, holding it there without a sign of
pain, while he bade Porsena see what a Roman
thought of suffering.
Porsena was so struck that he at once gave the
daring man his life, his freedom, and even his dagger;
and Mucius then told him that three hundred youths
like himself had sworn to have his life unless he left
Rome to her liberty. This was false, but both the lie
and the murder were for Rome's sake; they were both
admired by the Romans, who held that the welfare of
their city was their very first duty. Mucius could
never use his right hand again, and was always called
Scevola, or the Left-handed, a name that went on to
his family.
Porsena believed the story, and began to make
peace. A truce was agreed on, and ten Roman

56 Stories of Roman History.

~ liiiiII

0 V1111 I -7-)

1~ 'i ThF 0IU ~ J I



The War with Porsena. 57

youths and as many girls were given up to the
Etruscans as hostages. While the conferences were
going on, one of the Roman girls named Clelia forgot
her duty so much as to swim home across the river
with all her companions; but Valeria, the consul's
daughter, was received with all the anger that breach
of trust deserved, and her father mounted his horse
at once to take the party back again. Just as they
reached the Etruscan camp, the Tarquin father and
brothers, and a whole troop of the enemy, fell on them.
While the consul was fighting against a terrible force,
Valeria dashed on into the camp and called out
Porsena and his son. They, much grieved that the
truce should have been broken, drove back their own
men, and were so angry with the Tarquins as to give
up their cause. He asked which of the girls had con-
trived the escape, and when Clelia confessed it was
herself, he made her a present of a fine horse and its
trappings, which she little deserved.
This Valerius was called Publicola, or the people's
friend. He died a year or two later, after so many
victories that the Romans honoured' him among their
greatest heroes. Tarquin still continued to seek
support among the different Italian nations, and again
attacked the Romans with the help of the Latins.
The chief battle was fought close to Lake Regillus;

58 Stories of Roman History.

Aulus Posthumius was the commander, but Marcus
Valerius, brother to Publicola, was general of the horse.
He had vowed to build a temple to Castor and Pollux
if the Romans gained the victory; and in the beginning
of the fight, two glorious youths of god-like stature
appeared on horseback at the head of the Roman
horse and fought for them. It was a very hard-fought
battle. Valerius was killed, but so was Titus Tarquin,
and the Latin force was entirely broken and routed.
That same evening the two youths rode into the
Forum, their horses dripping with sweat and their
weapons bloody. They drew up and washed them-
selves at a fountain near the temple of Vesta, and as
the people crowded round they told of the great
victory, and while one man named Domitius doubted
of it, since the Lake Regillus was too far off for tidings
to have come so fast, one of them laid his hand on the
doubter's beard and changed it in a moment from black
to copper colour, so that he came to be called Domitius
Ahenobarbus, or Brazen-beard. Then they disappeared,
and the next morning Posthumius' messenger brought
the news. The Romans had no doubt that these were
indeed the glorious twins, and built their temple, as
Valerius had vowed.
Tarquin had lost all his sons, and died in wretched
exile at Cumae. And here ends what is looked

The War withZ Porsena. 59

on as the legendary history of Rome, for though
most of these stories have dates, and some sound
possible, there is so much that is plainly untrue
mixed up with them, that they can only be looked
on- as the old stories which were handed down to
account for the Roman customs and copied by their



0O far as true history can guess, the Romans really
did once have kings and drove them out, but there
are signs that, though Porsena was a real king, the war
was not so honourable to the Romans as they said, for
he took the city and made them give up all their
weapons to him, leaving them nothing but their tools
for husbandry. But they liked to forget their mis-
The older Roman families were called patricians,
or fathers, and thought all rights to govern belonged
to them. Settlers who came in later were called
plebeians, or the people, and at first had no rights at
all, for all the land belonged to the patricians, and the
only way for the plebeians to get anything done for
them was to become hangers-on-or, as they called it,
clients-of some patrician who took care of their
interests. There was a council of patricians called the

The Roman Government. 61

Senate, chosen among themselves, and also containing
by right all who had been chief magistrates. The whole
assembly of the patricians was called the Comitia.
They, as has been said before, fought on horseback,
while the plebeians fought on foot; but out of the
rich plebeians a body was formed called the knights,
who also used horses, and wore gold rings like the
But the plebeians were always trying not to be left
out of everything. By and by, they said under Servius
Tullius, the city was divided into six quarters, and all
the families living in them into six tribes, each of
which had a tribune to watch over it, bring up the
number of its men, and lead them to battle. Another
division of the citizens, both patrician and plebeian,
was made every five years. They were all counted
and numbered and divided off into centuries according
to their wealth. Then these centuries, or hundreds, had
votes, by the persons they chose, when it was a question
of peace or war. Their meeting was called the Comitia;
but as there were more patrician centuries than plebeian
ones, the patricians still had much more power. Besides,
the Senate and all the magistrates were in those days
always patricians. These magistrates were chosen
every year. There were two consuls, who were like
kings for the time, only that they wore no crowns;

62 Stories of Roman History.

they had purple robes, and sat in chairs ornamented
with ivory, and they were always attended by lictors,
who carried bundles of rods tied round an axe-the
first for scourging, the second for beheading. There
were under them two pretors, or judges, who tried
offences; two quaestors, who attended to the public
buildings; and two censors, who had to look after the
numbering and registering of the people in their tribes
and centuries. The consuls in general commanded
the army, but sometimes, when there was a great need,
one single leader was chosen, and was called dictator.
Sometimes a dictator was chosen merely to fulfil an
omen, by driving a nail into the head of the great
statue of Jupiter in the Capitol. Besides these, all
the priests had to be patricians; the chief of all was
called Pontifex Maximus. Some say this was be-
cause he was the fax (maker) of ponies (bridges),
as he blessed them and decided by omens where they
should be; but others think the word was Pompifex,
and that he was the maker of pomps or ceremonies.
There were many priests as well as augurs, who
had to draw omens from the flight of birds or the
appearance of sacrifices, and who kept the account
of the calendar of lucky and unlucky days, and of
The Romans were a grave religious people in those

The Roman Government. 63

days, ana did not count their lives or their affections
dear in comparison with their duties to their altars and
their hearths, though their notions of duty do not always
agree with ours. Their dress in the city was a white
woollen garment edged with purple-it must have
been more like in shape to a Scottish plaid than any-
thing else-and was wrapped round so as to leave one
arm free; sometimes a fold was drawn over the head.
No one might wear it but a free-born Roman, and he
never went out on public business without it, even
when more convenient fashions had been copied from
Greece. Those who were asking votes for a public
office wore it white (candidus), and therefore were
called candidates. The consuls had it on great days
entirely purple and embroidered, and all senators and
ex-magistrates had broader borders of purple. The
ladies wore a long graceful wrapping-gown; the boys
a short tunic, and round their necks was hung a hollow
golden ball called a bulla, or bubble. When a boy
was seventeen, there was a great family sacrifice to the
Lares and the forefathers, his bulla was taken off, the
toga was put on, and he was enrolled by his own
praenomen, Caius or Lucius, or whatever it might be,
for there was only a choice of fifteen. After this he
was liable to be called out to fight. A certain number
of men were chosen from each tribe by the tribune.



3C N

II1 (t

C 3

The Roman Government. 65

lego, to chose. In later times the proper number for a
legion was 600o men. Each legion had a standard, a
bar across the top of the spear, with the letters on it
S P Q R-Senatus, Populus Que Romanus-meaning
the Roman Senate and People, a purple flag below
and a figure above, such as an eagle, or the wolf and
twins, or some emblem dear to the Romans. The
legions were on foot, but the troops of patricians and
knights on horseback were attached to them and had
to protect them.
The Romans had in these days very small riches,
they held in.general small farms in the country, which
they worked themselves with the help of their sons
and slaves. The plebeians were often the richest.
They too held farms leased to them by the state, and
had often small shops in Rome. The whole territory
was so small that it was easy to come into Rome to
worship, attend the Senate, or vote, and many had no
houses in the city. Each man was married with a
ring and a sacrifice, and the lady was then carried over
the threshold, on which a sheepskin was spread, and
made mistress of the house by being bidden to be Caia
to Caius. The Roman matrons were good and noble
women in those days, and the highest praise of them
was held to be Domum mansit, lanamfecit-she stayed
at home and spun wool. Each man was absolute

66 Stories of Roman. History.

master in his own house, and had full power over
his grown-up sons, even for life or death, and
they almost always submitted entirely. For what
made the Romans so great was that they were
not only brave, but they were perfectly obedient,
and obeyed as perfectly as they could their fathers,
their officers, their magistrates, and, as they thought,
their gods.


B.C. 494.
A GREAT deal of the history
of Rome consists of struggles
between the patricians and
plebeians. In those early days
the plebeians were often poor,
and when they wanted to im-
prove their lands they had to
borrow money from the patri-
__ cians, who not only had larger
S-=is lands, but, as they were the
TARPEIAN ROCK. officers in war, got a larger
share of the spoil. The Roman law was hard on a
man in debt. His lands might be seized, he might
be thrown into prison or sold into slavery with his
wife and children, or, if the creditors liked, be cut to
pieces so that each might take his share.
One of these debtors, a man who was famous for his
bravery as a centurion, broke out of his prison and
ran into the Forum, all in rags and with chains still

68 Stories of Roman History.

hanging to his hands and feet, showing them to his
fellow-citizens, and asking if this was just usage of a
man who had done no crime. They were very angry,
and the more because one of the consuls, Appius
Claudius, was known to be very harsh, proud, and
cruel, as indeed were all his family. The Volscians, a
tribe often at war with them, broke into their lands at
the same time, and the Romans were called to arms,
but the plebeians refused to march until their wrongs
were redressed. On this the other consul, Servilius,
promised that a law should be made against keeping
citizens in prison for debt or making slaves of their
children; and thereupon the army assembled, marched
against the enemy, and defeated them, giving up all
the spoil to his troops. But the senate, when the
danger was over, would not keep its promises, and
even appointed a Dictator to put the plebeians down.
Thereupon they assembled outside the walls in a
strong force, and were going to attack the patricians,
when the wise old Menenius Agrippa was sent out to
try to pacify them. He told them a fable, namely,
that once upon a time all the limbs of a man's body
became disgusted with the service they had to render
to the belly. The feet and legs carried it about, the
hands worked for it and carried food to it, the mouth
ate for it, and so on. They thought it hard thus all to

Menenius AgriffPa's Fable. 69

toil for it, and agreed to do nothing for it-neither to
carry it about, clothe it, nor feed it. But soon all
found themselves growing weak and starved, and
were obliged to own that all would perish together
unless they went on waiting on this seemingly useless
belly. So Agrippa told them that all ranks and states
depended on one another, and unless all worked
together all must be confusion and go to decay. The
fable seems to have convinced both rich and poor; the
debtors were set free and the debts forgiven. And
though the laws about debts do not seem to have
been changed, another law was made which gave the
plebeians tribunes in peace as well as war. These
tribunes were always to be plebeians, chosen by their
own fellows. No one was allowed to hurt them during
their year of office, on pain of being declared accursed
and losing his property; and they had the power of
stopping any decision of the senate by saying solemnly,
Veto, I forbid. They were called tribunes of the
people, while the officers in war were called military
tribunes; and as it was on the Mons Sacer, or Sacred
Mount, that this was settled, these laws were called the
Leges Sacrarie. An altar to the Thundering Jupiter
was built to consecrate them; and, in gratitude for his
management, Menenius Agrippa was highly honoured
all his life, and at his death had a public funeral.

70 Stories of Roman History.

But the struggles of the plebeians against the
patricians were not by any means over. The Roman
land-Agri (acre), it was called-had at first been
divided in equal shares-at least so it was said-but

F f I

as belonging to the state all the time, and only held
by the occupier. As time went on, some persons of
course gathered more into their own hands, and others
of spendthrift or unfortunate families became destitute.
Then there was an outcry that, as the lands belonged

Menenius Agrippa's Fable. 71

to the whole state, it ought to take them all back and
divide them again more equally; but the patricians
naturally regarded themselves as the owners, and
would not hear of this scheme, which we shall hear of
again and again by the name of the Agrarian Law.
One of the patricians, who had thrice been consul, by
name Spurius Cassius, did all he could to bring it
about, but though the law was passed he could not
succeed in getting it carried out. The patricians
hated him, and a report got abroad that he was only
gaining favour with the people in order to get himself
made king. This made even the plebeians turn against
him as a. traitor; he was condemned by the whole
assembly of the people, and beheaded, after being
scourged by the lictors. The people soon mourned
for their friend, and felt that they had been deceived
in giving him up to their enemies. The senate would
not execute his law, and the plebeians would not enlist
in the next war, though the senate threatened to cut
down the fruit trees and destroy the crops of every man
who refused to join the army. When they were absol-
utely driven into the ranks, they even refused to draw
their swords in face of the enemy, and would not gain a
victory lest their consul should have the honour of it.
This consul's name was Keso Fabius. He belonged
to a very clever wary family, whose name it was said

72 Stories of Roman History.

was originally Foveus (ditch), because they had first
devised a plan of snaring wolves in pits or ditches.
They were thought such excellent defenders of the
claims of the patricians that for seven years following
one or other of the Fabii was chosen consul. But
by-and-by they began either to see that the plebeians
had rights, or that they should do best by siding with
them, for they went over to them; and when Kaso
next was consul he did all he could to get the laws of
Cassius carried out, but the senate were furious with
him, and he found it was not safe to stay in Rome
when his consulate was over. So he resolved at any
rate to do good to his country. The Etruscans often
came over the border and ravaged the country; but
there was a watch-tower on the banks of the little river
Cremera, which flows into the Tiber, and Fabius
offered, with all the men of his name-306 in number,
and 4000 clients-to keep guard there against the
enemy. For some time they prospered there, and
gained much spoil from the Etruscans; but at last
the whole Etruscan army came against them, showing
only a small number at first to tempt them out to fight,
then falling on them with the whole force and killing
the whole of them, so that of the whole name there
remained only one boy of fourteen who had been left
behind at Rome. And, what was worse, the consul,

Menenius Agripfpa's Fable. 73

Titus Menenius, was so near with the army that he
could have saved the Fabii, but for the hatred the
patricians bore them as deserters from their cause.
However, the tribune Publilius gained for the
plebeians that there should be five tribunes instead of
two, and made a change in the manner of electing
them which prevented the patricians from interfering.
Also it was decreed that to interrupt a tribune in a
public speech deserved death. But whenever an
Appius Claudius was consul he took his revenge, and
was cruelly severe, especially in the camp, where the
consul as general had much more power than in Rome.
Again the angry plebeians would not fight, but threw
down their arms in sight of the enemy. Claudius
scourged and beheaded; they endured grimly and
silently, knowing that when he returned to Rome and
his consulate was over their tribunes would call him
to account. And so they did, and before all the tribes
of Rome summoned him to answer for his savage
treatment of free Roman citizens. He made a violent
answer, but he saw how it would go with him, and put
himself to death to avoid the sentence. So were the
Romans proving again and again the truth of Agrippa's
parable, that nothing can go well with body or members
unless each will be ready to serve the other.

B.C. 458.
A LL the time these struggles were going on between
the patricians and the plebeians at home, there
were wars with the neighboring tribes, the Volscians,
the Veians, the Latins, and the Etruscans. Every
spring the fighting men went out, attacked their
neighbours, drove off their cattle, and tried to take
some town; then fought a battle, and went home to
reap the harvest, gather the grapes and olives in the
autumn, and attend to public business and vote for
the magistrates in the winter. They were small
wars, but famous men fought in them. In a war
against the Volscians, when Cominius was consul, he
was besieging a city called Corioli, when news came
that the men of Antium were marching against him,
and in their first attack on the walls the Romans were
beaten off, but a gallant young patrician, descended
from the king Ancus Marcius, Caius Marcius by name,
*------------ ------..----____-i

Coriolanus and Cincinnatus. 75

rallied them and led them back with such spirit that
the place was taken before the hostile army came up;
then he fought among the foremost and gained the
victory. When he was brought to the consul's tent
covered with wounds, Corinius did all he could to
show his gratitude-set on the young man's head the
crown of victory, gave him the surname of Coriolanus
in honour of his exploits, and granted him the tenth
part of the spoil and ten prisoners. Of them, how-
ever, Coriolanus only accepted one, an old friend of
his family, whom he set at liberty at once. After-
wards, when there was a great famine in Rome,
Coriolanus led an expedition to Antium, and brought
away quantities of corn and cattle, which he distributed
freely, keeping none for himself.
But though he was so free of hand, Coriolanus was
a proud, shy man, who would not make friends with
plebeians, and whom the tribunes hated as much as
he despised them. He was elected consul, and the
tribunes refused to permit him to become one; and
when a shipload of wheat arrived from Sicily, there
was a fierce quarrel as to how it should be distributed.
The tribunes impeached him before the people for
withholding it from them, and by the vote of the large
number of citizens he was banished from Roman lands.
His anger was great, but quiet. He went without a

76 Stories of Roman History.

word away from the Forum to his house, where he took
leave of his mother Veturia, his wife Volumnia, and his
little children, and then went and placed himself by the
hearth of Tullus the Volscian chief, in whose army he
meant to fight to revenge himself upon his countrymen.
Together they advanced upon the Roman territory,
and after ravaging the country threatened to besiege
Rome. Men of rank came out and entreated him to
give up this wicked and cruel vengeance, and to have
pity on his friends and native city; but he answered
that the Volscians were now his nation, and nothing
would move him. At last, however, all the women of
Rome came forth, headed by his mother Veturia and
his wife Volumnia, each with a little child, and Veturia
entreated and commanded her son in the most touching
manner to change his purpose and cease to ruin his
country, begging him, if he meant to destroy Rome, to
begin by slaying her. She threw herself at his feet
as she spoke, and his hard spirit gave way. "Ah!
mother, what is it you do ?" he cried as he lifted her
up. Thou hast saved Rome, but lost thy son."
And so it proved, for when he had broken up his
camp and returned to the Volscian territory till the
senate should recall him as they promised, Tullus,
angry and disappointed, stirred up a tumult, and he
was killed by the people before he could be sent for to

Coriolanus and Cincinnatus. 77

Rome. A temple to "Women's Good Speed" was
raised on the spot where Veturia knelt to him.
Another very proud patrician family was the
Quinctian. The father, Lucius Quinctius, was called
Cincinnatus, from his long flowing curls of hair. He
was the ablest man among the Romans, but stern
and grave, and his eldest son Kaeso was charged by
the tribunes with a murder and fled the country.
Soon after there was a great inroad of the AEqui and
Volscians, and the Romans found themselves in great
danger. They saw no one could save them but
Cincinnatus, so they met in haste and chose him
Dictator, though he was not present. Messengers
were sent to his little farm on the Tiber, and there
they found him holding the stilts of the plough.
When they told their errand, he turned to his wife,
who was helping him, and said, Racilia, fetch me my
toga;" then he washed his face and hands, and was
saluted as Dictator. A boat was ready to take him
to Rome, and, as he landed, he was met by the four-
and-twenty lictors belonging to the two consuls and
escorted to his dwelling. In the morning he named
as general of the cavalry Lucius Tarquitius, a brave
old patrician who had become too poor even to keep a
horse. Marchingo out at the head of all the men who
could bear arms, he thoroughly routed the iEqui, and

78 Stories of Roman History.

then resigned his dictatorship at the end of sixteen
days. Nor would he accept any of the spoil, but went
back to his plough, his only reward being that his son
was forgiven and recalled from banishment.
These are the grand old stories that came down
from old time, but how much is true no one can tell,

and there is reason to think that, though the leaders
like Cincinnatus and Coriolanus might be brave, the
Romans were really pressed hard by the Volscians
and IEqui, and lost a good deal of ground, though they
were too proud to own it. No wonder, while the two
orders of the state were always pulling different ways.
However, the tribune Icilius succeeded in the year

Coriolanus and Cincinnatus. 79

454 in getting the Aventine Hill granted to the
plebeians; and they had another champion called
Lucius Sicinius Dentatus, who was so brave that he
was called the Roman Achilles. He had received no

"_ i ----2 "- '--

less than forty-five wounds in different fights before he
was fifty-eight years old, and had had fourteen civic
crowns. For the Romans gave an oak-leaf wreath,
which they called a civic crown, to a man who saved the


80 Stories of Roman History.

life of a fellow-citizen, and a mural crown to him who
first scaled the walls of a besieged city. And when a
consul had gained a great victory, he had what was
called a triumph. He was drawn in his chariot into
the city, his victorious troops marching before him with
their spears waving with laurel boughs, a wreath of
laurel was on his head, his little children sat with him
in the chariot, and the spoil of the enemy was car-
ried along. All the people decked their houses and
came forth rejoicing in holiday array, while he pro-
ceeded to the Capitol to sacrifice an ox to Jupiter
there. His chief prisoners walked behind his car in
chains, and at the moment of his sacrifice they were
taken to a cell below the Capitol and there put to
death, for the Roman was cruel in his joy. Nothing
was more desired than such a triumph; but such was
often the hatred between the plebeians and the
patricians, that sometimes the plebeian army would
stop short in the middle of a victorious campaign to
hinder their consul from having a triumph. Even
Sicinius is said once to have acted thus, and it began
to be plain that Rome must fall if it continued to be
thus divided against itself.


B.C. 450.
THE Romans began to see what mischiefs their
quarrels did, and they agreed to send three of
their best and wisest men to Greece to study the laws
of Solon at Athens, and report whether any of them
could be put in force'at Rome.
To get the new code of laws which they brought
home put in working order, it was agreed for the time
to have no consuls, praetors, nor tribunes, but ten
governors, perhaps in imitation of the nine Athenian
archons. They were called Decemvirs (decem, ten;
vir, a man), and at their head was Lucius Appius
Claudius, the grandson of him who had killed himself
to avoid being condemned for his harshness. At first
they governed well, and a very good set of laws was
drawn up, which the Romans called the Laws of the
Ten Tables; but Appius soon began to give way to the
pride of his nature, and made himself hated. There

82 Stories of Roman History.

was a war with the IEqui, in which the Romans were
beaten. Old Sicinius Dentatus said it was owing to
bad management, and, as he had been in one hundred
and twenty battles, everybody believed him. There-
upon Appius Claudius sent for him, begged for his
advice, and asked him to join the army that he might
assist the commanders. They received him warmly,
and, when he advised them to move their camp, asked
him to go and choose a place, and sent a guard with
him of one hundred men. But these were really
wretches instructed to kill him, and as soon as he was
in a narrow rocky pass they set upon him. The brave
old warrior set his back against a rock and fought so
fiercely that he killed many, and the rest durst not
come near him, but climbed up the rock and crushed
him with stones rolled down on his head. Then they
went back with a story that they had been attacked by
the enemy, which was believed, till a party went out
to bury the dead, and found there were only Roman
corpses all lying round the crushed body of Sicinius,
and that none were stripped of their armour or
clothes. Then the true history was found out, but
the Decemvirs sheltered the commanders, and would
believe nothing against them.
Appius Claudius soon after did what horrified all
honest men even more than this treachery to the

The Decemvirs. 83


1 ... '

SI10 NI I r j I


brave old soldier. The Forum was not only the place
of public assembly for state affairs, but the regular
market-place, where there were stalls and booths for

84 Stories of Roman History.

all the wares that Romans dealt in-meat stalls, wool
shops, stalls where wine was sold in earthenware jars
or leather bottles, and even booths where reading
and writing was taught to boys and girls, who would
learn by tracing letters on the sand, and then by
writing them with an iron pen on a waxen table in a
frame, or with a reed upon parchment. The children
of each family came escorted by a slave-the girls by
their nurse, the boys by one called a pedagogue.
Appius, when going to his judgment-seat across the
Forum, saw at one of these schools a girl of fifteen
reading her lesson. She was so lovely that he asked
her nurse who she was, and heard that her name was
Virginia, and that she was the daughter of an honour-
able plebeian and brave centurion named Virginius,
who was absent with the army fighting with the AEqui,
and that she was to marry a young man named Icilius
as soon as the campaign was over. Appius would
gladly have married her himself, but there was a
patrician law against wedding plebeians, and he
wickedly determined that if he could not have her for
his wife he would have her for his slave.
There was one of his clients named Marcus Claudius,
whom he paid to get up a story that Virginius' wife
Numitoria, who was dead, had never had any child at
all, but had bought a baby of one of his slaves and

The Decemvirs. 85

had deceived her husband with it, and thus that poor
Virginia was really his slave. As the maiden was
reading at her school, this wretch and a band of fellows
like him seized upon her, declaring that she was his
property, and that he would carry her off. There was
a great uproar, and she was dragged as far as Appius'
judgment-seat; but by that time her faithful nurse had
called the poor girl's uncle Numitorius, who could
answer for it that she was really his sister's child.
But Appius would not listen to him, and all that he
could gain was that judgment should not be given in
the matter until Virginius should have been fetched
from the camp.
Virginius had set out from the camp with Icilius
before the messengers of Appius had reached the
generals with orders to stop him, and he came to the
Forum leading his daughter by the hand, weeping, and
attended by a great many ladies. Claudius brought
his slave, who made false oath that she had sold her
child to Numitoria; while, on the other hand, all the
kindred of Virginius and his wife gave such proof of
the contrary as any honest judge would have thought
sufficient, but Appius chose to declare that the truth
was with his client. There was a great murmur of all
the people, but he frowned at them, and told them he
knew of their meetings, and that there were soldiers in

86 Stories of Roman History.

the Capitol ready to punish them, so they must stand
back and not hinder a master from recovering his slave.
Virginius took his poor daughter in his arms as if to
give her a last embrace, and drew her close to the stall
of a butcher where lay a great knife. He wiped her
tears, kissed her, and saying, My own dear little girl,

there is no way but this," he snatched up the knife and
plunged it into her heart, then drawing it out he cried,
",By this blood, Appius, I devote thy blood to the
infernal gods.
He could not reach Appius, but the lictors could not
r'~Li~ 'v +"?', ,-,' ,-,,I I, (" /7",( ,

~=B---L-+ ---L
,. th/r ,/ ,...btths"h nace pth nf n

The Decemvirs. 87

seize him, and he mounted his horse and galloped back
to the army, four hundred men following him, and he
arrived, still holding the knife. Every soldier who
heard the story resolved no longer to bear with the
Decemvirs, but to march back to the city at once and
insist on the old government being restored. The
Decemvir generals tried to stop them, but they only
answered, "We are men with swords in our hands."
At the same time there was such a tumult in the city,
that Appius was forced to hide himself in his own
house while Virginia's corpse was carried on a bier
through the streets, and every one laid garlands, scarfs,
and wreaths of their own hair upon it. When the
troops arrived, they and the people joined in demand-
ing that the Decemvirs should be given up to them to
be burnt alive, and that the old magistrates should be
restored. However, two patricians, Lucius Valerius
and Marcus Horatius, were able so to arrange matters
that the nine comparatively innocent Decemvirs were
allowed to depose themselves, and Appius only was
sent to prison, where he killed himself rather than face
the trial that awaited him. The new code of laws,
however, remained, but consuls, praetors, tribunes, and
all the rest of the magistrates were restored, and in the
year 445 a law was passed which enabled patricians
and plebeians to intermarry.


B.C. 390.

T HE wars with the Etruscans went on, and chiefly
with the city of Veil, which stood on a hill twelve
miles from Rome, and was altogether thirty years at
war with it. At last the Romans made up their minds
that, instead of going home every harvest-time to
gather in their crops, they must watch the city con-
stantly till they could take it, and thus, as the besiegers
were unable to do their own work, pay was raised for
them to enable them to get it done, and this was the
beginning of paying armies.
The siege of Veii lasted ten years, and during the
last the Alban lake filled to an unusual height, although
the summer was very dry. One of the Veian soldiers
cried out to the Romans half in jest, "You will never
take Veil till the Alban lake is dry." It turned out
that there was an old tradition that Veii should fall

Camillus' Banishment. 89

when the lake was drained. On this the senate sent
orders to have canals dug to carry the waters to the
sea, and these still remain. Still Veii held out, and to
finish the war a dictator was appointed, Marcus Furius
Camillus, who chose for his second in command a man
of one of the most virtuous families in Rome, as their
surname testified, Publius Cornelius, called Scipio, or


;,-J- -\Sii5_ _-

the Staff, because either he or one of his forefathers
had been the staff of his father's old age. Camillus
took the city by assault, with an immense quantity of
spoil, which was divided among the soldiers.
Camillus in his pride took to himself at his triumph

90 Stories of Roman History.

honours that had hitherto only been paid to the gods.
He had his face painted with vermilion and his car
drawn by milk-white horses. This shocked the people,
and he gave greater offence by declaring that he had
vowed a tenth part of the spoil to Apollo, but had
forgotten it in the division of the plunder, and now
must take it again. The soldiers would not consent,
but, lest the god should be angry with them, it was
resolved to send a gold vase to his oracle at Delphi.
All the women of Rome brought their jewels, and
the senate rewarded them by a decree that funeral
speeches might be made over their graves as over
those of men, and likewise that they might be driven
in chariots to the public games.
Camillus commanded in another war with the Falisci,
also an Etruscan race, and laid siege to their city.
The sons of almost all the chief families were in charge
of a sort of schoolmaster, who taught them both read-
ing and all kinds of exercises. One day this man,
pretending to take the boys out walking, led them all
into the enemy's camp, to the tent of Camillus, where
he told that he brought them all, and with them the
place, since the Romans had only to threaten their
lives to make their fathers deliver up the city.
Camillus, however, was so shocked at such perfidy,
that he immediately bade the lictors strip the fellow

Camillus' Banishment. 91

instantly, and give the boys rods with which to
scourge him back into the town. Their fathers were
so grateful that they made peace at once, and about
the same time the /Equi were also conquered; and
the commons and open lands belonging to Veii being
divided, so that each Roman freeman had six acres, the
plebeians were contented for the time.
The truth seems to have been that these Etruscan
nations were weakened by a great new nation coming
on them from the North. They were what the
Romans called Galli or Gauls, one of the great races
of the old stock which has always been finding its way
westward into Europe, and they had their home north
of the Alps, but they were always pressing on and on,
and had long since made settlements in northern Italy.
They were in clans, each obedient to one chief as a
father, and joining together in one brotherhood. They
had lands to which whole families had a common right,
and when their numbers outgrew what the land could
maintain, the bolder ones would set off with their
wives, children, and cattle to find new homes. The
Greeks and Romans themselves had begun first in the
same way, and their tribes, and the claims of all to the
common land, were the remains of the old way; but
they had been settled in cities so long that this had
been forgotten, and they were very different people
I ______________________J

92 Stories of Roman History.

from the wild men who spoke what we call Welsh,
and wore checked tartan trews and plaids, with gold

,----- ----

-, ._- . - .



Camillus' Banishment. 93

collars round their necks, round shields, huge broad-
swords, and their red or black hair long and shaggy.
The Romans knew little or nothing about what passed
beyond their own Apennines, and went on with their
own quarrels. Camillus was accused of having taken
more than his proper share of the spoil of Veii, in
especial a brass door from a temple. His friends
offered to pay any fine that might be laid on him, but
he was too proud to stand his trial, and chose rather to
leave Rome. As he passed the gates, he turned round
and called upon the gods to bring Rome to speedy
repentance for having driven him away.
Even then the Gguls were in the midst of a war
with Clusium, the city of Porsena, and the inhabitants
sent to beg the help of the Romans, and the senate
sent three young brothers of the Fabian family to try
to arrange matters. They met the Gaulish Bran or
chief, whom Latin authors call Brennus, and asked
him what was his quarrel with Clusium or his right to
any part of Etruria. Brennus answered that his right
was his sword, and that all things belonged to the
brave, and that his quarrel with the men of Clusium
was, that though they had more land than they could
till, they would not yield him any. As to the Romans,
they had robbed their neighbours already, and had no
right to find fault.

94 Stories of Roman History.

This put the Fabian brothers in a rage, and they
forgot the caution of their family, as well as those rules
of all nations which forbid an ambassador to fight, and
also forbid his person to be touched by the enemy;
and when the men of Clusium made an attack on the
Gauls they joined in the attack, and Quintus, the
eldest brother, slew one of the chiefs. Brennus, wild
as he was, knew these laws of nations, and in great
anger broke up his siege of Clusium, and, marching
towards Rome, demanded that the Fabii should be
given up to him. Instead of this, the Romans made
them all three military tribunes, and as the Gauls came
nearer the whole army marched out to meet them in
such haste that they did not wait to sacrifice to the
gods nor consult the omens. The tribunes were all
young and hot-headed, and they despised the Gauls;
so out they went to attack them on the banks of the
Allia, only seven and a-half miles from Rome. A
most terrible defeat they had; many fell in the field,
many were killed in the flight, others were drowned in
trying to swim the Tiber, others scattered to Veii and
the other cities, and a few, horror-stricken and wet
through, rushed into Rome with the sad tidings.
There were not men enough left to defend the walls!
The enemy would instantly be upon them! The only
place strong enough to keep them out was the Capitol,
I _______________________

Camillus' Banishment. 95

and that would only hold a few people within it! So
there was nothing for it but flight. The braver, stronger
men shut themselves up in the Capitol; all the rest,
with the women and children, put their most precious
goods into carts and left the city. The Vestal Virgins
carried the sacred fire, and were plodding along in the
heat, when a plebeian named Albinus saw their state,
helped them into his cart, and took them to the city of
Cumse, where they found shelter in a temple. And so
Rome was left to the enemy.


B.C. 390.
OME was left to the enemy, except for the small
garrison in the Capitol and for eighty of the senators,
men too old to flee, who devoted themselves to the
gods to save the rest, and, arraying themselves in their
robes-some as former consuls, some as priests, some
as generals--sat down with their ivory staves in their
hands, in their chairs of state in the Forum, to await
the enemy.
In burst the savage Gauls, roaming all over the city
till they came to the Forum, where they stood amazed
and awe-struck at the sight of the eighty grand old
men motionless in their chairs. At first they looked
at the strange, calm figures as if they were the gods of
the place, until one Gaul, as if desirous of knowing
whether they were flesh and blood or not, stroked the
beard of the nearest. The senator, esteeming this an
insult, struck the man on the face with his staff, and
this was the sign for the slaughter of them all.