Character Sketch Of Tarquinius Superbus

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Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the seventh and last king of Rome, ruled from 534 to 509 BCE after his ascension to the throne by means of murdering his brother-in-law Servius. Tarquinius Superbus, Latin for Tarquinius the Proud, was the son of Rome 's fifth king, the foreigner Lucumo, later named Tarquinius Priscus, who himself was killed by the sons of the king preceding him. Tarquinius Superbus would end his reign in exile after his son Sextus 's transgression against Collantius 's wife Lucretia, giving way to the Roman Republic.
Tarquin, when viewed as a narrative character in Livy 's writing, plays the highly significant role as the last Roman king, rivaling even the importance of the first king, Romulus. While Romulus and his successor Numa
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He is credited with uniting the Latin League under Roman rule and assimilating them into the ranks of the Roman army, and these neighboring Latin communities would grow to be Rome 's most loyal territories outside of Rome itself, refusing to give in to Carthage during the Punic Wars and even allegedly burning their own crops so as not to provide any spoils of war to the enemy. It would seem that, even as Livy uses Tarquin 's story to admonish against arrogance in politics, his patriotism cannot allow him to discount completely any of the Roman kings, especially in their military prowess, for that was one of Rome 's most celebrated areas of expertise, along with their later political system and religious enlightenment. In fact, war has typically been what made leader’s popular to the empire prior to Tarquin; Romulus established Rome’s military existence in the Italian Peninsula as a defensive tactic early on, and from there nearly all of the kings are detailed as having some degree of military success. Livy’s sudden change in opinion when it comes to Tarquin’s wars point his audience to the notion that the time for peace has come and that the whole of Roman history should not be dedicated to warmongering. In his own time, he urges his readers to refrain from violence in order to give way to a peaceful nation once …show more content…
By one account he is said to have only enough gold to lay the foundation to his temple to Jupiter, while he had assumed he had enough to finish the project in it 's entirety (Livy 1.55). He is alleged to have spent public money to finish his temple to Jupiter and, in founding two new colonies, surely the cost of supplies for those plebeians who, though their labor was conscripted, had to eat and drink and incur other expenses while they were traveling, was very high. Here Livy glosses over the issue of funding, focusing instead of what the funds were used for. This he does on multiple other occasions throughout his narrative of the Roman Kingdom, suggesting both that monetary figures were not available and that the actual numbers than dwindled in significance because of their distance in time, and that the works themselves were worth any cost because they were built to attest the glory of Rome. The seemingly endless supply of materials and funding tell the modern reader that these projects were likely not, in reality, actually built, or at least not on such a grandiose scale as is implied. The value of the story lies with its message rather than it 's veritability: that Rome, even from it 's earliest days, was a celebrated power of the Italian Peninsula,

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