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The Seven Kings of Rome


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Title: The Seven Kings of Rome

The Seven Kings of Rome
Roman history is generally divided into three
periods of history
  • Monarchy (a king ruled)
  • Republic (two consuls ruled annually)
  • Empire (typically, one emperor ruled until death)
  • 753 BC 509 BC
  • 509 BC 27 BC
  • 27 BC 476 AD

1 Romulus
  • Romulus was the first king of Rome.
  • After killing Remus, Romulus was in sole power.
    He named the city that he had founded Rome.

  • The first settlement was on the Palatine Hill.
  • The names of other major hills are Capitoline,
    Aventine, Esquiline, Caelian, Viminal, and

  • In later times, the Palatine Hill was populated
    with houses of the wealthy. Our word palatial
    comes from Palatine.

  • After establishing laws and expanding his new
    territory, Romulus realized that a very important
    component to Roman society was missing women.
  • He, therefore, invited Sabine families to the
    Consualia, a festival honoring Neptune.

  • The Romans carried off the Sabine daughters
    (which is often referred to as The Rape of the
    Sabine Women rapio is the Latin word for
    carry off).
  • Although the Sabine families mounted attacks, the
    Romans were too strong and repelled the Sabines

  • After a considerable amount of time (at least
    nine months!), the Sabine daughters, who were now
    Roman wives, asked for a truce between their
    Sabine families and their Roman husbands.

  • While standing in the Campus Martius one day,
    Romulus was taken into the heavens during a
    thunderstorm. He became known as the god

2 Numa Pompilius
  • Numa was a more peaceful ruler than Romulus. His
    advisor (and, by some accounts, his wife) was the
    goddess/nymph Egeria.

  • Numa instituted a lunar calendar (i.e., divided
    into months).

  • Numa founded the cult of Vestal Virgins, who were
    devoted to the goddess Vesta (domain home and
  • Vestal Virgins served for thirty years.

  • Punishment for a minor infraction was beating,
    which typically drew blood. However, if a Vestal
    broke her vow of chastity, she was buried alive
    in a sealed underground chamber.
  • Although given scant sustenance and lamp oil, the
    Vestal would eventually die.

  • The Vestal Virgins were charged with keeping
    Romes eternal flame burning.
  • Romans believed that their city would fall if the
    flame was extinguished.

  • Numa had the Temple of Janus built.
  • Janus was the god of beginnings and endings. Our
    word January is derived from this gods name.

  • Numa had the Temple of Janus built.
  • The temple had two doors. The doors were open
    during wartime. However, they were closed during
    Numas entire reign, thus signifying peace.

Numa coin note NUMA in crown
  • Numa established the office of the Pontifex
    Maximus, or chief priest.

Back of Numa coin Numa about to sacrifice a goat
3 Tullus Hostilius
  • Tullus Hostilius was a bellicose king.
  • He is responsible for the destruction of Alba
    Longa. Do you remember Alba Longa? Ascanius
    founded this city.

  • Tullus Hostilius built the first senate house, or
    curia. His senate house was called the Curia

inside the Curia Iulia (in the Roman
Forum) exterior of Curia Iulia
  • According to legend, Tullus was struck down by
    Jupiters thunderbolt for failing to pay proper
    respect to the gods.
  • Historically, Tullus may have died in a house

4 Ancus Martius
  • Ancus Martius (also known as Ancus Marcius) was
    the grandson of Numa Pompilius.
  • True to his ancestry, Ancus upheld religious

  • Ancus is credited with the building of the
    Mamertine Prison.
  • The prison (carcer) housed inmates until their
  • During the Christian era, Peter and Paul were
    said to have been incarcerated here.

inside Mamertine, upper level
  • The Mamertine is at the foot of the Capitoline
    Hill and near the Forum Romanum.

inside Mamertine, lower level
  • Ancus established a deep-sea port at Ostia (at
    the mouth of the Tiber). This became a major
    port in the ancient world.

  • The Pons Sublicius, the first bridge across the
    Tiber River, was built during Ancus reign.

5 Tarquinius Priscus
  • Ancus Martius was defeated by the Etruscans, a
    people from Etruria.
  • Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, or Tarquin the Elder,
    was the first Etruscan king of Rome.

  • Tarquin the Elder ingratiated himself to Ancus.
    He was so trusted that Ancus appointed Tarquin
    guardian of his children.
  • When Ancus died, Tarquin conveniently arranged to
    send Ancus children out of town. Then, he
    convinced the Romans to elect him as the next

Cloaca Maxima
  • Tarquin the Elder is credited with the
    construction of the Cloaca Maxima, the first
    sewer in Rome.

  • Tarquinius Priscus instituted the Ludi Romani
    (Roman Games). The Circus Maximus was built
    during his reign.

model of Circus Maximus
Circus Maximus today
6 Servius Tullius
  • After Tarquin was reportedly killed by a plot
    managed by Ancus sons, Servius Tullius came to
  • Servius Tullius was a son of one of Tarquins

  • Servius expanded the city and built the Servian
    Wall, which encompassed Rome and its seven hills.

  • Do you see the Servian Wall?

  • Servius was killed by a Tarquin, who was married
    to one of Servius daughters, Tullia.

  • Tullia was so evil that she ran over her fathers
    corpse with her carriage.

7 Tarquinius Superbus
  • Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, or Tarquin the Proud,
    was a tyrant. He was hated and feared by the
    Romans. Even his peers in the senate feared him.

  • During Tarquins reign, a prophetess with the
    Sibylline Books came to him. She claimed that
    the books held Romes destiny, and she offered to
    sell him the nine volumes for a high price.
    Tarquin declined.
  • She burned three of the books and returned to
    sell six books for the original price (of the
    nine). Once again, Tarquin declined, and the
    prophetess departed.

  • The woman came back yet again and offered to sell
    Tarquin three books she had burned three more
    for the original price of nine books. This time,
    Tarquin consulted the senate and purchased these
    three volumes.
  • These books were consulted by appointed
    patricians in times of crisis.

  • Sextus, Tarquins son, was as evil as his father.
    When visiting his cousin Collatinus, Sextus had
    designs on Lucretia, his cousins wife.

  • Sextus was so enamored by Lucretias virtue that
    he went to her bedroom (during her husbands
    absence) and told her he would kill her if she
    did not sleep with him. However, she refused him.

  • After Lucretia refused the evil Sextus, he
    threatened to kill her and a slave and put them
    in bed together. She would not be able to defend
    her honor from the grave.
  • Then, Sextus forced himself upon Lucretia.

  • The next morning, Lucretia told her father, her
    husband Collatinus, and their friend Brutus what
    had happened. Since she felt she had sullied the
    familys reputation, she stabbed herself right
    before their eyes.

  • Lucius Junius Brutus then took the bloody dagger
    from Lucretias body and boldly went forth to the
    Rostra (speakers platform) in the Forum. He
    told the citizens of Sextus crime.
    Consequently, Tarquin the Proud and his family
    were exiled.

  • Since that time, the Romans had a distinct
    dislike of kings. They established a republic in
    509 BC, and Brutus and Collatinus were the first