Scanned text contains errors.
with the year and date of their occurrence. But the great deeds of Servius were deeda of peace; and he was regarded by posterity as the author of all their civil rights and institutions, just as Numa was of their religious rites and ordinances. Three important events are assigned to Servius by universal tradition. First he established a constitution, in which the plebs took its place as the second part of the nation, and of which we shall speak more fully below. Secondly, he extended the po-moerium, or hallowed boundary of the city (Diet, of Antiq. s. v. Pomoerium\ and completed the city by incorporating with it the Quirinal, Viminal and Esquiline hills. He surrounded the whole with a stone wall called after him the wall of Servius Tullius ; and from the Porta Collina to the Esquiline Gate where the hills sloped gently to the plain, he constructed a gigantic mound, nearly a mile in length, and a moat, one hundred feet in breadth and thirty in depth, from which the earth of the mound was dug. Rome thus acquired a circumference of five miles, and this continued to be the legal extent of the city till the time of the emperors, although suburbs were added to it. Thirdly, Servius established an important alliance with the Latins, by which Rome and the cities of Latium became the members of one great league. As leagues of this kind were always connected among the ancients with the worship at some common temple, a temple of Diana or the Moon was built upon the Aventine, which was not included in the pomoerium, as the place of the religious meetings of the two nations. It appears that the Sabines likewise shared in the worship of this temple* There was a celebrated tradition, that a Sabine husbandman had a cow of extraordinary beauty and size, and that the soothsayers had predicted that whoever should sacrifice this cow to Diana on the Aventine, would raise his country to rule over the confederates. The Sabine, anxious to secure the supremacy of his own people, had driven the cow to Rome, and was on the point of sacrificing her before the altar, when the crafty Roman priest rebuked him for daring to offer it with unwashed hands. While the Sabine went and washed in the Tiber, the Roman sacrificed the cow. The gigantic horns of the animal were preserved down to very late times, nailed up in the vestibule (Liv. i. 45). From the fact that the Aventine was selected as the place of meeting, it has been inferred that the supremacy of Rome was acknowledged by the Latins ; but since we find it expressly stated that this supremacy was not acquired till the reign of Tarquinius Superbus, this view is perhaps not strictly correct. (Comp. Niebuhr, Lectures on the History of Rome, p. 118, London, 1848.)
After Servius had established his new constitution, he did homage to the majesty of the centuries, by calling them together, and leaving them to decide whether he was to reign over them or not. The body which he had called into existence, .naturally ratified his power, and declared him to be their king. The patricians, however, were far from acquiescing in the new order of things, and hated the man who had deprived them of their exclusive rule, and had conferred such important benefits upon the plebeians. In addition to his constitutional changes in favour of the second order in the state, tradition related, that out of his private wealth, he discharged the debts of those who were reduced to indigence j that he deprived the
creditor of the power of seizing the body of his debtor, and restricted him to the seizure of the goods of the latter ; and that he assigned to the plebeians allotments of lands out of the territories which they had won in war (Cic. de Rep. ii. 21 ; Dionys. iv. 9 ; Liv. i. 46). The king had good reasons for mistrusting the patricians. Accordingly, when he took up his residence on the Esquiline, he would not allow them to dwell there, but assigned to them the valley, which was called after them the Patricius Vicus, or Patrician Street (Festus s. v.). Meantime, the long and uninterrupted popularity of the king seemed to deprive L. Tarquinius more and more of the chance of regaining the throne of his father. The patricians, anxious to recover their supremacy, readily joined Tarquinius in a conspiracy to assassinate the king. The legend of his death is too celebrated to be omitted here, although it perhaps contains no further truth than that Servius fell a victim to a patrician conspiracy, the leader of which was the son or descendant of the former king. The legend ran as follows. Servius Tullius, soon after his succession, gave his two daughters in marriage to the two sons of Tarquinius Priscus. L. Tarquinius the elder was married to a quiet and gentle wife ; Aruns, the younger, to an aspiring and ambitious woman. The character of the two brothers was the very opposite of the wives who had fallen to their lot; for Lucius was proud and haughty, but Aruns unambitious and quiet. The wife of Aruns, enraged at the long life of her father, and fearing that at his death her husband would tamely resign the sovereignty to his elder brother, resolved to destroy both her father and her husband. Her fiendish spirit put into the heart of Lucius thoughts of crime which he had never entertained before. Lucius murdered his wife, and the younger Tullia her husband ; and the survivors, without even the show of mourning, were straightway joined in unhallowed wedlock. Tullia now incessantly urged her husband to murder her father, and thus obtain the kingdom which he so ardently coveted. It was said that their design was hastened by the belief that Servius, in order to complete his legislation, entertained the thought of laying down his kingly power, and establishing the consular form of government. The patricians were no less alarmed at this scheme, as it would have had the effect of confirming for ever the hated laws of Servius. Their mutual hatred and fears united them closely together ; and when the conspiracy was ripe, Tarquinius entered the forum arrayed in the kingly robes, seated himself in the royal chair in the senate-house, and' ordered the senators to be summoned to him as their king. At the first news of the commotion, Servius hastened to the senate-house, and standing at the door-way, ordered Tarquinius to come down from the throne. Tarquinius sprang forward, seized the old man, and flung him down the stone steps. Covered with blood, the king was hastening home ; but, before he reached it, he was overtaken by the servants of Tarquinius, and murdered. Tullia drove to the senate-house, and greeted her husband as king ; but her transports of joy struck even him with horror. He bade her go home ; and as she was returning, her charioteer pulled up, and pointed out the corpse of her father lying in his blood across the road. She commanded him to drive on ; the, blood of her father spirted over the carriage and on her dress ;