The Ancient Library

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and from that day forward the street bore the name of the Vicus Sceleratus, or Wicked Street. The body lay unburied, for Tarquinius said scof-fmgly, " Romulus too went without burial;" and this impious mockery is said to have given rise to his surname of Superbus (Liv. i. 46—48 ; Ov. Fast. vi. 581, foil.). Servius had reigned forty-four years. His memory was long cherished by the plebeians, and his birth-day was celebrated on the nones of every month, for it was remembered that he was born on the nones of some month, but the month itself had become a matter of uncer­tainty. At a later time, when the oppressions of the patricians became more and more intolerable, the senate found it necessary to forbid the markets to be holden on the nones, lest the people should .attempt an insurrection to restore the laws of their martyred monarch. (Macrob. Sat. i. 13.)

The Roman traditions, as we have seen, were unanimous in making Servius Tullius of Latin origin. He is universally stated to have been the son of a native of Corniculum, which was a Latin town ; and Niebuhr, in his Lectures, supposes that he may have been the offspring of a marriage be­tween one of the Luceres and a woman of Corni­culum, previously to the establishment of the con-nubium, and that this may be the foundation of the story of his descent. His name Tullius also indicates a Latin origin, since the Tullii are ex­pressly mentioned as one of the Alban gentes which \vere received into the Latin state in the reign of Tullus Hostilius. (Liv. i. 30.) His in­stitutions, likewise, bear all the traces of a Latin character. But the Etruscan tradition about this king was entirely different, and made him a native of Etruria. This Etruscan tradition was related by the emperor Claudius, in a speech which he made upon the admission of some Lugdunensian Gauls into the senate ; and the fragments of which are still preserved on two tables discovered at Lyons in the sixteenth century, and since the time of Lipsius have been printed in most editions of Tacitus. In this speech Claudius says " that, ac­cording to the Tuscans, Servius was the faithful com­panion of Caeles Vibenna, and shared all his for­tunes: that at last being overpowered by a variety of disasters, he quitted Etruria with the remains of the army which had served under Caeles, went to Rome, and occupied the Caelian Hill, calling it so after his former commander: that he exchanged his Tuscan name Mastarna for the Roman one of Servius Tullius, obtained the kingly power, and wielded it to the great good of the state." This Caeles Vibenna was well known to the Roman writers, according to whom he came himself to Rome, though the statements in whose reign he came differed greatly. All accounts, however, re­present him as a leader of an army raised by him­self, and not belonging to any state, and as coming to Rome by the invitation of the Roman kings, to assist them. [cables.] There can be no question that the emperor Claudius drew his account from Etruscan annals ; and there is no reason for dis­believing that Caeles Vibenna and Mastarna are historical personages, for, as Niebuhr observes, Caeles is too frequently and too distinctly men­tioned to be fabulous, and his Etruscan name can-nat have been invented by the Romans. The value of tha tradition about Mastarna would very much dapend upon the date of the Etruscan authorities, from whom Claudius derived his account j but on


this point we are entirely in the dark. Niebuhr, in the first edition of his history, inclined strongly to the opinion that Rome was of Etruscan origin, and in his lectures, delivered in the year 1826, he adopted the Etruscan tradition respecting the origin of Servius Tullius, on the ground " that Etruscan literature is so decidedly more ancient than that of the Romans, that he did not hesitate to give pre­ference to the traditions of the former." (Lectures^ p. 84.) In the second edition of his history, how­ever, Niebuhr so completely abandoned his former idea of the Etruscan origin of Rome, that he would not even admit the Etruscan origin of the Luceres, a point in which most subsequent scholars dissent from him ; and in his Lectures of the year 1828, he strongly maintains the Latin origin of Servius Tullius, and asserts his belief that " Etruscan lite­rature is mostly assigned to too early a period, and that to the time from the Hannibalian war down to the time of Sulla, a period of somewhat more than a century, most of the literary productions of the Etrus­cans must be referred." (Lectures^. 125.) But the fact is that whether we are to follow the Etruscan or the Roman tradition about Servius is one of those points on which no certainty can be by any possibility obtained. So much seems clear, that Servius usurped the throne : he seized the royalty upon the murder of the former king, without being elected by the senate and the comitia, and he in­troduced great constitutional changes, apparently to strengthen his power against a powerful faction in the state. It is equally clear that his reign came to a violent end: he was dethroned and murdered by the descendants of the previous king, in league with his enemies in the state, who sought to recover the power of which they had been dis­possessed. Now if we are right in our supposition that Tarquinius Priscus and Tarquinius Superbus were both of Etruscan origin, and represent an Etruscan sovereignty at Rome [tarquinius], it seems to follow that the reign of Servius Tullius represents a successful attempt of the Latins to recover their independence, or in any case the so­vereignty of an Etruscan people different from the one to which the Tarquins belonged. Further than this we cannot go ; and it seems to us impossible to determine which supposition has the greatest pre­ponderance of evidence in its favour. K. 0. Mliiler adopted the latter supposition. He believed that the Etruscan town of Tarquinii was at the head of the twelve cities of Etruria at this time, that it conquered Rome, and that the reign of Tarquinius Priscus represents the supremacy of the state of Tarquinii at Rome. He further supposed that t'he supremacy of Tarquinii may not have been uni­versally acknowledged throughout Etruria, and that the army of Caeles and of his lieutenant Mas­tarna perhaps belonged to the town of Volsinii, which wished to maintain its independence against Tarquinii ; that it was with the remains of this army that Mastarna eventually conquered Rome, and thus destroyed the dominion of Tarquinii in that city, (Miiller, Etrusker, vol. i. p. 121.)


The most important event connected with the reign of Servius Tullius is the new constitution which he gave to the Roman state. The details of this constitution are stated in different articles in the Dictionaty of Antiquities., and it is therefore only necessary to give here a general outline, which the

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