Chronicles From the City Founding of Livius Titus, Book I

Chapter 38

Peace was made thereafter. Thenceforth, works of peace were begun with greater spirit than the amount effort with which [the king Tarquinius] had waged wars, such that the people were no more at rest at home than they were at war. For with stone walls, of which the commencement of work had been disrupted by the Sabine war, he prepared to surround the city where it was not yet protected, and he drained the lowest places of the city around the forum and the other valleys lying between the hills, since they carried off water with little ease from the level places, by having it led down into the Tiber with sewers, and the area for the sanctuary of Jupiter on the Capitoline, which had been promised in the Sabine war, with his mind now presaging the future grandeur of the place, some day, he occupied with the foundations.

Chapter 40

Tarquinius is assassinated at the instigation of the sons of Ancus.

In about the thirty-eighth year from which Tarquinius began to rule, not only at the house of the king, but also amongst the fathers and plebs Ser. Tullius was by far in the highest esteem. At that time, the two sons of Ancus, although they had formerly always held it as most unworthy that they had been fraudulently sent away from the fatherland during the reign of their guardian, that a foreigner reigned at Rome, not merely the offspring of a neighbour, but not even of Italy, it was then that this outrage arose in them more vehemently, since the throne would not even return to them from Tarquinius, but rather would fall headlong onward to slavery, such that after almost the hundredth year in the very same state which Romulus, himself a god descended from a god, had held the throne until he was in the earth, it would be held by a slave born of a slave. It would be a disgrace of the Roman name in common but especially of their own house, if while the male issue of king Ancus was yet safe, the throne of Rome were open not only to foreigners but even to slaves. They determined, therefore, to drive away this contumely with iron ; but the dolor of injury stirred them against Tarquinius himself more than against Servius, and further the king would have been a weightier avenger, if he survived, than the citizen ; moreover, should Servius be struck down, whomever else he might designate as a son-in-law, that same man seemed likely to become the heir of the throne ; for these reasons treacheries were prepared against the king himself. From the shepherds, the two most ferocious were chosen for the misdeed, with the rustic iron tools to which each were accustomed, in the most bustling vestibule of the palace as they were able, by a pretext of quarrel, they turned all the royal attendants toward themselves ; thereupon, once both had called the king and their clamour had penetrated deep into the palace, they were summoned and they hastened to the king. Firstly, they both vociferated loudly and one enthusiastically cried out against the other ; restrained by a lictor and ordered to speak in turn they finally desist to interrupt ; one of them begins to weave the thing, according to plan. When the king, intent upon him, turned himself away, the other brought forth an axe and struck it down on his head, and leaving the weapon in the wound they both went out the doors.

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