Chronicles From the City Founding of Livius Titus, Book I

Chapter 48

The brutal murder of Servius and the inhuman conduct of his daughter Tullia.

Servius, roused by an agitated messenger, suddenly interrupted this oration with a great voice from a vestibule of the senate-house, “Tarquinius,” he said, “what is this all about? By what audacity do you dare, while I live, to summon the fathers or sit in my seat?” Then he was even more ferocious against these—he occupied his father’s seat ; the son of a king was preferable by far to be heir to a throne than a slave ; that he had for long enough, through permitted mockery, trampled on his masters—a clamour arose from the patrons of each man and a great rush of the people took place in the senate-house, and it became apparent that he who was victor would be king. Then Tarquinius, being compelled by necessity itself to dare the ultimate, stronger by far due both to his age and to his men, seized Servius about the middle, and borne out of the senate-house, threw him down the steps to the lower ground ; he then returned to the senate-house to control the fathers. A flight of the attendants and companions of the king took place ; he himself, nearly lifeless, was killed while taking himself home without any royal attendant, by men sent by Tarquinius, who overtook the fleeing man. It is believed that, since she did not shrink from any other crime, this was done at the behest of Tullia. What is well established is that she was conveyed in a carriage to the forum and with no reverence for the body of men, called out her husband from the senate-house and was the first to name him king. Bid by him to withdraw from the great tumult, when she betook herself home and had arrived at highest Cyprius street, where there was of late a shrine to Diana, as she turned the carriage right toward the slope of Urbius, so that she could be conveyed to the Esquiline hill, the man who drove the horses, alarmed, pulled up the reins and stopped short, and he showed his mistress Servius, laying there, cruelly cut down. A foul and inhuman wickedness is told of and the place is by way of a memorial—they call it street of Wickedness—where maddened, with the furies of her sister and husband goading her, Tullia had the carriage borne over the body of her father, and a part of her father’s blood and slaughter by the bloody vehicle, itself polluted and splattered, was borne to her penates and her husband’s, and by their anger endings similar to the evil beginning of his reign soon followed.

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