Chronicles From the City Founding of Livius Titus, Book I

Chapter 59

Brutus, since those men were taken up with their mourning, holding before himself the blade, dripping with gore, drawn out from Lucretia’s wound says, “By this blood most chaste, prior to the royal injustice, I swear, and you the gods I make witnesses, that I shall pursue hence L. Tarquinius Superbus with his criminal wife and all his branches of his children with iron, with fire, wherever I am able, and I shall not allow those nor anyone else to rule at Rome.” He then handed over the blade to Collatinus, and then Lucretius and Valerius, stunned by the wonder of this thing, whence this new nature in the breast of Brutus. As he had instructed, they swore. And all, turned from mourning to anger, now took Brutus as leader, calling on them to storm the throne.

The body of Lucretia was taken from the house and borne away to the forum, and men gathered due to the wonder of the matter, as happens, the novelty and also the outrage. Each for himself bewailed the royal crime and violence. The grief of her father stirred them, but so did Brutus, castigating tears and useless lamentation, and promoting what for men, what for Romans is decorous, taking up arms against those who dare hostilities. Each most ferocious of the youth was there with arms as a volunteer ; and the remaining youth followed. Thence, leaving the father behind as guardian of Collatia, and posting guards at the gates, so that no-one would announce this movement to the royals, the remaining armed men set out for Rome, Brutus at the lead. When it got there, wherever the armed multitude advanced, it left panic and uproar ; again when they see the leading men of the state going before it, whatever it is, they reckon it is scarcely happenstance. And the atrocious affair made no less stir of the spirits at Rome than it had made at Collatia ; therefore it was run into the forum from all places of the city. It got there at the same time that a herald summoned the people to the tribune of the Celeres, in that magistracy, by chance, Brutus had held. There, an oratory was held that was by no means of heart and nature which had been pretended to that day, concerning the violence and lust of Sex. Tarquinius, concerning the unspeakable defilement of Lucretia and her miserable death, concerning the bereavement of Tricipitinus, for whom the reason for the death of the girl was more miserable and outrageous than the death itself. He added the arrogance of the king himself and the miseries and the labours of the plebs in the ditches and sent underground to drain the sewers ; that the Roman men, conquerors of all the peoples around, had been made into workers and stone-cutters instead of warriors. The disgraceful slaughter of Ser. Tullius was called to mind and the daughter conveyed in a heinous carriage over body of her father, and the avenging gods of parents were invoked. With these deeds called to mind and others more atrocious, I believe, which the present outrage of the matters suggests—by no means easy for writers to relate—he drove the incensed multitude to abrogate the imperium of the king and order that L. Tarquinius with his spouse and children be made exiles. He himself, once the junior men who gave their names of their own accord were collected and armed, set out for Ardean, to the camp, to whip up the army there against the king : He relinquished command in the city to Lucretio, a prefect of the city instituted by the king beforehand. During this tumult, Tullia fled from her home with curses on her wherever she went and invocations by men and women of the avenging furies of parents.

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