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By Rider, 9 August 2007; Revised
Category: Classical Mediterranean and Europe: Roman Figures
The story of Lucretia is one well known – it tells of how the Kingdom was changed into the Republic and therefore must have been a prized tale during the Republic.
The King of Rome was Lucius Tarquinius Superbus and he ruled with terror and he was prideful and for that he was nicknamed Superbus – the Proud. On one day, a snake came out of the house of the king and a terrible sign was seen in it. The King sent his sons Arruns and Titus to the Oracle of Delphi and along with them Lucius Junius Brutus who was thought of as a fool but actually, he was most clever and was only waiting for his time to reveal himself.
The Oracle told them that many things but they asked her who would be the successor of Tarquinius Superbus. The Oracle said that the successor will be the one who will kiss their mother first. The Princes draw a lot who would be the one. Brutus however understood that it meant something else and he pretended to fall and kissed Earth for that is the mother of all mortals.
Her father came with a friend and her husband came with Lucius Junius Brutus. Lucretia told what had happened and the men swore that he would be punished justly. Then she killed herself with a hidden dagger. Brutus then said that Sextus and all of his kin would have to pay for the crime and that he would no longer fight for the King in Rome. Others said that they would support him against the kings.
They then carried the body of Lucretia to the marketplace and they supported Brutus. They went from Collatia (where the house of Lucretia and Tarquinius Collatinus was) to Forum Romanum in Rome. And at the Forum, Brutus spoke and described the violence of Sextus Tarquinius and the death of Lucretia. Romans considered that as an analogy to what had happened to them and Brutus continued. He kept on talking until the people decided to banish Tarquinius Superbus When the king returned from Ardea, the gates were closed in front of him.
So it happened that Rome was freed of the kings and after them, two consuls were chosen – the first ones were Tarquinius Collatinus and Lucius Junius Brutus.