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Seven Kings

The Seven Kings of Rome follow the ancient Roman monarchy from Romolo to Tarquinio the Superb. Learn the history of ancient Rome by getting to know the great Kings of Rome who helped build and cultivate this great city.

Before the Republic was established, Rome had experienced a brief period of monarchy. From 753 BC to 510 BC the city was ruled by several kings, better known as the Seven Kings of Rome. Characters who left their imprint in the history of ancient Rome.


ROMULUS (753 BC-715 A.C)
Romulus was the founder of the city and the first of seven kings of Rome. During his reign, Romulus took charge of populating the city. With the famous campaign of "The Rape of the Sabine" he kidnapped women from the city of Cures and brought them to his men. Romulus divided the people between those who could fight and those who could not, and then chose the noblest of the citizens to form the Senate. As king of Rome, he promoted several initiatives for the city, particularly political issues. He also led several war campaigns and died after reigning for 40 years.

Also known as the "Priest King", Numa was the second of the seven kings of Rome and his reign lasted about 43 years. Numa Pompilius is remembered as a peaceful king, in fact he was never involved in war and instead introduced the first religious ceremonies. He was responsible for the reform of the Roman Calendar introducing the calendar year of 12 months and 365 days. He also built the temples of Vesta and Janus. According to tradition, during his reign the shield of Jupiter fell from the sky upon which the destiny of Rome was written. Numa ordered that 11 copies be made,  and which became sacred objects of veneration for the Romans.


Also called the "Warrior King", was the third of the seven kings of Rome. H reigned for 32 years, and built the Curia, the seat of the Senate. Among the many military campaigns, Tullo Ostilio conquered the city of Alba Longa and waged wars with the cities of Veio and Fidene. According to legend, because of the wars waged by this Roman king, it is believed that the gods punished him by hitting his house with a thunderbolt.


ANCO MARZIO (640 BC - 616 BC)
Anco Marzio was the fourth king of Rome called by many the "Merchant King", as his main focus was establishing and dominating strategic points for trade in Rome. It is believed that the king was the grandson of Numa Pompilius and his reign lasted 24 years before he died of natural causes. Anco Marzio conquered the coast of Ostia, so that Rome had an outlet in the Tyrrhenian Sea and established the first trade contacts by sea with the Etruscans, Greeks and Carthaginians. Under his rule, Rome experienced great development in terms of territory and population.


Tarquinio Prisco was the fifth king of Rome and the first king of the Etruscans. After emigrating to Rome, he was adopted by Anco Marzio and reigned for about 38 years. He enlarged the Roman Senate by 100 other nobles of Etruscan origin,  which brought the total to 300 members. He was responsible for the construction of the Circus Maximus and the Cloaca Maxima. He also started the construction of the temple of Jupiter on the Capitol and established the public games. He was assassinated in a conspiracy plot.


The sixth king of Rome, Servio Tullio, was the son of Tarquinio Prisco, and reigned for 44 years. During his reign, he reformed the army and waged war with Veio, Cerveteri and Tarquinia. He then created four urban tribes (Suburban, Palatine, Esquiline Hill) and seventeen rustic tribes (extra-urban), thus giving rise to meetings taxes. The roman king erected several temples, as he wanted Rome to become the spiritual center of Lazio. He also built the famous "Servian wall" that surrounded the Seven Hills. He was assassinated in a coup perpetrated by his daughter Tullia and her husband Tarquinio Superbus, who ascended the throne.


Legend depicts him as a ruthless and bloodthirsty king, and therefore referred to himself as the "Superb". Tarquin canceled several constitutional reforms made by his predecessors and also destroyed various shrines and altars to the Sabines. He allowed his son Sextus Tarquinius to abuse the noble-woman Lucretia (wife of Lucius Tarquinius Collatino) who committed suicide out of shame.  At this point, the Romans rebelled against the Roman king and overthrew the monarchy in 509 BC and the Republic was established in Rome (509 BC). The first consuls were Lucius Tarquinius Collatino and Lucius Junius Brutus.



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