The original site of Rome is hilly: offers protection to small communities, watch for
approaching enemies, watch movements of enemies when present and easier to fortify
Future site of Rome occupied by „Latin speakers‟ as early as 800 B.C. (where soon after
the Etruscans took over)
The influence of the Etruscans: building techniques, organization of government,
religious practices and alphabet
753 B.C.- Widely accepted as the foundation of Rome
Foundation myth: Story starts in Alba Longa. Rhea Silvia, a princess, was forced by her
uncle to become a vestal virgin (priestess). He had taken the kingdom from her father and
feared a legitimate heir. Mars seduced her, and she gave birth to twins Romulus and
Rhemus. The uncle took the children, put them in a basket and set them afloat in the
Tiber River. The basket went ashore where the twins were nursed by a she-wolf. A
shepherd finds and adopts them. Eventually they return their grandfather to the throne of
Alba Longa. Afterwards, they set out to find and establish a city of their own. At the site
of Rome the brothers begin to build walls. Rhemus makes fun Romulus‟ progress, so
Romulus kills Rhemus.
Birth of the Republic
Roman Republic, a period of self-governance by the Roman Senate, begins with the
expulsion of the Etruscans.
Tarquin the proud: The last Etruscan King, who wanted to make Rome a grand city.
Embarked on a building program which eventually drained all of the city‟s wealth,
angering the Roman citizens. He needed cash. Solution: declare war on a rich neighbor.
Ardea, the Bet and Lucretia: Army of Roman and Etruscan soldiers began to lay siege to
Ardea. One night two Roman officers and the son of Tarquin the proud argued over
whose wife was most virtuous. Bets were made and a messenger sent back to spy on the
women. Only Lucretia, the wife of one of the Roman officers, was found to be virtuous.
Tarquin‟s son lost face, and after returning to Rome and after failing to seduce Lucretia,
he rapes her. She tells her father about it and kills herself. Her husband and her father‟s
family rally against Tarquin and his family, kicking them out of Rome, where Rome is
declared free by the Nobles involved.
Gravitas: serious dedication to the state
Pietas: fulfillment of one‟s obligations to gods, state, family
Frugalitas: living the good, clean simple life. Free from the corrupting influences of
luxury and success.
Traits of Roman heroes: Roman hero subordinates his own needs to those of the State,
does not ask to be rewarded (it is enough that Rome is kept safe), he sacrifices and
accepts burden, duty requires that he keeps a clear head and avoids giving into grief,
Horatii and Curiatii: before the rule of the Etruscan Kings, the Romans embarked on a
war against Alba Longa. Settle the dispute by a combat from three men from both sides each. 3 Roman brothers, the Horatii, and three Alban brothers, the Curiatii. 2 Horatii
were killed immediately, and the other ran off. He arrived at home, and found his sister
weeping. She said, „go to your lover! Since you have left your brothers‟. Taken to trial,
forced to walk beneath a yoke with his head covered.
Brutus: son of Marcus Junius. His father and brothers were executed by the Tyrant. He
feigned insanity, and was kept in the palace as a form of amusement. During a plague,
Tarquinius‟ sons were sent to consult the oracle and took Brutus along. Brutus brought a
log as an offering to the god Apollo. Pythia predicted Apollo would give Rome to the one
who would first embrace his mother after the return. He kissed the land. After the rape
and suicide of Lucretia, he grew enraged. Brutus ran to the forum and called the people
together, where he declared the end of the rule of the Etruscans and the exile of
Tarquinius and his family. Death penalty for people conspiring to bring them/the
monarchy back. Brutus‟ sons conspired and were sent to death.
Horatius at the bridge: pretty much Tarquinius returned with Etruscan allies to fight
Rome. Rome‟s weakest point was the wooden bridge. Horatius stood his ground there,
did not move. He bought his comrades time to collapse the bridge, and showed great
Mucius Scaevola: Lars Porsenna, an Etruscan king and supporter of Tarquinius, was
frustrated by Horatius‟ stand at the bridge over the Tiber and put Rome under siege and
starve her into submission. Gaius Mucius asked for permission to sneak out of Rome and
infiltrate the enemy camp with the intent to kill Porsenna, hid a sword in his tunic and
slipped into the camp. He found two men on a dais, surrounded by troops waiting to be
paid. leapt upon the dais and killed the man who was distributing money. Ran, was
apprehended, dragged back to the dais - he killed the accountant Mucius stated his name,
that he was a Roman citizen, and proclaimed his intent to assassinate the king - any
Roman would do the same thing To demonstrate his resolution Mucius thrust his right
hand into a flame burning on an altar next to which he was standing. Porsenna decided to
allow Mucius to return home to Rome. Mucius said > 300 more Romans sworn to kill the
king. The king sent envoys to Rome suing for peace. Mucius was given land and a nick
Katabasis: the journey to the underworld
In the underworld:
Why does Hades rule the underworld?: The 3 brothers, Zeus, Poseidon and Hades;
when the lots were shaken, each won their domain.
Why is Persephone his wife?: Hades desired a bride, so Zeus granted him one of his
daughters. The god offered him Persephone, the daughter of Demeter. However,
knowing that the goddess would resist the marriage, Hades raped her. When Demeter
learned of this, she was furious and caused a great havoc to fall upon the earth until
her daughter was returned. Zeus relents, and the girl was fetched from the
underworld. However, since she had tasted of the pomegranate seed, she was forced
to return to him for a portion of each year.
Who has lived through the journey down: Orpheus was a singer from Northern
Greece. His wife Eurydice dies – he steps on a snake and travels to the underworld.
Hades and Persephone are moved by his pleas for his wife to return, and he wins her
back. “Don‟t look back before she‟s out”. He looks back, loses her, tries again but
fails. Torn aport by Maenads. Guard dog of the underworld: Cerberus, who keeps monsters/spirits in
Typhaon the terrible, outrageous and lawless, was joined in love to Echidna, the maid
with glancing eyes. So she conceived and brought forth fierce offspring; first she bare
Orthus the hound of Geryones, and then again she bare a second, a monster not to be
overcome and that may not be described, Cerberus who eats raw flesh, the brazen-
voiced hound of Hades, fifty-headed, relentless and strong.
The land and city of the Cimmerians lie on the river Oceanus where no light shones.
Cocytus: river of lamentation (odyssey) and Phlegethon: river of fire (odyssey),