Front Matter The Lady Roma The She-Wolf The Twin Boys Numitor's Grandson The Sacred Birds The Founding of Rome The Sabine Maidens The Tarpeian Rock The Mysterious Gate The King Disappears The Peace-Loving King Horatius Slays His Sister Pride of Tullus Hostilius King Who Fought and Prayed The Faithless Friend A Slave Becomes a King Cruel Deed of Tullia Fate of the Town of Gabii Books of the Sibyl Industry of Lucretia Death of Lucretia Sons of Brutus Horatius Cocles Mucius Burns Right Hand The Divine Twins The Tribunes Coriolanus and His Mother The Roman Army in a Trap The Hated Decemvirs The Death of Verginia The Friend of the People Camillus Captures Veii The Statue of the Goddess Schoolmaster Traitor Battle of Allia The Sacred Geese The City Is Rebuilt Volscians on Fire Battle on the Anio The Curtian Lake Dream of the Two Consuls The Caudine Forks Caudine Forks Avenged Fabius among the Hills Battle of Sentinum Son of Fabius Loses Battle Pyrrhus King of the Epirots Elephants at Heraclea Pyrrthus and Fabricius Pyrrhus is Defeated Romans Build a Fleet Battle of Ecnomus Roman Legions in Africa Regulus Taken Prisoner Romans Conquer the Gauls The Boy Hannibal Hannibal Invades Italy Hannibal Crosses the Alps Battle of Trebia Battle of Lake Trasimenus Hannibal Outwits Fabius Fabius Wins Two Victories Battle of Cannae Despair of Rome Defeat of Hasdrubal Claudius Enjoy a Triumph Capture of New Carthage Scipio Sails to Africa Romans Set Fire to Camp Hannibal Leaves Italy The Battle of Zama Scipio Receives a Triumph Flamininus in Garlands Death of Hannibal Hatred of Cato for Carthage The Stern Decree Carthaginians Defend City Destruction of Carthage Cornelia, Mother of Gracchi Tiberius and Octavius Death of Tiberius Gracchus Death of Gaius Gracchus The Gold of Jugurtha Marius Wins Notice of Scipio Marius Becomes Commander Capture of Treasure Towns Capture of Jugurtha Jugurtha Brought to Rome Marius Conquers Teutones Marius Mocks the Ambassadors Metellus Driven from Rome Sulla Enters Rome The Flight of Marius Gaul Dares Not Kill Marius Marius Returns to Rome The Orator Aristion Sulla Besieges Athens Sulla Fights the Samnites The Proscriptions of Sulla The Gladiators' Revolt The Pirates Pompey Defeats Mithridates Cicero Discovers Conspiracy Death of the Conspirators Caesar Captured by Pirates Caesar Gives up Triumph Caesar Praises Tenth Legion Caesar Wins a Great Victory Caesar Invades Britain Caesar Crosses Rubicon Caesar and the Pilot The Flight of Pompey Cato Dies Rather than Yieldr Caesar is Loaded with Honours Nobles Plot against Caesar The Assassination of Caesar Brutus Speaks to Citizens Antony Speaks to Citizens The Second Triumvirate Battle of Philippi Death of Brutus Antony and Cleopatra Battle of Actium Antony and Cleopatra Die Emperor Augustus

Story of Rome - Mary Macgregor

The Sons of Brutus

After Tarquin the Proud had been driven away from Rome, the people determined that they would never again be ruled by kings.

They resolved to follow the wise laws of Servius, who had bidden them choose each year two men to rule, giving them equal power, the right to make laws, and to see that justice was done in the land.

The two men, chosen by the Senate and the people, were called Consuls.

In token of his office, each Consul had at his command six men, named lictors.

When a Consul went into the Forum or into the street, he was preceded by his lictors, who carried, as a sign of their master's power, rods to chastise and an axe to kill.

Rome had now become a Republic, and the first Consuls to be elected were Brutus and Collatinus.

But if the Romans expected Tarquin to make no effort to recover his throne, they soon discovered their mistake.

Before long, the king sent messengers to Rome to ask that his own private possessions might be sent to him, and to this simple request the Senate and the people agreed.

As perhaps the Romans might have suspected, Tarquin had another reason for sending to Rome than the one his messengers carried to the Senate. He knew that among the younger patricians were many who wished to place him again upon the throne, and his messengers had come to talk secretly with these nobles. They even hoped to arrange the best time for the king's return.

But as the conspirators talked together, a slave chanced to overhear what they said, and he at once went to the Consuls and told them of the danger that threatened the city.

The conspirators were immediately seized and thrown into prison, while the slave was set free and made a citizen of Rome.

Among the prisoners were Titus and Tiberius, the sons of Brutus.

The brave Consul was dismayed to learn that his sons, whom he loved well, had been guilty of treason. How could he bear to pronounce judgment upon them as upon other traitors?

Yet soon he thrust aside his weakness. A true Roman must love his country better even than his own children.

So when the conspirators were brought before him he did not flinch. With stern, set face he condemned Titus and Tiberius to death along with the other traitors, nor did he stoop to ask the people to show mercy to his sons.

The young men were bound to the stake before his eyes, after which the lictors beat them with rods and then cut off their heads with the axe.

So angry were the Senate and the people with Tarquin for attempting to plot against the Republic, that they now refused to send to him his possessions. And not only so, but they divided his goods among the people, while the field between the city and the Tiber which Tarquin had sown with corn was destroyed, the corn cut down and thrown into the river. The angry citizens then dedicated the field to the god Mars, and henceforth it was known as the Field of Mars.

The Senate then made a law banishing for ever from Rome all who bore the hated name of Tarquin.

So Collatinus, whose other name was Tarquinius, resigned his Consulship and left the city in obedience to the law. And this he did, although he was the friend of Brutus, and hated the exiled king.

Valerius was then chosen Consul in his stead.

Meanwhile, Tarquin was full of wrath because he had not been able to enter Rome by craft, and he went to Etruria, and persuaded the Etruscans to help him to recover his throne.

But when the Etruscans proclaimed war against Rome, Brutus gathered together an army and led it against the enemy.

Close to a wood the battle raged. Aruns, one of Tarquin's sons, saw Brutus at the head of the Roman army, wearing the royal robes which he considered belonged to his house alone. In sudden fury he put spurs to his horse, and with his spear ready dashed toward his enemy.

Brutus saw Aruns drawing near, and he also spurred his horse forward and couched his spear.

Onward flew the two warriors until at length they met. Then each, pierced by the other's spear, fell from his horse and moved no more.

All day the battle raged, and still when night fell the victory was uncertain.

But, during the night, while both armies were encamped on the battlefield, a loud voice was heard coming from the direction of the wood.

It was Silvanus, the god of the wood, who was speaking. 'The victory belongs to the Romans,' said the god, 'for they have slain one more than their enemy.'

Obedient to the voice of Silvanus, the Etruscans on the following morning withdrew their army, while the Romans marched back to Rome.

In spite of their victory they were sad, for they carried with them the dead body of their leader.

Brutus was mourned by all the people. But the Roman matrons lamented more than others, setting aside a whole year in which to grieve for his death, because he had so bravely avenged the matron Lucretia.