(Publius Valerius)

d. 508 BC

Publicola, also known as Publius Valerius, was one the founding members of the Roman Republic, along with Junius Brutus, and the husband of Lucretia. He fought in the early wars against Lars Porsenna and other allies of Tarquin Superbus. He became consul after the death of his ally, Brutus. Although he was well liked at first, the people became suspicious that he might try to become king. He dispelled these fears by tearing down his great house on top of a hill, and moving it to the bottom. He was elected consul during the war against Porsenna. He then did everything is his power as consul, to increase the liberties of the people. He became so popular, that he earned the nickname Publicola (the people’s friend.)

Key events during the life of Publicola:

510 BC
Vows, along with Brutus, to avenge Lucretia.
509 BC
Assumes leadership at death of Brutus; Has Rome's first triumph.
508 BC
Moves house to bottom of hill to appease critics.
508 BC
Elected consul; passes laws guaranteeing rights of people.
507 BC
Elected consul second time; war against Lars Porsenna.
507 BC
Sends daughter as hostage to Porsenna.
504 BC
Elected consul; dies in office.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Roman Triumph  in  The Story of the Romans  by  H. A. Guerber
Defense of the Bridge  in  The Story of the Romans  by  H. A. Guerber
Publicola  in  Our Young Folks' Plutarch  by  Rosalie Kaufman
Horatius Cocles, or the One-Eyed  in  The Story of Rome  by  Mary Macgregor

Short Biography
Junius Brutus First Consul of Rome; executed sons for plotting against the republic.
Lars Porsena Etruscan king, and supporter of the Tarquins who raised an army to march against Rome.
Horatius Hero who held the Sublican Bridge against Porsena's entire army.
Mucius Scaevola Hero who burned his right hand to defy Porsena.