Servius Tullius

d. 535 BC

Servius Tullius was the son of a slave. He was adopted by Tarquin the Elder, and married his daughter. When the elder Tarquin was assassinated, Servius contrived with his mother-in-law Tanaquil to secure the throne. He was a competent king who reorganized the army and divided the citizens into classes. He increased the size of the city, and completed building the Servian Wall. He favored the rights of the poor over the rich, and thereby became unpopular with the patrician class. He was finally murdered by his daughter and son-in-law.

Key events during the life of Servius:

  Servius marries the daughter of Tarquin the Elder.
579 BC
Gained the throne when Tarquin was murdered through the contrivance of his mother-in-law.
  Gained a victory over Veii.
  Instituted the census, and divided citizens into five classes for tax purposes.
  Completed the Servian Wall.
  Tarquin Superbus attempts to usurp the throne.
535 BC
Servius is murdered by his daughter and son-in-law.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Servius  in  Stories From Livy  by  Alfred J. Church
Ungrateful Children  in  The Story of the Romans  by  H. A. Guerber
Tarquins  in  Famous Men of Rome  by  John H. Haaren & A. B. Poland
Slave Becomes a King  in  The Story of Rome  by  Mary Macgregor
Dynasty of the Tarquins  in  Historical Tales: Roman  by  Charles Morris

Image Links

Tullia driving over the body of her father
 in Stories From Livy

Tullia driving over her father's body, Zick
 in Famous Men of Rome

Tullia Driving over her Father's Body (From a fragmental Bas-relief)
 in Greatest Nations - Rome

Short Biography
Lucius Tarquinius Cruel and violent son of Tarquin the Elder.
Aruns Tarquinius Gentle and quiet son of Tarquin the Elder.
Tullia Helped her husband Tarquin Superbus murder her father Sevius Tullus, and seize the throne of Rome.