Tarquin the Elder

(Lucius Tarquinius Priscus)

d. 559 BC

Tarquin the Elder
Tarquin the Elder was elected the fifth king of Rome. He was from an Etruscan town, but had come to Rome as a young man, and served as an advisor to King Ancus. He undertook many great building projects during his reign, including a fortification on Capitoline Hill, the great sewer (Cloaca Maxima), and the Circus Maximus. He drained and paved the forum in the center of the city, and began building a wall around the city. He adopted the son of a slave and married him to his daughter. This angered the sons of Ancus, and they arranged for his murder.

Key events during the life of Tarquin the Elder:

616 BC
Elected fifth king of Rome, on death of Ancus Marcius.
  Drained swamp near forum, and built sewer Cloaca Maxima.
  Built Circus Maximus and instituted games.
  Raised the number of senators from 100 to 300
  Introduced lictors as bodyguards to the king.
578 BC
Assassinated by sons of Ancus Marcius.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Elder Tarquin  in  Stories From Livy  by  Alfred J. Church
Tarquin and the Eagle  in  The Story of the Romans  by  H. A. Guerber
King Outwitted  in  The Story of the Romans  by  H. A. Guerber
Tarquins  in  Famous Men of Rome  by  John H. Haaren & A. B. Poland
Faithless Friend  in  The Story of Rome  by  Mary Macgregor
Dynasty of the Tarquins  in  Historical Tales: Roman  by  Charles Morris

Image Links

Tarquin and the Eagle
 in The Story of the Romans

Short Biography
Tanaquil Prophetess, wife, and advisor.
Attis Navius Chief augur and advisor to Tarquin.
Servius Tullius Sixth king, built Servian Wall; helped plebians, murdered by daughter.