The Roman Kingdom

The some of the  following content is considered legendary by many historians, and should not be considered full fact

The Roman Kingdom was a nation from 753 BCE to 509 BCE. It's territory consisted of the city of Rome. 

Quick Facts:
File:Late Roman kingdom map-blank.svg
Capital: Rome
Demonym: Roman
Government: Absolute Monarchy with Senate
Established: 21 April 753 BCE
Previous: The Kingdom of Alba Longa
Next: The Roman Republic

History

Foundation

The date was 21 April 753 BCE. Two brothers, Romulus and Remus, had arrived near the Tiber River on the Italian Peninsula to create their own nation with the peoples there. Romulus began to build a wall at the foot of the Palatine Hill to defend the new civilization. Remus, who was discontent at the location the wall was built, came to it and criticized it. He then leaped over the wall. Enraged, Romulus killed his own brother, proclaiming "So perish every one that shall hereafter leap over my wall." Romulus then buried his brother with honor and regret. That night, Romulus named his new city Roma, or Rome as we know it today. It was this date when Romulus became the First King of the Roman Kingdom. 

Romulus divided his men into regiments of 3,000 infantry and 3,000 cavalry, dubbing them his "Legions." From the remainder of the populace, he picked 100 of the most noble and wealthy fathers to create his council, the Patrician Class. They also took the role of "Senator" due to their political status as elders. Thus began the Roman Senate. Romulus then instated a patron-client relationship in the society of Rome- There were those who created and those who bought. 

As news of the foundation of Rome spread, many dispossessed, runaway slaves, and criminals came to the city, seeking its freedoms within. Rome began to expand to other hills, specifically Capitoline Hill, Aventine Hill, Caelian Hill, and the Quirinal Hill. A majority of these immigrants were all male, causing a population crisis to loom. In the year 752 BCE. Rome tried negotiating with its neighbors, but the Sabines refused to allow the Romans to marry their women, as they feared Rome would become a rival society. Romulus devised a plan to gain more females into the Roman Kingdom. King Romulus invited the neighboring peoples, the Sabines and the Latins, to the Circus Maximus, a celebration for the God Neptune. While the men of the Sabines and Latins were entertained or drunk, the Romans kidnapped the women of their civilizations in what was known as the Rape of the Sabine Women. Other women abducted included Caeninenses, Crustumini, and Antemnate women. 

The Sabine War

Outraged at the betrayal at the Circus Maximus, the King of the Caeninenses invaded and attacked Rome with his army, starting the first battle of the Sabine War. King Romulus and his Legions fought off the Caeninenses, killing their king and routing the Caeninenses Army. Romulus then went to Caenina and took the city upon the first assault. Romulus returned to Rome after the conquest of Caenina, holding a celebration on 1 March 752 BCE. During celebrations, the Antemnate Army invaded Rome. The Romans under Romulus struck back, and the Antemnates were defeated. Their city was then conquered by Romulus' Legions. The Crustumini also attempted what the Caeninenses and Antemnates tried to do, and thie resulted in their same fate: the Crustumini were conquered by the Roman Kingdom. 

The Sabines declared war, and their armies attacked Rome under their King, King Titus Tatius. The Governor of Capitoline Hill Spurius Tarpeius' daughter, Tarpeia was the guard to the city gate. The Sabine Army told her that if she opened the gate, she would get "what they bore on their arms." She thought they referred to the gold on their bracelets, and opened the gate. Instead, she was killed by being crushed by Sabine shields, and her body was thrown from a cliff that would become known as Tarpeian Rock. The Sabines were initially very successful in their early attack on Rome, capturing the Citadel on Capitoline Hill. Roman General Hostus Hostilius led a Roman counter attack on the Citadel, then under the command of Sabine General Mettus Curtius. Hostilius died in the battle, and the Romans faltered, retreating back to Palatine Hill. There, Romulus rallied the Legions, promising to build a temple to Jupiter on the site. They attacked once more, and Mettus Curtius was unhorsed, and ran away from the battle as Romulus approached victory. However, it was then the Sabine women that were kidnapped intervened, running into the battlefield and begging the fighting the stop, as they were all now one family. This stopped the battle and the war.

As the Sabine War ended, the Sabine and Roman Kingdoms agreed to unify into a Sabine-Roman Kingdom. King Romulus ruled jointly with King Titus Tatius. Many Sabines moved to Capitonline Hill. 

Developing the new Rome

After the Sabine War, Romulus created three divisions of equities: Romans, Tities (Sabines), and Luceres (After the Etruscans, another neighboring civilization). He also created thirty Curiae, each named after various Sabine women that stopped the fighting at Rome. 

The First Roman-Etruscan War

Soon, the Fidenates, an Etruscan people, decided to eliminate Rome as a threat. The Fidenates invaded Roman territory and laid waste to it. In opposition, Romulus marched on Fidenae and camped a mile away. As the Fidenates Army turned around to aid their capital, the Romans launched an ambush outside the city, defeating the Fidenates, and taking the town. 

The Veientes, an Etruscan people allied with the Fidenates and very nearby, began to be concerned for their own well-being. The Veientes invaded Rome and stole treasures. One the way home, Romulus and his Legions followed them back to Veii, where they attacked just outside the city. The Romans beat the Veientes, who fled into their city. The Romans did not have enough strength to take the city, so they instead laid waste to their territory. A treaty was brokered: There would be a one hundred year peace between the two nations, and the Veientes would concede some territory to Rome. 

The End of Romulus and King Numa Pomilius

As Romulus' 36-year reign drew to a close, Romulus had begun to be worshiped as a God of War. He died at the age of 54 in the year 717 BCE. After his death, The Roman Kingdom entered an interregnum for a year. Ten men chosen from the Senate each ruled Rome, until finally, in 716 BCE, the Sabine Senator Numa Pompilius was chosen to become the 2nd King of Rome. He was chosen as he had a reputation of piety and a sense of Justice. King Numa Pompilius brought an era of peace to Rome, making peace with its neighbors and closing the gates of Rome. Numa made Rome a more religious society, creating a class system of Priests and Vestal Virgins. His reign lasted for 31 years until his death in 673 BCE. 

End of the Peace and King Tullus Hostilius 

Tullus Hostilus ascended to the throne of Rome. Hostilius was a complete opposite of King Pomilius, as he had blatant disregard for the gods, and was war-loving. Soon, war broke out with the neighboring kingdom of Alba Longa. Both Alba Longa and Roman peasants plundered each other's lands, and ambassadors were sent to diffuse the situation. However, the aggressive King Tullus Hostilius declared war on Alba Longa. In response, King Gaius Clulius of Alba Longa declared war on Rome. 

Clulius led his army to Rome, where they surrounded a city with a giant trench. However, King Clulius died in these trenches, and Mettius Fufetius was declared as the Alba Longan Dictator. Tullus took command of the Roman Legions, and led them past the Alba Longan army into Alba Longa territory. Fufetius moved the army to follow the Romans, and invited Hostilius to a conference. Hostilius arrived while both armies prepared for battle. Mettius proposed that instead of the death of their armies, three brothers from each nation would fight each other to the death to decide the fate of the nations. Mettius believed that if both Rome and Alba Longa were weakened, the Etruscans would take the opportunity to invade. Hostilius agreed, and the Horatii brothers from Rome and the Curiatii brothers from Alba Longa met in combat. While two Romans first fell, the last one killed all three of the Albans, ending in Roman victory. With that, Alba Longa became a vassal of the Roman Kingdom. Tullus ordered Mettius to return home and prepare in case war with the Veientes came. 

War did come, as Mettius Fufetius provoked the Fidenates to rebel and the Veientes to invade. Tullus ordered Mettius to meet his army, and together, they marched om Fidenae. The Veientes also arrived to support the Fidenates rebellion. During the battle, the Fidenates routed, but the Alban army deserted to let the Romans be destroyed. The Romans defeated the Veientes, however. In response to Mettius Fufetius' betrayal, he was executed, and the city of Alba Longa was completely demolished, and its citizens were moved to Rome. The Curia Hostila was formed out of important Alban families that Tullus has appointed, which enlarged the Roman Senate.  New Legions were also made out of the Alba Longans. 

Tullus also sparked war with the conquered Sabines. Many Roman Merchants had been sized by the Sabines, while many Sabines were also kept against their will in Rome. Tullus used this to declare war on the Sabines and reassert the Roman conquest. The Sabines bolstered their ranks with volunteers from Veii, but Veii itself refused to go to war with Rome for a third time. With their new Alban Legions, the Romans met the Sabines in a battle in the forrest of Malitiosa. The Sabines took heavy losses and retreated, ending the rebellion. 

Towards the end of King Tullus Hostilus' reign, he began to take more note of the Gods  as he fell ill and became superstitious. On the 31st Year of his reign, Hostilius asked for assistance from Jupiter. In response, a bolt of lightning hit the house of Hostilius, burning the King and his home to ashes in the year 642 BCE.

King Ancus Marcius and his Peaceful Annexation

King Numa Pomilius' grandson Ancus Marcius was elected as the King following the death of Tullus Hostilius. In contrast to Hostilius, Marcius was peaceful and religious. Marcius provided little in Roman expansion, though he did establish the first Roman prison. Marcius fortified Janiculum Hill for defensive purposes and built the first bridge across the Tiber River. He founded a port named Ostia on the Turrhenian Sea to the west of Italy. This created Rome's first salt works. Marcius did however expand Rome, as he diplomatically annexed all the remaining Latins. After a 25 year reign, Ancus Marcius died of a natural death in 616 BCE.


Comments