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The Roman monarchy

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The Roman monarchy is the first era of Rome. The monarchy shows the that the Romans valued a voice of the people and respect for diversity. Roman monarchy spanned for a relatively short time, 753-509 b.c.e.

The Roman monarchy started in the 753 b.c.e. Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus, and Romulus later became king. He killed his brother and established the city of Rome (which is named after him). Romulus was trying to attract immigrants and outcasts, therefore, Rome amassed a large and diverse group of people. According to legend, Sabines, a group of people from a neighboring town, didn’t want to intermarry with the Romans. As a solution, “both sides would later make peace with one another after a brief war, and the Sabine king, Titus Tatius, would later become joint-ruler of Rome alongside Romulus, thus cementing the Sabine integration into the Roman populace.” (Evans).

After ruling for 40 years, Romulus disappeared from the Field of Mars. The reign of Romulus showed the Roman value of a respect for diversity because Rome is made up of outcasts and immigrants. And with the diverse group of people, the culture is created by mixing different backgrounds of these immigrants and outcasts. During Romulus’s reign, the Romans integrated with the Sabines, therefore, Romulus had to listen to Titus Tatius, who ruled beside him, and the Sabines in order to keep a peaceful reign for 40 years.

There were 6 more kings succeeding Romulus. Preceding Romulus was Numa Pompilius (715-673 BC), who was elected from the Sabine Town of Cures. Numa was known as the “a man of peace who established Roman religion.”(Beard) Numa most importantly give his people a pontifex, someone that the public can consult about problems in the city or for advice. After Numa Pompilius was Tullus Hostilius (673-642 BC), during whose reign a war erupted between the Romans, Albans, and Etruscans. Tullus was known to be a strong military leader, but according to the legend, his reign ended when he was struck by lightning by the god Jupiter.

The fourth king of the Roman Monarchy was Ancus Marcius (642-627 BC). Ancus Marcius was the grandson of Numa and during his reign he extended the Roman territory. His reign ended when he lost a popular election to Lucius Tarquinius Priscus. Lucius Tarquinius Priscus (534-510 BC), was Etruscan. During his reign, he increased the senate to 100 people and by the end of his reign Rome has become as city-states. Preceding his reign was Servius Tullius, who was appointed by Tarquinius’ widow. During his reign he placed people into five classes, advanced the middle class, and made it a requirement to own land in order to vote. His reign ended when Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, son of Tarquinius the Elder (the fifth king), assassinated Servius. The last king was Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. Around 509- 510 B.C, there was large shift from Monarchy to the Republic. Lucius Tarquinius Superbus angered the patricians, who drove him out of the city. The reason for the shift was to prevent tyranny and oppressive values. “They were so determined to prevent the reemergence of a tyrant in Rome that they abolished the monarchy and established a republic conferring most of the king’s executive authority.” (Grant and Kitzinger).

Some of the kings valued the opinion of their people and others gave more power to the government. The second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius, made sure to hear the opinion of his people to “prevent the confusion which might result from neglect of natural religious rite or the adoptions of foreign ones” (Boyle and Woodward). When the patricians drove out Lucius Tarquinius Superbus and completely ended monarchy it shows the Roman value of having a voice of the people. The last few kings have focused more on their own power instead of their citizens’ needs.

The Romans didn’t have much of a voice considering they could only vote if they owned land. Some kings were not elected to their position, some came to power by assassination or appointed by one person. This takes away the voice or choice of the Roman people. The beginning and end of Roman monarchy prominently shows their values: respect for diversity and respect for a voice of the people.

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