Episode 11 – Rome 1 – Athens 0

Romans didn’t like being second, especially when it came to a little word like democracy.

Episode 11 – Rome 1 – Athens 0

King Tarquin the Proud is kicked out of Rome, and his son Sextus was the main cause. We learn of a rape that shaped the world of Rome, and perhaps the entire western world.

Partial Transcript

Hello, this is Abel, in Beijing, China. Welcome to my podcast.

The Tale of Rome, Episode 11 — Rome 1 – Athens 0.

This episode has a rather soccer-type title name, because the Romans—let me repeat that, the Romans claim that their republic started in the year 509 BC.

Personally, I don’t buy it, not even for a minute, but—since all we have are the records written by the Romans themselves, and since we do not have a time machine, we have to stick to their version.

Romans didn’t like being second, especially when it came to a little word like DEMOCRACY.

Turns out that, in the year 508 BC, and according to some historians—507 BC, something happened in Greece.

A man named Kleisthenes, a noble Athenian made significant reforms to the constitution of ancient Athens, and so he set his city on a democratic footing in either 508 or 507 BC.

So, then—the reaction of the Romans, actually, the reaction of those who rewrote the hsitory of Rome some centuries later, was to make a fine-tuning to their own history.

Let us have Rome get their democarcy a year earlier.

So, Rome’s demacracy arrived to the the Romans in the year 509 BC. A clever move, and a good goal.

Partial score: Rome 1 – Athens 0.

And please notice that I said “PARTIAL SCORE” because this game is far from over, and we are centuries away from the end-game whistle.

Last week we saw that Tarquin the Proud was mistreating his people. The rich, the poor, and everyone in between, plus—the people around Rome, too.

And we got to the point where Tarqin was busy setting up a siege to a city called Ardea, near the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

But before we get to our Latin word of the day, I would like you to imagine this:

Sping in Rome, really early in the morning, way before the Sun rises.

As snow in the mountains melted, thawing rivers and streams to the east and north of Rome were feeding the plains around Rome, and many small, wooden bridges were carried away by the quiet, yet unrestrainable force of nature.

Through this landscape, a horseman was riding on his black horse, at full speed. He was heading south, and he was avoiding village crossroads and bridges, trying not to be seen. Romans rose early, and this added to his haste. Rome was fading behind him, and a lapis lazuli sliver on the sky was announcing the first break of dawn.

[…]

Lucretia died less than a few minutes later, but while she was dying she asked the three men to avenge her life, and to make sure that Rome was free of men like Tarquin the Proud, and that son of his.

Needless to say, the three men decided to make sure, her dying wish was to be fulfilled, otherwise our story wouldn’t match now, would it?

[…]