Episode 17 – The Conflict of the Orders

—”We can compare the social classes of Rome to a human body”

Seems like a whole new topic, but that’s nothing new to the Romans: internal struggles between their social classes appear every time, and as soon as there was no threat from the outside. But this time, they went overboard.

Partial Transcript

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

The Tale of Rome, Episode 17 – The Conflict of the Orders.

Last week we kicked the Latin League’s behind, in a battle that lasted far too long into the afternoon, and we all got hungry and ended up missing lunch.

Partly by superstition, Roman legionaries carried two types of food with them, at all times. Bread and olives. They also carried water, but during a battle, water would be both a waste and a discomfort, so olives just had to do, to make a soldier’s bread feel not too dry.

Did I mention that Romans were super superstitious? Well, in case I didn’t say it, here’s another one of their ideas:

Romans considered even numbers to be bad luck, and odd numbers to bring good luck.

Oh yeah. Just about half of the days in a month were no good to get married, offer sacrifices to the gods, provoke a battle, start a major business, a long journey, or even an affair, outside of one’s own home.

But, well, let’s get back to our reality, and the fact that Rome beat the Latins, together with that old Tarquin the Proud.

A year later, Tarquin will move from Clusium, where — after the death of gold ole’ King Lars Porsenna, people in Clusium kinda’ didn’t like him anymore.

Tarquin found lodging in another Etruscan town, where he lived for another year, before dying in exile. Without a throne, without a lot of money, and without that last son-in-law of his, who was killed during the battle at lake Regillus.

The name of the locality were Tarquin the Proud finally died was Cumae, and Cumae was ruled by another despot of the time, named Aristodemus.


The Roman Senate, thankful for the help of Latins, returned some 6000 prisoners of war to the Latins, and in exchange for that attitude, Latins sent a golden crown to be placed inside the temple of Jupiter in Rome.

The day the Crown was set in the temple, a large crowd joined the event, and that included those liberated Latin prisoners, who were—obviously grateful to Rome for their freedom.


Episode 16 – The Battle of Lake Regillus

— “I have five daughters,” said the giant.

Cloelia’s heroism. King Lars Porsenna’s farewell. A threat on the shores of Lake Regillus. A threat so big, that Rome installs a dictator for the first time, in order to survive its institutional infancy.

Partial Transcript

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

The Tale of Rome, Episode 16 – The Battle of Lake Regillus.

Last week we left off with the siege of Rome, and how Mucius gave King Porsenna the scare of his life, by telling him that the romans were going to kill him sooner or later.

Instead of burning him alive, Porsenna set Mucius free.

Two hours later, as soon as the sun came out, a delegation of Etruscans marched towards Rome, bearing their standard flag aloft, meaning peace.

They were on foot, and kept a continuous step. The signing of a peace treaty took place an hour later.


We know that in the year 503 BC, Publicola died.

Publius Valerius Publicola died in Rome at an unestablished age, in relative poverty, but loved by his people.

The burial of Publicola was paid for by the city of Rome, as his family did not possess the means, financially speaking.

His body was put on that same promontory next to the place where once people suspected him of trying to become a king of Rome.


Episode 15 – King Lars Porsenna

— The Romans gave him as much land as he could circle in one day with an ox and a plow, and they’d also give him a cow.

During the first years of the republic, Rome was invaded, conquered and taken by Etruscan King Lars Porsenna. But we’ll also hear the Roman version of that, and hopefully know what exactly happened.

Partial Transcript

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

The Tale of Rome, Episode 15 — King Lars Porsenna.

Last week we had that Tarquin the Proud managed to convince the king of a city called Clusium to invade Rome with his forces. That king’s name was Lars Porsenna.


Finally, Valerius also ordered the Roman Senate to gather on the very next day, and to vote for the missing consul, because he had no intentions of being the only consul of Rome.


The Senate voted, and decided that the consul replacing late Junius Brutus would be a man called let’s see if you guys can repeat this name after hearing it once, … it would be a man called Spurius Lucretius Tricipitinus.

I can imagine you are having trouble pronouncing that name, just like it did.

But it doesn’t really matter, because that Senator died four or five days after he was elected.

What a lucky Senator! They elect him Consul and the guy dies!