The end of the battle at the Arsian Forest, and the end of the life of Consul Lucius Junius Brutus. We will see that Rome offers him a year-long mourning.
Two weeks ago we found ourselves in the middle of the battle of the Arsian forest.
On one side, we had the forces of former King Tarquin, together with forces of the Etruscan city of Veii, and on the side there were the forces of Rome, directed by Junius Brutus and Publius Valerius.
When Arruns saw that the army of Rome being commanded by Brutus, he exclaimed
“That’s the man who kicked us out of Rome!”
Watch how he proudly advances, adorned with our flag!
O Gods, Avengers of Kings, help me!
As was custom and honor at that time, both Arruns and Junius Brutus threw their horses at full gallop, one towards the other, knowing that if they could just hurt the other, the entire battle would shift to a side, just like crooked salt vendor’s scale in a Roman forum.
But, they both managed to sink the spears and penetrate the other’s shield, and both fell off their horses in the very same instant.
They died the next instant, spears deeply nailed in their torsos.
Historically speaking, although these types of duels probably contain a strong mythical element, scholars of ancient Rome say that this kind of personal combat represented a very common aspect of war within the Roman military system, and should not be discounted as a far-fetched tale.
The long tradition of the so-called spolia opina, which involves a Roman commander defeating an enemy commander in a hand-to-hand combat, insinuates that this type of events did indeed happen, every so often.
But if you take a closer look, and if we take the interpretation of the priestess at Delphi seriously, it was neither Arruns nor Titus who ruled Rome after the old Tarquin was done ruling Rome.
It was Junius Brutus.