Episode 12 – The First Two Consuls

That’s what I love about Rome. They kick each other, regardless of family lines, or family ties. So much for family love!

Episode 12 – The First Two Consuls

Rome gets to choose two Consuls, then they change their mind about one of their fresh Consuls-elect, and replace him with one of the most famous public servants ever – even today: Publius Valerius Publicola.

Partial Transcript

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

The Tale of Rome, Episode 12 — The First Two Consuls.

Last week, we saw—finally, the final moments of the monarchy in Rome.

We saw how Tarquin the Proud got locked out of his own city, after the rebellion started by Lucius Brutus and Lucius Collatinus.

Without any soldiers left, and knowing that the gates of Rome would be blocked, he and the idiot of his son went into exile.

Today we will see how that exile of his went on, and what exactly happened after Romans got to taste their very first hours without kings.

The very first order of the Roman Senate was to publicly declare Tarquin as an Enemy of the State, and that Rome would never again be ruled by a king.

Neither the king nor his wife Tullia would ever be allowed to put their feet within the city of Rome, and here I want to add that Romans sent a very strong message for Tullia, as a persona non-grata in their city. Do not come back to Rome, as you have killed your own father, back in the time when nobody could do anything about it.

Even though that was decades ago, Romans did not forget.

[…]

I don’t know if you guys realized, but both these guys were relatives of the king Rome had just kicked out.

Excuse me? They kick a king out of their city, and they put two of his relatives as the first two Consuls of Rome?

Yep. Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus was the ex-king’s cousin, and Lucius Junius Brutus was the ex-king’s nephew.

That’s what I love about Rome. They kick each other, regardless of family lines, or family ties.

So much for family love!

[…]

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?

[…]

Episode 10 – The Tyrant and the Sibyl

Episode 10 – The Tyrant and the Sibyl

The Tale of Rome – King Tarquin the Proud is the ruler of Rome, and it’s not a good thing for its citizen and neighbors. But an old hag with magic powers, also known as a Sybil, makes the king’s life miserable with a strange proposal…

Partial Transcript

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

The Tale of Rome, Episode 10 — The Tyrant and the Sibyl.

Last week we saw the end of Servius Tullius’ life, and how his son-in-law usurped the throne of Rome. And luckily, I already gave you guys a brief description of this kings’ character, so let’s go ahead and see the first part of his reign.

[…]

The king was the law. His power over life and death, war and peace, rich and poor, were all undisputed.

The Roman Senate, utterly ignored and completely laughed at by the king himself, became a bunch of old men who just went to work, and looked forward to going back home, having survived another day.

They walked around the forum and their city in total fear when the king was around, and in total shame when the king was elsewhere, busy tormenting people outside of Rome.

To put it in one sentence, Tarquin rendered the Senate totally anemic, and too weak to fight his power.

Well, while the king’s reign progressed this way, and old woman arrived in Rome, and she immediately asked for an audience with the king.

But according to historians we know that this old hag was no ordinary old lady, and that in fact, she was really one of the legendary ten Sibyls, and she came all the way from what is today’s Turkey. Sibyls were known to possess tremendous powers, and Romans—as well as Etruscans, knew better than crossing a Sibyl and her magic.

[…]

Episode 10 in 72 hours: The Worst King of Rome

The Worst King of Rome – Tarquin the Proud

Episode 10 of THE TALE OF ROME, in 72 hours.

As we get closer to the world’s most famous republic ever, we are about to kick out the worst king Rome ever had. Tarquin the Proud.