Lucius Tarquinius Superbus
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Lucius Tarquinius Superbus (died 495 BC) was the legendary seventh and final king of Rome, reigning from 535 BC until the popular uprising in 509 that led to the establishment of the Roman Republic. He is commonly known as Tarquin the Proud, from his cognomen ''Superbus'' (Latin for "proud, arrogant, lofty").〔D.P. Simpson, ''Cassell's Latin & English Dictionary'' (1963).〕
Ancient accounts of the Regal period mingle history and legend. Tarquin was said to have been the son or grandson of Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, the fifth king of Rome, and to have gained the throne through the murders of both his wife and his elder brother, followed by the assassination of his predecessor, Servius Tullius. His reign is described as a tyranny that justified the abolition of the monarchy.
Tarquin was the son or grandson of Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, the fifth king of Rome, and Tanaquil. Tanaquil had engineered her husband's succession to the Roman kingdom on the death of Ancus Marcius, and when the sons of Marcius arranged the elder Tarquin's assassination in 579 BC, Tanaquil placed Servius Tullius on the throne, in preference to her own sons.〔Titus Livius, ''Ab Urbe Condita'' i. 41.〕 According to an Etruscan tradition, the hero Macstarna, usually equated with Servius Tullius, defeated and killed a Roman named Gnaeus Tarquinius, and rescued the brothers Caelius and Aulus Vibenna. This may recollect an otherwise forgotten attempt by the sons of Tarquin the elder to reclaim the throne.
To forestall further dynastic strife, Tullius married his daughters, known to history as Tullia Major and Tullia Minor, to Lucius Tarquinius, the future king, and his brother Arruns.〔Titus Livius, ''Ab Urbe Condita'' i. 42.〕 Their sister, Tarquinia, married Marcus Junius Brutus, and was the mother of Lucius Junius Brutus.〔Titus Livius, ''Ab Urbe Condita'' i. 56.〕
The elder Tullia was of mild disposition, yet married the ambitious Lucius Tarquinius. Her younger sister was of fiercer temperament, but her husband Arruns was not, and she came to despise him, and conspired with his brother to bring about the deaths of the elder sister and younger brother. After the murder of their siblings, Lucius and Tullia were married.〔Titus Livius, ''Ab Urbe Condita'' i. 46.〕 Together, they had three sons: Titus, Arruns, and Sextus, and a daughter, Tarquinia, who married Octavius Mamilius, the prince of Tusculum.
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