Overthrow of the Roman monarchy
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The Overthrow of the Roman monarchy was a political revolution in ancient Rome in around 509 BC, which resulted in the expulsion of the last king of Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, and the establishment of the Roman Republic.
The Roman histories tell that while the king was away on campaign, his son Sextus Tarquinius raped a noblewoman Lucretia. Afterwards, she revealed the offence to various Roman noblemen, and then committed suicide. The Roman noblemen, led by Lucius Junius Brutus, obtained the support of the Roman aristocracy and the people to expel the king and his family and to institute a republic. The Roman army supported Brutus, and the king went into exile. Despite a number of attempts by Lucius Tarquinius Superbus to reinstate the monarchy, the republic was established and two consuls were elected annually to rule the city.
==Background: The Kingdom==
Roman history held that seven kings of Rome reigned from the establishment of the city in 753 BC by Romulus up to the reign of Tarquinius. The accuracy of this account has been doubted by modern historians, although it appears to be accepted that there was a monarchy, and the last king Tarquinius was expelled upon the founding of the republic in the late 6th century BC.
Tarquinius was the son of the fifth king, Lucius Tarquinius Priscus. In around 535 BC Tarquinius, together with his wife Tullia Minor (one of the daughters of the then king Servius Tullius) arranged the murder of Servius, and Tarquinius became king in his place.
Despite various military victories, Tarquinius became an unpopular king. He refused to bury his predecessor, then put to death a number of the leading senators whom he suspected of remaining loyal to Servius (one of whom was the brother of Lucius Junius Brutus). By not replacing the slain senators, and not consulting the Senate on all matters of government, he diminished both the size and authority of the Senate. In another break with tradition, he judged capital criminal cases without advice of counsellors, thereby creating fear among those who might think to oppose him. He also engaged in treachery with the Latin allies.
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