Story of Rome - Mary Macgregor

The Divine Twins

Tarquin the Proud was an old man now, but he was not yet ready to believe that he would never again reign in Rome.

Once more he prepared for battle, invoking the aid of the Latins, for he believed that the Romans would quail before this fierce and warlike people.

The Romans did not quail, but they knew that they would need brave men to lead their army. So they appointed a Dictator, who was to have supreme command of the army and power as though he was king in Rome, for six months.

Aulus Postumius was the name of the Roman who was chosen for this great trust.

Tarquin, his cruel son Sextus, and a band of Roman exiles marched to the battlefield, near Lake Regillus in the region of Tusculum. With them was their ally the King of the Latins, leading a great army.

The Romans, with Aulus at their head, advanced against the foe, and a great battle was fought.

Valerius, the Consul was on the field, and when he saw Sextus anger filled his heart, and he dashed forward to slay him. But the prince retreated, and Valerius followed until he was drawn into the lines of the enemy, and perished by the thrust of a spear.

Fiercely as the Romans fought, the day began to go against them. Then Aulus vowed that he would build a temple to the twin brothers, Castor and Pollux, if they would but come to his aid and give to the Romans victory.

Scarcely had the Dictator ended his prayer, when lo! two youths of more than human height and majesty appeared, clad in shining armour, and riding upon white horses.

Going to the head of the army, they led it afresh against the Latins.

The enemy, terrified by the splendour of the strangers, and startled at the suddenness of the new attack, were seized with panic, and fled.

On rushed the Romans in pursuit of the foe, on until they reached the camp of the Latins, which the strange horsemen were the first to enter.

The Latin army was now in utter confusion, while a great victory had been won by the Romans.

Aulus wished to reward the strangers to whom the victory was really due, but they were nowhere to be seen. Neither in the field nor in the camp was there any trace of the riders or their steeds.

But in Rome, where old men and women awaited, with anxious hearts, news of the battle, there appeared in the Forum, as the sun went down, two horsemen. They were mounted on pure white steeds, and they themselves were 'exceeding beautiful and tall above the stature of men.' But they bore upon them the stains of battle.

When they reached the spring that rises close to the temple of Vesta, they dismounted, and washed the foam from their horses, the stains from their clothes.

Men and women crowded around the strangers, eager to hear their tidings. Then the brothers told them of the glorious victory that had been won, after which they mounted their white steeds, and riding away, were seen no more.

When the Dictator returned to Rome, he told how he had prayed to the Divine Twins Castor and Pollux, and how he believed that they had indeed come to his aid.

Moreover, he was sure that it was they who had ridden to Rome with more than mortal speed to tell of the victory that had been won.

Then Aulus, with a glad heart, began to build the temple he had vowed to the Divine Twins, and the Romans kept a festival each year in honour of Castor and Pollux.

At this festival, sacrifices were offered in the temple, while a solemn procession of knights, clad in purple and crowned with olive, rode from the temple of Mars without the city wall to the temple dedicated by the Dictator to the Divine Twins. This temple is now being excavated in the Forum of Rome.

The Latins, after their defeat, refused any longer to fight for Tarquin, while they hastened to make peace with his enemies.

Alone and childless, for Sextus had fallen in battle, Tarquin went away to Cumæ, and there he, the last of the Kings of Rome, died.

Soon after this, Rome regained her dominions on the right bank of the Tiber. She had already ceased to regard the treaty which had forbidden her the use of arms.


Front Matter

The Lady Roma
The She-Wolf
The Twin Boys
Numitor's Grandson
The Sacred Birds
The Founding of Rome
The Sabine Maidens
The Tarpeian Rock
The Mysterious Gate
The King Disappears
The Peace-Loving King
Horatius Slays His Sister
Pride of Tullus Hostilius
King Who Fought and Prayed
The Faithless Friend
A Slave Becomes a King
Cruel Deed of Tullia
Fate of the Town of Gabii
Books of the Sibyl
Industry of Lucretia
Death of Lucretia
Sons of Brutus
Horatius Cocles
Mucius Burns Right Hand
The Divine Twins
The Tribunes
Coriolanus and His Mother
The Roman Army in a Trap
The Hated Decemvirs
The Death of Verginia
The Friend of the People
Camillus Captures Veii
The Statue of the Goddess
Schoolmaster Traitor
Battle of Allia
The Sacred Geese
The City Is Rebuilt
Volscians on Fire
Battle on the Anio
The Curtian Lake
Dream of the Two Consuls
The Caudine Forks
Caudine Forks Avenged
Fabius among the Hills
Battle of Sentinum
Son of Fabius Loses Battle
Pyrrhus King of the Epirots
Elephants at Heraclea
Pyrrthus and Fabricius
Pyrrhus is Defeated
Romans Build a Fleet
Battle of Ecnomus
Roman Legions in Africa
Regulus Taken Prisoner
Romans Conquer the Gauls
The Boy Hannibal
Hannibal Invades Italy
Hannibal Crosses the Alps
Battle of Trebia
Battle of Lake Trasimenus
Hannibal Outwits Fabius
Fabius Wins Two Victories
Battle of Cannae
Despair of Rome
Defeat of Hasdrubal
Claudius Enjoy a Triumph
Capture of New Carthage
Scipio Sails to Africa
Romans Set Fire to Camp
Hannibal Leaves Italy
The Battle of Zama
Scipio Receives a Triumph
Flamininus in Garlands
Death of Hannibal
Hatred of Cato for Carthage
The Stern Decree
Carthaginians Defend City
Destruction of Carthage
Cornelia, Mother of Gracchi
Tiberius and Octavius
Death of Tiberius Gracchus
Death of Gaius Gracchus
The Gold of Jugurtha
Marius Wins Notice of Scipio
Marius Becomes Commander
Capture of Treasure Towns
Capture of Jugurtha
Jugurtha Brought to Rome
Marius Conquers Teutones
Marius Mocks the Ambassadors
Metellus Driven from Rome
Sulla Enters Rome
The Flight of Marius
Gaul Dares Not Kill Marius
Marius Returns to Rome
The Orator Aristion
Sulla Besieges Athens
Sulla Fights the Samnites
The Proscriptions of Sulla
The Gladiators' Revolt
The Pirates
Pompey Defeats Mithridates
Cicero Discovers Conspiracy
Death of the Conspirators
Caesar Captured by Pirates
Caesar Gives up Triumph
Caesar Praises Tenth Legion
Caesar Wins a Great Victory
Caesar Invades Britain
Caesar Crosses Rubicon
Caesar and the Pilot
The Flight of Pompey
Cato Dies Rather than Yieldr
Caesar is Loaded with Honours
Nobles Plot against Caesar
The Assassination of Caesar
Brutus Speaks to Citizens
Antony Speaks to Citizens
The Second Triumvirate
Battle of Philippi
Death of Brutus
Antony and Cleopatra
Battle of Actium
Antony and Cleopatra Die
Emperor Augustus