F Heritage History | Story of Rome by Mary Macgregor
Contents 
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

Story of Rome - Mary Macgregor




The Tarpeian Rock

The tribes who had been at the feast of Consus were so angry with the king that many of them went to fight against him, without waiting to gather together a large army. Thus Romulus soon defeated and scattered his foes.

Moreover, having slain one of the kings with his own hand, he stripped him of his armour, and tying it to a pole, carried it back to Rome, where he offered it to Jupiter. This was the earliest Triumph celebrated at Rome. In days to come the Triumphs of the Roman generals became famous. They were held when the soldiers returned victorious from a great battle. The general at the head of his army rode into the city in a chariot drawn by beautiful horses. Other chariots followed, filled with the treasures and spoils of war, while the most noble prisoners, often loaded with chains, were dragged along behind the chariots. The day on which a Triumph was celebrated was always held as a holiday by the citizens of Rome.

Now, among the tribes which Romulus had robbed, none had suffered so heavily as the Sabines. But they, more wary than the king's other foes, did not attempt to avenge their wrongs until they had had time to collect a large and powerful army. Nearly two years had passed before this army was led by Tatius, the King of the Sabines, against the Romans.

The fortress on the Capitoline hill Romulus had entrusted to the care of a chief named Tarpeius. Now Tarpeius had a daughter named Tarpeia, and she loved ornaments and jewels of gold and silver.

As the Sabines, led by Tatius, drew near to attack the fortress, Tarpeia looked out of a spy-hole and saw that the enemy was adorned with beautiful golden bracelets. The longer she looked, the greater became her desire to possess these dazzling ornaments. What would she not do to wear such splendid jewels? She would—yes, she would even betray the fortress into the hands of the Sabines, if only she might hear the tinkle of the golden bracelets on her arms.

So, leaving the spy-hole, Tarpeia slipped secretly out of the fortress and spoke to the Sabines, offering to show them how to take the citadel if they would give her in reward 'what they wore on their left arms.'

The Sabines agreed to do as Tarpeia wished, but in their hearts they despised the maiden for her treachery.

But she, heedless of all save the ornaments that would soon be hers, hastened back to the fortress.

Then, when it grew dark, she stealthily opened the gate, outside of which stood the waiting foe.

As the Sabines marched into the fortress, Tarpeia cried to them to remember their promise and give her her reward.

Then Tatius bade his men not to refuse 'the least part of what they wore on their left arms,' and himself taking off his bracelet, threw it to her, together with his shield, which he also bore on his left arm.

His men did as their king had done, so that Tarpeia soon fell to the ground and was killed by the weight of the shields that covered her.

The traitress was buried on the hill which she had betrayed. From that day traitors were punished by being thrown over the steepest rock on the Capitoline hill, which was named after the maiden who betrayed her city, 'The Tarpeian Rock.'