The Romans

[100] [We shall now present information about] the kings of the Romans, beginning with Romulus [and about the Romans'] consuls and emperors from Julius Caesar to our own time, based on all the historical sources which we have thus far relied upon.

[These sources are:]

Alexander Polyhistor,

Abydenus, who wrote books about the Assyrians and Medes,

the three books of Manetho, about the history of Egypt,

Cephalion's nine books of the Muses,

the forty books of Diodorus' [Historical] Library, containing a summary of events to [the time of] Gaius Caesar,

the eighteen books of Cassius Longinus, containing a summary of 228 Olympiads,

the fourteen books of Phlegon, the freedman of [Hadrianus] Caesar, containing a summary of 229 Olympiads,

the six books of Castor, containing an account of history from Ninus to the 181st Olympiad,

the three books of Thallus, containing an account of events from the capture of Troy until the 167th Olympiad [112 B.C.],

[the writings of] Porphyrius, the philosopher who is our contemporary [containing events] from the capture of Troy until the reign of Claudius [g359].

[101] The Chronology of the Romans.

Let us now present the chronology of the kings of the Romans. Their rulers first took the title [of king] in the seventh Olympiad [752-749 B.C.], when Romulus founded the city of the Romans, and gave his name to the city, and to all the people who were ruled by its kings. Before this time they had been called sometimes Latins, and sometimes Aborigines, having different names at different times.

Aeneas the son of Anchises, and his successors ruled over [these folk] after the fall of Troy and prior to the foundation of the city. The history of these kings has been related by many different writers, not only native Romans but also Greeks. It will be sufficient to quote just two of them, as reliable witnesses to the events which we are considering. First I will quote Dionysius [of Halicarnassus, d. ca. 7 B.C.], who provides a summary of the history of the Romans. In addition to books, he wrote an Ancient History of the Romans. In the first book, he gives an account of Aeneas and the kings after him following the capture of Troy. I shall now summarize the relevant portions from Book One [DionHal 1.9] [g360] which concern the matter at hand.

The History of the Romans from Book One of Dionysius of Halicarnassus.

From this city, which the Romans now inhabit, the whole earth and sea is ruled. Its earliest inhabitants, it is said, were a native people, the barbarian Sicels. No one knows for sure what the condition of the place was before [the Sicels], whether it was occupied by others or uninhabited . But some time later the Aborigines gained possession of it, after a long war with its inhabitants. These people had previously lived on the mountains in unwalled villages scattered around here and there [g361].

They say that after them, the Pelasgians and some of the Greeks took the country. At first they were called Aborigines; but under Latinus, their king, who reigned at the time of the Trojan war, they began to be called Latins. Sixteen generations later, Romulus founded the city, and expanded it, and brought great prosperity to it.

Subsequently returning to the topic, Dionysius [DionHal.1.10] adds:
Some claim that the Aborigines, from whom the Romans are originally descended, were natives of Italy, a people which came into being spontaneously (Italy I designate as the entire peninsula which is bounded by the Ionian Gulf and the Tyrrhenian Sea and by the region where the Latins live). The Aborigines were called "clan heads" or "ancestors". Others claim that they were called [g362] nomads/wanderers, coming together out of many places. Still others relate that they were foreigners who came there from Libya. But some of the Roman historians say that they were Greeks, who once inhabited Achaea, and that some of them migrated there many generations before the Trojan war.
[Dionysius] adds:
[102] It is doubtful that this is accurate. In my opinion, the Aborigines belong to the same people now called Arcadians. They were the first Greeks to cross the Ionian Sea and to settle in Italy. They were led there by Lycaon's son Oenotrus [g363], the fifth from Aezeius and Phoroneus, seventeen generations before the Trojan war. Oenotrus settled in the mountains, and called the region Oenotria, and its inhabitants Oenotrians. Later they were called Italians after king Italus, who also gave the name of Italy to the whole country. Italus was succeeded by Morges, from whose name they were called Morgetes. And at the same time as Oenotrus, his brother Peucetius came as a colonist from Arcadia, and settled by the Junian bay, and the people were called Peucetii after him.
All this is [Dionysius'] speculation. Then he writes:
The Pelasgians left Greece and came [g364] and settled in the Italian areas among the Aborigines. The Pelasgians were also called Tyrrheni [Etruscans] and the entire land was called Tyrrhenia, after one of their rulers, who was called Tyrrhenus. Later, Euander arrived with a fleet from Greece, from the city of Pallantium in Arcadia, and he settled in the region of Italy where the city of Rome would later be built. [Dionysius] says that they brought the Greek alphabet to Italy, along with the lyre, a musical instrument, and that they introduced [their] laws. Subsequently Heracles arrived with another Greek fleet and settled in the same area. At first, he was called Saturnius, and from his name the whole region was called Saturnia. Heracles had a son named Latinus, and he too ruled over the land of the Aborigines [g365]. [These people] were called Latins after him. When Latinus died without any sons, Aeneas the son of Anchises succeeded him as king.
Later [Dionysius] summarizes all of this as follows [DionHal 1.60]:
The Romans derived from the people who congregated there and mingled with the native population of the land. They were: first, the Aborigines, who expelled the Sicels from the area. [The Aborigines] were Greeks, originally from the Peloponnese, who came as colonists with Oenotrus, from the region which is now called Arcadia, I believe. The second [group of colonists], the Thessalians, migrated there from the country which used to be called Haemonia, and is now called Thessaly [g366]. The third [group], the Pelasgians, arrived with Euander from the city of Pallantium in Arcadia. Then another group arrived, who were part of the Peloponnesian army commanded by Heracles. Finally the Trojans who escaped with Aeneas from Ilium, Dardanus and the other Trojan cities [came to Italy].

[103] From the Same Book, Concerning when Aeneas Arrived in Italy.

[Dionysius, in 1.63] says: Ilium was captured at the end of the summer, seventeen days before the winter solstice [g367], in the month of Elaphebolion, according to the calendar of the Athenians. There still remained five days after the solstice before the end of that year. I believe that the Achaeans spent the thirty-seven days that followed the taking of the city regulating the affairs of the city, receiving embassies from those who had withdrawn themselves, and creating a treaty with them. The next year, the first after capturing the city, the Trojans set sail after the autumnal equinox, [g368] crossed the Hellespont, and landed in Thrace. They spent the winter there with others who had fled with them, and prepared for their next voyage. When spring arrived, they took ship and sailed from Thrace. They reached Sicily at the end of that year, and passed the winter there living mixed in with the Elymians in their cities.

Now as soon as it was possible to sail, they left the island [of Sicily], crossed the Tyrrhenian Sea, and arrived at Laurentum on the coast of the Aborigines [g369] in the middle of the summer. After capturing the region, they founded Lavinium. Thus ended the second year from the taking of Troy. I have explained these matters as they seem to me.

Next, Aeneas ornamented many sites with temples and other structures which exist to my own day. The following year, the third since the departure from Troy, he ruled as king over Trojans only. However, in the fourth year, after Latinus died, [Aeneas] took over his kingdom as well. This was due to family ties through marriage and the inheritance through Lavinia, after Latinus' death.

A bit later [Dionysius] adds that in a fierce battle over these [?] matters [g370], Latinus, Turnus, and many others had died. Nonetheless Aeneas those with him triumphed. Aeneas took power due to his marriage ties. But after ruling as king for three years after the death of Latinus he lost his life in battle, in the fourth year.

Shortly after this [Dionysius] writes: Aeneas died some the seven years after the taking of Troy. Euryleon, who had been renamed Ascanius during the escape [from Troy], took over rule of the Latin state. Then [Dionysius] adds [DionHal 1.70]: After the death of the Ascanius in the thirty-eighth year of his reign, his brother Silvius took over the kingship. He was had been born of Lavinia, the daughter of Latinus, after Aeneas' death.

[104] Then [Dionysius] adds: Silvius, after holding the sovereignty twenty-nine years, was succeeded by Aeneas, his son, who reigned one less than thirty years [g371]. After him, Latinus reigned fifty-one, then Alba, thirty-nine; after Alba, Capetus reigned twenty-six, then Capys twenty-eight, and after Capys, Capetus held the rule for thirteen years. Then Tiberinus reigned for a period of eight years. This king, it is said, perished in a battle that was fought by a river. After being thrown by his horse into the stream, the river, which had previously been called the Albula, came to be called after his name. Tiberinus' successor, Agrippa, reigned forty-one years. After Agrippa the tyrant Amulius, who was loathed by the gods, reigned nineteen years. Disrespecting divine powers, he had created imitations of lightning and sounds resembling thunder [g372], with which he hoped to terrify people into thinking that he was a god. But rain and lightning descended upon his house. The house was next to a lake which swelled to an unaccuctomed level, so that [Amulius] drowned with his entire household. To the present, in fact, when that lake is clear in a certain part, which happens whenever the level drops and the depths are undisturbed, the ruins of porticoes and other traces of a house can be seen.

[Amulius] was succeeded by Aventius, after whom was named one of the seven hills that are joined to make the city of Rome, and he reigned thirty-seven years. He was followed by Procas for twenty-eight years. Then Numitor, [Amulius'] elder brother, having been unjustly deprived of the kingdom by Amulius [g373], reigned forty-two years. When Amulius had been slain by Romulus and Remus, the sons of a noble maiden, as shall presently be related, Numitor, the maternal grandfather of the youths, after his brother's death resumed the sovereignty which by law belonged to him. In the next year of Numitor's reign, which was the three hundred and thirty-second after the taking of Troy, the Albans sent out a colony, under the leadership of Romulus and Remus, and founded Rome, in that year, which was the seventh Olympiad, when Daicles of Messene was victor in the foot race [752 B.C.], and at Athens Charops was in the first year of his ten-year term as archon.

The same writer adds yet more [information] when relating the different accounts of the history of the city of Rome [DionHal 1.72] [g374].

[105] Regarding the Construction of the City of Rome.

There are many problems concerning the construction of the city, its time and founders. In my opinion none of them [the previous accounts] is accurate. Thus, because [the details] are not universally agreed on, we shall present a brief review. Cephalon of Gergis, a very ancient writer, says that the city was built in the second generation after the Trojan war by those who had escaped from Troy [g375] with Aeneas. [Cephalon] names Romus as its founder. [Romus] had been leader of the colony and one of Aeneas' sons. He says that Aeneas had four sons, Ascanius, Euryleon, Romulus and Remus.

Demagoras, Agathymus and many other [authors] agree with [Cephalon] regarding both the time and the leader of the colony. But the author of the history of the priestesses at Argos and of what happened in the days of each of them says that Aeneas came into Italy from the land of the Molossians with Odysseus and became the founder of the city, which he named Rome--after one of the Trojan women. He says that this woman stirred up the other citizens (or women) [g376] and together with them set fire to the ships, since they had grown weary of wandering. Damastes of Sigeum and some others agree with this [account].

But Aristotle, the philosopher, relates that some of the Achaeans were overtaken by a violent storm while they were navigating Cape Malea on their return from Troy. Since they were driven out of their course by the winds, they wandered over many parts of the sea finally arriving at this place in the land of the Opicans which is called Latium, by the Tyrrhenian sea. Being pleased with the sight of land, they hauled up their ships, and passed the winter there. They were preparing to sail at the beginning of spring, but their ships [g377] were set ablaze one night. Thus they could not depart and were, unwillingly, forced to live in the land where they had landed. He says this was effected by the captive women they were carrying with them from Troy. They burned the ships because they feared that the Achaeans in returning home would make slaves out of them. Callias, who wrote about the deeds of Agathocles, says that one of the Trojan women who came into Italy with the other Trojans, [who was named] Rome, married Latinus, the king of the Aborigines. She bore him two sons, Romus and Romulus, who built a city, and named it after their mother.

Xenagoras, the historian [g378], wrote that Odysseus and Circe had three sons, Romus, Antias and Ardeias, who built three cities and named them after themselves. Dionysius of Chalcis names Romus as the founder of the city, but says that according to some this man was the son of Ascanius, and according to others the son of Emathion.

Now there are also other [writers] who claim that Rome was built by Romus, the son of Italus and Leuce, the daughter of Latinus, while many other Greek historians describe different founders for the city. But so that I will not be considered wordy, let me come to the Roman historians.

The Romans lack even one historian or chronicler who can be considered ancient. But each of their [g379] historians has taken something out of ancient accounts that are preserved on tablets in their temples. Some of these say that Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were the sons of Aeneas. According to others they were the sons of a daughter of Aeneas, without mentioning who their father was. Some say that they were presented as hostages by Aeneas to Latinus, the king of the Aborigines, when the treaty was made between the inhabitants and the immigrants. [According to this version], Latinus gave them a friendly welcome and not only looked after them carefully, but, upon dying without a male heir, willed part of his kingdom to them.

[106] Others say that after the death of Aeneas Ascanius, having succeeded to the entire kingdom of Latinus, divided both the country and the forces of the Latins into three parts, two of which he gave to his brothers, Romulus and Remus. He himself, they say, built Alba and some other towns [g380]. Remus built cities which he named Capua, after Capys, his great-grandfather, Anchisa, after his grandfather Anchises, Aeneia (which was afterwards called Janiculum), after his father, and Rome, after himself. This city was for some time deserted (or ruined), but upon the arrival of another colony, which the Albans sent out under the leadership of Romulus and Remus, Rome again flourished. Thus there were two settlements of Rome, one shortly after the Trojan war, and the other fifteen generations after the first. And if anyone wants to look more carefully into the distant past, even a third [g381] foundation of Rome will be found. This [foundation] occurred before Aeneias and the Trojans came into Italy.

This is related by Antiochus of Syracuse, whom I have mentioned before, hardly a commonplace historian. He says that when Morges reigned in the land of the Latins--which then included all of Italy from Tarentum to the coast of Poseidonia--a man came to him who had fled from Rome. His words are: "When Italus was growing old, Morges reigned. In his reign there came a man from Rome named Sicelus." Thus according to the Syracusan author, an ancient Rome existed even before the Trojan war [g382]. However he left it unsaid whether [Rome] was situated in the same region that the present city stands or whether some other place happened to be called by this name. Consequently I, too, cannot say for sure.

I believe that enough has been said about the ancient foundations [of the city of Rome]. As regards the last settlement or founding of the city, or whatever it should be styled, Timaeus of Sicily, based on some unknown calculation, places it at the same time as the founding of Carthage, that is, in the thirty-eighth year before the first Olympiad [814 B.C.]. Lucius Cincius, a member of the senate, places it about the fourth year of the twelfth Olympiad [729 B.C.]. Quintus Fabius places it in the first year of the eighth Olympiad [748 B.C.]. Porcius Cato does not give the date according to Greek reckoning [g383], but being as careful as any [historian] in gathering material about ancient history, he places [Rome's] foundation four hundred and thirty-two years after the Trojan war; and this date, when compared with the Chronicles of Eratosthenes, corresponds to the first year of the seventh Olympiad [752 B.C.]. In another work I have demonstrated the reliability of the canons of Eratosthenes. In that same work I have also shown how to synchronize Roman and Greek chronology.

Dionysius, in the first book of his Ancient History of Rome, describes all the events which transpired following the capture of Troy in this order: the escape of Aeneias from Troy, and his arrival in Italy; his descendants and successors, who were kings of the Latins, until the time of Romulus and the foundation of Rome; the various accounts of the ancient [historians] about the foundation of the city of Rome.

However, some say that Picus the son of Cronus [g384] was the first king in the territory of Laurentium, where Rome is now situated, and that he reigned for 37 years. After him Faunus the son of Picus [ruled] for 44 years. In his reign, Heracles traveled from Spain and erected an altar in the Forum Boarium, to commemorate his killing of Cacus, Vulcanus' son. Then Latinus was king for 36 years. The Latins were named after him. Troy was captured in the 33rd year of his reign. Then Aeneas fought against the Rutuli, and killed Turnus. He married Lavinia, Latinus' daughter, and founded the city of Lavinium. After this he was king for 3 years. This summarizes what we have found in the books of other writers.

Let us continue with yet another author, namely Diodorus [Siculus], who produced in one collection a complete repository of [historical] writing. [Diodorus] recorded the history of the Romans in his seventh book, as follows [g385].


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