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Transcript of Servius Tullius!
WHO WAS SERVIUS TULLIUS?
Servius Tullius was the legendary sixth king of Rome. He was often depicted as an Etruscan (a tribe in central Italy) named Mastarna.
WHO WERE SERVIUS TULLIUS' PARENTS?
Servius' father was thought of as either Vulcan or a household god. His mother, interestingly, was a slave.
DID ANYONE ELSE KNOW THAT MOM WAS A SLAVE?
Actually, yes. Tanaquil, the wife of the previous king, Tarquinius Priscus, knew of this. Tanaquil owned Ocrisia, Servius' mother!
HOW DID SERVIUS TULLIUS
When the previous king, Tarquinius Priscus, was severely wounded in a murder disguised as a riot, Tanaquil (Tarquin's wife) took the opportunity to make Servius Tullius regent. So, when Tarquinius Priscus died, Servius Tullius became king.
WHAT DID SERVIUS
TULLIUS LOOK LIKE?
Obviously we can't know what Servius Tullius looked like for sure (it was almost 3000 years ago!) but we do have some examples of depictions and guesses about what he may look like.
HOW DID SERVIUS TULLIUS BECOME KING? (PART II)
Tanaquil and Servius lied to everyone by saying that Tarquinius' wound wasn't dangerous and that Tarquinius simply wanted Servius to act as king for a while. In reality, though, Tarquinius was already dead. When the public finally found out, Servius had already taken control of the throne.
WHO WAS TANAQUIL?
Tanaquil was the wife of Tarquinius Priscus and Servius Tullius' mother-in-law. She helped Tarquinius Priscus and Servius Tullius become kings.
WHAT DID SERVIUS TULLIUS ACCOMPLISH?
Servius Tullius gave more power to the people, per se. He instituted reforms that gave more power to the plebs, the "poor" class of Roman society, and was opposed by the patricians, the "rich" class. The "comitia curiata" was the main ruling body in Rome until Servius Tullius. He changed its power so that it could not be the only one making any decisions. He also instituted the census, which was originally for military purposes so Rome would know how many able soldiers it had.
WHO WERE THE ALLIES AND ENEMIES OF SERVIUS TULLIUS?
Servius Tullius warred with the Veii,
rivals since the founding of Rome. The war was brought to a conclusion quickly, as seen in the Fasti Triumphales, a record of military triumphs. He was allied with the Latins, a tribe in central Rome.
WHAT DID SERVIUS TULLIUS DO FOR THE SENATE?
The Roman Senate, one of the greatest accomplishments of Ancient Rome and the basis for the Senate in the US Congress, had no power before Servius Tullius! Since the Senate contained mostly plebs, the "comitia curiata" wanted to limit its power. Before Servius Tullius all it could do was suggest ideas! After Servius Tullius, however, the Senate was the main governing body in Rome for the rest of its history.
a meeting of the Senate.
WHAT BAD THINGS DID SERVIUS TULLIUS DO AS KING?
There are few poor acts (that have been recorded) Servius Tullius performed during his reign as king. He was remembered as the last of the benevolent Roman kings.
WHAT WAS THE SERVIAN WALL AND THE SEPTIMONIUM?
The Servian Wall was built by Servius Tullius and surrounded the entire city of Rome. It was built after a raid by Gauls. Part of it still stands today, amazingly. The Septimontium is linked to this. It means "seven hills" in Latin and was celebrated in September. It was also established by Servius Tullius and was a festival comparable to the rural "Paganalia", a celebration of the harvest.
a map showing the location of the Servian wall (in red)
a map of Servius Tullius' family tree
HOW DID SERVIUS TULLIUS DIE?
Servius Tullius was assassinated by his treacherous daughter Tullia Minor and her husband Tarquin the Proud. He had reigned for 44 years, and his reign was characterized with benevolent deeds and actions for the good of his people. Livy in "Ab Urbe Condita" painted him in a good light as well, and he would be a good example today.