Talk:King of Rome

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Stray Comment[edit]

For example, in Livius (book I), is not truth that all the others kings «were all elected by the people of Rome».


Each and every article on a Roman king begins with "was the nth legendary King of (ancient) Rome". This article never mentions legends. This is highly confusing, I should think, to the average reader. We need to clarify the nature of the source material for the Roman Kingdom to explain why each king can be described as "legendary" yet also to explain the historicity of the basic facts (existence of a kingdom, growth of the state and a culture). This is not my area of expertise an I am not competent to do this. Srnec (talk) 15:34, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Napoleon II[edit]

Why is the mention of Napoleon included in this article? Is it somehow relevant? Sisyphus88 (talk)

When Italy was (briefly) part of the French First Empire, the Emperor Napoleon I ("the" Napoleon) bore the title King of Italy, and created his son (Napoleon II) King of Rome, a title he bore for several years even though he never ruled in his own right. In other words, there was some legitimacy to the designation, he was (briefly) King of Rome. Awien (talk) 14:45, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Etruscan Kings[edit]

Early Rome was not self-governing. "King of Rome" is somewhat misleading, as history teaches that the early Roman state was ruled by neighboring Etrusca, and Rome was merely a province. To call them the King of Rome is like saying that whoever inhabits the Oval Office is the President of Indiana. Rome was a subjugated province of Etrusca [1] Corwin8 (talk) 02:10, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

The Etruscan city-states were aligned in a loose confederation; that is, each city-state was reasonably independent while they did join together for religious rites and the like. This looseness was sharply criticized by Machiavelli as one of the reasons that the Romans were able to so easily defeat a much larger and richer "nation"...because it wasn't one nation, it was a collection of "nations" who sometimes were friends and sometime weren't. The proof is that when Rome would war with one Etruscan city-state, the other city-states typically did not come to its aid.
Now, think of Rome in this light...yes, we believe that at least 3 of the early kings of Rome were Etruscan (if Tarquin the Proud wasn't Etruscan, then he had a really unusual name for someone who wasn't, given the family gave its name to Tarquinia [or vice versa]). Certainly, Romans looked to Eturia (this is how we call it in English, not 'Etrusca') as the place of learning, culture, and religion, and Roman families sent their sons to Eturia to be educated, in the same way that they sent their sons to Greece in later centuries. However, it's not likely that the nearby Etruscan cities exercised very tight control on governance in Rome; whoever the head guy in Rome was probably insisted on making his own decisions, just like the kings in the various Etruscan city-states did. If nothing else, the distances involved, the lack of standing armies, and the primitive state of transportation made day-to-day management of a village way down the road not very feasible.
It is true, perhaps, that "King of Rome" is rather too grand a title for a guy who ruled over a bunch of runaways from other cities both north and south, but given the huge impact that the word "King" had on the Roman people for a thousand years (no Emperor ever dared call himself king no matter how powerful he was), I think an article on an office that was very important in defining the Roman Republic (i.e., we don't know what we are, but we know that WE DON'T HAVE A KING [like all those other peoples]) is quite appropriate...
William J. 'Bill' McCalpin (talk) 21:43, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

I think we can conclude with T.J. Cornell in his book The Beginnings Of Rome, that Rome wasn't a Etruscean province or something similiar. Please read pages 151 and further (you can read it on google books). He is not on his own, so I can recomendate reading it. (Excuse me for my bad language, while I'm Dutch...) Moneyandgold (talk) 18:34, 3 February 2010 (UTC)


The translation of rex as king has anachronistic and misleading overtones. "Chieftain" might be a more accurate translation (assuming one is needed at all, which I doubt). "Kingship" is and ever was an extremely variable condition. Haploidavey (talk) 17:23, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Which should be said, as should much else - although chieftain tends to downplay the quasi-divine status of the kings; but king has been the standard translation of rex - in this context as in others - since the Anglosaxons learned Latin. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:19, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't even like chieftain for Gaulish rix (where it implies tribalism, despite the fact that Celtic polities who have a rix/rex are generally called a civitas rather than pagus or tribus), let alone rex. Cynwolfe (talk) 20:24, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Good reasons, therefore, to elaborate rex as specific to context. Haploidavey (talk) 13:26, 10 October 2009 (UTC)


Where did we find this? It is approaching two centuries since Barthold Georg Niebuhr; surely it is a little late to be treating the kings as being as historical as the Presidents of the United States.

At the same time, we should represent the traditional narrative correctly; Tarquinius Superbus may not have used much military force, but Livy's story is not a free election. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:19, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Possible sources[edit]

Part previews via googlebooks:

Frank Walbank (ed), The Cambridge ancient history, Volume 7, Part 2 (reprint of 1989 revision) [2]

H. H. Scullard, A History of the Roman World, 753 to 146 BC, (4th edn., 2002) [3]

Olivier Hekster, Richard Fowler, Imaginary kings: royal images in the ancient Near East, Greece and Rome, (2005) [4] Haploidavey (talk) 14:49, 10 October 2009 (UTC)


Don't see any discussion of this unless it's the historicity complaint above. Lycurgus (talk) 07:39, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Sources for years?[edit]

Seriously, Romulus is not even confirmed as a historical person, but you still have the year of till when he ruled?! I mean the year 716 BC, and also all the other years, what are your sources for it?! This is ridicolous... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:24, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

The article makes it clear that Romulus is a legendary figure, but that does not mean the traditional dates assigned to his reign by Roman mythology should not be included (translated into our calendar). I agree though that this article is scant on sources generally. Richard75 (talk) 13:47, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Suggestion: Delete "portraits"[edit]

There are no real portraits of the (legendary) kings of Rome, so these should be deleted from the table. Wherever they're from, they are completely fictional. - Eponymous-Archon (talk) 22:21, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Keep They are the only available portraits for many of the kings, and as far as I know portraits on most articles don't need to actually be of the people they represent. Especially if it's all we've got. Not sure how to find the specific Wikipedia policy on this (I'm not taking an hour just to find a policy for this), but I'm sure there is one. Cheers! Psychotic Spartan 123 01:38, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, I thought there was a policy and was looking for it, but I've had portraits deleted on other pages (e.g., Lucian) for the same reason. The reality is that these are not portraits with any value. They're just entirely fictional and so have no value, except to mislead people who don't realize that they're false. I used to think that was a good enough reason, but I don't anymore. At the very least there should be some text saying that they're fictional. - Eponymous-Archon (talk) 04:02, 8 February 2016 (UTC)