Talk:Lucius Tarquinius Superbus

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Why would Tarquin the Proud have defended Julius Caesar, when he was charged for trying to become a king?

Why would Tarquin the Proud have defended Julius Caesar, since Tarquin died half a millennium before Caesar's birth? Kuralyov 03:45, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Someone needs to add in a paragraph about the town of Gabii, which isn't listed in the Wikipedia yet, or else a link to the article on tall_poppy_syndrome. 01/02/05

I have finals next week, and actually should be working on my Latin work right now, but I'll add in Gabii and tall_poppy_syndrome when I have time. UnDeadGoat. 12 Jan 05

I am not an expert in any sense, but shouldn't that be "Latium" and not "Latvia", which is rather further north?

Tarquin the Great?[edit]

Nobody -- not even the standard-issue court sycophants of the day -- referred to this man as "Tarquin the Great." I have seen this annoying misnomer on several sites that are merely c/p jobs of one another, so we get a wonderful exercise in proof by repeated assertion with this. The epithet "Superbus" was not exactly a compliment bestowed upon him by his loyal and loving subjects; although it is by general convention rendered as "proud," "vain" or "arrogant" would be more correct. Tarquin earned this rather unflattering title by being a petty, egotistical despot. People did not call him this to his face or in the presence of those sympathetic to him. He hated being called "Tarquin the Proud." Please see Livy's "Early History of Rome" -- among others -- for confirmation of this.


This article concludes with the statement "he died a lonely and childless old man." In the very same paragraph, a reference is made to his son, Sextus, raping Lucretia. This is rather confusing since no subsequent reference is made to Sextus's (or any of Tarquin's children's) death and thus has the appearance of saying two things but meaning one. I'll change it if nobody else gets it first since my Etruscan dictatorial history is a little rusty at the moment.


there seems to be nothing on horatious cocles defending of a narrow bridge here

You're right, that is pretty horacious. Regardless, I wouldn't necessarily require reference to the war with Lars Porsenna here. In fact, if one were going to mention Horatius Cocles in that regard, I'd much rather see it under Lars, with a link on this page under his name. To be entirely honest, Horatius fighting off Porsenna's army until his comrades could rip up the bridge into town, while important in that Rome didn't get conquered, doesn't have a whole bunch to do with Tarquin the Proud.

Possible Error[edit]

This article says that Tarquin the Proud worked on the sewer system (Cloaca Maxima) which drained the marshes into the Tiber. I was under the impression that this was due to the work of Tarquinius Priscus (the fifth king of Rome). In fact, the article for Cloaca Maxima makes that assertion. I think perhaps whoever wrote the article got their Tarquin's mixed up on that point but I'm not going to change it in the event that there is something obvious that I'm overlooking.

Another Possible Error[edit]

This article says that the temple to Jupiter on Capitoline Hill was completed under Tarquinius Superbus. It was Tarquinius Priscus who began construction. I seriously think people are getting Tarquinius Priscus (fifth king of Rome) mixed up with Tarquinius Superbus (seventh and last king of Rome). Somebody who knows their history and reads this, change the article if what I'm saying is correct.

Tarquin - Another Shakespeare reference[edit]

Another possible cultural reference (it may refer to Tarquin the fifth, not the seventh) is seen in Macbeth's Dagger Speech. "With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design/Moves like a ghost" (Act II, sc. 1, line 58) 03:42, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

"Atrocity" term out of place?[edit]

compare the definition of atrocity at

with the sentence from this article:

". . . the books were consulted and recommended that two Gauls and two Greeks be buried alive in the city's marketplace. The magistrates duly followed the advice, showing a traditional willingness to commit atrocities to ensure the well-being of their nation."

I would say that:

It is not accurate to to class the burying of four people alive following the directions of a religious text well over 2,000 years ago with mass bombings such as Hiroshima or Dresden.

Call the burying up of four people murder or human sacrifice--that is what it is--but the term atrocity nowadays seems to evoke images of mass political or ethnic violence that touches upon thousands and thousands of victims.

Or, looking at the ancient world:

Crucifying captured slaves after the Spartaus revolt was foiled: atrocity. Destroying of Jerusalem by Titus: atrocity

This instance: human sacrifice

Agree? Disagree?

Mnentro 22:53, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Son or Grandson?[edit]

It should be noted that Tarquinius Superbus was probably the grandson of Tarquinius Priscus rather than his son. Livy makes mention of this possibility in his book, "The Rise of Rome". The point of contention is this; when Tarquinius Superbus murdered Servius Tullius, it was said Tullius was in his old age and Superbus was a young man in his prime. Given Tullius' reign of 44 years, it would've been impossible for Tarquinius Superbus to be a young man when he killed Tullius, if in fact he were the son of Priscus. Superbus himself reigned for 25 years so he had to be a grandson of Priscus, unless he was 70-100 years old when deposed. The numbers simply don't add up. Even if Superbus was 10-20 years younger than Tullius, he would've been middle-aged when he came to power. --LTarquinSuperbus (talk) 19:37, 1 May 2009 (UTC)


I have fixed alot of this article using Livy. If anyone has time, it would be great to include some references and info from Dionysius of Halicarnassus. I understand his history contains some variations on Livy's account.--Urg writer (talk) 11:02, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Purely legendary?[edit]

The article describes him as "legendary," which appears to imply that he didn't actually exist. Do historians really know one way or the other, though? The main source for his life is Livy, who certainly isn't regarded as very reliable for events that occurred centuries before his time. But if there is a serious possibility that Tarquin really existed, then the article should say so. Or if that possibility has been ruled out, then the article should say how it has been ruled out. Kevin Nelson (talk) 07:49, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Two things[edit]

1) I don't think it's right to have fictitious portraits in infoboxes.

2) The article doesn't really make clear whether Rome was part of Etruscan territory or whether the Tarquinii had set up shop in Rome as independent rulers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:43, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Marcus Junius Brutus Error?[edit]

Can someone explain this part of the background section to me: "To forestall further dynastic strife, Tullius married his daughters, known to history as Tullia Major and Tullia Minor, to Lucius Tarquinius, the future king, and his brother Arruns.[3] Their sister, Tarquinia, married Marcus Junius Brutus, and was the mother of Lucius Junius Brutus.[4]"

Marcus Junius Brutus, the Caesar assassin, was not born until 85BC and was married to Claudia Pulchra and then Porcia Catonis. This article is about the last king of rome who died in 496BC.

Is this in reference to another Marcus Junius Brutus? If so, this should be made very clear, if not, then I believe this is strictly inaccurate and should be removed.

Roman families tended to use the same names over and over from one generation to the next. See Praenomen, Gens, and Roman Naming Conventions for more information. The Marcus Junius Brutus in question was the father of Lucius, the first consul in 509 BC, and this is clearly stated in the article. He's the first of ten individuals named Marcus Junius Brutus listed in the article on the Junia gens (although there were probably many others who weren't notable), and the earliest Junius to appear in history.
He doesn't currently have an article, however, because pretty much all we know about him is that he married the king's sister, and had at least two sons (the other one, also named Marcus, and thus probably the elder of the two, was put to death by Tarquin, who presumably saw him as a potential rival). This is adequately noted in other articles, such as this one and the article on Lucius.
I don't think there's any risk of confusion here. Apart from the fact that this Brutus lived almost five hundred years before the other one, most people studying Roman history will already know that it's possible for different people to have similar names... much as they do today. The article plainly notes that this Marcus was the father of the first consul, thus identifying him as clearly as possible; if this were an article about Marcus, then a hatnote distinguishing him from Caesar's murderer might be in order.
But as Brutus is only mentioned in passing, further distinction would simply be a distraction: "Their sister, Tarquinia, married Marcus Junius Brutus, the father of Lucius Junius Brutus, subsequently one of the first consuls of the Roman Republic; this Marcus is not the same person as Marcus Junius Brutus, one of Caesar's assassins, who lived almost five hundred years later; Roman families used the same names from one generation to the next, so that many individuals might share the same name over the course of several centuries." There's such a thing as too much disambiguation, and this is it. P Aculeius (talk) 04:45, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Agree. We wouldn't have a comment explaining that a "John Smith" mentioned in an article was not the same person as any one of several other people called John Smith. That would only happen if there was some reason why confusion should occur in the context of a specific article. Paul B (talk) 09:37, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Not legendary[edit]

LTS almost certainly existed. He is not legendary. A lot of legend grew up around him, but that does not mean that he did not exist. A lot of legends have grown around JFK, but even the most insane conspiracy theorists don't claim he didn't exist.Royalcourtier (talk) 09:37, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

Nobody claims he didn't exist. You are making a confusion between legendary and fictional. Tarquinius is a historical figure appearing in many legends (and a legend is not a fairytale!). This is why he is - as the six other kings of Rome - referred to as legendary by many historians. Sapphorain (talk) 12:02, 17 June 2016 (UTC)
As Sapphorain says. This is an issue I have to deal with regularly when writing and revising Greek and Roman articles: how do you indicate the larger-than-life status of heroes, generals, kings, demigods, or deities without implying that they didn't exist? Many articles use the word "mythical", which I tend to avoid: the technical definition of "myth" refers to a traditional story told for a particular purpose, without respect to historicity, but most people take it to mean "fictional", which I think is inappropriate for personages whom the ancients regarded as historical figures or deities, even if we have doubts about their authenticity. Besides, even if the stories attached to a particular figure are later developments, they generally coalesced around some person or figure who did exist. As the old joke says, "the Iliad and the Odyssey were not written by Homer, but by another man of the same name." P Aculeius (talk) 13:52, 17 June 2016 (UTC)