Talk:Numa Pompilius

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Which year?[edit]

On the List of Kings of Rome page it says Numa ruled until 674 BC, but on this page it says he died in 673 BC. Is this a dates mix-up or did he give up thr throne a year before he died?--

OCD sez 673, any 674s should be fixed to be consistent. (Not that it matters a whole lot, this person's life being more legend than fact...) Stan 21:29, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The Roman new year was not on the same date as ours and so a Roman year (from the foundation of the city) overlaps with our years. As he may well never existed, as you say, it isn't that important but the same problem will apply to most dates of this period.Dejvid 12:14, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
  • This article offers its synthesized mythology, presented without sources, as if every assertion were history. It would take some tuning to bring this up to concert pitch. -Wetman 19:59, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
    • Probably because it's based on ancient sources retelling what were already legends. — Laura Scudder 21:00, 26 March 2007 (UTC)


Didn't his guy build the first Royal palace in Rome?--Amadscientist (talk) 00:35, 28 July 2008 (UTC) I think so because Romulus hasn't built any palace during his time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:51, 5 September 2011 (UTC)


Uh, the article should point out that its entire content is later Roman legend written down more than 500 years after Numa's death. Livy and Plutarch were not critical historians and they built on a firm ground on long hallowed legend here. /Strausszek (talk) 08:10, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Inconsistent mythology[edit]

This article states "The painting depicts Romulus's wife Hersilia — the daughter of Titus Tatius, leader of the Sabines ..." However, according to the page Titus Tatius "He had one daughter Tatia, who married Numa Pompilius (Romulus's successor) ..."

So which is it (or did one woman have two names and two husbands)? Maybe myths are allowed inconsistency but Wikipedia articles should not be contradictory. If the story is known to have several versions then an explanatory note appears warranted.

Incomplete lists of other pages stating that Tatia was the daughter of Titus Tatius and maried Romulus's successor:

Numa Pompilius

Or that Hersilia was the daughter of Titus Tatius and Romulus's wife:

Jacques-Louis David

The Rape of the Sabine Women

Cross posted to discussions of listed articles Shythylacine (talk) 10:52, 19 December 2009 (UTC)


This article references sections 23, 27, 28, and 35 of Numa Pompilius in Plutarch's Parallel Lives. I was reading through that piece of work on Project Gutenberg and LacusCurtius, trying to look up those passages when I discovered that Numa only goes up to section 22. Reference number 8 which deals with Numa catching Picus and Faunus occurs in section 15, not 27. Just wondering if these are really mistakes, or if I'm merely ignorant. Anyway, I am going to peruse Project Gutenberg in order to “fix” all the Plutarch citations. If anyone wants to double check, here are some links:

Cheers. Braincricket (talk) 05:54, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

Credited with addition of January and February to the Roman calendar?[edit]

A usually accurate TV quiz show said that Numa Pompilius is credited with adding the months of January and February to the Roman calendar. Is this true? If there are references supporting this situation, it would improve the article to add the fact to the article.--TGC55 (talk) 17:14, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

Plutarch goes into great detail about Numa's modifications to the Roman Calendar but in respect to your question I could only find this: "Many will have it, that it was Numa, also, who added the two months of January and February; for in the beginning they had had a year of ten months; as there are barbarians who count only three; the Arcadians, in Greece, had but four; the Acarnanians, six." - (talk) 18:24, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Chapter 20, "The Ten Months' Year", of Censorinus' De Die Natali (On the Natal Day) has much information on the calendar, and is considered sound. Censorinus may have derived his work from a lost work of Suetonius; so the latter author's extant works might be looked at for valuable clues. Dhtwiki (talk) 10:27, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Cunning and calculating[edit]

After just finishing reading a translation of Plutarch's Life of Numa, I don't see a portrayal of Numa as cunning and calculating. A google search of 'numa plutarch cunning' returns pages with copy-and-paste of this text. Plutarch does list Numa doing things to ensure his survival as a Sabine king among Romans but isn't cunning & calculating a stretch?

Or is this something in a different work of Plutarch? I'm no expert... (talk) 18:29, 27 July 2015 (UTC)


All the seven kings of Rome are described by historians as being « legendary », and this is pointed, for each of them, in their wikipedia page, because the informations we have about them are very scarce, sometimes contradictory, sometimes impossible to believe (miraculous feats). This denomination legendary is not specifically linked with one or several particular legends. It is sufficient to mention what is attributed to him, without pointing that it is to be found in legends, if one line before a link (which should not be suppressed) is made to the Roman mythology. Sapphorain (talk) 17:06, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

The "legends" would be Roman oral folk tales and often faulty personal histories of Roman aristocrats. The kings were probably not completely fictional, but it's now impossible to separate fact from fiction, especially when ascribing particular events to a particular reign. The term "legendary" might be a bit too strong. The term "traditional" might be substituted, but I'm not arguing for that change, especially if its use here is consistent with other articles on Roman kings. Dhtwiki (talk) 19:18, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
The information was have about Numa isn't scarce. We have a full biography about him from Plutarch for example, where he does mention legends now and then but identifies them as such and does an excellent job separating fact from fiction. Have you read the primary sources? If not, on what basis are you making all these claims about them? Perfect Orange Sphere (talk) 20:22, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
The kings of Rome, from Romulus to Lucius Tarquinius Superbus are constantly referred to by modern historians as "The seven legendary kings of Rome". I have added one historical source explicitly citing Numa Pompilius as "the second legendary king of Rome" (The Galileo Project, Rice University, note [4]), but there are many others mentioning the "seven legendary kings" as [1], [2], [3], or mentioning one of of them as one of the seven legendary kings, [4]. Now User:Perfect Orange Sphere has been repeatedly denying the correctness of the qualificative "legendary", and refers to Plutarch to claim that it should not be used (specifically for Numa Pompilius, as he doesn't even mention the other six kings: why?). But Plutarch lived more than half a millennium after the last king of Rome, and the claim that he did an "excellent job separating fact from fiction" is not at all convincing. What he does in fact is remarking that some parts are clearly not plausible. But he also notes at the beginning that ancient records might have been lost and that the records at his disposition might have been forged. Sapphorain (talk) 13:14, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
Ah, yeah, with that source it looks like you're right. Good work! Perfect Orange Sphere (talk) 00:37, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
Well. In the future please make sure you are sufficiently informed on a subject before starting an edit war. Sapphorain (talk) 21:41, 31 March 2016 (UTC)