Reign of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus

The seventh and final king of Rome was Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. He was the son of Priscus and the son-in-law of Servius. Together with his wife, he overthrew his predecessor. In power, Tarquinius conducted a number of wars against Rome's neighbours, including in particular the Volsci, Gabii and the Rutuli. He also secured Rome's position as head of the Latin cities. Tarquin also engaged in a series of public works, notably the completion of the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, and works on the Cloaca Maxima and the Circus Maximus. However Tarquin's reign is best remembered for his use of violence and intimidation to attempt to maintain control over Rome, and disrespect of Roman custom and the Roman Senate. Tensions came to a head when the king's son, Sextus Tarquinius, raped Lucretia, wife and daughter to powerful Roman nobles. Lucretia then told her relatives about the attack, and subsequently committed suicide to avoid the dishonour of the episode. Four men, led by Lucius Junius Brutus, and including also Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, Publius Valerius Poplicola, and Spurius Lucretius Tricipitinus incited a revolution, and as a result Tarquinius and his family were deposed and expelled from Rome in 509 B.C. Because of his actions and the way they were viewed by the people, the word for King, Rex, held a negative connotation in the Latin language until the fall of the Roman Empire. Brutus and Collatinus became Rome's first consuls, marking the beginning of the Roman Republic. This new government would survive for the next 500 years until the rise of Julius Caesar and Caesar Augustus, and would cover a period during which R me's authority and area of control extended to cover great areas of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Lucius Tarquinius Superbus (535 – 496 BC) was the legendary seventh and final King of Rome, reigning from 535 BC until the popular uprising in 509 BC that led to the establishment of the Roman Republic. He is commonly known as Tarquin the Proud, from his cognomen Superbus, a Latin word meaning "proud, arrogant, lofty." The Tarquins were of Etruscan origin. According to Roman tradition, Tarquinius Superbus gained the kingship by ordering the assassination of his much-admired predecessor, Servius Tullius. Tarquin's father, Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, was the fifth King of Rome, reigning 616-579 BC. His grandfather was said to be Demaratus the Corinthian, an immigrant from the Greek city of Corinth. Priscus himself originated in the Etruscan city of Tarquinia. Disgruntled with his opportunities there, Priscus migrated to Rome with his wife Tanaquil, at her suggestion. On their arrival, Tanaquil interpreted an omen as predicting Priscus' future as King of Rome. Superbus was not the immediate successor of his father Priscus, since Servius Tullius took the throne on Priscus' death. Ancient accounts of the Regal period mingle history and legend. The reign of Tarquin is typically described as a tyranny that justified the abolition of the monarchy. His kingship ended in 509 BC, after his son Sextus Tarquinius raped Lucretia, a married noblewoman known as an exemplar of virtue. This outrage inspired an uprising led by the aristocrat Lucius Junius Brutus, which resulted in the expulsion of Tarquin and his family from Rome.