Reign of Servius Tullius

Following Priscuss death, his son-in-law Servius Tullius succeeded him to the throne, the second king of Etruscan birth to rule Rome. Like his father-in-law before him, Servius fought successful wars against the Etruscans. He used the booty from the campaigns to build the first walls to encircle fully the Seven Hills of Rome, the pomerium. He also made organizational changes to the Roman army. He was renowned for implementing a new constitution for the Romans, further developing the citizen classes. He instituted the worlds first census which divided the people of Rome into five economic classes, and formed the Century Assembly. He also used his census to divide the people within Rome into four urban tribes based upon location within the city, establishing the Tribal Assembly. He also oversaw the construction of the temple to Diana on the Aventine Hill. Servius reforms brought about a major change in Roman life: voting rights were now based on socio-economic status, transferring much of the power into the hands of the Roman elite. However, as time passed, Servius increasingly favored the poor in order to obtain support among the plebs. His appeal to the plebs often resulted in legislation unfavorable to the patricians. The 44-year reign of Servius came to an abrupt end when he was assassinated in a conspiracy led by his own daughter, Tullia, and her husband, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. Servius Tullius was the legendary sixth king of ancient Rome, and the second of its Etruscan dynasty. He reigned 578-535 BC. Roman and Greek sources describe his servile origins and late marriage to a daughter of Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, Rome's first Etruscan king, who was assassinated in 579 BC. Servius was said to have been the first Roman king to accede without election by the Senate, having gained the throne by popular support, at the contrivance of his mother-in-law. Several traditions describe Servius' father as divine. Livy depicts Servius' mother as a captured Latin princess enslaved by the Romans; her child is chosen as Rome's future king after a ring of fire is seen around his head. The Emperor Claudius discounted such origins and described him as an originally Etruscan mercenary, named Mastarna, who fought for Caelius Vibenna . Servius was a popular king, and one of Rome's most significant benefactors. He had military successes against Veii and the Etruscans, and expanded the city to include the Quirinal, Viminal and Esquiline hills. He is credited with the institution of the Compitalia festivals, the building of temples to Fortuna and Diana, and the invention of Rome's first true coinage. Despite the opposition of Rome's patricians, he expanded the Roman franchise and improved the lot and fortune of Rome's lowest classes of citizens and non-citizens. According to Livy, he reigned for 44 years, until murdered by his treacherous daughter Tullia and son-in-law Tarquinius Superbus. In consequence of this "tragic crime" and his hubristic arrogance as king, Tarquinius was eventually removed. This cleared the way for the abolition of Rome's monarchy and the founding of the Roman Republic, whose groundwork had already been laid by Servius' reforms.