Lucius Junius Brutus
|Consul of the Roman Republic|
c. 509 BC –c. 509 BC
|Preceded by||None (Republic founded) office established|
|Succeeded by||Spurius Lucretius Tricipitinus and Publius Valerius Publicola|
|Died||c. 509 BC|
Silva Arsia, Rome
|Children||Titus Junius Brutus, Tiberius Junius Brutus|
Lucius Junius Brutus ( /( ) , / ; Classical Latin: /ˈluː.ki.us [ˈɫ̪uː.ki.ʊs] 'juː.ni.us 'bruː.tus/) is the semi-legendary founder of the Roman Republic, and traditionally one of its first consuls in 509 BC. He was reputedly responsible for the expulsion of his uncle the Roman king Tarquinius Superbus after the suicide of Lucretia, which led to the overthrow of the Roman monarchy. He was involved in the abdication of fellow consul Tarquinius Collatinus, and executed two of his sons for plotting the restoration of the Tarquins.
He was claimed as an ancestor of the Roman gens Junia, including Decimus Junius Brutus and Marcus Junius Brutus, the most famous of Julius Caesar's assassins. Traditions about his life may have been fictional, and some scholars argue that it was the Etruscan king Porsenna who overthrew Tarquinius. The plebeian status of the Junia gens has also raised doubts about his position as a consul and the alleged initial patrician domination of the office. Depicted as the nephew of Tarquinius, he may have symbolized the internal tensions that occurred during the transition between the monarchy and the republic.
Prior to the establishment of the Roman Republic, Rome had been ruled by kings. Brutus led the revolt that overthrew the last king, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, after the rape of the noblewoman (and kinswoman of Brutus) Lucretia at the hands of Tarquin's son Sextus Tarquinius. The account is from Livy's Ab urbe condita and deals with a point in the history of Rome prior to reliable historical records (virtually all prior records were destroyed by the Gauls when they sacked Rome under Brennus in 390 BC or 387 BC).
Brutus was the son of Tarquinia, daughter of Rome's fifth king Lucius Tarquinius Priscus and sister to Rome's seventh king Tarquinius Superbus.
According to Livy, Brutus had a number of grievances against his uncle the king. Amongst them was the fact that Tarquinius had put to death a number of the chief men of Rome, including Brutus' brother. Brutus avoided the distrust of Tarquinius's family by feigning that he was slow-witted(in Latin brutus translates to dullard).
He accompanied Tarquinius's sons on a trip to the Oracle of Delphi. The sons asked the oracle which of them was going to be Rome's next king. The Oracle of Delphi responded that the first among them to kiss their mother "shall hold supreme sway in Rome."Brutus interpreted "mother" to mean Gaia, so he pretended to trip and kissed the ground.
Brutus, along with Spurius Lucretius Tricipitinus, Publius Valerius Publicola, and Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus were summoned by Lucretia to Collatia after she had been raped by Sextus Tarquinius, the son of the king Tarquinius Superbus. Lucretia, believing that the rape dishonoured her and her family, committed suicide by stabbing herself with a dagger after telling of what had befallen her. According to legend, Brutus grabbed the dagger from Lucretia's breast after her death and immediately shouted for the overthrow of the Tarquins.
The four men gathered the youth of Collatia, then went to Rome where Brutus, being at that time Tribunus Celerum , summoned the people to the forum and exhorted them to rise up against the king. The people voted for the deposition of the king, and the banishment of the royal family.
Brutus, leaving Lucretius in command of the city, proceeded with armed men to the Roman army then camped at Ardea. The king, who had been with the army, heard of developments at Rome, and left the camp for the city before Brutus' arrival. The army received Brutus as a hero, and the king's sons were expelled from the camp. Tarquinius Superbus, meanwhile, was refused entry at Rome, and fled with his family into exile.
In the aftermath following the overthrow Brutus is credited by later historians such as Tacitus as "establishing liberty and the consulate", a statement that is now believed to be false by modern historians.
According to Livy, Brutus' first act after the expulsion of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus was to bring the people to swear an oath never to allow any man again to be king in Rome.
This is, fundamentally, a restatement of the 'private oath' sworn by the conspirators to overthrow the monarchy:
There is no scholarly agreement that the oath took place; it is reported, although differently, by Plutarch (Poplicola, 2) and Appian (B.C. 2.119). Nevertheless, the spirit of the oath inspired later Romans including his descendant Marcus Junius Brutus.
Brutus and Lucretia's bereaved husband, Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, were elected as the first consuls of Rome (509 BC). However, Tarquinius was soon replaced by Publius Valerius Publicola. Brutus' first acts during his consulship, according to Livy, included administering an oath to the people of Rome to never again accept a king in Rome (see above) and replenishing the number of senators to 300 from the principal men of the equites. The new consuls also created a new office of rex sacrorum to carry out the religious duties that had previously been performed by the kings.
During his consulship the royal family made an attempt to regain the throne, firstly by their ambassadors seeking to subvert a number of the leading Roman citizens in the Tarquinian conspiracy. Amongst the conspirators were two brothers of Brutus' wife Vitellia, and Brutus' two sons, Titus Junius Brutus and Tiberius Junius Brutus. The conspiracy was discovered and the consuls determined to punish the conspirators with death. Brutus gained respect for his stoicism in watching the execution of his own sons, even though he showed emotion during the punishment. His colleague Collatinus was removed from office for his lack of harshness on the conspirators.
Tarquinius again sought to retake the throne soon after at the Battle of Silva Arsia, leading the forces of Tarquinii and Veii against the Roman army. Valerius led the infantry, and Brutus led the cavalry. Arruns Tarquinius, the king's son, led the Etruscan cavalry. The cavalry first joined battle and Arruns, having spied from afar the lictors, and thereby recognising the presence of a consul, soon saw that Brutus was in command of the cavalry. The two men, who were cousins, charged each other, and speared each other to death. The infantry also soon joined the battle, the result being in doubt for some time. The right wing of each army was victorious, the army of Tarquinii forcing back the Romans, and the Veientes being routed. However the Etruscan forces eventually fled the field, the Romans claiming the victory.
The surviving consul, Valerius, after celebrating a triumph for the victory, held a funeral for Brutus with much magnificence. The Roman noblewomen mourned him for one year, for his vengeance of Lucretia's violation.
Lucius Junius Brutus is quite prominent in English literature, and he was quite popular among British and American Whigs.
A reference to L. J. Brutus is in the following lines from Shakespeare's play The Tragedie of Julius Cæsar, (Cassius to Marcus Brutus, Act 1, Scene 2).
One of the main charges of the senatorial faction that plotted against Julius Caesar after he had the Roman Senate declare him dictator for life, was that he was attempting to make himself a king, and a co-conspirator Cassius, enticed Brutus' direct descendant, Marcus Junius Brutus, to join the conspiracy by referring to his ancestor.
L. J. Brutus is a leading character in Shakespeare's Rape of Lucrece and in Nathaniel Lee's Restoration tragedy (1680), Lucius Junius Brutus; Father of his Country .
In The Mikado , the protagonist Nanki-poo refers to his father the Emperor as "the Lucius Junius Brutus of his race", for being willing to enforce his own law even if it means killing his son.
The memory of L. J. Brutus also had a profound impact on Italian patriots, including those who established the ill-fated Roman Republic in February 1849.
Brutus was a hero of republicanism during the Enlightenment and Neoclassical periods. In 1789, at the dawn of the French Revolution, master painter Jacques-Louis David publicly exhibited his politically charged masterwork, The Lictors Bring to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons , to great controversy.
The profile of Lucius Junius Brutus is on a coin that was minted by Marcus Junius Brutus following the assassination of Julius Caesar.
Lucius Tarquinius Superbus 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.
According to Roman tradition, Lucretia, anglicized as Lucrece, was a noblewoman in ancient Rome whose rape by Sextus Tarquinius (Tarquin), son of the last king of Rome, was the cause of a rebellion that overthrew the Roman monarchy and led to the transition of Roman government from a kingdom to a republic. There are no contemporary sources; information regarding Lucretia, her rape and suicide, and the consequence of this being the start of the Roman Republic, come from the later accounts of Roman historian Livy and Greco-Roman historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus.
The year 509 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. In the Roman Republic it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Brutus and Collatinus. The denomination 509 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
The Battle of Lake Regillus was a legendary Roman victory over the Latin League shortly after the establishment of the Roman Republic and as part of a wider Latin War. The Latins were led by an elderly Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the seventh and last King of Rome, who had been expelled in 509 BC, and his son-in-law, Octavius Mamilius, the dictator of Tusculum. The battle marked the final attempt of the Tarquins to reclaim their throne. According to legend, Castor and Pollux fought on the side of the Romans.
The Rape of Lucrece (1594) is a narrative poem by William Shakespeare about the legendary Roman noblewoman Lucretia. In his previous narrative poem, Venus and Adonis (1593), Shakespeare had included a dedicatory letter to his patron, the Earl of Southampton, in which he promised to compose a "graver labour". Accordingly, The Rape of Lucrece has a serious tone throughout.
Publius Valerius Poplicola or Publicola was one of four Roman aristocrats who led the overthrow of the monarchy, and became a Roman consul, the colleague of Lucius Junius Brutus in 509 BC, traditionally considered the first year of the Roman Republic.
The Rutuli or Rutulians were an ancient people in Italy. The Rutuli were located in a territory whose capital was the ancient town of Ardea, located about 35 km southeast of Rome.
Arruns Tarquinius L. f. L. n. was the second son of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the seventh and last King of Rome.
The gens Tarquinia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome, usually associated with Lucius Tarquinius Priscus and Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the fifth and seventh Kings of Rome. Most of the Tarquinii who appear in history are connected in some way with this dynasty, but a few appear during the later Republic, and others from inscriptions, some dating as late as the fourth century AD.
Demaratus, frequently called Demaratus of Corinth, was the father of Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, the fifth King of Rome, and the grandfather or great-grandfather of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the seventh and last Roman king.
Sextus Tarquinius was the third and youngest son of the last king of Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, according to Livy, but by Dionysius of Halicarnassus he was the oldest of the three.. It is possible he was the youngest of the family as the name “Sextus” translates to sixth in English implying he was the sixth of two living and three stillborn brothers. According to Roman tradition, his rape of Lucretia was the precipitating event in the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of the Roman Republic.
Lucius Tarquinius Ar. f. Ar. n. Collatinus was one of the first two consuls of the Roman Republic in 509 BC, together with Lucius Junius Brutus. The two men had led the revolution which overthrew the Roman monarchy. He was forced to resign his office and go into exile as a result of the hatred he had helped engender in the people against the former ruling house.
The Battle of Silva Arsia was a battle in 509 BC between the republican forces of ancient Rome and Etruscan forces of Tarquinii and Veii led by the deposed Roman king Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. The battle took place near the Silva Arsia in Roman territory, and resulted in victory to Rome but the death of one of her consuls, Lucius Junius Brutus.
Spurius Lucretius Tricipitinus is a semi-legendary figure in early Roman history. He was the first Suffect Consul of Rome and was also the father of Lucretia, whose rape by Sextus Tarquinius, followed by her suicide, resulted in the dethronement of King Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, therefore directly precipitating the founding of the Roman Republic. It is believed that Lucretius and his accomplishments are at least partly mythical and most ancient references to him were penned by Livy and Plutarch.
The gens Lucretia was a prominent family of the Roman Republic. Originally patrician, the gens later included a number of plebeian families. The Lucretii were one of the most ancient gentes, and the second wife of Numa Pompilius, the second King of Rome, was named Lucretia. The first of the Lucretii to obtain the consulship was Spurius Lucretius Tricipitinus in 509 BC, the first year of the Republic.
Arruns Tarquinius was the brother of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the seventh and last King of Rome.
In Rome's early semi-legendary history, Tarquinia was the daughter of Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, the fifth king of Rome,. She was the mother of Lucius Junius Brutus, who overthrew the monarchy and became one of Rome's first consuls in 509 BC. She had another son, who was put to death by Superbus.
Titus was the eldest son of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the last king of Rome. During his father's reign, he accompanied his younger brother Aruns and his cousin Lucius Junius Brutus to consult the Oracle at Delphi to have interpreted an omen witnessed by the king.
The Tarquinian conspiracy was a conspiracy amongst a number of senators and leading men of ancient Rome in 509 BC to reinstate the monarchy, and to put Lucius Tarquinius Superbus back on the throne. The conspirators were discovered and executed. The story is part of Rome's early semi-legendary history.
The overthrow of the Roman monarchy, a political revolution in ancient Rome, took place around 509 BC and resulted in the expulsion of the last king of Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, and the establishment of the Roman Republic.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lucius Junius Brutus .|
| Consul of the Roman Republic |
with Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus
then with Publius Valerius Publicola (suff.)
Spurius Lucretius Tricipitinus (suff.) and Publius Valerius Publicola (suff.)