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.
In 509 BC the Roman monarchy was overthrown as a result of general resentment at the behaviour of the king Tarquinius Superbus, and especially his son Sextus Tarquinius who had raped Lucretia, a Roman woman of noble background. A coup, led by Lucius Junius Brutus, resulted in the expulsion of the royal family. The Roman Republic was established, and consuls were elected to govern the city on an annual basis.
Brutus was elected as one of Rome's first two consuls in 509 BC. In that year ambassadors from the royal family arrived in Rome to seek to persuade the senate to return to the royals their personal effects which had been seized during the coup. In secret, while the Roman senate debated the request, the ambassadors sought supporters of the monarchy in Rome to form a conspiracy to re-admit the royal family to the city. Two brothers of Brutus' wife, of the Vitellii, both of whom were senators, were chief amongst the conspiracy, along with three brothers of the Aquilii, and other leading men whose names are no longer recorded. Two of Brutus' sons, Titus Junius Brutus and Tiberius Junius Brutus joined them.
However, a slave of the Vitelii, having witnessed a meeting of the conspirators at his master's house (which, according to Plutarch, involved a horrific oath by human sacrifice and cannibalism), alerted the consuls who immediately seized the ambassadors and the conspirators without great tumult.
The ambassadors of the royal family had persuaded the conspirators to confirm their dedication to the royalist cause in writing, and therefore the guilt of the conspirators was not in doubt.
The ambassadors were released, out of respect for the law of nations.However the traitors were condemned to death, including the sons of Brutus.
The consuls sat upon the tribunal to witness the execution. The lictors were dispatched to carry out the punishment. The traitors were stripped naked, beaten with rods, and then beheaded. Brutus the consul is said to have burst forth with emotion at times during the punishment of his sons,although elsewhere he is said to have watched stoically while the punishment was carried out.
The slave who had revealed the conspiracy was granted his freedom and status as a Roman citizen, and was also awarded a sum of money as reward.
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.
The Roman Kingdom, also referred to as the Roman monarchy, or the regal period of ancient Rome, was the earliest period of Roman history, when the city and its territory were ruled by kings.
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.
Lucius Junius Brutus 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 at the origin of the abdication of fellow consul Tarquinius Collatinus, and executed two of his sons for plotting the restoration of the Tarquins.
Lars Porsena was an Etruscan king known for his war against the city of Rome. He ruled over the city of Clusium. There are no established dates for his rule, but Roman sources often place the war at around 508 BC.
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.
Tiberius Junius Brutus was the younger son of Lucius Junius Brutus, who was one of Rome's first two consuls in 509 BCE. His mother was Vitellia.
Titus Junius Brutus was the elder son of Lucius Junius Brutus, who was one of Rome's first two consuls in 509 BC. His mother was Vitellia.
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.
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.
Marcus Horatius Pulvillus was an aristocrat before and during the early Roman Republic at the time of the overthrow of the Roman monarchy. He was a suffect consul in 509 BC and elected again in 507 BC, according to the Varronian chronology.
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 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.