Livy, ab Urbe Condita 2.1.7

“This is generally considered the birth of liberty more because the consular office was made an annual authority than because the royal power was in any way reduced.”

Libertatis autem originem inde magis quia annuum imperium consulare factum est quam quod deminutum quicquam sit ex regia potestate numeres.

The event referred to in this sentence is the expulsion of Tarquinius Superbus, the last Roman king, from the city; subsequent to his expulsion, Brutus made the Romans swear never to accept a king again, from which time the name of king – rex – was an odious term.

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