Zonaras 7.12 Part II: Brutus Executes His Sons

“It was either godly or beastly.”

The ambassadors who had been sent to Rome on the pretence of asking for money remained in the city for a while and managed to corrupt some of the nobles, among whom were the sons of Brutus, whom they persuaded to engage in treason. Therefore, as they persuaded them, it seemed right to undertake an oath, and after all of this they returned home. The house was deserted and dark. A certain slave named Vindicius escaped their notice within the house, not by contrivance but by chance. As he lay hidden, he was a witness to their deeds and plans, which involved the murder of the consuls and the surrender of the city; they had related these intentions to Tarquinius through the ambassadors. Once the conspirators had left the house, the slave left the house and related everything. Those who had planned the treachery were rounded up, and their letters were attended to. They were led to the forum and placed against Vindicius. They recognized their letters. Many stood in dejection and silence, but Brutus called each of his sons by name and asked, “You do not make any defense against the charge?” They held their silence, so Brutus turned to the officers and said, “The rest of the business is yours.” They took the youths and beat them to death with their clubs. Although some of the others felt pity for his sons in their suffering, Brutus did not divert his eyes, nor did he display any grief from the beginning until the end, when the executioners removed their heads with an axe. It is not easy either to praise or to blame this action. Either the sublimity of virtue had prompted him to apathy, or the greatness of the suffering drove him to insensibility. Neither of these things is inconsiderable or human – rather, it was either godly or beastly.

Οἱ πρέσβεις δὲ ἐπὶ τῇ τῶν χρημάτων προφάσει τῇ ῾Ρώμῃ ἐνδιατρίβοντες ἴσχυσαν διαφθεῖραι τῶν ἐπισήμων τινάς, μεθ’ ὧν καὶ δύο τοῦ Βρούτου παῖδας ἔπεισαν ἐν τῇ προδοσίᾳ γενέσθαι. ὡς οὖν συνέπεισαν τὰ μειράκια, ἔδοξε καὶ ὅρκον προβῆναι, καὶ ἐπὶ τούτοις εἰς οἰκίαν συνῆλθον. ἦν δὲ ὁ οἶκος ὑπέρημος καὶ σκοτώδης. ἔλαθεν οὖν ἔνδον ὢν οὐκ ἐκ προνοίας, ἀλλὰ τυχαίως οἰκέτης ὄνομα Οὐινδίκιος, καὶ κατακρυφθεὶς ἐκεῖ θεατής τε τῶν δρωμένων ἦν καὶ τῶν βεβουλευμένων ἐπήκοος· ἅπερ ἦσαν τοὺς ὑπάτους ἀνελεῖν καὶ τὴν πόλιν προδοῦναι· καὶ ταῦτα τῷ Ταρκυνίῳ διὰ τῶν πρέσβεων ἐπεστάλκασιν. ἀπελθόντων δὲ τοῦ οἰκήματος τῶν συνωμοτῶν, ἐξελθὼν ὁ οἰκέτης ἅπαντα κατεμήνυσε. καὶ οἵ τε τὴν προδοσίαν μελετήσαντες συνελήφθησαν, καὶ τὰ γράμματα ἐκομίσθησαν· καὶ εἰς τὴν ἀγορὰν προαχθέντων αὐτῶν καὶ τὸν Οὐίνδικα παρεστήσαντο. τά τε γράμματα ἀνεγνώσθησαν· καὶ οἱ μὲν ἄλλοι ἐν κατηφείᾳ ἦσαν καὶ σιωπῇ, ὁ δὲ Βροῦτος ὀνομαστὶ τῶν υἱέων ἑκάτερον προσειπών “οὐκ ἀπολογεῖσθε” ἔφη “πρὸς τὴν κατηγορίαν;” τῶν δὲ σιωπώντων στραφεὶς πρὸς τοὺς ὑπηρέτας “ὑμέτερον” εἶπεν “ἤδη λοιπὸν τὸ ἔργον.” οἱ δὲ συλλαβόντες τοὺς νεανίσκους ῥάβδοις κατέξαινον. καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἐπικλωμένων τοῖς πάσχουσιν ὁ πατὴρ οὔτ’ ἀλλαχόσε τὰς ὄψεις ἀπήγαγεν οὔτε μὴν οἴκτου τι ἐνεδείξατο μέχρι πελέκει τὰς κεφαλὰς τῶν παίδων ἀπέκοψαν. τοῦτο δὲ οὔτ’ ἐπαινεῖν οὔτε ψέγειν ἐστὶ ῥᾴδιον· ἢ γὰρ ἀρετῆς ὕψος εἰς ἀπάθειαν ἐξέστησεν αὐτοῦ τὴν ψυχὴν ἢ πάθους μέγεθος εἰς ἀναλγησίαν· οὐδέτερον δὲ μικρὸν οὐδ’ ἀνθρώπινον, ἀλλ’ ἢ θεῖον ἢ θηριῶδες.

Zonaras 7.12 Part I: Brutus and Collatinus Elected Consuls

Brutus denounces his colleague Collatinus as a traitor:

Tarquinius Superbus, then, lost his throne after tyrannizing over the people for twenty years. The Romans then bent their favor toward Brutus and selected him as their leader. Lest his leadership should look like regal monarchy, they elected Collatinus Tarquinius, the husband of Lucretia, as his co-ruler, because he was known to hate the tyrants due to the rape of his wife. Some ambassadors from Tarquinius came to Rome to discuss terms of his return. They accomplished nothing, but some other ambassadors came from Tarquinius saying that he was willing to abandon his regal title and desist from the war if the Romans would pay to him, his family, and his attendants a sum which would allow them to live comfortably through life in exile. The resolution of many people was swayed by this, including that of Brutus’ colleague Collatinus. Therefore, Brutus ran from the senate house into the forum, and denounced Collatinus as a traitor who delighted in war and the profits of tyranny.

῾Ο μὲν οὖν Ταρκύνιος πέντε καὶ εἴκοσι τυραννήσας ἐνιαυτοὺς οὕτως ἐξέπεσε τῆς ἀρχῆς, οἱ ῾Ρωμαῖοι δὲ πρὸς τὸν Βροῦτον ἀπέκλιναν καὶ αὐτὸν εἵλοντο ἄρχοντα. ἵνα δὲ μὴ ἡ μοναρχία βασιλεία δοκῇ, καὶ συνάρχοντα αὐτῷ ἐψηφίσαντο τὸν τῆς Λουκρητίας ἐκείνης ἄνδρα τὸν Κολλατῖνον Ταρκύνιον, ὡς ἀπεχθῶς πρὸς τοὺς τυράννους πιστευόμενον ἔχειν διὰ τὴν βίαν τῆς γυναικός. ἐκ δέ γε Ταρκυνίου πρέσβεις εἰς ῾Ρώμην ἧκον περὶ καθόδου διαλεγόμενοι· ὡς δ’ οὐδὲν ἤνυον, ἕτεροι αὖθις ἐπέστησαν, ἀφίστασθαι τῆς βασιλείας καὶ παύειν τὸν πόλεμον λέγοντες τὸν Ταρκύνιον, εἰ τὰ χρήματα δοθεῖεν αὐτῷ καὶ τοῖς φίλοις καὶ τοῖς οἰκείοις, ἀφ’ ὧν διαβιώσονται φεύγοντες. ἐπικλωμένων δὲ πολλῶν καὶ αὐτοῦ Κολλατίνου τοῦ τῷ Βρούτῳ συνάρχοντος, εἰς ἀγορὰν ὁ Βροῦτος ἐκ τοῦ βουλευτηρίου ἐξέδραμε, προδότην τὸν Κολλατῖνον ἀποκαλῶν, πολέμου καὶ τυραννίδος ἀφορμὰς χαριζόμενον.

Zonaras 7.11 Part IV: Tarquinius Expelled from Rome

Brutus and Publius Valerius rouse the people against the tyrant:

As they heard and saw these things, they grieved exceedingly. Brutus employed Publius as his companion and as one who was eager for the deed; they showed Lucretia’s body laid out to many of the people, and announcing what had happened to the rest they roused a hatred against the tyrants. They planned to accept Tarquinius no longer. Having done all of these things and entrusted the management of the city to others, Brutus set out on horse to the army, and he persuaded the soldiers to choose the same course of action as the people had. Tarquinius, when he learned about what had happened and rushed in haste back to the city, was driven away and went to Tarquinii with his children and other followers, with the exception of Tullia who, as the story goes, killed herself.

Casto Plasencia, Origen de la Republica Romana

᾿Ακούσαντες δ’ ἐκεῖνοι ταῦτα καὶ θεασάμενοι ὑπερήλγησαν. καὶ τῷ Ποπλίῳ συμβούλῳ καὶ προθύμῳ πρὸς τοὔργον ὁ Βροῦτος χρησάμενος τήν τε γυναῖκα πολλοῖς τῶν τοῦ δήμου κειμένην ὑπέδειξε, καὶ πρὸς τοὺς λοιποὺς δημηγορήσας τὸ πρὸς τοὺς τυράννους μῖσος ἐκφῆναι πεποίηκε· καὶ μηκέτι δέξασθαι συνέθεντο τὸν Ταρκύνιον. ταῦτα δὲ πράξας, καὶ τὴν πόλιν ἐπιτρέψας τοῖς ἄλλοις, αὐτὸς πρὸς τὸ στρατόπεδον ἐξιππάσατο, καὶ τὰ αὐτὰ τῷ δήμῳ συνέπεισε καὶ τοὺς στρατιώτας ψηφίσασθαι. ὁ δέ γε
Ταρκύνιος τὰ συμβεβηκότα μαθὼν καὶ πρὸς τὴν πόλιν ἐπειχθεὶς ἀπεώσθη, καὶ πρὸς τοὺς Ταρκυνησίους μετὰ τῶν παίδων καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ὁμοφρόνων κατέφυγε, μόνης τῆς Τουλλίας, ὡς λόγος, ἑαυτὴν ἀνελούσης.

Zonaras 7.11 Part III: The Rape of Lucretia

Sextus Tarquinius’ violation of Lucretia hastens the expulsion of the tyrants:

“This Brutus put down the Tarquins, alleging as his cause both the rape of Lucretia, and that otherwise the Tarquins were hated because of their tyranny and violence. Lucretia was the daughter of Lucretius Spurius, a man of the senate, and she had married Collatinus Tarquinius; she was famed for both her beauty and her wise modesty. Sextus, the son of Tarquinius Superbus, formed a desire to violate her, being not so much desirous of her beauty as he was eager for her chaste reputation. Waiting for Collatinus to be away from the house, he came to her at night and dismissed her guards as though she were his wife. First he attempted to sleep with her by using words, and then he employed violence. When he failed to achieve his purpose, he threatened to cut her down. When it was clear that she cared naught for death, he threatened to lay a slave beside her and kill both; he would then tell the tale that he had found them sleeping together and slain them. This threat terrified Lucretia, and she feared that she might be believed to have done such a thing, so she consented. After being violated, she placed a dagger under her pillow, and sent for both her husband and father; Brutus and Publius Valerius followed them. Through tears and wailing, she related the whole affair. Then she added, “I will now do what is proper for me; if you are men, you will avenge me, free yourselves from servitude, and show those tyrants what a sort of wife, and what sort of men they abused.” As she said all this, she immediately drew out the dagger and killed herself.”

Οὗτος ὁ Βροῦτος τοὺς Ταρκυνίους κατέλυσεν, αἰτίαν τὸ περὶ τὴν Λουκρητίαν συμβεβηκὸς προστησάμενος, καὶ ἄλλως μισουμένους παρὰ πάντων διὰ τὸ τυραννικόν τε καὶ βίαιον. ἡ δὲ Λουκρητία θυγάτηρ μὲν ἦν Λουκρητίου Σπουρίου, ἀνδρὸς τῶν τῆς συγκλήτου ἑνός, γαμετὴ δὲ Κολλατίνου Ταρκυνίου τῶν ἐπιφανῶν, ἐπί τε κάλλει καὶ σωφροσύνῃ τυγχάνουσα περιβόητος. ταύτην Σέξτος ὁ τοῦ Ταρκυνίου υἱὸς αἰσχῦναι σπούδασμα ἔθετο, οὐχ οὕτω τοῦ κάλλους αὐτῆς ἐρασθεὶς ὅσον τῇ ἐπὶ τῷ σώφρονι δόξῃ ἐπιβουλεύων αὐτῆς. τηρήσας οὖν τὸν Κολλατῖνον τῆς οἰκίας ἀποδημοῦντα, νυκτὸς ἐλθὼν πρὸς αὐτὴν ὡς πρὸς γαμετὴν συγγενοῦς κατέλυσε παρ’ αὐτῇ. καὶ πρῶτον μὲν λόγοις ἐπείρα συγγενέσθαι αὐτῇ, εἶτα καὶ βίαν προσῆγεν· ὡς δ’ οὐδὲν ἐπέραινεν, ἀποσφάξειν ἠπείλησεν· ὡς δὲ καὶ τοῦ θανάτου κατωλιγώρει, δοῦλον παρακατακλινεῖν αὐτῇ ἐπηπείλησε καὶ ἄμφω κτανεῖν καὶ λόγον διαδώσειν ὡς εὑρὼν αὐτοὺς συγκαθεύδοντας ἔκτεινε. τοῦτο τὴν Λουκρητίαν ἐτάραξε, καὶ φοβηθεῖσα μὴ πιστευθείη ταῦθ’ οὕτω γενέσθαι, ἐνέδωκε. καὶ μοιχευθεῖσα ξιφίδιον ὑπὸ τὸ προσκεφάλαιον ἔθετο, καὶ μεταπεμψαμένη τόν τε ἄνδρα καὶ τὸν πατέρα, συνεπομένων αὐτοῖς τοῦ τε Βρούτου καὶ Ποπλίου Οὐαλερίου, κατεδάκρυσε καὶ στενάξασα τὸ δρᾶμα πᾶν διηγήσατο· εἶτα ἐπήγαγε “καὶ ἐγὼ μὲν τὰ πρέποντα ἐμαυτῇ ποιήσω, ὑμεῖς δὲ εἴπερ ἄνδρες ἐστέ, τιμωρήσατε μὲν ἐμοί, ἐλευθερώθητε δὲ αὐτοί, καὶ δείξατε τοῖς τυράννοις οἵων ὑμῶν ὄντων οἵαν γυναῖκα ὕβρισαν.” τοιαῦτα εἰποῦσα εὐθὺς τὸ ξιφίδιον φελκύσασα κατέκτεινεν ἑαυτήν.

Zonaras 7.11 Part III: Brutus’ Feigned Stupidity

Tarquinius wages war; Lucius Junius Brutus disguises his intelligence:

Finding himself short of funds on account of the construction of the aforementioned shrine, Tarquinius waged war against Ardea. From this war, he not only failed to get hold of any money, but also lose his throne; indeed, there had even been certain portents clearly indicating his coming deposition. In his garden, vultures had snatched away some newborn eagles, and in the banquet hall, where he was entertaining some friends, a huge snake appeared and fell upon him and his dinner guests. On this account, he sent his sons Titus and Arruns to Delphi. There, Apollo prophesied that he would fall from the throne when a dog had a human voice, and so Tarquinius was buoyed up by good hopes, thinking that such a thing could never come to pass.

There was also a Lucius Junius, the son of Tarquinius’ sister, whose father and brother Tarquinius had murdered. Lucius, fearing for his own safety, pretended to be a fool as a guarantee of his safety, and was thus called ‘Brutus’ (stupid). The custom among the Latins is to use these kinds of epithets for the nobles. While playing the fool, he was taken along as a pet by the Tarquin brothers for this journey. Yet, when there, he said that he would erect a statue to the god. This was a stick which appeared to have no use, and this earned him no small degree of mockery; but this stick was like an image of his own dissemblance, for he had hollowed it out and filled it with gold, signifying that he had kept his sharp mind safe and respectable by disguising it with the apparent disgrace of stupidity. When the sons of Tarquinius asked which of the two would inherit their father’s throne, the god responded that the one who first kissed his mother would hold power. Brutus, understanding this oracle, fell as though by accident and kissed the ground, rightly judging that this was the mother of all.

Sebastiano Ricci, “Brutus embrassant la terre”

Δεηθεὶς δὲ χρημάτων εἰς τὴν οἰκοδομὴν τοῦ ναοῦ ὁ Ταρκύνιος ᾿Αρδεάταις ἐπήνεγκε πόλεμον· ὅθεν οὔτε χρήματα προσεκτήσατο καὶ τῆς βασιλείας ἐξέπεσε. γεγόνασι δ’ αὐτῷ καὶ σημεῖά τινα δηλωτικὰ τῆς ἐκπτώσεως. ἔκ τε γὰρ τοῦ κήπου αὐτοῦ γῦπες νεοσσοὺς ἐξήλασαν ἀετῶν, καὶ ἐξ ἀνδρῶνος, ἐν ᾧ συνειστιᾶτο φίλοις, ὄφις μέγας ἐπιφανεὶς αὐτόντε καὶ τοὺς συσσίτους ἐξέβαλε. διά τοι ταῦτα ἐς Δελφοὺς Τίτον τε καὶ ᾿Αρροῦντα τοὺς υἱοὺς ἔπεμψε. τοῦ δὲ ᾿Απόλλωνος χρήσαντος τότε τῆς ἀρχῆς ἐκπεσεῖσθαι αὐτὸν ὅτε κύων φωνῇ ἀνθρωπίνῃ χρήσαιτο, ἀγαθαῖς ἐλπίσιν ᾐώρητο, μὴ οἰηθείς ποτε γενέσθαι τὸ μάντευμα.

῏Ην δὲ Λούκιος ᾿Ιούνιος ἀδελφῆς τοῦ Ταρκυνίου υἱός, οὗ τὸν πατέρα καὶ τὸν ἀδελφὸν ὁ Ταρκύνιος ἔκτεινεν. οὗτος οὖν καὶ περὶ ἑαυτῷ δεδοικὼς μωρίαν προσεποιήσατο, ταύτην ἑαυτοῦ προστησάμενος σώτειραν· διὸ καὶ Βροῦτος ἐπεκλήθη· τοὺς γὰρ εὐήθεις οὕτω τοῖς Λατίνοις ἔθος καλεῖν. πλαττόμενος οὖν τὸν μωραίνοντα, τοῖς τοῦ Ταρκυνίου παισὶν εἰς Δελφοὺς ἀπιοῦσι συμπαρελήφθη ὡς ἄθυρμα. ὁ δὲ καὶ ἀνάθημα φέρειν ἔλεγε τῷ θεῷ· τὸ δ’ ἦν βάκτρον τι μηδὲν ἐκ τοῦ φαινομένου ἔχον χρηστόν, ὅθεν καὶ ἐπὶ τούτῳ ὠφλίσκανε γέλωτα. τὸ δ’ ἦν οἷον εἰκών τις τῆς κατ’ αὐτὸν προσποιήσεως· κοιλάνας γὰρ αὐτὸ λάθρᾳ χρυσίον ἐνέχεεν, ἐνδεικνύμενος δι’ αὐτοῦ ὡς καὶ τὸ φρόνημα αὐτῷ τῷ τῆς μωρίας ἀτίμῳ σῷον καὶ ἔντιμον κατακρύπτεται. ἐρομένων δὲ τῶν Ταρκυνίου υἱῶν τίς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ πατρὸς διαδέξεται, ἔχρησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν πρῶτον τὴν μητέρα φιλήσαντα τὸ κράτος ἕξειν. καὶ συνεὶς ὁ Βροῦτος ὡς τυχαίως καταπεσὼν τὴν γῆν κατεφίλησεν, αὐτὴν μητέρα πάντων ὑπάρχειν κρίνας ὀρθῶς.

Zonaras 7.11 Part II: How the Capitoline Got Its Name

A Severed Head Appears; A Trick is Attempted; Rome Forms Great Hopes

He constructed a temple on the Tarpeian Hill according to the wish of his father. As the foundation was laid down, the earth split apart and the head of a recently deceased man appeared still full of blood. The Romans therefore sent to an Etruscan soothsayer to inquire about the meaning of the portent. The soothsayer, with the aim of turning this to the advantage of the Etruscans, drew out a diagram upon the earth, in which he drew the situation of Rome and the Tarpeian Hill. He planned to ask the ambassadors, “Is that Rome? Is that the Hill? Was the head found there?” so that the ambassadors, suspecting nothing, would agree to these statements and the power of the portent would be transferred to the ground on which it was drawn. Thus the soothsayer had planned it, but the ambassadors learned the plan from his son, and so when they were asked these questions, responded “Rome is not there, but in Latium, and the Tarpeian Hill is in the city of the Romans, and the head was found on that hill.” Thus, the soothsayer’s trick having been avoided, they learned the truth about the portent and announced to their fellow citizens that the Romans would be the strongest and would rule over many. From this, great hope sprung up in their hearts. Thereupon the rock’s name was changed to the Capitoline, for in the Roman language ‘capita’* signifies ‘head’ (kephale).

The Hills of Rome

Τὸν δὲ νεὼν τὸν ἐν τῷ Ταρπηίῳ ὄρει κατὰ τὴν τοῦ πατρὸς εὐχὴν ᾠκοδόμει. τῆς δὲ γῆς εἰς τὴν τῶν θεμελίων καταβολὴν ἀναρρηγνυμένης, ἀνδρὸς νεοθνῆτος κεφαλὴ ἀνεφάνη ἔναιμος ἔτι. ἔπεμψαν οὖν ῾Ρωμαῖοι πρὸς ἄνδρα Τυρσηνὸν τερατοσκόπον ἐρωτῶντες τὸ διὰ τοῦ φανέντος δηλούμενον. ὁ δὲ τὸ σημεῖον εἰς τὴν Τυρσηνίδα μεταθεῖναι μηχανησάμενος, διάγραμμα ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἐποιήσατο, καὶ εἰς αὐτὸ τήν τε τῆς ῾Ρώμης θέσιν ἐντείνας καὶ τὸ Ταρπήιον ὄρος, ἔμελλε τοὺς πρέσβεις ἀνερέσθαι “ἡ ῾Ρώμη αὕτη ἐστί; τὸ ὄρος τοῦτό ἐστιν; ἡ κεφαλὴ ἐνταῦθα εὑρέθη;” ἵν’ ἐκείνων μηδὲν ποτοπησάντων καὶ συμφησάντων ἡ δύναμις τοῦ σημείου εἰς τὸ χωρίον ἐν ᾧ διεγέγραπτο μετασταίη. καὶ ὁ μὲν ταῦτα ἐτεχνάσατο, οἱ δὲ πρέσβεις παρὰ τοῦ υἱέος ἐκείνου μαθόντες τὸ τέχνασμα, ἐρωτώμενοι “οὐκ ἐνταῦθα” εἶπον “οἰκεῖται ἡ ῾Ρώμη, ἀλλ’ ἐν τῷ Λατίῳ, καὶ τὸ ὄρος ἐν τῇ ῾Ρωμαίων ἐστί, καὶ ἡ κεφαλὴ ἐν τῷ ὄρει ἐκείνῳ εὑρέθη.” οὕτω δὲ τῷ τερατοσκόπῳ διακρουσθέντος τοῦ μηχανήματος πᾶσαν ἐκεῖνοι τὴν ἀλήθειαν ἔμαθον καὶ τοῖς πολίταις ἀνήγγειλαν ὅτι κράτιστοι ἔσονται καὶ πλείστων ἄρξουσιν. ἐλπὶς οὖν κἀκ τούτου αὐτοῖς προσεγένετο. κἀντεῦθεν τὸ ὄρος μετωνομάσθη παρ’ αὐτῶν Καπιτώλιον· καπίτα γὰρ τῇ ῾Ρωμαίων διαλέκτῳ ἡ κεφαλὴ ὀνομάζεται.

*Here, Zonaras translates the plural ‘capita’ as the singular ‘head;’ this is the sort of error which I feel compelled to correct when made by my students, but I will chalk this up to translators’ license on Zonaras’ part.

Zonaras 7.10 Part III: Tarquinius Compared to Thrasybulus of Miletus

Zonaras compares the murderous counsel of two famous autocrats:

Herodotus relates a story similar to this. He says that Periander, the son of Cypselus and tyrant of Corinth, sent to Thrasybulus, the tyrant of Miletus, to find out how he could maintain his reign in security. Thrasybulus said nothing in response to the messenger, but took him out to a field where he cut off the tops of corn stalks and tossed them aside; he then sent the messenger back. When he returned and was asked about Thrasybulus’ counsel, the messenger said that he had been sent off to a madman; he explained what Thrasybulus had done, and how he had not said anything in response to what he was asked. But Periander understood the meaning of the Thrasybulus’ response, and killed all of the chief men among the Corinthians.

῞Ομοιον δέ τι τούτῳ καὶ ὁ ῾Ηρόδοτος ἱστορεῖ. Περίανδρον γὰρ τὸν Κυψέλου τύραννον Κορίνθου γενόμενόν φησι πρὸς Θρασύβουλον τὸν Μιλήτου τύραννον διαπέμψασθαι πυνθανόμενον ὅπως αὐτῷ τὰ τῆς ἀρχῆς ἀσφαλῶς ἕξει. τὸν δὲ Θρασύβουλον τῷ ἀπαγγείλαντι ταῦτα μηδὲν ἀποκρίνασθαι, ἀπαγαγόντα δ’ εἰς λήιον τῶν ἀσταχύων τοὺς ὑπερέχοντας ἐκτέμνειν τε καὶ ῥιπτεῖν, καὶ οὕτως ἀποπέμψαι τὸν ἐσταλμένον. τὸν δὲ ἐπανελθόντα καὶ τὴν Θρασυβούλου συμβουλὴν ἐρωτώμενον εἰπεῖν εἰς παραπλῆγα πεμφθῆναι, καὶ διηγεῖσθαι ὅσα ἐκεῖνος ἐποίησε, μή τι πρὸς ὃ ἠρωτήθη φθεγξάμενος· τὸν δὲ Περίανδρον συνεικέναι τὸν τοῦ Θρασυβούλου λογισμόν, καὶ τοὺς ὑπερέχοντας τῶν Κορινθίων ἅπαντας ἀπολέσαι.

Zonaras 7.10 Part II: The War with Gabii

Tarquinius resorts to deceit in order to capture the town of Gabii:

Tarquinius declared war on Gabii, and because the battle was going badly, he subdued the town with a trick. He bid his son to defect to Gabii. In order to put the most convincing spin on this defection, Sextus railed against his father as a tyrant and an oath breaker, and Tarquinius whipped his son and defended himself. Then, according to the agreement, he made his false defection to Gabii, taking along with him some money and companions. The people of Gabii, believing this charade because of Tarquinius’ well-known savagery, and because at that time Sextus’ reproaches against his father were all true, it seemed that they really were in a feud. They therefore embraced him most heartily, and they then began to make with him many raids on Roman land, which they attacked rather savagely. Then, because he offered money to some men personally, and pressed the attack on their common enemy so mercilessly, he was made general by the people of Gabii and entrusted with the management of their political affairs. After all of this, he sent a man to his father to let him know how things had proceeded, and to ask about what he desired to be done next. Tarquinius said nothing in response to the man, but – that he might not betray what he willed or did not – he led the man to a garden filled with poppy plants. He cut the tallest heads of these off with his staff, and laying them upon the ground, he sent the messenger away. The messenger then reported what had happened to Sextus in total ignorance of what had really transpired. But Sextus understood the meaning of the suggestion, and proceeded to kill off the most prominent citizens of Gabii – some in secret by poison, others with armed assailants, and still others he murdered through the law courts, by fabricating a charge that they intended to ally themselves with his father.

‘Tarquinius Superbus’ by Lawrence Alma Tadema

Γαουίνοις δὲ μάχην συνῆψε, καὶ κακῶς μὲν ἠγωνίσατο, δόλῳ δὲ αὐτοὺς ἐχειρώσατο. αὐτομολῆσαι γὰρ αὐτοῖς Σέξτῳ ὑπέθετο τῷ υἱῷ· ἵνα δ’ εὐπρόσωπος αὐτῷ τῆς αὐτομολίας πρόφασις γένηται, ἐκεῖνος μὲν τὸν πατέρα φανερῶς ὡς τύραννον καὶ παράσπονδον ἐλοιδόρησεν, ὁ δὲ τὸν υἱὸν ἐμαστίγωσέ τε καὶ ἀντημύνατο. εἶτα κατὰ συνθήκας πρὸς Γαουίνους ἐψευδαυτομόλησε, χρήματά τε καὶ ἑταίρους παρειληφώς. οἱ δέ, πιστεύσαντες τῇ σκηνῇ διά τε τὴν τοῦ Ταρκυνίου ὠμότητα καὶ ὅτι καὶ τότε πολλὰ καὶἀληθῆ τὸν πατέρα ἐκακηγόρει κἀντεῦθεν ἐκπεπολεμῶσθαι αὐτῷ ἐδόκει, ἐδέξαντό τε αὐτὸν ἀσμενέστατα καί τινας ἐπελεύσεις κατὰ τῆς ῾Ρωμαϊκῆς χώρας σὺν αὐτῷ ἐποιήσαντο καὶ οὐ μετρίως αὐτῇ ἐλυμήναντο. διὰ ταῦτα γοῦν, καὶ ὅτι χρήματα ἰδίᾳ τέ τισι παρεῖχε καὶ ἐς τὸ κοινὸν ἀνήλισκε δαψιλῶς, ᾑρέθη παρ’ αὐτῶν στρατηγὸς καὶ τὴν τῶν πολιτικῶν ἐν αὐτοῖς πραγμάτων ἐπετράπη διοίκησιν. ἐπὶ τούτοις λάθρᾳ πέμψας τινὰ τὰ συμβάντα τε ἐγνώρισε τῷ πατρὶ καὶ πρὸς τὸ μέλλον γνώμην ᾔτησεν ἐξ αὐτοῦ. ὁ δὲ εἶπεμὲν τῷ πεμφθέντι οὐδέν, ἵνα μὴ ἴσως γνωσθεὶς ἑκών τι ἢ ἄκων ἐξείποι, εἰς δὲ κῆπον εἰσαγαγὼν αὐτόν, ἐν ᾧ μήκωνες ἦσαν, τὰς κωδύας αὐτῶν τὰς ὑπερεχούσας ῥάβδῳ κατέκλασε καὶ εἰς γῆν κατεστόρεσε, καὶ οὕτω τὸν ἀγγελιαφόρον ἀπέπεμψε. καὶ ὁ μὲν τὸ πραχθὲν τῷ Σέξτῳ ἀπήγγειλεν, ἀσυνέτως ἔχων τῆς πράξεως, ὁ δὲ τὸν νοῦν συνῆκε τῆς ὑποθέσεως, καὶ τοὺς ἀξιολογωτέρους τῶν Γαουίνων τοὺς μὲν λάθρᾳ φαρμάκοις διέφθειρε, τοὺς δὲ διά τινων δῆθεν λῃστῶν, ἄλλους δὲ καὶ ἐκ δικαστηρίων ἀπέκτεινε, συκοφαντίας κατ’ αὐτῶν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα προδοσίας πλαττόμενος.

Zonaras 7.10 Part I: ‘Thus Tullius Ruled, Thus Tullius Died’

The paranoia of Tarquinius leads to undisguised tyranny:

Thus Tullius ruled, and thus Tullius died, after a reign of forty four years. When Tarquinius siezed the throne, he set an armed guard around himself after the example of Romulus, which he made use of both at night and through the day, whether he were at home or in public. For, after what he and his wife had done to his father-in-law, they were afraid of everyone else. He made preparations as a tyrant would, and he took up and got rid of the most powerful men both in and out of the senate. He killed those whom he had a case against in the open, and killed the others in secret. He banished some others. He did not destroy only those who were favorable to Tullius, but also all of those who were unfavorably disposed toward the monarchy, and he thus reduced the strongest part of the senate and the equestrian order. He knew that he was hated by all of the plebeians. On that account, he did not replace any of the men who were killed, but undertook to dissolve the senate altogether, and did not enlist anyone in it or communicate anything worthy of note to those who were in it. He was in the habit of calling them together, not so that they could conduct any necessary business, but so that their thinned ranks could be clear to all, and he thereupon treated them with contempt. He performed most business either by himself or with the aid of his sons. He was not easy to approach or address, and he treated everyone with contempt and savagery; both he and his sons began to behave more tyrannically toward everyone. For that reason, and also because he had his suspicions of his bodyguards, he enlisted an armed band from the Latin tribes and mixed them with his Roman contingent, so that the Latins, in receiving an equal share from him, would turn the common sentiment in his favor; he also hoped that the Romans would instill him with less fear when they were no longer left to their own devices, but were forced to arm themselves with the Latins.

Οὕτω μὲν οὖν ὁ Τούλλιος ἦρξε καὶ οὕτως ἀπέθανε βασιλεύσας τέσσαρας ἐνιαυτοὺς ἐπὶ τεσσαράκοντα, ὁ Ταρκύνιος δὲ τὴν βασιλείαν παρειληφὼς δορυφόρους κατὰ ῾Ρωμύλον ἑαυτῷ περιέστησεν, καὶ νύκτωρ καὶ μεθ’ ἡμέραν αὐτοῖς καὶ οἰκουρῶν καὶ ἀγοράζων ἐκέχρητο. ἐξ ὧν γὰρ αὐτὸς εἰς τὸν κηδεστὴν καὶ ἡ γυνὴ πρὸς τὸν πατέρα ἐποίησαν, καὶ τοὺς λοιποὺς ἐδεδίεσαν. ἐπεὶ δὲ ὡς τυραννήσων παρεσκευάσατο, τοὺς δυνατωτάτους τῶν βουλευτῶν καὶ τῶν ἄλλων συλλαμβάνων ἐκτίννυεν, οἷς μὲν αἰτίαν εἶχεν ἐπενεγκεῖν φανερῶς ἀναιρῶν, οὓς δὲ λάθρᾳ· ἐνίους δέ γε καὶ ὑπερώριζεν. οὐ γὰρ τοὺς τῷ Τουλλίῳ προσκειμένους μόνους, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοὺς πρὸς τὴν μοναρχίαν συναραμένους αὐτῷ προσαπώλλυε, καὶ οὕτω τὸ κράτιστον τῆς βουλῆς καὶ τῆς ἱππάδος ἀνάλωσε. μισεῖσθαί τε ὑπὸ παντὸς τοῦ δήμου ἐπίστευε· διὸ οὐ δὲ ἀντικαθίστη τὸ παράπαν ἀντὶ τῶν ἀπολλυμένων τινάς, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὴν γερουσίαν καταλῦσαι παντελῶς ἐπιχειρήσας οὔτε ἀντεισῆγεν ἐς αὐτὴν οὐδένα οὔτε τοῖς οὖσιν ἐπεκοίνου τι λόγου ἄξιον. συνεκάλει μὲν γὰρ αὐτούς, οὐ μὴν ὥστε τι τῶν ἀναγκαίων συνδιοικεῖν, ἀλλ’ ἵνα δήλη αὐτῶν ἡ βραχύτης γίνοιτο ἅπασι, κἀντεῦθεν καταφρονοῖντο· τὰ δὲ πλεῖστα καθ’ ἑαυτὸν ἢ καὶ μετὰ τῶν υἱέων ἔπραττε. δυσπρόσιτός τε καὶ δυσπροσήγορος ἦν, καὶ τῇ ὑπεροψίᾳ καὶ τῇ ὠμότητι ὁμοίως ἐχρῆτο πρὸς ἅπαντας, καὶ τυραννικώτερον αὐτός τε καὶ οἱ παῖδες αὐτοῦ προσεφέροντο ἅπασι. διὰ ταῦτα δὲ καὶ τοὺς δορυφόρους ὑπόπτους ἔχων, ἐκ τῶν Λατίνων προσηταιρίσατο δορυφορικόν, καὶ ἐς τὰς τῶν ῾Ρωμαίων τάξεις Λατίνους ἐνέμιξεν, ἵνα οἱ μὲν Λατῖνοι ἰσομοιρίας τοῖς ῾Ρωμαίοις τυχόντες εὔνοιαν αὐτῷ ἐντεῦθεν ὀφείλωσι, καὶ οἱ ῾Ρωμαῖοι ἧττον ἐκφοβῶσιν αὐτόν, μηκέτι κατὰ σφᾶς ὄντες, ἀλλὰ τοῖς Λατίνοις συνοπλιτεύοντες.

Zonaras 7.9 Part V: The Violent End of Servius Tullius

Disaffection with Servius Tullius’ reforms leads to his murder:

Thus all of those things stood. Tullius then married his daughters to the sons of Tarquinius Priscus, and after promising to hand the throne over to them, he put it off with one excuse after another. They did not take the matter lightly, but felt offended; yet Tullius considered them of little concern, and continued to push the Romans toward freedom and democracy, which the Tarquins found even more galling. The younger Tarquin, though he resented all of this, nevertheless bore it. It did not, however, appear just in the older Tarquin’s estimation to tolerate Tullius. Since he found that his wife (who was Tullius’ daughter) did not agree with him, he killed her himself, while arranging for the other Tullia to kill his brother with poison. Once he had fallen in with his brother’s wife, they both contrived together against the life of Tullius. Since many of the senators and patricians were ill-disposed toward Tullius, Tarquinius persuaded them to take up against him, and he went with them immediately to the senate house with his wife in tow. He said many things to remind those who were present of his father’s great deeds, and leveled many criticisms against Tullius. When Tullius heard of all this, and said a word after standing up for himself in haste, Tarquinius grabbed him, picked him up, and threw him down the stairs of the senate house. Tullius, terrified by the boldness of Tarquinius and the fact that he had no assistance, neither said nor did anything further. Tarquinius, immediately seizing the throne, sent some men to intercept Tullius on his way and kill him. Tullius’ daughter, after expressing her love in the senate house and proclaiming him king, went off toward the palace and drove her chariot over the body of her father where it lie.

Καὶ ταῦτα μὲν οὕτως· ὁ Τούλλιος δὲ τοῖς Ταρκυνίοις τὰς θυγατέρας συνῴκισε, καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτοῖς ἀποδώσειν ἐπαγγειλάμενος ἄλλοτε ἄλλο τι προφασιζόμενος ἀνεβάλλετο. οἱ δὲ οὐδὲν ὑγιὲς ἐφρόνουν, ἀλλὰ ἤχθοντο. ὁ δ’ ἐν οὐδενὶ λόγῳ τούτους πεποίητο, καὶ τοὺς ῾Ρωμαίους πρὸς τὸ δημοκρατικὸν ἐνῆγε καὶ τὸ ἐλεύθερον. ἔτι δὲ μᾶλλον ἐπὶ τούτοις ἤσχαλλον οἱ Ταρκύνιοι. ἀλλ’ ὁ μὲν νεώτερος, κἂν ἐχαλέπαινεν, ἔφερεν, τῷ δὲ τῷ χρόνῳ προήκοντι οὐκέτι τοῦ Τουλλίου ἐδόκει ἀνέχεσθαι. ἐπεὶ δὲ μὴ συνευδοκοῦσαν εὕρισκε τὴν γυναῖκα καὶ τὸν ὁμαίμονα, αὐτὸς μὲν τὴν γυναῖκα, τὸν δ’ ἀδελφὸν διὰ τῆς γυναικὸς ἐκείνου φαρμάκοις διέφθειρε, καὶ συναφθεὶς τῇ συνεύνῳ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ τῷ Τουλλίῳ σὺν αὐτῇ ἐπεβούλευε. καὶ πολλοὺς τῶν τε βουλευτῶν καὶ τῶν εὐπατριδῶν αἰτίας ἔχοντας κατὰ τοῦ Τουλλίου πείσας συνάρασθαί οἱ, ἐξαπιναίως μετ’ αὐτῶν εἰς τὸ συνέδριον παραγέγονεν, ἑπομένης αὐτῷ καὶ τῆς γυναικὸς Τουλλίας· καὶ πολλὰ μὲν εἶπε τῆς τοῦ πατρὸς ἀξίας τοὺς παρόντας ἀναμιμνήσκων, πολλὰ δ’ ἀπέσκωψε πρὸς τὸν Τούλλιον. ἐπεὶ δ’ ἐκεῖνος ταῦτα μαθὼν ἐπέστη σπουδῇ, καί τι δὴ καὶ ἐφθέγξατο, συνήρπασεν αὐτὸν καὶ ἐξάρας ὦσε κατὰ τῶν πρὸ τοῦ βουλευτηρίου ἀναβαθμῶν. καὶ ὁ μέν, ταραχθεὶς πρὸς τὴν τοῦ Ταρκυνίου τόλμαν καὶ ὅτι οὐδέ τις αὐτῷ ἐπεκούρησεν, οὔτ’ εἶπεν ἔτι οὐδὲν οὔτ’ ἐποίησε· Ταρκύνιος δὲ τήν τε βασιλείαν εὐθὺς παρὰ τῆς βουλῆς ἔλαβε καὶ πέμψας τινὰς τὸν Τούλλιον κομιζόμενον οἴκαδε διεχρήσατο. ἡ δὲ θυγάτηρ ἐκείνου ἐν τῷ βουλευτηρίῳ τὸν ἄνδρα καταφιλήσασα καὶ βασιλέα προσαγορεύσασα καὶ ἀπιοῦσα πρὸς τὰ βασίλεια τὸ ὄχημα κατὰ τοῦ νεκροῦ τοῦ πατρὸς ὡς εἶχεν ἐπήλασεν.