The coming of Æneas into Italy, and his achievements there; the reign of Ascanius in Alba, and of the other Sylvian kings. Romulus and Remus born. Amulius killed. Romulus builds Rome; forms a senate; makes war upon the Sabines; presents the opima spolia to Jupiter Feretrius; divides the people into curiæ; his victories; is deified. Numa institutes the rites of religious worship; builds a temple to Janus; and having made peace with all his neighbours, closes it for the first time; enjoys a peaceful reign, and is succeeded by Tullus Hostilius. War with the Albans; combat of the Horatii and Curiatii. Alba demolished, and the Albans made citizens of Rome. War declared against the Sabines; Tullus killed by lightning. Ancus Marcius renews the religious institutions of Numa; conquers the Latins, confers on them the right of citizenship, and assigns them the Aventine hill to dwell on; adds the hill Janiculum to the city; enlarges the bounds of the empire. In his reign Lucumo comes to Rome; assumes the name of Tarquinius; and, after the death of Ancus, is raised to the throne. He increases the senate, by adding to it a hundred new senators; defeats the Latins and Sabines; augments the centuries of knights; builds a wall round the city; makes the common sewers; is slain by the sons of Ancus after a reign of thirty-eight years; and is succeeded by Servius Tullius. He institutes the census; closes the lustrum, in which eighty thousand citizens are said to have been enrolled; divides the people into classes and centuries; enlarges the Pomœrium, and adds the Quirinal, Viminal, and Esquiline hills to the city; after a reign of forty years, is murdered by L. Tarquin, afterwards surnamed Superbus. He usurps the crown. Tarquin makes war on the Volsci, and, with the plunder taken from them, builds a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus. By a stratagem of his son, Sextus Tarquin, he reduces the city of Gabii; after a reign of twenty-five years is dethroned and banished, in consequence of the forcible violation of the person of Lucretia by his son Sextus. L. Junius Brutus and L. Tarquinius Collatinus first created consuls.
Whether in tracing the history of the Roman people, from the foundation of the city, I shall employ myself to a useful purpose, I am neither very certain, nor, if I were, dare I say: inasmuch as I observe, that it is both an old and hackneyed practice, later authors always supposing that they will either adduce something more authentic in the facts, or, that they will excel the less polished ancients in their style of writing. Be that as it may, it will, at all events, be a satisfaction to me, that I too have contributed my share to perpetuate the achievements of a people, the lords of the world; and if, amidst so great a number of historians, my reputation should remain in obscurity, I may console myself with the celebrity and lustre of those who shall stand in the way of my fame. Moreover, the subject is both of immense labour, as being one which must be traced back for more than seven hundred years, and which, having set out from small beginnings, has increased to such a degree that it is now distressed by its own magnitude. And, to most readers, I doubt not but that the first origin and the events immediately succeeding, will afford but little pleasure, while they will be hastening to these later times, in which the strength of this overgrown people has for a long period been working its own destruction. I, on the contrary, shall seek this, as a reward of my labour, viz. to withdraw myself from the view of the calamities, which our age has witnessed for so many years, so long as I am reviewing with my whole attention these ancient times, being free from every care that may distract a writer's mind, though it cannot warp it from the truth. The traditions which have come down to us of what happened before the building of the city, or before its building was contemplated, as being suitable rather to the fictions of poetry than to the genuine records of history, I have no intention either to affirm or refute. This indulgence is conceded to antiquity, that by blending things human with divine, it may make the origin of cities appear more venerable: and if any people might be allowed to consecrate their origin, and to ascribe it to the gods as its authors, such is the renown of the Roman people in war, that when they represent Mars, in particular, as their own parent and that of their founder, the nations of the world may submit to this as patiently as they submit to their sovereignty.—But in whatever way these and such like matters shall be attended to, or judged of, I shall not deem of great importance. I would have every man apply his mind seriously to consider these points, viz. what their life and what their manners were; through what men and by what measures, both in peace and in war, their empire was acquired and extended; then, as discipline gradually declined, let him follow in his thoughts their morals, at first as slightly giving way, anon how they sunk more and more, then began to fall headlong, until he reaches the present times, when we can neither endure our vices, nor their remedies....