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Publicola

Valerius Publius, aka Publicola, topples the tyrant Tarquin with Brutus and founds the Republic on better justice than the Roman kings had exercised. Like his parallel Solon, his obsession with justice makes him seek the happiness of his own people all the way to his death. Remembering Solon's examples of happiness, does Publicola die a happy man?

Parallel – Solon

Important People

  • Tarquinius Superbus – The seventh, and last, king of Rome. Thrown out because of his refusal to punish his nephew who had raped a Roman noblewoman named Lucretia. This is important to the backstory and Plutarch only briefly summarizes it. 
  • Lucius Junius Brutus – The citizen who stood up to Tarquinius and drove him into exile. Also elected first consul. 
  • Mucius Scaevola – Roman soldier famous for breaking into the enemy camp, killing the wrong man, and then sticking his hand in fire to prove Roman toughness. 
  • Lars Porsena – described by Plutarch as "the most powerful king in Italy" he attacks Rome but later becomes a strong ally. Read on to find out how. 
  • Cloelia and Valeria – Two Roman maidens given to the enemy in a hostage exchange. 
  • Horatius Cocles – A one-eyed Roman veteran who single-handedly defends the last bridge into the city of Rome while his two friends destroy the bridge behind him. While taking several more wounds, he leaps into the river in full armor and swims across to safety and eternal glory. 
  • Appius Claudius – A Sabine who breaks off from the Sabines out of respect for the Romans and, along with 5000 other families, is inducted into the citizen rolls.

Important Places

  • Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline
  • Clusium – Lars Porsena's town, far north up a tributary of the Tiber (called the Clanis)
  • Anio River – The land given to the defecting Sabines are along this tributary of the Tiber
  • Fidenae – Another rival polis 

C. 1 – Lineage and Establishment of the Republic

C. 2 – Tarquin trying to infiltrate

C. 3 – The Plot against Brutus

C. 4 – Vindicius discovers the plots

C. 5 – Publicola brings the plot to public attention

C. 6 – Brutus brings justice to conspirators

C. 7 – Collatinus falls; Valerius (Publicola) rises

C. 8 – Ridding the Remains of the Tarquins from Rome

C. 9 – The Romans Win By One

C. 10 – Publicola Earns his Nickname

C. 11 – Consular Elections and Reform Laws

C. 12 – Tyranny and the Treasury

C. 13 – 15 – Jupiter Capitoline: The Chariot on Top

C. 16 – Porsena v. Publicola

C. 17 – Porsena v. Mucius Scaevola

C. 18 – Porsena: From Adversary to Ally

C. 19 – Hostages Escape, sent back, ambushed! 

C. 20 – Triumphant Brother, with Publicola's help

C. 21 – Fourth Consulship; Sabine Enemies (Appius Claudius)

C. 22 – Sabines outwitted in a three-front counter-attack

C. 23 – Dies in Triumph

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