The Seven Kings of Rome 753 - 509 BCE

Mar 2018
987
UK
I literally just said that. What I'm disputing is that these 7 Kings could have not existed and simply been wholecloth inventions. That is frankly implausible. I also dispute that they had no written records. There might have been plenty of records that gradually faded, but enough that it could be held in the societal memory from more or less clearly from one generation to the next, until some of it was Chinese whispers, etc, but the core facts remained about right. This was not a despotic and illiterate society where you could easily change the historical legends at will. It just wouldn't have worked.
Sure, not everything has to be confrontational...

My point is that it's easy for kings to be added or removed from the "official" list, especially when there is no one keeping an official list. So I agree that it wasn't completely invented, there were definitely some kings in Roman history in the 6th and 7th centuries. I'm also reasonably convinced by the historicity and dates associated with Tarquinius Superbus and possibly the kings just before him. What I'm not convinced by is the number of kings, or all their names, or when the first king started his reign.
 
Apr 2019
121
Ireland
To the original 7 Kings as listed, there can be added an 8th, Titus Tatius the Sabine (as stated by AlpinLuke) who co-ruled for a time with Romulus. There is also another tradition come down in the sources (Pliny and Tacitus) that Lars Porsenna captured Rome and imposed harsh terms. Pliny believes he ruled as King (read war-chief or warlord if you desire). Livy and Dionysios of Halicarnassus state that Rome did not fall to Porsenna. Porsenna was said to have abandoned the siege of Rome (when he had the upper hand apparently). So he could have been a ninth King (possibly there could be more?).
I do believe the Kings existed, however, I'm not so sure if the names of the Kings that have come down are correct (Romulus - Mr. Rome for example, as said before).
 
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Jan 2017
72
Italy, EU
Titus Tatius as co-ruler of Romulus is one of the legends developed to give a founding myth for the republican system of the two consuls. The most famous legend about it , however, is that Rome chose two consuls so that one could check the other from becoming King.

As explained very well by the scholars Pais and Grossi, Rome came to have two consuls for more complicated reasons.

Also Titus Tatius was a Sabine, but it's unlikely that the sabines were among the original inhabitanst of Rome. Again, a legend developed to give a founding myth to the presence of the sabines in Rome. Another one was that the second King was a Sabine (Numa Pompilius).

The story may have developed as late as the 4th/3d century with Rome assimilitaing the sabines during the Samnite wars (I don't remember the year of the annexation of Sabinia region).

The sabines had traditional feasts for their marriages, in which the men kidnapped the married women (probably this practice derived from some primitive ritual). Hence the "rape of the sabines" story.
 
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Dec 2019
4
Pennsylvania
Archaeologists have discovered an Etruscan influence on Roman art dating from the period of the monarchy. This coincides with the tradition that Etruscans were kings of Rome. The Cloaca Maxima, an ancient sewer, also dates from this period, and tradition says the Etruscans were great builders. So there is archaeological evidence to support the presence of Etruscan kings. There is also the tradition of the "Conflict of the Orders," which was still taking place after the Gallic sack of Rome, when the historical record was becoming more accurate. So there is evidence for the gradual reform of the Republican government, which of course dates back to the overthrow of the kings. So yes, there is evidence for the Etruscan kings, or at least a strong Etruscan influence in Rome during the time traditionally alloted to the monarchy.
 
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Apr 2019
121
Ireland
Archaeologists have discovered an Etruscan influence on Roman art dating from the period of the monarchy. This coincides with the tradition that Etruscans were kings of Rome. The Cloaca Maxima, an ancient sewer, also dates from this period, and tradition says the Etruscans were great builders. So there is archaeological evidence to support the presence of Etruscan kings. There is also the tradition of the "Conflict of the Orders," which was still taking place after the Gallic sack of Rome, when the historical record was becoming more accurate. So there is evidence for the gradual reform of the Republican government, which of course dates back to the overthrow of the kings. So yes, there is evidence for the Etruscan kings, or at least a strong Etruscan influence in Rome during the time traditionally alloted to the monarchy.
I believe there was strong Etruscan influence in Rome. However there were strong Etruscan influences in a lot of cities at this time. I don't believe this in itself is evidence of Etruscan Kings - I do believe there may have been as the tradition strongly suggests it. The Gauls sack of Rome - dated to 390 - 387BCE, even though coming an alleged 115 - 120 years after the expulsion of the Tarquins - has left no trace in the archaeological record. This is the problem with tying up tradition with archaeology. What is the truth and what is not? Possible slanted sources and bias on one side/ lack of evidence on another. Maybe a technological breakthrough or a new find will bring new evidence to light or help re-interpret something older:)
 
Dec 2019
4
Pennsylvania
I believe there was strong Etruscan influence in Rome. However there were strong Etruscan influences in a lot of cities at this time. I don't believe this in itself is evidence of Etruscan Kings - I do believe there may have been as the tradition strongly suggests it. The Gauls sack of Rome - dated to 390 - 387BCE, even though coming an alleged 115 - 120 years after the expulsion of the Tarquins - has left no trace in the archaeological record. This is the problem with tying up tradition with archaeology. What is the truth and what is not? Possible slanted sources and bias on one side/ lack of evidence on another. Maybe a technological breakthrough or a new find will bring new evidence to light or help re-interpret something older:)
I'm not sure what you're saying. Archaeology shows an Etuscan influence over Roman art and architecture at the time tradtionally alloted to the monarchy. The Romans remembered this influence as being part of a monarchy, where the Etruscans, especially Servius Tullius, also introduced social reforms that wouldn't be preserved in the archaeological record. Anything else is speculation.