Ancus Marcius was given the task to rule Rome as its fourth monarch when he was appointed to this position by the Roman senate. He came to power in 640 B.C. which is where he appears on the Biblical Timeline Poster with World History.
Ancus Marcius spent the early part of his reign fighting against the Latin tribes. Rome had a history of battling against neighboring tribes in the area such as the Sabines and the Albans. The Latin tribes had started to settle into Roman territory and when they refused to peacefully leave King Marcius sent his forces out against them.
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King Marcius eventually defeated the Latin tribes and then absorbed them into the Roman Empire. Many were situated at Aventine near Palatine Hill.
King Marcius was an administrator as much as he was a warrior. Once he became king he ordered the Pontifex Maximus or religious leader to copy religious practices and rights so that would be displayed in public. King Marcius wanted to make sure that religious rights and practices wouldn’t be ignored or improperly performed. King Marcius also built fortifications and Rome’s first prison. King Marcius also expanded the Roman Empire. He founded the port of Ostia and a coastal forest known as Silva Maesia.
Many of the surrounding tribes honestly believed that King Ancus Marcius was a weak and ineffective ruler who wanted to avoid war. The reason for this thought had to do with the fact that the Roman king focused on religious duties and practices more so than war. Unfortunately, many of the surrounding tribes who challenged him because of his perceived weakness were defeated by this ruler.
Though King Marcius isn’t necessarily regarded as the first ruler who expanded the borders of Rome; his efforts with settling the region under Roman authority would help to set a precedent that would become one of the defining characteristics of the Roman Empire. King Marcius proved that Rome was a strong kingdom that was capable of subduing their foes. Many of the tribes that surrounded the Romans recognized that they possessed this type of strength. Though some might have challenged Roman authority many people didn’t fight against it at all.
Historical records indicate that many tribal peoples settled into the city of Rome during the rule of King Marcius and started to adopt the Roman way of life. The Latin tribal influence on Rome would later become an integral part of the Roman government, political, societal and educational systems. The language of the Latin tribes would become the standard dialect of Rome and would later influence many western societies.
King Marcius wasn’t considered one of Rome’s greatest monarchs, but he had laid the groundwork for cementing Rome’s influence. His religious reforms were kept in place by future rulers as well. King Marcius ruled Rome for about 24 years before dying in 616 B.C. Most of what is known about King Marcius is derived from the ancient Roman historian Livy.
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