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Tullus Hostilius of Rome

Tullus Hostilius was a Sabine, who became ruler of Rome. His grandfather Hostus Hostilius, who fought against the Sabine’s for Rome’s first king, Romulus. The Roman’s had taken the Sabine women from their husbands and fathers, and this caused a war between the two tribes. The war ended when the women told the men that they preferred the Roman’s over the Sabines.

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Tulius-Hostilius

Rome then tried to live in peace with the men of Sabine by allowing them to participate in Roman society. Tillus Hostilius spent most of his time in warfare. He appears on the Biblical Timeline beginning around 673 BC. King Tullus began his reign in 673 B.C.

While he was in power, he attacked the ancient Roman city of Alba Longa which was home to the first Etruscan king before Rome was founded. Tullus defeated this city and welcomed the people of Alba Longa into Rome. After he had tried to treat the Albans with peace, their leader betrayed him, and he had him killed. He continued to make war against many other Italian tribes such as the Fidenae, Veientines, and the Sabines.

Tullus Hostilius didn’t pay too much attention to his civic or religious responsibilities. War was his primary focus. He mainly fought against other tribes and began to establish Rome as a powerful force to be reckoned with. Through his efforts, he absorbed many tribes around Rome and forced some of them to pay tribute. He used the defeated nobles and people of Alba Longa to increase and strengthen his military forces. His cavalry units were made up of Alban horsemen, and Alban soldiers filled the ranks of his army.

Tullus Hostilius might have been a great warrior-king, but he wasn’t a good administrator. Even though this was the case, he still placed some of the defeated nobles from Alba Longa as members of the Senate. He also built them their own council hall called Curia Hostilia. Also, it was King Tullus’ duty to lead the empire in religious service but he didn’t care for the ceremony. Eventually, he had to give in to this particular requirement when pestilence had struck Rome and affected his royal house. He then decided to honor the gods by performing his priestly duty, but he didn’t perform the ceremony in the right way. As a result, he was struck by lightening and killed.

Most of what is known about Tullus Hostilius comes from a Roman historian named Titus Livius Patavinus. He was also known as Livy. Most of the events that he ascribes to Tullus’ reign were considered true by many historians. But they also state that some parts of Livy’s explanation of King Tullus’ reign were fictional or more of a myth. Scholars do not doubt that King Hostilius expanded the boundaries of Rome, but they are not quite sure he died from lightning strikes from some angry god. Once again fact and fiction might have been mixed over the years when Livy wrote about King Tullus. Livy was born 600 years after Tullus Hostilius so some of his work could have been interwoven with fictional accounts of this ancient Roman king.

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