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The Rape of Lucretia: A History of the Ancient Wife Who Changed the Destiny of Rome

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 5:41
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Lucretia And Tarquin, 17th century painting

Sextus Tarquinius was the son of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the last king of Rome who was engaged in the siege of Ardea at the time. One day, Sextus invited his friends for supper and drinks at his house. Among his guests was Tarquinius Collatinus, one of his distant kinsmen. The men started talking about their wives and, fueled by wine, each of them praised his own wife excessively. Collatinus finally declared that no one was more worthy than his wife, Lucretia.

Tarquinius Superbus (Public Domain)

As his friends scoffed, Collatinus invited them to ride their horses to his house and see for themselves what his wife was doing at home. The men agreed and they all went on horseback to the city. They visited each of their houses and found every single one of their wives getting ready for a night out. Finally, they arrived at the house of Collatinus and found Lucretia, with her servants, working on her spinning in the middle of her house. It was then that Sextus was said to have been seduced both by Lucretia’s beauty and virtue.


Lucretia (Public Domain)

Section: – Reconstructing the story of humanity’s past


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