Lucretia ...

Lucretia ....(Audio HD)

Lucretia (/lʊˈkriːʃə/) or Lucrece (Latin: Lucretia; died c. 510 BC) was a legendary Roman matron whose fate played a vital role in the transition from a Roman Kingdom into a Roman Republic. While there were no contemporary sources, accounts from Roman historian Livy (Livius) and Greek-Roman historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus from the time of Emperor Caesar Augustus (around the start of the Common Era) agreed that there was such a woman and that her suicide after being raped by an Etruscan king's son was the immediate cause of the anti-monarchist rebellion that overthrew the monarchy.

The incident kindled the flames of dissatisfaction over the tyrannical methods of the last king of Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. As a result, the prominent families instituted a republic, drove the extensive Royal Family of Tarquin from Rome, and successfully defended the republic against attempted Etruscan and tribal Latin intervention. As a result of its sheer impact, the rape itself became a major theme in European art and literature.

One of the first two consuls of the Roman Republic is Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, the husband of Lucretia. All the numerous sources on the establishment of the republic reiterate the basic events of Lucretia's story, though accounts vary slightly.

Lucretia's story is thus not deemed a myth by most historians, but rather a historical legend about an early history that was already a major part of Roman folklore before it was first written about. The evidence points to the historical existence of a woman named Lucretia and a historical incident that played a critical part in the real downfall of a real monarchy. Many of the specific details, though, are debatable, and vary depending on the writer. Post-Roman uses of the legend typically became mythical in portrayal, being of artistic rather than historical merit.

As the events of the story move rapidly, the date of the incident is probably the same year as the first of the fasti. Dionysius of Halicarnassus, a major source, sets this year "at the beginning of the sixty-eighth Olympiad ... Isagoras being the annual archon at Athens;"[2] that is, 508/507 BC (the ancient calendars split years over modern ones). Lucretia therefore died in 508 BC. The other historical sources tend to support this date, but the year is debatable within a range of about five years.[3]

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