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Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Titus Tatius

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In Roman legend, the Sabine king of Cures, who waged war upon the Romans to avenge the rape of the Sabine women (see Romulus). After various indecisive conflicts the latter, who had become Roman matrons, intervened and prevailed upon the combatants to cease fighting. A formal treaty was then arranged between the Romans and Sabines, whereby Romulus and Tatius were to be joint and equal rulers of the Roman people. Rome was to retain its name and each citizen was to be called a Roman, but as a community they were to be called Quirites; the Sabines were to be incorporated in the state and admitted into the tribes and curies. After this arrangement had lasted for five years it came to an end by the death of Tatius, who was killed out of revenge by the inhabitants of Lavinium. According to Mommsen, the story of his death, (for which see Plutarch) looks like an historical version of the abolition of blood-revenge. Tatius, who in some respects resembles Remus, is not an historical personage, but the eponymous hero of the religious college called Sodales Titii. As to this body Tacitus expresses two different opinions, representing two different traditions: that it was introduced either by Tatius himself to preserve the Sabine cult in Rome; or by Romulus in honour of Tatius, at whose grave its members were bound to offer a yearly sacrifice. The sedates fell into abeyance at the end of the republic, but were revived by Augustus and existed to the end of the 2nd century A.D. Augustus himself and the emperor Claudius belonged to the college, and all its members were of senatorial rank. Varro derives the name p rom the Titiae ayes which were used by the priests in certain auguries.

See Livy i. 10-14; Tacitus, Annals, i. 54, Hist. ii. 95; Dion. Halic. ii. 36-52; Plutarch, Romulus, 19-24; Marquardt, Romische Staatsverwaltung (1885) iii. 446; Schwegler, Romische Geschichte, bk. ix. 3, 14; x. 5.

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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Titus Tatius'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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