display | more...

Titus Tatius was traditionally second king of Rome. He was of Sabine origin from the town of Cures. He was king there before being appointed commander-in-chief by the Sabine confederacy, which wanted to avenge the abduction of their women and put an end to the progress of a burgeoning Rome (see Tarpeia). Tatius' camp was situated by Dionysus of Halicarnassus as well as by Propertius in the depression which separates the Capitol from the Quirinal in the region of the Comitium. After the two peoples were reconciled through the initiative of Hersilia and the Sabine women, it was decided that the Sabines and Romans would in future be one race and that Tatius and Romulous would share the power in the city which was thus formed. This city would keep the name of Rome from its founder, but its citizens would be called Quirites in memory of Tatius' homeland. Tatius would dwell on the citadel of the Capitol and Romulous on the Palatine.

This joint reign lasted for five years during which time Tatius kept a very low profile. But in the fifth year some of his relations and compatriots quarrelled with some Laurentine ambassadors who were on their way to Rome and finally killed them after first trying to rob them. Romulous wanted to punish this attack on the rights of his people but Tatius successfully saved his relations. However friends of the victims attacked and killed Tatius during a sacrifice which the two kings were offering at Lavinium. Although Romulous was in their power they did not harm him but escorted him to Rome, boasting of his justice. Romulous brought Tatius' body back to Rome and gave him great funeral honours. He was buried on the Aventine, near the Armilustrium, but Romulous took no steps to punish his colleague's murderers. Certain authors even claimed that although the Laurentines handed over the murderers of their own accord, Romulous freed them, saying that justice had been done.


Table of Sources:
- Plutarch, Romulous 20 and 23
- Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 2, 36ff.
- Livy 1, 10; 1, 14
- Prop. 4, 4
- Ovid, Fasti 1, 260ff

O Tite tute Tati tibi tanta tyranne tulisti

Ennius Annales, 1.113, Published in the Loeb Library's Remains of old Latin Vol. 1

This quote, taken from Quintus EnniusAnnales, is one of the most famous lines written about Titus Tatius. It is also one of the most famous instances of alliteration, verging on cacophony, in Latin poetry and literature – if not in the literature of any culture.

Ennius’ Annales exists today only in fragments; it was once considered by Romans to be the Latin world's greatest epic poem, but was overshadowed by the Aneid, an epic poem penned by Publius Vergilius Maro (who typically goes by “Virgil” these days).

In context, it translates: “Oh Titus Tatius, you tyrant, you took (these) great (troubles)upon yourself.” The words in brackets are implied when the line is read in context, but do not appear in the line itself.

It is also often translated “Oh Titus Tatius, you tyrant, took such great things for yourself;” which is a more literal translation, and the way it would be translated when taken out of context.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.