Main article: Overthrow of the Roman monarchy The newly sworn revolutionary committee paraded the bloody corpse of Lucretia to the Roman Forum where it remained on display as a reminder of the dishonor committed. At the form, the committee heard grievances against the Tarquins and began to enlist an army to abolish the monarchy. Brutus "urged them to act as men and Romans and take up arms against their insolent foes. By now a crowd had gathered in the forum; the presence of the magistrates among the revolutionaries kept them in good order.
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Main article: Overthrow of the Roman monarchy The newly sworn revolutionary committee paraded the bloody corpse of Lucretia to the Roman Forum where it remained on display as a reminder of the dishonor committed.
At the form, the committee heard grievances against the Tarquins and began to enlist an army to abolish the monarchy. Brutus "urged them to act as men and Romans and take up arms against their insolent foes. By now a crowd had gathered in the forum; the presence of the magistrates among the revolutionaries kept them in good order. Brutus was the Tribune of the Celeres, a minor office of some religious duties, which as a magistracy gave him the theoretical power to summon the curiae , an organization of patrician families used mainly to ratify the decrees of the king.
Summoning them on the spot he transformed the crowd into an authoritative legislative assembly and began to address them in one of the more noted and effective speeches of ancient Rome. He began by revealing that his pose as fool was a sham designed to protect him against an evil king.
He "solemnly invoked the gods as the avengers of murdered parents. Seeing herself the target of so much animosity she fled from the palace in fear of her life and proceeded to the camp at Ardea. In summation he proposed the banishment of the Tarquins from all the territories of Rome and appointment of an interrex to nominate new magistrates and conduct an election of ratification. They decided on a republican form of government with two consuls in place of a king executing the will of a patrician senate.
This was a temporary measure until they could consider the details more carefully. Brutus renounced all right to the throne. In subsequent years the powers of the king were divided among various elected magistracies.
A final vote of the curiae carried the interim constitution. Spurius Lucretius was swiftly elected interrex; he was prefect of the city already.
He proposed Brutus and Collatinus as the first two consuls and that choice was ratified by the curiae. Needing to acquire the assent of the population as a whole, they paraded Lucretia through the streets summoning the plebeians to legal assembly in the forum. Once there they heard a constitutional speech by Brutus not unlike many speeches and documents of western civilization subsequently. It began:  In as much as Tarquinius neither obtained the sovereignty in accordance with our ancestral customs and laws, nor, since he obtained it—in whatever manner he got it—has he been exercising it in an honourable or kingly manner, but has surpassed in insolence and lawlessness all the tyrants the world ever saw, we patricians met together and resolved to deprive him of his power, a thing we ought to have done long ago, but are doing now when a favourable opportunity has offered.
And we have called you together, plebeians, in order to declare our own decision and then ask for your assistance in achieving liberty for our country A general election was held and the vote won in favor of the republic. This ended the monarchy, and during these proceedings Lucretia was still displayed in the forum. The constitutional consequences of this event were, prevented Rome from having another hereditary "king," later emperors were absolute rulers in all but name.
This constitutional tradition prevented both Julius Caesar and Octavian Augustus from accepting a crown; instead they had to devise a confluence of several republican offices onto their persons in order to secure absolute power. Their successors both in Rome and in Constantinople adhered to this tradition in form if not in essence, and the office of German Holy Roman Emperor remained elective rather than hereditary—up to its abolition in the Napoleonic Wars , over years later.
Detail of The Story of Lucretia c. Here citizens with swords are swearing the overthrow of the monarchy. In his account her husband has boasted of the virtue of his wife to Tarquin and others. Livy contrasts the virtue of the Roman Lucretia, who remained in her room weaving, with the Etruscan ladies who feasted with friends.
Later, St. Augustine made use of the figure of Lucretia in The City of God published AD to defend the honour of Christian women who had been raped in the sack of Rome and had not committed suicide.
The story of Lucretia was a popular moral tale in the later Middle Ages. Lucretia appears to Dante in the section of Limbo reserved to the nobles of Rome and other "virtuous pagans" in Canto IV of the Inferno. Christine de Pizan used Lucretia just as St. It follows their lives from their rise into power and their fall into adversity. The poem begins with a bet between husbands about the virtuousness of their wives.
Shakespeare draws on the idea of Lucretia as a moral agent, as Livy did, when he explores his characters response to death and her unwillingness to yield to her rapist. A direct excerpt from Livy is used when Shakespeare prefaces his poem with a brief prose called "Argument". This is the internal deliberation Lucrece suffered from, following the rape. Jacques Gallot died c. Pamela quickly sets him straight with a better reading of the story. In , doctor Joan Ramis wrote a tragedy in Menorca entitled Lucrecia.
The play is written in the Catalan language using a neoclassical style and is the most important work of the eighteenth century written in this language. In , the play Lucrece was produced on Broadway starring legendary actress Katharine Cornell in the title part. It was mostly performed in pantomime. Most commonly, either the moment of the rape is shown or Lucretia is shown alone at the moment of her suicide.
In either situation, her clothing is loosened or absent, while Tarquin is normally clothed. The subject was one of a group showing women from legend or the Bible who were either powerless, such as Susanna and Verginia , or only able to escape their situations by suicide, such as Dido of Carthage and Lucretia. These were often depicted by the same artists, and especially popular in Northern Renaissance art.
The story of Esther lay somewhere between these two extremes.