Biography of King of Roma Anco Marcio (641-616 a.C.)

Fourth King of Rome, nicknamed the Constructor. He/She was elected by the people, and confirmed by the Senate, in the year 113 Rome, 641 BC, after the short interregnum that followed the death of Tullus Hostilius. Anco Marcio was nephew or grandson of Numa and therefore belonged to the village of the Sabines.

According to the Roman tradition, Anco Marcio made major public works, expanded the boundaries of the city of Rome, and was a great victorious general. But as in many other cases, the biography of Anco Marcio history merges with the legend.

He fought against various peoples of central Italy, such as latinos, the veyos, the Sabines and the volsci. Tradition dictates that he/she beat them all and that with the captives and defeated increased the population of Rome. The increase of the population forced to expand the boundaries of the city (see seven hills of Rome). This new village was settled on the Aventine hill, with what that Mount became the fifth Hill of Rome. The inhabitants of the Aventine not enjoyed the same rights as the rest of Roman, in fact could not hold office in the administration or access to the Senate. They constituted a new social class, the populace.

The military successes of Anco Marcio, very put in doubt by the historiography, were found with the problem of the Etruscans, a people much better organized, more developed and militarily more powerful than the Romans. This is precisely why so many researchers call into question the alleged military conquests of Anco Marcio and are inclined to think of defensive alliances against the Etruscan power. It is as it was, the truth is that only the disunity of the Etruscan cities avoided that Rome was conquered and allowed development of the city of the Tiber.

As regards public works, he/she built several temples, including one dedicated to Jupiter. Is also credited with the sublicius bridge over the Tiber; the Aqua Marcia aqueduct, the fortifications of the monte Gianicolo, the construction of a prison and the port of Ostia. Ostia opening allowed Rome to participate in the trade between Sicily and Carthage. Put into exploitation the salt mines near Rome, which allowed him to distribute salt among the people.

Anco Marcio also carried out some social reforms, for example, promoted the worship of the Roman gods, also distinguished between public and private crime.

After twenty-four years of reign, he/she died in Rome and was replaced by Lucio Tarquino Prisco. Despite the fact that Roman historiography never accepted a period of Etruscan domination of the city, the truth is that Tarquino Prisco was Etruscan. Roman mythology tried to disguise this fact, becoming a Greek refugee who emigrated to Etruria and an Etruscan woman, who married the new King, but this does not seem very likely.


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