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From: "Andrew Bollen" 
Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2003 16:51:09 +1000


> ... Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, appointed dictator in 458, so
> maybe our Latro? Probably not, given that Livy has him at 80+ years old
> appointed dictator again in 439. But one of his first acts in 458 was to
> appoint as "Master of the Horse, Lucius Tarquitius, a member of a
> house, but owing to his poverty he had served in the infantry, where he
> considered by far the finest of the Roman soldiers." That could be our
> maybe.

Just continuing this idle speculation, if Lucius Tarquitius is in fact
Latro, we get a back-story for why he should have been an exile. The
Tarquitii were in fact the Tarquins, slightly re-branded after the expulsion
of the Tarquinus Superbus, the last king. Mr Google says this:

"It is common belief that the gente Tarquinia died out in Rome after the
expulsion of Superbus, but, although there is a significant period in which
they are not present, the descendants of the Tarquins were around even
through the late Republic. The name underwent a very slight change, becoming
Tarquitius, perhaps because the name of Tarquinius would stand a very poor
chance of becoming a leading family in Rome after the mass expulsion of the
gens. After the exile, the founding of the Republic, and the conclusion of
the wars resulting from the above, the gens Tarquinia, Etruscan gens
Tarchna, settled in nearby Caere. However, they did not stay long from Rome.
By 444BCE, the Tarquinii had once again become an imperial family, under the
name of the Tarquitii. "


In the 480's, presumably the family was still in exile.

Latro as the descendant of kings makes a great deal of sense. All of this
hob-nobbing with deities is not something one would expect (Hellenistically)
of a commoner. Despite his "plain fighting-man" appearance, he can certainly
summon courtly manners when appropriate. I believe Korte refers to him as
"whelp of the wolf" at some point.

FWIW, the Tarquinii were descended from Demaratus of Corinth, exiled to
Etruria and reputed to have taught the Etruscans letters. Whether there was
ever supposed to have been a connection between this Demaratus, and
Demaratus of Sparta in exile at Xeres court in Latro's time, I don't know.


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