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Lucretia is a legendary figure in the history of the Roman Republic. According to Livy's version of the establishment of the Republic, the last king of Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus (superbus, "the proud") who ruled from 535 BC to 510 BC, had a violent son, Sextus Tarquinius, who raped a Roman noblewoman named Lucretia. Lucretia compelled her family to take action by gathering the men, telling them what happened, and killing herself. Lucius Junius Brutus incited the people of Rome against the royal family by displaying her body. They were impelled to avenge her, and Brutus led an uprising that drove the Tarquins out of Rome to take refuge in Etruria. The result was the replacement of the monarchy with the new Roman Republic. Among the avengers were her husband Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, being one of the first consuls of Rome, along with Lucius Junius Brutus. They were second cousins as was Sextus Tarquinius.

St. Augustine made use of the figure of Lucretia in The City of God to defend the honor of Christian women who had been raped in the sack of Rome and had not committed suicide.

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Lucretia is a legendary figure in the history of the Roman Republic. According to Livy's version of the establishment of the Republic, the last king of Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus (superbus, "the proud") who ruled from 535 BC to 510 BC, had a violent son, Sextus Tarquinius, who raped a Roman noblewoman named Lucretia. Lucretia compelled her family to take action by gathering the men, telling them what happened, and killing herself. Lucius Junius Brutus incited the people of Rome against the royal family by displaying her body. They were impelled to avenge her, and Brutus led an uprising that drove the Tarquins out of Rome to take refuge in Etruria. The result was the replacement of the monarchy with the new Roman Republic. Among the avengers were her husband Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, being one of the first consuls of Rome, along with Lucius Junius Brutus. They were second cousins as was Sextus Tarquinius.

St. Augustine made use of the figure of Lucretia in The City of God to defend the honor of Christian women who had been raped in the sack of Rome and had not committed suicide. More...

 
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