Wednesday, January 08, 2003

In the lecture I listened to this morning Dr. Fagan pointed out that the Romans claimed they had seven kings during the regal period. But the number 7 has mythical connotations. Professor Fagan said that only 7 kings would mean that each king would have ruled for an average of 35 years which was not duplicated in any contemporary or preceding culture. He explained that some scholars think there were either more kings that were ignored or the regal period was much shorter than legends claim. He also pointed out that each king seemed to be a symbol for a particular cultural development and their name seemed to reflect this as well. For example, Numa Pompillius was credited with founding the religious structure of the pontificates and "pompa" was the latin name for religious rites (forgive any of my misspelling - I'm working from audio again! :-) Tullus Hostilius, the third king, was known for the first wars of expansion or "hostilities". However, he does acknowledge that there have been some pottery sherds and epigraphic evidence with the inscription "Rex" from the 6th century BC so there must have been kings at some point.