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History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita) by Livy
Translated by Rev. Canon Roberts
Book I Chapter 39: Birth and Youth of Servius Tullius.
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 At that time an incident took place as marvellous in the appearance as it proved in the result. It is said that whilst a boy named Servius Tullius was asleep, his head was enveloped in flames, before the eyes of many who were present. The cry which broke out at such a marvellous sight aroused the royal family, and when one of the domestics was bringing water to quench the flames the queen stopped him, and after calming the excitement forbade the boy to be disturbed until he awoke of his own accord. Presently he did so, and the flames disappeared. Then Tanaquil took her husband aside and said to him, "Do you see this boy, whom we are bringing up in such a humble style? You may be certain that he will one day be a light to us in trouble and perplexity, and a protection to our tottering house. Let us henceforth bring up with all care and indulgence one who will be the source of measureless glory to the State and to ourselves." From this time the boy began to be treated as their child and trained in those accomplishments by which characters are stimulated to the pursuit of a great destiny. The task was an easy one, for it was carrying out the will of the gods. The youth turned out to be of a truly kingly disposition, and when search was made for a son-in-law to Tarquinius, none of the Roman youths could be compared with him in any respect, so the king betrothed his daughter to him. The bestowal of this great honour upon him, whatever the reason for it, forbids our believing that he was the son of a slave, and, in his boyhood, a slave himself. I am more inclined to the opinion of those who say that in the capture of Corniculum, Servius Tullius, the leading man of that city, was killed, and his wife, who was about to become a mother, was recognised amongst the other captive women, and in consequence of her high rank was exempted from servitude by the Roman queen, and gave birth to a son in the house of Priscus Tarquinius. This kind treatment strengthened the intimacy between the women and the boy brought up as he was from infancy in the royal household was held in affection and honour. It was the fate of his mother who fell into the hands of the enemy when her native city was taken that made people think he was the son of a slave. Eo tempore in regia prodigium visu euentuque mirabile fuit. Puero dormienti, cui Seruio Tullio fuit nomen, caput arsisse ferunt multorum in conspectu; plurimo igitur clamore inde ad tantae rei miraculum orto excitos reges, et cum quidam familiarium aquam ad restinguendum ferret, ab regina retentum, sedatoque eam tumultu moveri vetuisse puerum donec sua sponte experrectus esset; mox cum somno et flammam abisse. Tum abducto in secretum viro Tanaquil "Viden tu puerum hunc" inquit, "quem tam humili cultu educamus? Scire licet hunc lumen quondam rebus nostris dubiis futurum praesidiumque regiae adflictae; proinde materiam ingentis publice priuatimque decoris omni indulgentia nostra nutriamus." Inde puerum liberum loco coeptum haberi erudirique artibus quibus ingenia ad magnae fortunae cultum excitantur. Evenit facile quod dis cordi esset: iuvenis euasit vere indolis regiae nec, cum quaereretur gener Tarquinio, quisquam Romanae iuventutis ulla arte conferri potuit, filiamque ei suam rex despondit. Hic quacumque de causa tantus illi honos habitus credere prohibet serva natum eum parvumque ipsum servisse. Eorum magis sententiae sum qui Corniculo capto Ser. Tulli, qui princeps in illa urbe fuerat, gravidam viro occiso uxorem, cum inter reliquas captiuas cognita esset, ob unicam nobilitatem ab regina Romana prohibitam ferunt seruitio partum Romae edidisse Prisci Tarquini in domo; inde tanto beneficio et inter mulieres familiaritatem auctam et puerum, ut in domo a paruo eductum, in caritate atque honore fuisse; fortunam matris, quod, capta patria in hostium manus venerit, ut serva natus crederetur fecisse.