Unit 3 - Roman Republic
The rule of the kings
For hundreds of years, Rome and the Latins were dominated by a people who lived both to the north and south of them. These people were known as the Etruscans and they were much more powerful than the Latins. For this reason all the kings of Rome were Etruscans. Rome became larger and much stronger under these kings; but many Latins hated having their city ruled by outsiders. The last king was a ruler called Tarquin the Proud or in Latin (and much more interestingly) Tarquinius Superbus.
By this time the Etruscans were less powerful than they once had been and finally, in 509 BC, the Latins succeeded in driving Tarquin from their city. The people of Rome disliked Tarquin so much, that they vowed never again to have a king rule their city. They decided therefore to set up a government of the people, which they referred to as a republic.