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THE BIRTH OF ROME
Epilogue - Remember Brutus
The body of Lucius Junius Brutus was carried from the battlefield with great reverence. The entire population of the city rushed to the walls to watch his return, and followed into the Forum where his body was set gently on the top of the Volcanal. A low moan rose unbidden from the depth of every heart. This man, this hero, still bloody from his wound, had given his life for them, and every man and woman knew this meant more than he had died for them; he had literally lived a half-life for decades, waiting for the chance to liberate his people.
Brutus was given a state funeral with the most fragrant and costly incense strewn through the pyre. Gifts were showered upon Vitellia, and also upon Titus' wife Cassia, who was pregnant with the grandchild of Lucius Junius Brutus, the Liberator of the City, and Founder of the Republic. Not only had he overthrown the king, he had given his people a viable form of government that venerated every value the people held dear: liberty, justice, self-determination, respect for the rights of the individual, and rule by law.
He was a great man, and he came from a great family. His brother was a courageous Senator; his father was the commander of the legion; and his grandfather...! How could anyone walk through the Forum or sit in the Circus and not see the stamp of the original Marcus Junius, the first Celerum Tribune?
Roma owed its very existence to that first Marcus Junius, and to his best friend Tarchna Cneve, lovingly called Lucumo, the Chief, and now known to the ages as Lucius Tarquinius Priscus. In time Roma became a beacon of freedom for the rest of the world.
But what is Roma? Its walls and temples? Its code of laws etched in bronze? Its legions and social order? Yes, Roma is all this, and so much more. And what will Roma become over the next millennia? These achievements are the legacy of Brutus and his grandfather, of Lucumo and Tanaquil, of Servius Tullius, and Gaius Julius, and Arruns Tarchna Collatinus, and Publius Horatius, and Horatius Cocles, and Gaius Mucius and so many others who made their mark on Roma in her first century.
Brutus' dream of a Roman Republic will live on for another 482 years. And even when it is replaced by the Empire of Augustus it will remain the lofty ideal every generation longs to resurrect. This city born in the very center of the world left behind a legacy that echoes through the present day. The Etruscans have already begun their long slide into obscurity, but their prodigy godchild - Roma - will continue to influence and illuminate human history until the end of days.