46. Answers to exercises Copy

Chapter 4

Answer to Exercise 4.1

Sextus the son of Tarquinius by a pre-arranged plan went over to Gabii, pretending that he

was being crushed by the intolerable cruelty of his father. He was received kindly by the

people of Gabii. Thus when he was gradually stirring up the chiefs of the people of Gabii to

revolt, he was chosen as leader of their army. Indeed he became so popular among the

soldiers that his father Tarquinius was not more popular in Rome than his son was in Gabii.

And so, after he saw that enough forces had been gathered, he sent one of his men to Rome to

his father to ask what he wanted him to do. To this messenger (because, I believe, he seemed

to be of doubtful loyalty) no verbal reply was made; the king, as if thinking carefully, went

across into the garden of the house with his son’s messenger following; there, walking in

silence, he said to have knocked off the tallest heads of the poppies with a stick. The

messenger, tired of asking and waiting for an answer, returned to Gabii; he reported what he

himself had said and what he had seen: that the king, either through anger or hatred, had said

not a word. Sextus however, when he realised what his father meant by silent hints,

condemned and killed the chiefs of the state. Many were killed openly, some secretly.


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