World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0001222092
Reproduction Date:

Title: Tarpeia  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Tarpeian Rock, Spurius Tarpeius, Parentalia, Titus Tatius, Battle of the Lacus Curtius
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Denarius 89 BC depicting the torture of Tarpeia
Denarius (19-18 BC) depicting the head of Augustus and Tarpeia crushed by the soldiers' shields

In Roman mythology, Tarpeia , daughter of Spurius Tarpeius (a Roman commander) was a Roman maiden who betrayed the city of Rome to the Sabines in exchange for what she thought would be a reward of jewelery. She was instead crushed to death and her body cast from the Tarpeian Rock which now bears her name.[1]


  • Legend 1
  • See also 2
  • Sources 3
  • References 4


Soldiers attacking Tarpeia, on a fragmentary relief from the frieze of the Basilica Aemilia (1st century AD)

The legend tells that while Rome was besieged by the Sabine king Titus Tatius, Tarpeia, daughter of the commander of the citadel, Spurius Tarpeius, approached the Sabine camp and offered them entry to the city in exchange for "what they bore on their left arms". Greedy for gold, she had meant their bracelets, but instead the Sabines threw their shields—carried on the left arm—upon her, crushing her to death. Her body was then hurled from (or, according to some accounts, buried at) a steep cliff of the southern summit of the Capitoline Hill. The cliff was named the Tarpeian Rock after its victim,[2] and would become known as the place of execution for Rome's most notorious traitors. The Sabines were however unable to conquer the Forum, its gates miraculously protected by boiling jets of water created by Janus.[2]

The legend was depicted on a silver denarius of the Emperor Augustus in approximately 20 BC. Tarpeia would later become a symbol of betrayal and greed in Rome.[3]

See also



  1. ^ Sanders, H. (1904). Roman historical sources and institutions. Macmillan. pp. 1–47. 
  2. ^ a b Morford, M.; Lenardon, R. (1999). Classical mythology. Oxford University Press. p. 536.  
  3. ^ "Denier d'argent, Rome, vers 20/18 avant J.C." (in French). Retrieved 2009-06-28. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.