Livius 4.3.13

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Why! Heaven forgive me, they actually say that it would be an act of impiety for a plebeian to be made consul! Though we are not allowed access to the 'Fasti' or the records of the pontiffs, do we not, pray, know what every stranger knows, that the consuls have simply taken the place of the kings, and possess no right or privilege which was not previously vested in the kings? I suppose you have never heard tell that Numa Pompilius, who was not only no patrician but not even a Roman citizen, was summoned from the land of the Sabines, and after being accepted by the people and confirmed by the senate, reigned as king of Rome? Or that, after him, L. Tarquinius, who belonged to no Roman house, not even to an Italian one, being the son of Demaratus of Corinth, who had settled in Tarquinii, was made king while the sons of Ancus were still alive? Or that, after him again, Servius Tullius, the illegitimate son of a female slave captured at Corniculum, gained the crown by sheer merit and ability?

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