Numa Pompilius

Numa Pompilius (reigned c. 715 - 673 B.C.) was the legendary second king of Rome, succeeding Romulus. He was of Sabine origin, and many of Rome's most important religious and political institutions are attributed to him.


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Numa Pompilius of a Sabine family, was, after the death of Romulus, elected to fill the throne of Rome, and is calculated to have commenced his reign in the third year of the sixteenth Olympiad. Conspicuous for justice and piety, he entered into treaties of peace and amity with the neighboring nations, whose minds hitherto brutalized by long and cruel wars, he let to cultivate the arts of peace. He showed particular attachment to the ceremonies of religion; reformed the manners, and improved the legislation of the people, and of a mere band of warriors undertook to ma a nation of men civilize, just and fearing the Gods. To Numa is ascribed the honor of having first founded a temple to Janus, and also of having been the original author of the Roman coinage (but the second is false). He created the pontifical order of the Flamines (Dialis, Martialis, and Quirialis). Twelve Salian Priests were also assigned by him to the worship of Mars. He instituted the Vestals, as a body of virgins, to preserve the sacred fire; established on the calendar the dies fasti et nefasti; and divide the year into twelve months. To Numa is likewise attributed the foundation of the Feciales, heralds who decided on the justice, and made the declaration of war, and who watched over the observance of pacific treaties.

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