Lucius Junius BrutusLucius Junius Brutus
was the founder of the Roman Republic
and traditionally one of the first Consuls in 509 BC
. Prior to that point, Rome had been ruled by kings. Brutus led the revolt that overthrew the last king, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus
, on account of Tarquin's son (Sextus Tarquinius) raping Brutus' kinswoman Lucretia
. The account is from Livy
's Ab Urbe Condita
and deals with a point in the history of Rome
prior to reliable historical records (virtually all prior records were destroyed by the Gauls
when they sacked Rome in 390 BC
There is some confusion as to the details of Brutus' life. His consulship, for example, may have been a later embellishment to give the republican institutions greater legitimacy by associating them with the overthrower of the kings. Similarly the tale of Brutus' execution of his own sons for failing in their military duties may well have been a later invention.
He is said to have died in battle against the Etruscans during his consulship.