Demaratus the Corinthian

Demaratus the Corinthian

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Demaratus the Corinthian was the father of Lucius Tarquinius Priscus
Tarquinius Priscus
Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, also called Tarquin the Elder or Tarquin I, was the legendary fifth King of Rome from 616 BC to 579 BC. His wife was Tanaquil.-Early life:According to Livy, Tarquinius Priscus came from the Etruria...

, the fifth King of Rome
King of Rome
The King of Rome was the chief magistrate of the Roman Kingdom. According to legend, the first king of Rome was Romulus, who founded the city in 753 BC upon the Palatine Hill. Seven legendary kings are said to have ruled Rome until 509 BC, when the last king was overthrown. These kings ruled for...

 and the grandfather (or great grandfather) of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus
Lucius Tarquinius Superbus
Lucius Tarquinius Superbus was the legendary seventh and final King of Rome, reigning from 535 BC until the popular uprising in 509 BC that led to the establishment of the Roman Republic. He is more commonly known by his cognomen Tarquinius Superbus and was a member of the so-called Etruscan...

, the seventh and last king.


He was a Corinthian nobleman of the House of Bacchis who fled charges of sedition in Corinth, to Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 in 655 B.C. Demaratus settled in the Etruscan
Etruscan civilization
Etruscan civilization is the modern English name given to a civilization of ancient Italy in the area corresponding roughly to Tuscany. The ancient Romans called its creators the Tusci or Etrusci...

 city of Tarquinii and married an Etruscan noblewoman from Tarquinii. They had two sons, Lucumo and Aruns. Aruns died before his father, Demaratus, and left a pregnant wife. Demaratus (who died soon afterwards and not knowing he had a future grandchild) left nothing for him in his inheritance. His name was Egerius
Aruns Egerius Tarquinius was a member of the royal family of early Rome.His father was Aruns, son of Demaratus the Corinthian and a noblewoman Princess from Tarquinii....

 ("The Needy One"), on account of his poverty since he inherited nothing. Egerius was the father to Tarquinius Collatinus, the husband to Lucretia
Lucretia is a legendary figure in the history of the Roman Republic. According to the story, told mainly by the Roman historian Livy and the Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus , her rape by the king's son and consequent suicide were the immediate cause of the revolution that overthrew the...

. Demaratus' son, Lucumo, inherited his entire fortune.

When Demaratus migrated to Western mainland Italy, he took all of his wealth and introduced Greek culture and Greek pottery. He supposedly brought potters with him from Corinth. These potters were responsible for the development of Greek pottery in Western mainland Italy. There were Greek potters in Tarquinii and in the Greek trading post of Gravisca
Gravisca or Graviscae was the port of the Etruscan city of Tarquinii, situated 8 km east of the city center.A colonia of Roman citizenship was established at the site in 181 BC.-References:*...

. According to the Greek traveller Pausanias
Pausanias (geographer)
Pausanias was a Greek traveler and geographer of the 2nd century AD, who lived in the times of Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. He is famous for his Description of Greece , a lengthy work that describes ancient Greece from firsthand observations, and is a crucial link between classical...

, it was either his son or grandson who was the first foreigner to visit Olympia
Olympia, Greece
Olympia , a sanctuary of ancient Greece in Elis, is known for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times, comparable in importance to the Pythian Games held in Delphi. Both games were held every Olympiad , the Olympic Games dating back possibly further than 776 BC...

 and make a dedication.

According to Tacitus
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

, he taught the Etruscans literacy.

External links


A Blakeway, "Demaratos" Journal of Hellenic Studies 1939, pp. 129ff.


  • Pausanias, Guide to Greece, tr. P. Levi, Penguin, 1979.
  • Tacitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome, tr. M. Grant, Penguin, 1996.
  • Morkot, R., The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece, Penguin, 1996.
  • Livy
    Titus Livius — known as Livy in English — was a Roman historian who wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people. Ab Urbe Condita Libri, "Chapters from the Foundation of the City," covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome well before the traditional foundation in 753 BC...

    , Ab urbe condita
    Ab urbe condita
    Ab urbe condita is Latin for "from the founding of the City ", traditionally set in 753 BC. AUC is a year-numbering system used by some ancient Roman historians to identify particular Roman years...

    , 1:34