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Capitoline Brutus (Lucius Junius Brutus) 6th century BCE

This Brutus is the one responsible for the founding of the Roman Republic.


"According to Roman traditional history, Brutus was the most important personality of the patrician "revolution" which overthrew monarchic rule in Rome and instituted the Republic. According to ancient sources, Brutus was the son of Marcus Junius and of a sister of Tarquinius Superbus.

When he was still a child, he saw his father and brothers being executed by the tyrant and escaped solely by feigning mental insanity (the origin of his cognomen Brutus). Saved by such contempt he was regarded with disdain, being kept in the palace as a laughing stock. He grew up in the royal entourage, waiting for the right moment for vengeance.

During a plague which almost overwhelmed Rome, Tarquin's sons were sent to Delphi in order to consult the oracle and they took Brutus along, obviously to amuse themselves and forget about the boredom and the smaller inconveniences of the trip. Brutus brought as an offering to the god Apollo a coarse stick. But the great wisdom that Livy praised so much lay in his fine trick of hiding a golden sceptre inside the stick. Livy also reports that Apollo's pythia predicted the god would give the empire of Rome to the one who would first embrace his mother after the return. Brutus behaved wisely again, as he kissed the land of his ancestors immediately after entering Rome." -


Photographed at the Capitoline Museum, Rome, Italy.

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Taken on March 12, 2005