We have learned the probable origin of the LATINS; how they settled in Latium, and founded numerous towns. We shall now examine more particularly that one of the Latin towns which was destined to outstrip all her sisters in prosperity and power. Fourteen miles from the mouth of the Tiber, the monotonous level of the plain through which the river flows is broken by a cluster of hills (The seven hills of historic Rome were the Aventine, Capitoline, Coelian, Esquiline (the highest, 218 feet), Palatine, Quirínal, and Viminal. The Janiculum was on the other side of the Tiber, and was held by the early Romans as a stronghold against the Etruscans. It was connected with Rome by a wooden bridge (Pons Sublicius).) rising to a considerable height, around one of which, the PALATINE, first settled a tribe of Latins called RAMNES,—a name gradually changed to ROMANS. When this settlement was formed is not known. Tradition says in 753. It may have been much earlier. These first settlers of Rome were possibly a colony from Alba. In the early stages of their history they united themselves with a Sabine colony that had settled north of them on the QUIRÍNAL HILL. The name of TITIES was given to this new tribe. A third tribe, named LUCERES, composed, possibly, of conquered Latins, was afterwards added and settled upon the COELIAN HILL. All early communities, to which the Romans were no exception, were composed of several groups of FAMILIES. The Romans called these groups GENTES, and a single group was called a GENS. All the members of a gens were descended from a common ancestor, after whom the gens received its name...
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