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Ovid XIV Chapter 18: 772-804 War and reconciliation with the Sabines
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|Now unjust Amulius rules Ausonia, by means of military power, and old Numitor, with his grandson Romulus's help, captures the kingdom he has lost, and the city of Rome is founded, on the day of the Palilia. The Sabine leaders, and their king Tatius, wage war, and Tarpeia who gives them access to the citadel, is punished as she deserves, stripped of her life, crushed by a heap of weapons. Then the men of Cures, with hushed voices, silently, like wolves, overcome the Romans, whose bodies are lost in sleep, and attempt the gates that Romulus, son of Ilia, has closed, and firmly barred. Saturnian Juno herself unbarred a gate, opening it silently on its hinges. Only Venus saw that the gate's bars had dropped, and would have closed it, except that one god is never allowed to reverse the actions of another. The Ausonian Naiads, owned a spot, adjoining the temple of Janus, moistened by a cold spring. Venus asked them for help: the nymphs did not refuse her just request, and elicited the aid of the streams, and watercourses, belonging to their fountain. But the pass of Janus was still not blocked, and the water did not bar the way: they placed yellow sulphur under their copious spring, and heated the hollow channels with burning pitch. By these and other means the vapour penetrated the depths of the spring, and you waters that a moment ago dared to compete with Alpine coldness, now did not concede to fire itself! The twin gateposts smouldered under a fiery spray, and the gate, that vainly promised an entrance to the tough Sabines, was blocked by the new waters, while the Roman soldiers took up their weapons of war. After this Romulus sallied out, and the Roman soil was strewn with the Sabine dead, and with Rome's own, and the impious sword mixed the blood of son-in-law with the blood of father-in-law. Yet it was decided not to fight it out to the end, to let peace end war, and that Tatius should share the rule of Rome.
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First war of Rome with the Sabines. Tarpeia.