see HoratiiHoratii
, in Roman legend, male triplets who represented Rome in a battle against Alba, which was represented by the Curiatii, also triplets. After two of the Horatii had been killed, the remaining brother defeated the Curiatii.
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(33) The following moment is taken from the first book, where the manuscript consensus has: '[Tullus] principes Albanorum in patres ut ea quoque pars rei publicae cresceret legit, Tullios, Seruilios, Quinctios, Geganios, Curiatios, Cleolios' ('Tullus chose Alban princes to be city fathers so that that part of the commonwealth would also increase: the Tulli, Seruilii, Quinctiii, Geganii, Curiatii, Cleolii').
(29) Declamation 88 (on Horatius, who kills his sister after vanquishing the three Curiatii single-handed), for example, comes from Livy and Declamation 87 (on a man from Piedmont, who is alive but has been adjudged dead) ends with a comment by 'Silvayn'.
Livy recounts all of these elements in splendid detail in his chronicle of the legendary story of the Horatii and Curiatii, two sets of triplets chosen from the Roman and Alban forces, respectively, to fight to the death.
Livy offers his own version at 1.25.2 where he registers the feelings of the armies on both sides as they watch the battle between the Horatii and the Curiatii. On enargeia see Quintilian 6.2.31-2.
Vico relates how "Frotho, king of Denmark, ordered that all disputes should be settled by duels, thereby forbidding their settlement by legitimate judgements." He says that the Germans were especially high professors of "the science of dueling," therewith obliging the prospective adversaries "to tell the truth." Vico says, further, that "there are two great vestiges of such duels, one from Greek and one from Roman history, showing that the peoples must have begun their wars (called duella by the ancient Latins) with combats between the offended individuals," and he cites the combat between Menelaus and Paris in the Trojan war and that between the three Horatii and three Curiatii in the war between the Romans and the Albans.
They are celebrated for their combat with the three Curiatii, brothers from Alba Longa, to determine whether Rome or Alba was supreme.
It is only after these thanksgivings, burials, advice-seeking, and march home that Horatius meets Horatia and has his fatal dispute with her: 'As he drew near the Porta Capena he was met by his unwedded sister, who had been promised in marriage to one of the Curiatii' (I.
Unlike Livy, Dionysius emphasizes that the Horatii and Curiatii are cousins, the triplet sons of twin married daughters of the Alban Sicinius, both sets born at the same time (III.
In the Roman Antiquities, Dionysius describes a more consultative process: the Alban general has sought and obtained the agreement of the Curiatii before mentioning the idea of the triplets to Tullus (III.
Sabine and her crucial intermarriage allow the Alban cause Camille defended to survive to and beyond the close of the tragedy, despite the defeat of the Curiatii. And Valere, often underestimated in an analysis of Horace, adds to his earlier functions of rival and messenger that of accuser, anticipating in his multipurpose role Corneille's more subtle decision still in Cinna to combine Cinna and Maxime with Agrippa and Maecenas and have the Emperor's advisers become his potential assassins.