There dominate the rocks famous for treason and the name of Tarpeia, rising above the heights of Rome: the Sabines occupy them; their battle order develops at the foot of the ramparts.
La dominent, s'elevent les hauteurs de Rome, les roches celebres par la trahison et le nom de Tarpeia: les Sabins les occupent; leur ordre de bataille se developpe au pied des remparts." Chaussard, 7.
In 4.4, Tarpeia, who betrayed Rome for love (elsewhere it is for money), (39) addresses Titus Tatius, the leader of the Sabines who were attacking Rome and the object of her affection, saying:
(Modified translation of Janan 2001, 82) Tarpeia claims that it is Tatius who is worthy of the royal robe worn by early kings of Rome and not the founding father, Romulus, who was nourished by the hard teat (dura papilla) of a barbarous she-wolf (inhumanae lupae), "without the dignity of a mother" (sine matris honore).
The negative image of the mother at lines 53-4 of the Tarpeia elegy (4.4) is further underscored by the subtle reference to the infamous child-killing mother Medea just above in line 51: o utinam magicae nossem cantamina Musae!
The speaker, Tarpeia, if a Vestal Virgin, (47) does not speak from any authority on the subject since a Vestal Virgin had and would have no experience of motherhood herself.
(46) We should also note that Tarpeia is compromised by her materialistic values and is an unreliable narrator.