King Tarquinius secures his hold on power by expanding the Senate, but encounters a roadblock to strengthening the military in the person of a famous augur. Tarquinius is ruthless, productive, and the first great Roman promoter of "bread and circuses" (among other things, according to Livy, Tarquinius builds the Circus Maximus). Despite his political saavy, however, he comes to a violent, borderline slapstick end.
Livy's Ab Urbe Condita: https://amzn.to/3gYwtbh
Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy: https://amzn.to/3NtNBSj
Virgil's Aeneid: https://bookshop.org/a/25626/9780143105138
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