The history of the Tarquinii Kings of Rome belongs to a distant Past. How far away is this past from us? And has it really passed? On these premises Marcus Quintius Spurinna – librarian of Emperor Claudius – tells his version of facts enriched by numerous exciting and wonderful events, even if tragic and dark. From the daring Tanaquil to the fearless Mastarna-Servius Tullius, from the cruel Tullia to the severe Brutus, from the tragic Lucretia to the despotic Tarquinius the Proud, an extraordinary story occurs between wonders and divine messages, premonitory dreams and heroic deeds. The Treasure of the Tarquinii imprints the sinister shadow of Power in Rome’s history, steeped in blood and infamy, whereas the ancient tradition of the Asylum, projects on it the benevolent light of welcome and sharing, however – and always – mitigated by the constant, wise limit of insurmountable submission to the Law of the State (what could we learn from our Ancients if only we wanted!).
Silvio Sposito was born in Rome in 1950. He is a doctor with deep-rooted humanistic interests, a former President-elect of a historic Roman cultural association dedicated to the enhancement and dissemination, among members and friends, of the immense historical-archaeological values of Rome and its surroundings. Driven by his love for the millennial history of the city, the author wanted to try his hand, for the first time, in a “fictionalized” story rather than a historical novel. It is in fact the story of the last three Roman Kings, from Tarquinius Priscus to Servius Tullius and Tarquinius the Proud, enriched with imaginary and fantasy elements that fill the many gaps in official history. A first inspiration came, as before mentioned, from his interest in the archaic world Greek, Etruscan and Roman and in the so-called Great Rome of the Tarquins. Another strong motivation resides in the surprising similarities and correspondences between that world, apparently so distant from us, and our contemporary world, with all its problems and unresolved conflicts. Ultimately, Cicero’s famous definition of History is still valid: “Historia vero testis temporum, lux veritatis, vita memoriae, magistra vitae, nuntia vetustatis”.