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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.
page 60



B.C. 750. FORMEE KINGS OF ITALY. 5 ! According to some accounts, the first king who reigned in Italy was Janus ; then came Saturn, who fleeing out of Greece from his son Jupiter, came to a city which was called Saturnia, from his name, the ruins of which are seen to this day où the borders of Tuscany, not far from Rome ; and because Saturn lay hid (latuit) in Italy, the country was called Latium1 from that fact. He taught the people, who as yet were quite uncivilised, to build houses, to cultivate the land, to plant vineyards, and to Uve in such fashion as became men, when previously they had been half savage, supporting life only by the nourishment derived from acorns, and living in caves or huts, roofed with leaves and twigs. He also was the first to teach men the use of brazen money, in return for which services he was called a god by the ignorant and barbarous multitude. After Saturn his son Picus reigned in Italy. And there is a fable told about him, that because he despised the love of a very celebrated sorceress named Circe, he was changed by her into a bird of the same name, which is called pica (the woodpecker), to punish his disdain. After Picus, Faunus his son became king ; he was the father of Latinus, whose mother, Carmentie Nicostrata, is believed to have been the inventress of the Latin letters, in reference to which, some one has said— " To wise Carmentis all our books we owe.1' In the reigns of these sovereigns, a hundred and fifty years are said to have elapsed. During the reign of Latinus, who corrected the Latin language and called the people Latins after his own name, Troy » This is the etymology given by the purest Latin writers. Virgil says,— " Primus ab œthereo venit Saturnus Olympo, Arma Jovis fugiens, et regnis exul ademptie. Is genus indocile ac dispersum montibus altis Composuit, legesque dedit : Latiumque vocari Maluit, his quoniam latuisset tutus in oris."—JSn. viii. 323. Which is thus rendered by Dryden— " Then Saturn came, who fled the power of Jove, Robb'd of bis realms and banish'd from above ; The men, dispersed on hills to towns he brought, And laws ordain'd and civil customs taught, And Latium called the land where safe he lay From his unduteous son, and his usurping sway."—Ibid. 430. X 2


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