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Mythical Orazi's

Submitted by Lin Orazi Trefs

Oath of the Horatii (1784), by Jacques-Louis David

 

The Oath of the Horatii by Jacques-Louis David, 1784

 

In Roman mythology, the Horatii (Horatii later became "Orazi" in Italian) were a set of male triplets from Rome. During a war between Rome and Alba Longa during the reign of Tullus Hostilius (approx. 672-642 B.C.), it was agreed that settlement of the war would depend on the outcome of a battle between the Horatii and the Curiatii. The Curiatii were a set of male triplets who were from Alba Longa and of the same age as the Horatii.

 

In the battle, the three Curiatii were wounded, but two of the Horatii were killed. The last of the Horatii turned to flee. The Curiatii chased him, but because they were wounded, they became spread out from one another, which allowed Horatius to slay them one by one.

 

When the victorious Horatius returned carrying the spoils of victory, his sister cried out in grief because she realized the Curiatius to whom she had been engaged was dead. Then Horatius killed his sister, proclaiming, "So perish any Roman woman who mourns the enemy." For the murder, he was condemned to death but was saved when he appealed to the people. The legend might have been used as the reason why the condemned in Rome were allowed to appeal to the populace.

 

The main source of information regarding this tale is the "Ab urbe condita" by Titus Livius. Later in Roman history Horatius was elevated to the level of Roman god, but later lost that position.

 

The battle of the Horatii and Curiatii is the subject of a 1797 opera by Domenico Cimarosa, Gli Orazi ed i Curiazi, and of an 1846 opera of the same title by Saverio Mercadante.

 

The Horatii play a major part in Patrick Larkin's novel The Lazarus Vendetta. They were three identical triplets working for Lazarus.

 

Source:  Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia