An ancient rock or peak (no longer in existence) of the Capitoline Hill, Rome, so called from Tarpeia, which according to legend was the faithless daughter of Spurius Tarpeius, the governor of the citadel during the reign of Romulus, Rome's first king. She was flung from this rock by the Sabines.
Another version of the legend says that Tarpeia betrayed her city to the Sabines for what they wore on their left arms their gold bracelets. As the Sabine troops entered Rome they battered her to death with their shields, which they also wore on their left arms. This was to show their scorn and disgust for the girl traitor and her actions. Tarpeia subsequently was buried on top of the rock that now bears her name.
On yet another version, Tarpeia is said to have been a Roman heroine who played a role in saving the city in the war between Romans and Sabines, who had been provoked by Romulus' abduction of Sabine women to provide wives for Rome's men. Tarpeia let the Sabine's into her father's fortress after making them promise to give her what they wore on their left arms, their shields. But the Sabines realized that they had been tricked and threw their shields at her and killed her.
The Romans could not agree how Tarpeia died but, whatever her motive was, the Tarpeian Rock became the traditional place from which traitors were hurled.
Tarpeia was also the name of the bodyguard of Camilla, the woman-warrior ally of Turnus against Aeneas in Italy.
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Sources: Article is scheduled to be reviewed.
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