Publius Horatius

One of the most important trials in recorded history might not have happened. But the story of a Roman hero fighting treason charges is still a wild ride that included public murder, monkey-based punishments, and a legal decision so novel that it changed the western world’s court systems forever.

Featured Image: Oath of the Horatii by Jacques-Louis David, painted in France four years before the revolution. This painting of the Horatius family accepting their duty to fight against the Curiatii was inspired by (understandable!) concerns in France about loyalty to the state. (Image source)

Horatius just killing his sister, painted in France in the mid-1700s. (Image source)

An illustration from a Dutch history book showing Publius Horatius the Elder pleading for his son’s innocence by pointing out the displayed spoils of battle. (Image source)