Then a certain Marcus Curtius, who was accounted among the first of the youths because of his prudence and his prowess in war, sought admission to the senate and declared that of all blessings the finest thing and the one most essential to the Roman state was the valour of its men; if, therefore, the earth should receive some first-fruits of this and the one who offered it to the fatherland should do so voluntarily, the earth would send up many good men. Having said this and promised that he would not yield this distinction to anyone else, he girded on his arms and mounted his war-horse. And when the multitude in the city had gathered to witness the spectacle, he first prayed to the gods to fulfil the oracles and grant that many men like himself should be born to the Roman state; then, giving the horse free rein and applying the spurs, he hurled himself down the chasm.
Reprinted by permission of the publishers and the Trustees of the Loeb Classical Library from Dionysius of Halicarnassus: Roman Antiquities (Volume VII: Book 11. Fragments of Books 12-20., Loeb Classical Library Vol. 388, translated by Earnest Carey, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, © 1950, by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. The Loeb Classical Library ® is a registered trademark of the President and Fellows of Harvard College.