How Many Kings Ruled Rome?

By Michael Ferguson

How Many Kings Ruled Rome?

Rome, the eternal city, has a rich and complex history. From its legendary founding in 753 BC to the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, Rome witnessed the rise and fall of empires, republics, and monarchies.

One aspect of this fascinating history is the question of how many kings ruled Rome before it became a republic.

The Early Kingdom

According to ancient Roman mythology, Rome was ruled by seven kings during its early years. These kings are said to have laid the foundation for the city’s future greatness.

Their names were Romulus, Numa Pompilius, Tullus Hostilius, Ancus Marcius, Tarquinius Priscus, Servius Tullius, and Tarquinius Superbus.

Romulus: Romulus was not only the first king of Rome but also its legendary founder. He established the city on Palatine Hill and became its ruler in 753 BC.

Numa Pompilius: Numa Pompilius succeeded Romulus and reigned from 715 to 673 BC. He is known for his religious reforms and establishment of various religious institutions.

Tullus Hostilius: Tullus Hostilius was the third king who ruled from 673 to 642 BC. He expanded Roman territory through military conquests and waged war against Alba Longa.

Ancus Marcius: Following Tullus Hostilius was Ancus Marcius (642-617 BC). He focused on infrastructure development by constructing bridges across the Tiber River.

Tarquinius Priscus: Tarquinius Priscus, also known as Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, was the fifth king of Rome (616-579 BC). He is credited with expanding Rome’s territory and constructing many important buildings.

Servius Tullius: Servius Tullius reigned from 578 to 535 BC. He is known for implementing various social and political reforms, including the establishment of the Roman census.

Tarquinius Superbus: Tarquinius Superbus, or Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, was the last king of Rome (535-509 BC). His reign was marked by tyranny and oppression, which eventually led to the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of the Roman Republic.

The Transition to Republic

The fall of Tarquinius Superbus in 509 BC marked a significant turning point in Roman history. It brought an end to the monarchy and led to the establishment of a republic.

The Romans vowed never to be ruled by a king again and instead opted for a system where power resided with elected officials.


In summary, according to ancient Roman mythology, Rome had seven kings during its early years. These kings played a crucial role in shaping the city’s foundation before it transitioned into a republic.

Their stories are part of Rome’s captivating history and serve as a reminder of its rich past.