Tullus Hostilius (r. 673–642 BC) was the legendary third king of Rome. He succeeded Numa Pompilius and was succeeded by Ancus Marcius. Unlike his predecessor, Tullus was known as a warlike king. Tullus Hostilius was the grandson of Hostus Hostilius, who had fought with Romulus and died during the Sabine invasion of Rome. The principal feature of Tullus' reign was his defeat of Alba Longa. After Alba Longa was beaten (by the victory of three Roman champions over three Albans), Alba Longa became Rome's vassal state. However, after the Alban dictator Mettius Fufetius subsequently betrayed Rome, Tullus ordered Alba Longa to be destroyed and forced the migration of the Alban citizenry to Rome, where they were integrated and became Roman citizens. Tullus also fought successful wars against Fidenae and Veii and against the Sabines. According to Livy, Tullus paid little heed to religious observances during his reign, thinking them unworthy of a king's attention. However, at the close of his reign, Rome was affected by a series of prophecies including a shower of stones on the Alban Mount (in response to which a public religious festival of nine days was held – a novendialis), a loud voice was heard on the summit of the mount complaining that the Albans had failed to show devotion to their former gods, and a pestilence struck in Rome. King Tullus became ill and was filled with superstition. He reviewed the commentaries of Numa Pompilius and attempted to carry out sacrifices recommended by Numa to Jupiter Elicius. However, Tullus did not undertake the ceremony correctly, and both he and his house were struck by lightning and reduced to ashes as a result of the anger of Jupiter.
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