Sabīnī ōlim cum Rōmānīs bellum gerēbant et multās victōriās reportāverant. Iam agrōs proximōs mūrīs vāstābant, iam oppidō adpropinquābant. Rōmānī autem in Capitōlium fūgerant et longē perīculō aberant. Mūrīs validīs et saxīs altīs crēdēbant. Frūstrā Sabīnī tēla iaciēbant, frūstrā portās dūrās petēbant; castellum occupāre nōn poterant. Deinde novum cōnsilium cēpērunt.
Tarpēia erat puella Rōmāna pulchra et superba. Cotīdiē aquam cōpiīs Rōmānīs in Capitōlium portābat. Eī nōn nocēbant Sabīnī, quod ea sine armīs erat neque Sabīnī bellum cum fēminīs līberīsque gerēbant. Tarpēia autem maximē amābat ōrnāmenta aurī. Cotīdiē Sabīnōrum ōrnāmenta vidēbat et mox ea dēsīderāre incipiēbat. Eī ūnus ex Sabīnīs dīxit, “Dūc cōpiās Sabīnās intrā portās, Tarpēia, et maxima erunt praemia tua.” (Beginner’s Guide to Latin)
Long ago, the Sabines waged war against the Romans and won many victories. They were now laying waste to the fields nearby the walls, and they were already approaching the town. The Romans had fled into the Capitol, and were far away from the danger. They always had faith in their strong tall walls of stone. The Sabines hurled their javelins to no avail, and they attacked the strong gates to no avail; they could not invade the castle. Then they made a new plan.
Tarpeia was a proud and beautiful Roman girl. Every day she carried water to the Roman troops in the Capitol. The Sabines did not harm her, because she had no weapons and the Sabines did not wage war against women and children. Tarpeia especially loved golden jewelry. Every day she saw the jewelry of the Sabines and soon she began to desire the jewelry. One of the Sabines said to her, “Lead the Sabine troops through the gates, Tarpeia, and great will be your rewards.”