Rebus divinis rite perpetratis vocataque ad concilium multitudine quae coalescere in populi unius corpus nulla re praeterquam legibus poterat, iura dedit; quae ita sancta generi hominum agresti fore ratus, si se ipse venerabilem insignibus imperii fecisset, cum cetero habitu se augustiorem, tum maxime lictoribus duodecim sumptis fecit. Alii ab numero auium quae augurio regnum portenderant eum secutum numerum putant. me haud paenitet eorum sententiae esse quibus et apparitores hoc genus ab Etruscis finitimis, unde sella curulis, unde toga praetexta sumpta est, et numerum quoque ipsum ductum placet, et ita habuisse Etruscos quod ex duodecim populis communiter creato rege singulos singuli populi lictores dederint.
After the claims of religion had been duly acknowledged, Romulus called his people to a council. As nothing could unite them into one political body but the observance of common laws and customs, he gave them a body of laws, which he thought would only be respected by a rude and uncivilised race of men if he inspired them with awe by assuming the outward symbols of power. He surrounded himself with greater state, and in particular he called into his service twelve lictors. Some think that he fixed upon this number from the number of the birds who foretold his sovereignty; but I am inclined to agree with those who think that as this class of public officers was borrowed from the same people from whom the "sella curulis" and the "toga praetexta" were adopted- their neighbours, the Etruscans-so the number itself also was taken from them. Its use amongst the Etruscans is traced to the custom of the twelve sovereign cities of Etruria, when jointly electing a king, furnishing him each with one lictor