The legend of the Rape of Lucretia is based on an actual event dating from around 510 BC. When Lucreta was raped by a Roman soldier, son of a Roman King, she felt that her virtuous soul was now imprisoned in her defiled body. The only way to free herself was to plunge a knife into her chest. Her husband, so distraught that he wanted to end his life as well, was instead persuaded by Brutus to focus his passion into rebellious action. They paraded her body through the streets of Rome, ultimately resulting in the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom.
It was Lucretia’s very act of defiance that led to the birth of the Roman Republic.