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Tarpeia (tärpēˈyə) [key], in Roman legend, a Roman woman who betrayed her city to the Sabines for what they wore on their left arms (their gold bracelets). As they entered Rome they crushed her under a mound of shields, which they also wore on their left arms. The Tarpeian rock at Rome, from which criminals were thrown to death, bears her name.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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