“Tarquin” is a name which can actually refer to a number of famous people or even peoples. The root of the name is linked to the ancient Etruscan city of Tarquinia which lay less than a hundred miles to the north of Rome. The ancient Etruscan tomb paintings and frescos from the area of Tarquinia tell us much about early Rome and the Etruscans who controlled central Italy before the Romans.
Not surprisingly the Romans inherited much from Etruscan culture. Even less surprisingly a mixture of myth and evidence tells us that the earliest Roman kings included a number of Etruscans, several of which were in fact called “Tarquin” or the “Tarquins”.
We thus have Tarquinius Priscus (616-579) who built the Capitol and the Circus Maximus or the last king of Rome before the Republic, Tarquin the Proud.
As Etruscan culture was absorbed into that of Rome so too were the citizens and the use of their Latinized roman names. We therefore have the great Tarquinius Gracchus. One of the two revolutionary reformist Gracchi brothers who broke the law in order to achieve long lasting land reforms and cheap grain for the poor; at the cost of their own lives.