According to the ancient Roman historian Livy, Virginia (also spelled Verginia) was the daughter of the respected centurion Lucius Virginius. Appius Claudius, one of the political leaders of Rome—a decemvir, as the office was called and he was one of the ten high-ranking and powerful men— in 451 B.C. decided he wanted her. He said she was actually a slave of his client and so he had a right to claim her. Virginia's father asked to question her - he did so and before anyone could stop him, he stabbed his daughter so that she would not have to go with Appius Claudius.