Romulus and Remus

Infobox Monarch
name =Romulus and Remus

title =King of Rome

reign =?, 753 BC – 717 BC
coronation =
predecessor =None
successor =Numa Pompilius
suc-type =
heir =
consort =
issue =
royal house =
royal anthem =
father =Mars
mother =Rhea Silvia
date of birth =771 BC
place of birth =Alba Longa
date of death =717 BC
place of death =Rome
buried =

Romulus (c. 771 BC [The exact date of the birth of Romulus and Remus is unknown. Plutarch says that Romulus was fifty-three ("in the fifty-fourth year of his age") at his death in 717 BC. If true, then Romulus and Remus would have been born in the year 771 BC, and have begun the founding of Rome at the age of 18.] –"c." 717 BC) and Remus (c. 771 BC–c. 753 BC) are the traditional founders of Rome, appearing in Roman mythology as the twin [The mythic theme of twins is deep-seated in Mediterranean mythology: compare Castor and Polydeuces of Sparta (the "Dioscuri") and Amphion and Zethus of Thebes.] sons of the priestess Rhea Silvia, fathered by the god of war, Mars. According to the tradition recorded as history by Plutarch and Livy, Romulus served as the first King of Rome.

Romulus slew Remus over a dispute about which one of the two brothers had the support of the local deities to rule the new city and give it his name. The name they gave the city was Rome. Supposedly, Romulus had stood on one hill and Remus another, and a circle of birds flew over Romulus, signifying that he should be king. After founding Rome, Romulus not only created the Roman Legions and the Roman Senate, but also added citizens to his new city by abducting the women of the neighboring Sabine tribes, which resulted in the mixture of the Sabines and Romans into one people. Romulus would become ancient Rome's greatest conqueror, adding large amounts of territory and people to the dominion of Rome.

After his death, Romulus was deified as the god Quirinus, the divine persona of the Roman people. He now is regarded as a mythological figure, and it is supposed that his name is a back-formation from the name Rome, which may ultimately derive from a word for "river". Some scholars, notably Andrea Carandini believe in the historicity of Romulus, in part because of the 1988 discovery of the "Murus Romuli" on the north slope of the Palatine Hill in Rome. [Carandini. "La nascita di Roma. Dèi, lari, eroi e uomini all'alba di una civiltà" (Torino: Einaudi, 1997) and Carandini. "Remo e Romolo. Dai rioni dei Quiriti alla città dei Romani (775/750 - 700/675 a. C. circa)" (Torino: Einaudi, 2006)]

Romulus and Remus are pre-eminent among the famous feral children in mythology and fiction.

Life before Rome

Before Romulus and Remus were born, their grandfather Numitor and his brother Amulius, descendants of fugitives from Troy, received the throne of Alba Longa upon their father’s death. Numitor received the sovereign powers as his birthright while Amulius received the royal treasury, including the gold Aeneas brought with him from Troy.

Because Amulius held the treasury, thus having more power than his brother, he dethroned Numitor as the rightful king. Out of fear that Numitor’s daughter, Rhea Silvia, would produce children who one day would overthrow him as king, he forced Rhea to become a Vestal Virgin, a priestess sworn to abstinence. But Mars, god of war, (in Greek, Ares) was smitten by her and secretly while she slept bore her two sons. They were twin boys, as told, of remarkable size and beauty, later named Romulus and Remus. Amulius was enraged and ordered Rhea and the twins killed. Accounts vary on how; in one account, he had Rhea buried alive (the standard punishment for Vestal Virgins who violated their vow of celibacy) and ordered the death of the twins by exposure; In another, he ordered Rhea and the twins thrown into the Tiber.

The servant ordered to kill the twins could not, however, because they were too beautiful and innocent, the servant placed the two in a basket and laid the basket on the banks of the Tiber river and went away. The river, which was in flood, rose and gently carried the basket and the twins downstream. [Compare the story of Romulus and Remus to Moses, Perseus, and Sargon of Akkad for similar stories of babies being placed in cradles and set afloat in a body of water. See Infant exposure.]

Romulus and Remus were kept safe by the river deity Tiberinus, who made the cradle catch in the roots of a fig tree growing in the Velabrum swamp, which therefore, has a high symbolic significance. He then brought the infant twins up onto the Palatine Hill. There, they were nursed by a wolf, "Lupa" in Latin. Lupa is a name for the priestesses of a fox goddess, leading to an alternative theory that the wolf was human. There is speculation that the nurturers were harlots (she-wolf being a name for them in ancient Rome) They were nurtured underneath a fig tree and were fed by a woodpecker. Both animals were sacred to Mars.

Romulus and Remus were then discovered by Faustulus, a shepherd for Amulius, who brought the children to his home. Faustulus and his wife, Acca Larentia, raised the boys as their own. The roots of her name imply a religious cult of an earth mother. Some mythological traditions have her as the prostitute 'she-wolf' who suckled Rome's founders. [Valer. Ant. ap. Gell. I. c,; Livy, i. 4.]

In another Roman legend Hercules married Acca Larentia off to the shepherd Faustulus, who saved the lives of the twins Romulus and Remus after they had been thrown into the Tiber. Acca Larentia had twelve sons, and on the death of one of them, Romulus took his place. He and the remaining eleven, founded the college of the Arval brothers Fratres Arvales. Acca Larentia is therefore identified with the Dea Dia of that collegium. The flamen Quirinalis acted in the role of Romulus (deified as Quirinus) to perform funerary rites for his foster mother (as the goddess).

Another, later tradition relates that Romulus and Remus were suckled by a wolf, has been explained by the suggestion that Larentia was called Lupa (courtesan, literally she-wolf) on account of her immoral character (Livy i. 4; Ovid, Fasti, iii. 55).

Yet another tradition relates also that Romulus and Remus were nursed by the Wolf-Goddess Lupa or Luperca, who was identified with Acca Larentia, whose rapport with wolves kept them from harming the sheep, but add that Luperca's husband is the Wolf-and-Shepherd-God Lupercus who brought fertility to the flocks.

The many names associated with Acca Laurentia, are, Acca Larenta, Larentia, Laurentia, Lara, Larunda, Larenta, Larentina, and Mater Larum, the "Mother of the Lares" as well as, Fauna, who had an oracle on the nearby Aventine Hill and was the wife of Faunus, the Bona Dea, Lupa, Luperca, and Dea Dia.

In 2007 the Lupercal where supposedly the children were found being suckled by the wolf was discovered by archaeologists. Its location is convert|52|ft|m beneath Palatine Hill. [] Although the main worship area has been unearthed, it is a fragile grotto and already partially caved-in. Because of this, it would not survive a full-scale dig, leaving archaeologists to examine the remaining sections with sensitive tools such as endoscopes and laser scanners.

Nonetheless, once their origins are resolved, most traditions agree that as they grew, their noble birth showed itself in their size and beauty while they were still children. When they grew up, they were manly and high-spirited, of invincible courage and daring. Romulus, however, was thought the wiser and more politic of the two, and in his discussions with the neighbors about pasture and hunting, gave them opportunities of noting that his disposition was one which led him to command rather than to obey.

On account of these qualities, they were beloved by their equals and the poor, but they despised the king's officers and bailiffs as being no braver than they were, and cared neither for their anger nor their threats. They led the lives and followed the pursuits of nobly born men, not valuing sloth and idleness, but exercise and hunting, defending the land against brigands, capturing plunderers, and avenging those who had suffered wrong. Thus they became famous throughout Latium.

One day when Romulus and Remus were eighteen years old, a quarrel occurred between the shepherds of Numitor and the shepherds of Amulius. Some of Numitor’s shepherds drove off many of Amulius’s cattle, causing Amulius’s men to become enraged. Romulus and Remus gathered the shepherds together, found and killed Numitor’s shepherds, and recovered the lost cattle. To the displeasure of Numitor, Romulus and Remus collected and took into their company many needy men and slaves of Numitor, exhibiting seditious boldness and temper.

While Romulus was engaged in some sacrifice, as he was fond of sacrifices and the deities, some of Numitor’s shepherds attacked Remus and some of his friends and a battle broke out. After both sides took many wounds, Numitor’s shepherds prevailed and took Remus as their prisoner and returned him to Numitor for punishment. Numitor did not punish Remus, because he was in fear of Amulius, but went to Amulius and asked for justice, since he was his brother, and he had been insulted by the royal servants. The people of Alba Longa, too, sympathized with Numitor, and thought that he had been undeservedly outraged. Amulius was therefore induced to hand Remus over to Numitor to treat him as he saw fit.

When Numitor took Remus to his home for punishment, he was amazed at the young man's superiority in stature and strength of body. After hearing of his acts and deeds and of his noble virtues, Numitor asked Remus of his birth and who he really was. When Remus told him that they had been found and nursed by a wolf on the banks of the Tiber river, and conjecturing Remus’s age from his looks, he began to think of the possibility that Remus was Rhea's son.

Upon Romulus's return from his sacrifices, Faustulus told Romulus that Remus had been captured and told him to go to his brother’s aid. Romulus left Faustulus and set out to levy an army to march against Alba Longa. Faustulus took the cradle in which he had found Romulus and Remus and quickly ran to Alba Longa. When Faustulus reached the gates of the city, the guards stopped him. By chance, one of the guards had been the servant who had taken the boys to the river. This man, upon seeing the cradle, and recognizing it, knew that Faustulus spoke the truth, and without any delay told the matter to Amulius, and brought the man before him to be examined. He admitted that Romulus and Remus were alive and well, but said they lived at a distance from Alba Longa as herdsmen.

Acting out of fear and rage, Amulius quickly sent a friend of Numitor to see if he had heard any report of the twins being alive. As soon as the man entered Numitor’s house, he found Numitor embracing Remus, thus confirming that Remus was Numitor’s grandson. He then advised Numitor and Remus to act quickly, for Romulus was marching on the city with an army of those who hated and feared Amulius. Remus acted quickly and incited the citizens within the city to revolt, and at the same time Romulus attacked from without. Amulius, without taking a single step or making any plan for his own safety, out of sheer confusion, was taken to be put to death.

The Founding of Rome

With Amulius dead, the city settled down and offered Romulus and Remus the joint crown. However, the twins refused to be the kings so long as their grandfather was still alive, and would not live in the city as subjects. Thus after restoring the kingship to Numitor and properly honoring their mother Rhea Silvia, the two left Alba Longa to found their own city upon the slopes of the Palatine Hill. Before they left Alba Longa, however, they took with them fugitives, runaway slaves, and all others who wanted a second chance at life.

Once Romulus and Remus arrived at the Palatine Hill, the two argued over where the exact position of the city should be. Romulus was set on building the city upon the Palatine, but Remus wanted to build the city on the strategic and easily fortified Aventine Hill (The Greek author Dionysius, however, places Remus' location at a place named "Remoria" after Remus himself. The precise location of Remoria is not known today). They agreed to settle their argument by testing their abilities as augurs and by the will of the deities. Each took a seat on the ground apart from one another, and, according to Plutarch, Remus saw six vultures (which were considered to be sacred to Mars, their father), while Romulus saw twelve. [Some sources claim that they were not vultures but in fact eagles, which fits the eagle theme used in many Roman symbols and signets.Fact|date=May 2008]

Remus was enraged by Romulus’s victory. He claimed that since he had seen his six vultures "first", he should have won. When Romulus began digging a trench (or building a wall, according to Dionysius) where his city's boundary was to run on April 21, 753 BC, Remus ridiculed some parts of the work, and obstructed others. At last, Remus leapt across the trench, an omen of bad luck, since this implied that the city fortifications would be easily breached. In response, Remus was killed.

We know of four possible ways Remus could have been killed - the most common being that his brother Romulus killed him (Livy's "account more generally received": "Remus, in derision of his brother, leaped over the new wall, and Romulus, enraged thereat, slew him, uttering at the same time this imprecation: 'So perish every one that shall hereafter leap over my wall'"). Livy's alternative version simply states, in a passive voice, that Remus was dead, without noting either that he was murdered or, by whom; he simply "became dead". The two other lesser known accounts state that a) Remus was killed by Romulus' commander Fabius with a shovel (St. Jerome) or that b) Celer, whose relation to Romulus is uncertain, killed Remus by striking him across the head with his spade.Once the fighting subsided, Romulus buried Remus before continuing to build his city. He named the city "Roma" after himself [Cf. Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his "The Social Contract", Book IV, Chapter IV, written in 1762, where he writes in a footnote that the word for Rome is Greek in origin and means force. "There are writers who say that the name 'Rome' is derived from 'Romulus'. It is in fact Greek and means force."] , and served as its first king.

After the completion of the city, Romulus divided the people of Rome who were able to fight into regiments of 3000 infantry and 300 cavalry. Romulus called these regiments "legions". The rest of the people became the populace of the city, and out of the populace, Romulus hand selected 100 of the most noble men to serve as a council for the city. He called these men Patricians and their council the Roman Senate. Romulus called these noble men Patricians not only because they were the fathers of legitimate sons, but also because he intended the great and the wealthy to treat the weak and the poor as fathers treat their sons. This delineates, symbolically, the inauguration of the patron-client relationship, known as clientela, which was central to Roman culture and society, and was later passed down to medieval societies.

Romulus spread the reputation of Rome as an asylum to all who desired a new life. Because of this, Rome attracted a population of exiles, refugees, murderers, criminals, and runaway slaves. Rome's population grew so much that the city settled five of the seven hills of Rome: the Capitoline Hill, the Aventine Hill, the Caelian Hill, the Quirinal Hill, and the Palatine Hill. Romulus, however, saw a problem quickly forming before him: few of the foreigners had wives. Romulus decided he needed to fill his city with women as well.

To solve his problems, Romulus held a festival, the Consualia, and invited the neighboring Sabine tribe to attend as his guests. The Sabines came en mass, and brought with them their daughters. Romulus planned to kidnap the Sabine women and bring them back to Rome as citizens. When the Sabines arrived, Romulus sat amongst the senators, clad in purple. The signal that the time had come for the onslaught was to be his rising and folding his cloak, and then throwing it round him again. Armed with swords, many of his followers kept their eyes intently upon him, and when the signal was given, his nobles drew their swords, rushed in with shouts, and captured the daughters of the Sabines, but permitted and encouraged the men to escape unharmed. In all, some 700 Sabine women were captured and brought back to Rome. This event is remembered in various works of art titled "Rape of the Sabine Women".

War with the Sabines

The Sabines, although a numerous and war-like people, found themselves bound by precious hostages, and fearing for their daughters, they sent ambassadors with reasonable and moderate demands that Romulus should give back their maidens, disavow his deed of violence, and then, by persuasion and legal enactment, establish a friendly relationship between the two peoples. Romulus would not surrender the maidens, and demanded that the Sabines should allow their marriage with the Romans, whereupon they all held long deliberations and made extensive preparations for war.

While most of the Sabines were still busy with their preparations, the people of a few cities banded together against the Romans, and in a battle which ensued, they were defeated, and surrendered to Romulus their cities, their territory to be divided, and themselves to be transported to Rome. Romulus distributed among the citizens all the territory thus acquired, excepting that which belonged to the parents of the ravished maidens; this he suffered its owners to keep for themselves.

This enraged the Sabines, and in response appointed Titus Tatius as the supreme commander-in-chief of all the Sabines, who then marched his army on Rome. The city was difficult to access, having as its fortress the Capitoline Hill, on which a guard had been stationed, with a man named Tarpeius as its captain. But supposedly, Tarpeia, a daughter of the commander, betrayed the citadel to the Sabines, having set her heart on the golden armlets that she saw them wearing, and she asked as payment for her treachery that which they wore on their left arms. Tatius agreed to this, whereupon she opened one of the gates by night and let the Sabines in. Once inside, Tatius ordered his Sabines, mindful of their agreement, to not begrudge her anything they wore on their left arms. Tatius was first to take from his arm not only his armlet, but at the same time his shield, and cast them upon her. All his men followed his example, and then she was smitten by the gold and buried under the shields, and died from the number and weight of them. This theme may imply the transition from one religious tradition to another.

With the Sabines controlling the Capitoline Hill, Romulus angrily challenged them to open battle, and Tatius boldly accepted. The Sabines marched down the Capitoline and battled the Romans between the hills in a swampy area which would one day become the Roman Forum. The Sabines overran the Romans and the Romans were forced back behind the very walls of Rome upon the Palatine Hill. From behind the walls, the Romans began to flee the battle. Romulus bowed down and prayed to Jupiter and the Romans rallied back to Romulus and made a stand. Later, on the very spot where Romulus prayed, a temple to Jupiter "Stator" ("the stayer") was built. Romulus led the Romans on and they drove the Sabines back to the point where the Temple of Vesta later would stand.

Here, as the Romans and Sabines were preparing to renew the battle, they were stopped by the sight of the ravished daughters of the Sabines rushing from the city of Rome through the infantry and the dead bodies. The Sabine women ran up to their husbands and their fathers, some carrying young children in their arms. Both armies were so moved to compassion, they drew apart to give the women place between the battle lines. The Sabine women begged their Roman husbands and their Sabine fathers and brothers to accept one another and live as one nation. With sorrow running through the ranks, a truce was made and the leaders held a conference. It was decided that both Romulus and Tatius would rule as joint kings of the Romans, including the newly added Sabines.

Rome doubled in its size. With the Romans inhabiting the Palatine Hill and the Sabines inhabiting the Quirinal Hill, the two nations chose a third hill to serve as the center of government and administration for the city of Rome, the Capitoline Hill. From the new Sabine citizens, 100 new noble men were selected to become Patricians and joined the ranks of the Senate. The legions were doubled in size, from 3000 infantry and 300 cavalry to 6000 infantry and 600 cavalry. The cultures of the Romans and Sabine also combined in this union. The Sabines adopted the Roman calendar, and the Romans adopted the armor and oblong shield of the Sabines.

Life after the founding of Rome

After five years of joint rule, Tatius was assassinated by foreign ambassadors and Romulus became the sole king of the Romans. Romulus introduced legislation that prevented adultery and murder. As the king of Rome, Romulus was not only the commander-in-chief of the army, but also the city’s chief judicial authority. His judgments of many crimes were held in place for over six hundred years without a single case being reported in Rome of his judgments being questioned.

Under Romulus' administration, the people of Rome were divided into three tribes: one for Latins ("Ramnes"), a second for Sabines ("Titites"), and a third for Etruscans ("Luceres").

These three tribes became the Romans. Each of these tribes had a tribune who represented their respective tribes in all civil, religious, and military affairs. When in the city, they were the magistrates of their tribes, and performed sacrifices on their behalf, and in times of war they were Rome's military commanders. The Ramnes derived their name from Romulus, the Tities derived their name from Titus Tatius, and the Luceres derived their name from an Etruscan title of honor.

After creating the three tribes, the "Comitia Curiata" were instituted. To form the basis of the Comitia Curiate, Romulus divided each of the three tribes into ten "curiae", with the thirty curiae deriving their individual names from thirty Sabine women whom Romulus and his followers had kidnapped.

Each of the individual curia then were subdivided into ten gentes, which formed the basis for the nomen in the Roman naming convention. When Romulus would convene the Comitia Curiate and lay proposals from either him or the senate before the Curiate for ratification, the ten gentes within each curia would cast a vote, with the collective vote of the curia going to the majority of the gentes. This formed the basis for the modern Electoral College.

Romulus, being a martial man, formed his own personal guard, called the "Celeres". The Celeres consisted of Rome's three hundred finest horsemen who were under the command of the Celerum Tribune, who was also the Tribune for the Ramnes tribe. The Celeres derived their name from their leader, a close friend of Romulus named Celers who helped him slay Remus and found the city of Rome. This special military unit functioned very much like the Praetorian Guard of Augustus as it was responsible for Romulus' personal safety and for the security of Rome while the legions were on her borders. The relationship between Romulus and his Tribune also is similar to the relation between the Roman Dictator and his Magister Equitum. Celer, as the Celerum Tribune, occupied the second place in the state, and in Romulus' absence he had the rights of convoking the Comitia and commanding the armies.

From the founding of Rome until his death, Romulus waged wars and expanded his territory, thus Rome's territory, for over two decades. He conquered many of the neighboring cities, namely Etruscan cities, and gained unequaled control over the area of Latium, Tuscany, Umbria, and Abruzzo. In what would become the traditional Roman style of warfare, although Romulus may have lost some battles along the way, he never lost a single war in which he fought.

After his final wars against the Etruscans, the king of Alba Longa, Numitor, Romulus’ biological grandfather, died. The people of Alba Longa freely offered the crown to Romulus, believing he was the one rightful ruler of the city as the blood heir to Numitor. Romulus accepted dominion over the city, but gained much favor with the city’s populace by placing the government in the hands of the people within the city. Once a year, Romulus appointed a governor over the city, a man selected by the people of Alba Longa.

During later years, Romulus grew to rely less and less upon the Senate. Though this was entirely legal, it went against tradition. The Senate essentially had lost its influence, holding no say in the administration of the city. The Senate could only be convened when Romulus called for it, and once assembled, the Senators merely sat in silence and listened to his edicts. The Senators soon found that their only advantage over the commoners was that they learned what Romulus decreed sooner than the commoners did. On his own authority, he divided the territory acquired in war among his soldiers, and without the consent or wish of the Patricians. The Patricians thought he was insulting their Senate outright. Although the Senators grew to hate him, they feared him too much to defy him openly and show him their displeasure.

Death or ascension

Romulus's life ended in the thirty-eighth year of his reign, with a supernatural disappearance, if he was not slain by the Senate.

One day, when Romulus and all the people had gone to the Campus Martius, a sudden storm arose. The darkness became so great that the people fled in terror. When the storm was over, the Romans returned. To their surprise, however, Romulus had disappeared. The people sent for him, but none could find him. The people were amazed, and were all talking about his sudden disappearance, and wondering what could have become of their king, when one of the Senators stood up and called for silence.

After the Senator calmed the mass of people, he told the assembled Romans that he had seen Romulus being carried up into the heavens. Romulus, the Senator said, had called out that he was going to live with the deities, and wished his people to worship him as the god Quirinus. In response, the Romans built a temple on the hill where the Senator said that Romulus had risen to heaven. This hill was called the Quirinal Hill in Romulus' honor, and for many years the Romans worshiped Romulus, the founder of their city, and their first king from that very spot.

Plutarch ("Life" of Numa Pompilius) tells the legend with a note of skepticism:

:"It was the thirty-seventh year, counted from the foundation of Rome, when Romulus, then reigning, did, on the fifth day of the month of July, called the "Caprotine Nones", offer a public sacrifice at the Goat's Marsh, in presence of the senate and people of Rome. Suddenly the sky was darkened, a thick cloud of storm and rain settled on the earth; the common people fled in affright, and were dispersed; and in this whirlwind Romulus disappeared, his body being never found either living or dead. A foul suspicion presently attached to the patricians, and rumors were current among the people as if that they, weary of kingly government, and exasperated of late by the imperious deportment of Romulus toward them, had plotted against his life and made him away, so that they might assume the authority and government into their own hands. This suspicion they sought to turn aside by decreeing divine honors to Romulus, as to one not dead, but translated to a higher condition. And Proculus, a man of note, took oath that he saw Romulus caught up into heaven in his arms and vestments, and heard him, as he ascended, cry out that they should hereafter style him by the name of Quirinus."

Livy also reports on this event:

:"Then a few voices began to proclaim Romulus's divinity; the cry was taken up, and at last every man present hailed him as a god and son of a god, and prayed to him to be forever gracious and to protect his children. However, even on this great occasion there were, I believe, a few dissenters who secretly maintained that the king had been torn to pieces by the senators. At all events the story got about, though in veiled terms; but it was not important, as awe, and admiration for Romulus's greatness, set the seal upon the other version of his end, which was, moreover, given further credit by the timely action of a certain Julius Proculus, a man, we are told, honored for his wise counsel on weighty matters. The loss of the king had left the people in an uneasy mood and suspicious of the senators, and Proculus, aware of the prevalent temper, conceived the shrewd idea of addressing the Assembly. "Romulus", he declared, "the father of our city descended from heaven at dawn this morning and appeared to me. In awe and reverence I stood before him, praying for permission to look upon his face without sin. "Go", he said, "and tell the Romans that by heaven's will my Rome shall be capital of the world. Let them learn to be soldiers. Let them know, and teach their children, that no power on earth can stand against Roman arms". Having spoken these words, he was taken up again into the sky."

: (Livy, 1.16, trans. A. de Selincourt, The Early History of Rome, 34-35) []

As the god Quirinus, Romulus joined Jupiter and Mars in the "Archaic Triad". Quirinus was depicted as a bearded warrior in both religious and battle clothing wielding a spear, thus he is viewed a god of war and as the strength of the Roman people, but more importantly, as the deified likeness of the city of Rome itself. Quirinus received a Flamen Maior called the Flamen Quirinalis, who oversaw his worship and rituals. The Romans even called themselves Quirites in his honor. After Romulus' death, he was succeeded by Numa Pompilius as the second King of Rome.


Ancient pictures of the Roman twins usually follow certain symbolic traditions, depending on the legend they follow: they either show a shepherd, the she-wolf, the twins under a fig tree, and one or two birds (Livy, Plutarch); or they depict two shepherds, the she-wolf, the twins in a cave, seldom a fig tree, and never any birds (Dionysius of Halicarnassus).

Also there are coins with "Lupa" and the tiny twins placed beneath her.

"Shepherd kings", as some mythographers would classify Romulus, were torn to pieces in a secret religious ceremony at the end of their "reign" and the beginning of the reign of the next "king". That mythological identity, reflecting ancient religious practices, might be supported in the notation by Livy that some stated that "this was his fate". Religious mysteries and rites had to be kept "secret", hence the rumor is implied for only the initiates to interpret.

The Franks Casket, an Anglo-Saxon hoard-box (early seventh century) shows Romulus and Remus in an unusual setting, two wolves instead of one, a grove instead of one tree or a cave, four kneeling warriors instead of one or two gesticulating shepherds. As the runic inscription ("far from home") indicates, the twins are cited here as the "Dioscuri", helpers at voyages such as Castor and Polydeuces. Their descent from the Roman god of war predestines them as helpers on the way to war. So the carver transfers them into the Germanic holy grove and has Woden’s second wolf join them. Thus the picture serves—along with five other ones—to influence "wyrd", the fortune and fate of a warrior king.



Primary references

* around 10 Livy ("The Early History of Rome")
* around 100 Plutarch (Lives of " [*.html Romulus] ", " [*.html Numa Pompilius] ", " [*.html Camillus] ")

econdary references

* around 40 BC Cicero ("The Republic VI", 22: Scipio's Dream)
* around 20 Dionysius of Halicarnassus (L. 2, "Roman History (Book I)")
* around 100 Florus (Book I, I)
* around 200 Dio Cassius

Further reading

* [ Ancient History]
* [ Franks Casket,Helpers on the way to war]
* [ Miracles] "The parallels here are unmistakable. In both stories we have a "king" addressing his subjects, a cloud enveloping the "king", and the bodily ascension upwards into the heavens. Jesus and Romulus are simply two examples among many."
*Grafton, Anthony 2003. "Some Uses of Eclipses in Early Modern Chronology" in "Journal of the History of Ideas" (The Johns Hopkins University Press) vol. 64:2, April 2003, pp 213-229
*Wiseman, T. P. Remus: A Roman Myth. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
*Alfred Becker: “Franks Casket. Zu den Bildern und Inschriften des Runenkästchens von Auzon (Regensburg1973)pp.55-63
* [ "New York Times" travel guide to Rome] : "the Capitoline Wolf, a 6th-century BC Etruscan bronze, holds a place of honor in the museum; the suckling twins were added during the Renaissance to adapt the statue to the legend of Romulus and Remus."

ee also

* Asena, a similar foundation myth involving a female wolf, in Turkic mythology
* USS "Romulus" (ARL-22)
* USS "Remus" (ARL-40)

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  • Romulus and Remus — Twins of Roman legend who were the legendary founders of Rome. They were the offspring of Mars and Rhea Silvia, a Vestal Virgin and princess in Alba Longa. As infants they were thrown into the Tiber River by their great uncle Amulius, who feared… …   Universalium

  • Romulus and Remus — Rom|u|lus and Re|mus in ancient Roman stories, the two brothers who established the city of Rome. Romulus and Remus were ↑twins (=two children born at the same time) who were left to die when they were babies. They were taken care of by a ↑wolf ( …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Romulus und Remus — Die kapitolinische Wölfin säugt die Knaben Romulus und Remus (diese wurden später zu der Figur hinzugefügt) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Remus (disambiguation) — Remus could refer to any of the following:* Remus, twin brother of the mythical founder of Rome, Romulus see Romulus and Remus * Remus (Star Trek) , the twin of the Romulans fictional homeworld in Star Trek * Remus (moon), a moon of the asteroid… …   Wikipedia

  • Romulus (альбом) — Romulus Студийный альбом Ex De …   Википедия

  • Remus — →↑Romulus and Remus …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Remus (moon) — Infobox Planet | discovery=yes | physical characteristics = yes | bgcolour=#A0FFA0 | minorplanet=yes | width=29em name=Remus discovery ref = [http://cfa IAUC 8582] , announcing the discovery of S/2004 (87) 1… …   Wikipedia

  • Remus (Mond) — (87) Sylvia II (Remus) Asteroid Sylvia mit Romulus und Remus Vorläufige oder systematische Bezeichnung S/2004 (87) 1 Zentralkörper (87) Sylvia …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Romulus (Mond) — (87) Sylvia I (Romulus) Asteroid Sylvia mit Romulus und Remus Vorläufige oder systematische Bezeichnung S/2001 (87) 1 Zentralkörper (87) Sylvia …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Romulus (moon) — Infobox Planet | discovery=yes | physical characteristics = yes | bgcolour=#A0FFA0 | minorplanet=yes | width=28em name=Romulus discovery ref = [http://cfa IAUC 7588] , announcing the discovery of S/2001 (87)… …   Wikipedia

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