Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The legend of Romulus and Remus

The myth of Rome's birth was recorded by Titus Livius (59 BC- AD17) and begins in the old latin capital Alba Longa with the King Numitor, whose throne was stoeln from his brother Amulius. Amulius forced Numitors daughter, Rhea to become a vestal virgin to prevent rival claims. The god Mars then appeared to Rhea and left her pregnant with Romulus and Remus. The twins were born and thrown in the river by Amulius, but were guided by the gods to the Velabrum, the old marshes under the Palentine Hill. Here they were raised by a she-wolf and eventually adopted by a shepherd. When they became adults they founded Rome in 753 BC, fulfilling the phophecy made by Mars. Both wished to rule and neither could agree on a name for the new city. Romulus preferred Roma, while Remus preferred Rema. Romulus settled the argument by murdering his brother and built the city walls.

The statue of the she-wolf with Romulus and Remus can be found at Palazzo dei Conservatori.

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