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The Lupercal (from Latin ''
lupa Lupa may refer to: Places * Lupa Gold Field, Tanzania * Lupa Island (Hungary) * Lupa Zoo, Ludlow, Massachusetts, United States * Mount Lupa, Antarctica Other * Auguste Lupa, a fictional character in two pastiche novels by author John Lescroart * ...
'' "female
wolf The wolf (''Canis lupus''), also known as the gray wolf or grey wolf, is a large canine Canine may refer to: Zoology * dog-like mammals (i.e. members of the canid subfamily Caninae) ** ''Canis'', a genus including dogs, wolves, coyotes, a ...

wolf
") was a
cave A cave or cavern is a natural void in the Earth#Surface, ground, specifically a space large enough for a human to enter. Caves often form by the weathering of rock and often extend deep underground. The word ''cave'' can also refer to much small ...

cave
at the southwest foot of the
Palatine Hill The Palatine Hill, (; la, Collis Palatium or Mons Palatinus; it, Palatino ) which is the centremost of the seven hills of Rome The seven hills of Rome ( la, Septem colles/montes Romae, it, Sette colli di Roma ) east of the river Tiber ...

Palatine Hill
in
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
, located somewhere between the temple of Magna Mater and the
Sant'Anastasia al Palatino Sant'Anastasia is a basilica In Ancient Roman architecture, a basilica is a large public building with multiple functions, typically built alongside the town's Forum (Roman), forum. The basilica was in the Latin West equivalent to a stoa in ...

Sant'Anastasia al Palatino
. In the legend of the
founding of Rome The tale of the founding of Rome is recounted in traditional stories handed down by the ancient Romans In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in th ...
,
Romulus and Remus In Roman mythology Roman mythology is the body of myths of ancient Rome as represented in the Latin literature, literature and Roman art, visual arts of the Romans. One of a wide variety of genres of Roman folklore, ''Roman mythology'' m ...

Romulus and Remus
were found there by the she-wolf who suckled them until they were rescued by the shepherd
Faustulus In Roman mythology, Faustulus was the shepherd who found the infant Romulus (the future founder of the city of Rome) and his twin brother Romulus and Remus, Remus along the banks of the Tiber, Tiber River as they were being suckled by the she-wolf, ...
. Luperci, the priests of
Faunus In Religion in ancient Rome, ancient Roman religion and Roman mythology, myth, Faunus was the horned deity, horned god of the forest, plains and fields; when he made cattle fertile he was called Inuus. He came to be equated in literature with ...
, celebrated certain ceremonies of the
Lupercalia Lupercalia was a pastoral A pastoral lifestyle is that of shepherds herd A herd is a social group of certain animals of the same species, either wildness, wild or Domestication, domestic. The form of collective animal behavior assoc ...
at the cave, from the earliest days of the City until at least 494 AD.


Modern discovery

In January 2007, Italian archaeologist
Irene Iacopi Irene Iacopi is an Italian archaeologist. In January 2007, Iacopi announced that she had probably found the legendary cave of Lupercal beneath the remains of the House of Augustus, the ''Domus Livia'', on the Palatine Hill, believed by ancient Rom ...
announced that she had probably found the legendary cave beneath the remains of Emperor
Augustus Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles through ...

Augustus
's house, the ''Domus
Livia Livia Drusilla (30 January 59 BC – 28 September 29 AD) was Roman empress from 27 BC to AD 14 as the wife of Roman emperor, Emperor Augustus. She was known as Julia Augusta after her formal Adoption in ancient Rome, adoption into the Julian fam ...

Livia
'', on the Palatine. Archaeologists came across the 15-meter-deep cavity while working to restore the decaying palace. On 20 November 2007, the first set of photos were released showing the vault of the grotto which is encrusted with colourful mosaics, pumice stones and seashells. The center of the ceiling features a depiction of a white eagle, the symbol of the Roman Empire. Archaeologists are still searching for the grotto's entrance. Its location below Augustus' residence was thought to be significant; Octavian, before he became
Augustus Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles through ...

Augustus
, had considered taking the name
Romulus Romulus () was the legendary founder Founder or Founders may refer to: Places *Founders Park, a stadium in South Carolina, formerly known as Carolina Stadium * Founders Park, a waterside park in Islamorada, Florida#In popular culture, Islamora ...
to indicate that he intended to found Rome anew.


Opposing opinions

Adriano La Regina (formerly Rome's archaeological superintendent 1976–2004, professor of
Etruscology Etruscology is the study of the ancient civilization of the Etruscans in Italy, which was incorporated into an expanding Roman Empire during the period of Rome's Middle Republic. Since the Etruscans were politically and culturally influential in pre ...
at
Sapienza University of Rome The Sapienza University of Rome ( it, Sapienza – Università di Roma), also called simply Sapienza or the University of Rome, and formally the Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza", is a research university A research university is ...
), Professor Fausto Zevi (professor of Roman Archaeology at Rome's La Sapienza University) and Professor Henner von Hesberg (head of the German Archaeological Institute, Rome) denied the identification of the grotto with Lupercal on topographic and stylistic grounds. They concluded that the grotto is actually a
nymphaeum A ''nymphaeum'' or ''nymphaion'' ( grc, νυμφαῖον), in ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th ...

nymphaeum
or underground
triclinium A ''triclinium'' (plural: ''triclinia'') is a formal dining room A dining room is a room (architecture), room for eating, consuming food. In modern times it is usually adjacent to the kitchen for convenience in serving, although in medieval ti ...

triclinium
from
Nero Nero ( ; full name: Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 15 December AD 37 – 9 June AD 68) was the fifth emperor of Rome. He was Adoption in Ancient Rome, adopted by the Roman emperor Claudius at the age of 13 and s ...

Nero
nian times. The current scholarly consensus is that the grotto is not the Lupercal and that the cave was located lower southwest, closer to piazza
Sant'Anastasia al Palatino Sant'Anastasia is a basilica In Ancient Roman architecture, a basilica is a large public building with multiple functions, typically built alongside the town's Forum (Roman), forum. The basilica was in the Latin West equivalent to a stoa in ...

Sant'Anastasia al Palatino
.


See also

*
Casa Romuli The ''Casa Romuli'' ("Hut of Romulus"), also known as the ''tugurium Romuli'', was the reputed dwelling-place of the legendary founder and first king of Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder ...


References

{{Authority control 8th century BC in the Roman Kingdom
Roman mythology Roman mythology is a mixture of general Greek mythology, Greek and local myths about Rome and Roman gods and other Italian gods which are independent of Greek beliefs and tales. Gods and some heroes in Roman mythology often appear in Greek mythol ...
Topography of the ancient city of Rome Palatine Hill She-wolf (Roman mythology)