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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, Islamorada, Florida Arts, entertainment, and med ...
and first king of
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 ...
. Various traditions attribute the establishment of many of Rome's oldest legal, political, religious, and social institutions to Romulus and his contemporaries. Although many of these traditions incorporate elements of
folklore Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psycholog ...

folklore
, and it is not clear to what extent a historical figure underlies the mythical Romulus, the events and institutions ascribed to him were central to the myths surrounding Rome's origins and cultural traditions.


Traditional account

The myths concerning Romulus involve several distinct episodes and figures, including the miraculous birth and youth of Romulus and his twin brother,
Remus
Remus
; Remus' murder and the founding of Rome;
the Rape of the Sabine Women The Rape of the Sabine Women ( ), also known as the Abduction of the Sabine Women or the Kidnapping of the Sabine Women, was an incident in Roman mythology Roman mythology is the body of myths of ancient Rome as represented in the Latin l ...

the Rape of the Sabine Women
, and the subsequent war with the
Sabines The Sabines (; lat, Sabini; grc, Σαβῖνοι ''Sabĩnoi''; it, Sabini, all exonyms) were an Italic peoples, Italic people that lived in the central Apennine Mountains of the ancient Italian Peninsula, also inhabiting Latium north of the An ...
; a period of joint rule with
Titus Tatius 300px, ''The Intervention of the Sabine Women'', by Jacques-Louis David, depicts Titus Tatius at the left According to the Foundation of Rome, Roman foundation myth, Titus Tatius was the king of the Sabines from Cures, Sabinum, Cures and joint-ru ...
; the establishment of various Roman institutions; the death or apotheosis of Romulus, and the succession of
Numa Pompilius Numa Pompilius (; 753–673 BC; reigned 715–673 BC) was the legendary second king of Rome The king of Rome ( la, rex Romae) was the chief magistrate Chief magistrate is a public official, executive or judicial, whose office is the highest ...

Numa Pompilius
.


Romulus and Remus

According to
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'' may also refer to the moder ...
, Romulus and Remus were the sons of
Rhea Silvia Rhea (or Rea) Silvia (), also known as Ilia, was the mythical mother of the twins Romulus and Remus 350px, Altar to Mars (divine father of Romulus and Remus) and Venus (their divine ancestress) depicting elements of their legend. Tiberinus, ...
by the god
Mars Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System, being larger than only Mercury (planet), Mercury. In English, Mars carries the name of the Mars (mythology), Roman god of war and is often referred to ...
. Their maternal grandfather was
Numitor 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'' may also ...
, the rightful king of
Alba Longa Alba Longa (occasionally written Albalonga in Italian sources) was an ancient Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication ...
, through whom the twins were descended from both the
Trojan Trojan or Trojans may refer to: * Of or from the ancient city of Troy * Trojan language, the language of the historical Trojans Arts and entertainment Music * ''Les Troyens'' ('The Trojans'), an opera by Berlioz, premiered part 1863, part 1890 ...

Trojan
hero
Aeneas In Greco-Roman mythology, Aeneas (, ; from Greek language, Greek: Αἰνείας, ''Aineíās'') was a Trojan hero, the son of the Trojan prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite (equivalent to the Roman Venus (mythology), Venus). His father ...
, and
Latinus Latinus ( la, Latinus; grc, Λατῖνος) was a figure in both Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...

Latinus
, the king of
Latium Latium ( , ; ) is the region of central western Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding it, whose territory large ...
. Before the twins' birth, Numitor's throne had been usurped by his brother,
Amulius In Roman mythology, Amulius was king of Alba Longa who ordered the death of his infant, twin grandnephews Romulus, the eventual Foundation of Rome, founder and king of Rome, and Romulus and Remus, Remus. He was deposed and killed by them after the ...
, who murdered Numitor's son or sons, and condemned Rhea Silvia to perpetual virginity by consecrating her a Vestal.
Livy Titus Livius (; 59 BC – AD 17), known in English as Livy ( ), was a Ancient Rome, Roman historian. He wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people, titled , covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome before the traditiona ...
, ''
History of Rome The history of Rome includes the history of the Rome, city of Rome as well as the Ancient Rome, civilisation of ancient Rome. Roman history has been influential on the modern world, especially in the history of the Catholic Church, and Roman law ...
'' i. 3.
When Rhea became pregnant, she asserted that she had been visited by the god Mars. Amulius imprisoned her, and upon the twins' birth, ordered that they be thrown into the
Tiber The Tiber (; la, Tiberis; it, Tevere ) is the third-longest and the longest in Central Italy, rising in the in and flowing through , , and , where it is joined by the River , to the , between and . It estimated at . The river has achi ...

Tiber
. But as the river had been swollen by rain, the servants tasked with disposing of the infants could not reach its banks, and so exposed the twins beneath a fig tree at the 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 the traditional account, a she-wolf happened upon the twins, and suckled them until they were found by the king's herdsman,
Faustulus In Roman mythology, Faustulus was the shepherd who found the infant Romulus Romulus was the legendary founder and first king of Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus ...
, and his wife,
Acca Larentia Acca Larentia or Acca Larentina was a mythical woman, later goddess of fertility, in Roman mythology whose festival, the Larentalia, was celebrated on December 23. Myths Foster mother In one mythological tradition (that of L ...
. The brothers grew to manhood among the shepherds and hill-folk. After becoming involved in a conflict between the followers of Amulius and those of their grandfather Numitor, Faustulus told them of their origin. With the help of their friends, they lured Amulius into an ambush and killed him, restoring their grandfather to the throne.Livy, i. 3–6. The princes then set out to establish a city of their own. They returned to the , the site where they had been exposed as infants. They could not agree on which hill should house the new city. When an omen to resolve the controversy failed to provide a clear indication, the conflict escalated and Romulus or one of his followers killed Remus. In a variant of the legend, the augurs favoured Romulus, who proceeded to plough a square furrow around the Palatine Hill to demarcate the walls of the future city. When Remus derisively leapt over the "walls" to show how inadequate they were against invaders, Romulus struck him down in anger. In another variant, Remus was killed during a melée, along with Faustulus.


Establishment of the city

The founding of Rome was commemorated annually on April 21, with the festival of the
Parilia image:Suvée Festa di Pales.jpg, upright=1.5, ''Festa di Pales, o L'estate'' (1783), a reimagining of the Festival of Pales by Joseph-Benoît Suvée The Parilia is an Roman festival, ancient Roman festival of rural character performed annually on 2 ...
. Romulus' first act was to fortify the Palatine, in the course of which he made a sacrifice to the gods. He laid out the city's boundaries with a furrow that he ploughed, performed another sacrifice, and with his followers set to work building the city itself. Romulus sought the assent of the people to become their king. With Numitor's help, he addressed them and received their approval. Romulus accepted the crown after he sacrificed and prayed to
Jupiter Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the List of Solar System objects by size, largest in the Solar System. It is a gas giant with a mass more than two and a half times that of all the other planets in the Solar System combined, but ...
, and after receiving favourable omens. Romulus divided the populace into three
tribes The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a category of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intellig ...
, known as the ''Ramnes'', ''Titienses'', and ''Luceres'', for taxation and military purposes. Each tribe was presided over by an official known as a
tribune Tribune () was the title of various elected officials in ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the ...

tribune
, and was further divided into ten
curia Curia (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, ...

curia
, or wards, each presided over by an official known as a ''curio''. Romulus also allotted a portion of land to each ward, for the benefit of the people. Nothing is known of the manner in which the tribes and curiae were taxed, but for the military levy, each curia was responsible for providing one hundred foot soldiers, a unit known as a ''century'', and ten cavalry. Each Romulean tribe thus provided about one thousand infantry, and one century of cavalry; the three hundred cavalry became known as the
Celeres __NoToC__ The ''celeres'' () were the bodyguard of the King of Rome, Kings of Rome. Traditionally established by Romulus, the legendary founder and first King of ancient Rome, Rome, the celeres comprised three hundred men, ten chosen by each of th ...
, "the swift", and formed the royal bodyguard. Choosing one hundred men from the leading families, Romulus established the . These men he called ''patres'', the city fathers; their descendants came to be known as "
patricians The patricians (from la, patriciusPatricius may refer to: People * Patricius (consul 500), prominent East Roman general and consul *Patricius (jurist), 5th-century Roman jurist * Patricius (usurper) (died 352), leader of the Jewish revolt aga ...
", forming one of the two major social classes at Rome. The other class, known as the "
plebs In ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian ...
" or "plebeians", consisted of the servants, freedmen, fugitives who sought asylum at Rome, those captured in war, and others who were granted Roman citizenship over time.Livy, i. 9. To encourage the growth of the city, Romulus outlawed infanticide, and established an asylum for fugitives on the
Capitoline Hill The Capitolium or Capitoline Hill ( ; it, Campidoglio ; la, Mons Capitolinus ), between the Forum Forum (plural forums or fora) may refer to: Common uses * Forum (legal), designated space for public expression in the United States *For ...
. Here freemen and slaves alike could claim protection and seek Roman citizenship.


Rape of the Sabine Women

The new city was filled with colonists, most of whom were young, unmarried men. While fugitives seeking asylum helped the population grow, single men greatly outnumbered women. With no intermarriage taking place between Rome and neighboring communities, the new city would eventually fail. Romulus sent envoys to neighboring towns, appealing to them to allow intermarriage with Roman citizens, but his overtures were rebuffed. Romulus formulated a plan to acquire women from other settlements. He announced a momentous festival and games, and invited the people of the neighboring cities to attend. Many did, in particular the
Sabines The Sabines (; lat, Sabini; grc, Σαβῖνοι ''Sabĩnoi''; it, Sabini, all exonyms) were an Italic peoples, Italic people that lived in the central Apennine Mountains of the ancient Italian Peninsula, also inhabiting Latium north of the An ...
, who came in droves. At a prearranged signal, the Romans began to snatch and carry off the marriageable women among their guests. The aggrieved cities prepared for war with Rome, and might have defeated Romulus had they been fully united. But impatient with the preparations of the Sabines, the Latin towns of Caenina,
CrustumeriumCrustumerium (or Crustumium) was an ancient town of Latium Latium ( , ; ) is the region of central western Italy in which the city of Rome was founded and grew to be the capital city of the Roman Empire. Definition Latium was originally a sma ...
, and
AntemnaeAntemnae was a town and ancient Rome, Roman colonia (Roman), colony of ancient Latium in Prehistoric Italy#Pre-Roman period, Italy. It was situated two miles north of ancient Rome on a hill (now Monte Antenne) commanding the confluence of the Aniene ...

Antemnae
took action without their allies. Caenina was the first to attack; its army was swiftly put to flight, and the town taken. After personally defeating and slaying the prince of Caenina in single combat, Romulus stripped him of his armour, becoming the first to claim the
spolia opima The ''spolia opima'' ("rich Rich may refer to: Common uses * Rich, an entity possessing cash * Rich, an intense flavor, color, sound, texture, or feeling **Rich (wine), a descriptor in wine tasting Places United States * Rich, Mississippi ...
, and vowed a temple to Jupiter Feretrius. Antemnae and Crustumerium were conquered in turn. Some of their people, chiefly the families of the abducted women, were allowed to settle at Rome. Following the defeat of the Latin towns, the Sabines, under the leadership of
Titus Tatius 300px, ''The Intervention of the Sabine Women'', by Jacques-Louis David, depicts Titus Tatius at the left According to the Foundation of Rome, Roman foundation myth, Titus Tatius was the king of the Sabines from Cures, Sabinum, Cures and joint-ru ...
, marshalled their forces and advanced upon Rome. They gained control of the citadel by bribing
Tarpeia In Roman mythology Roman mythology is the body of myths Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture o ...

Tarpeia
, the daughter of the Roman commander charged with its defense. Without the advantage of the citadel, the Romans were obliged to meet the Sabines on the battlefield. The Sabines advanced from the citadel, and fierce fighting ensued. The nearby
Lacus Curtius The Lacus Curtius ("Lake of Curtius")Lacus Curtius
''Jona L ...

Lacus Curtius
is said to be named after Mettius Curtius, a Sabine warrior who plunged his horse into its muck to stymie his Roman pursuers as he retreated. At a critical juncture in the fighting, the Romans began to waver in the face of the Sabine advance. Romulus vowed a temple to Jupiter Stator, to keep his line from breaking. The bloodshed finally ended when the Sabine women interposed themselves between the two armies, pleading on the one hand with their fathers and brothers, and on the other with their husbands, to set aside their arms and come to terms. The leaders of each side met and made peace. They formed one community, to be jointly ruled by Romulus and Tatius.


Subsequent events

The two kings presided over the growing city of Rome for a number of years, before Tatius was slain in a riot at
Lavinium Lavinium was a port city of Latium, to the south of Rome, midway between the Tiber river at Ostia Antica, Ostia and Anzio. The coastline then, as now, was a long strip of beach. Lavinium was on a hill at the southernmost edge of the ''Silva Laur ...
, where he had gone to make a sacrifice. Shortly before, a group of envoys from
Laurentum Laurentum was an ancient Rome, ancient Roman city of Latium situated between Ostia Antica, Ostia and Lavinium, on the west coast of the Italian Peninsula southwest of Rome. Roman writers regarded it as the original capital of Italy, before Laviniu ...
had complained of their treatment by Tatius' kinsmen, and he had decided the matter against the ambassadors. Romulus resisted calls to avenge the Sabine king's death, instead reaffirming the Roman alliance with Lavinium, and perhaps preventing his city from splintering along ethnic lines. In the years following the death of Tatius, Romulus is said to have conquered the city of
FidenaeFidenae ( grc, Φιδῆναι) was an ancient town of Latium Latium ( , ; ) is the region of central western Italy in which the city of Rome was founded and grew to be the capital city of the Roman Empire. Definition Latium was originally a ...
, which, alarmed by the rising power of Rome, had begun raiding Roman territory. The Romans lured the Fidenates into an ambush, and routed their army; as they retreated into their city, the Romans followed before the gates could be shut, and captured the town. The
Etruscan__NOTOC__ Etruscan may refer to: Ancient civilisation *The Etruscan language, an extinct language in ancient Italy *Something derived from or related to the Etruscan civilization **Etruscan architecture **Etruscan art **Etruscan cities **Etruscan ...
city of
Veii Veii (also Veius; it, Veio) was an important ancient Etruscan civilization, Etruscan city situated on the southern limits of Etruria and only north-northwest of Rome, Italy. It now lies in Isola Farnese, in the Comuni of the Province of Rome, co ...

Veii
, nine miles up the Tiber from Rome, also raided Roman territory, foreshadowing that city's role as the chief rival to Roman power over the next three centuries. Romulus defeated Veii's army, but found the city too well defended to besiege, and instead ravaged the countryside.


Death and succession

After a reign of thirty-seven years, Romulus is said to have disappeared in a
whirlwind A whirlwind is a weather phenomenon in which a vortex , revealed by colored smoke In fluid dynamics In physics and engineering, fluid dynamics is a subdiscipline of fluid mechanics that describes the flow of fluids—liquids and gases. ...
during a sudden and violent storm, as he was reviewing his troops on the
Campus Martius The Campus Martius (Latin for the "Field of Mars", Italian language, Italian ''Campo Marzio'') was a publicly owned area of ancient Rome about in extent. In the Middle Ages, it was the most populous area of Rome. The IV Rioni of Rome, rione of ...

Campus Martius
. Livy says that Romulus was either murdered by the senators, torn apart out of jealousy, or was raised to heaven by Mars, god of war. Livy believes the last theory regarding the legendary king's death, as it allows the Romans to believe that the gods are on their side, a reason for them to continue expansion under Romulus' name. Romulus acquired a cult following, which later became assimilated with the cult of
Quirinus In Roman mythology Roman mythology is the body of myths Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or ...

Quirinus
, perhaps originally the indigenous god of the Sabine population. As the Sabines had not had a king of their own since the death of Titus Tatius, the next king of Rome,
Numa Pompilius Numa Pompilius (; 753–673 BC; reigned 715–673 BC) was the legendary second king of Rome The king of Rome ( la, rex Romae) was the chief magistrate Chief magistrate is a public official, executive or judicial, whose office is the highest ...

Numa Pompilius
, was chosen from among the Sabines.


Primary sources

Livy Titus Livius (; 59 BC – AD 17), known in English as Livy ( ), was a Ancient Rome, Roman historian. He wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people, titled , covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome before the traditiona ...
,
Dionysius The name Dionysius (; el, Διονύσιος ''Dionysios'', "of Dionysus Dionysus (; grc-gre, Διόνυσος) is the god of the grape-harvest, winemaking and wine, of fertility, orchards and fruit, vegetation, insanity, ritual madness, r ...
, and
Plutarch Plutarch (; grc-gre, Πλούταρχος, ''Ploútarchos''; ; AD 46 – after AD 119) was a Greek Middle Platonist Middle Platonism is the modern name given to a stage in the development of Platonic philosophy, lasting from about 90 BC&nbs ...

Plutarch
rely on
Quintus Fabius Pictor Quintus Fabius Pictor (born BC, BC) was the earliest known Roman historianRoman historiography stretches back to at least the 3rd century BC and was indebted to earlier Greek historiography. The Romans relied on previous models in the Ancient Greek ...
as a source. Other significant sources include
Ovid Pūblius Ovidius Nāsō (; 20 March 43 BC – 17/18 AD), known in English as Ovid ( ), was a Augustan literature (ancient Rome), Roman poet who lived during the reign of Augustus. He was a contemporary of the older Virgil and Horace, with whom ...

Ovid
's ''
Fasti In ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian i ...
'', and
Virgil Publius Vergilius Maro (; traditional dates 15 October 7021 September 19 BC), usually called Virgil or Vergil ( ) in English, was an ancient Rome, ancient Roman poet of the Augustan literature (ancient Rome), Augustan period. He composed three ...

Virgil
's ''
Aeneid The ''Aeneid'' ( ; la, Aenē̆is ) is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the p ...
''. Greek historians had traditionally claimed that Rome was founded by Greeks, a claim dating back to the logographer
Hellanicus of Lesbos Hellanicus (or Hellanikos) of Lesbos ( Greek: , ''Ἑllánikos ὁ Lésvios''), also called Hellanicus of Mytilene ( Greek: , ''Ἑllánikos ὁ Mutilēnaῖos'') was an ancient Greek logographer who flourished during the latter half of the 5th ce ...
of 5th-century BC, who named Aeneas as its founder. Roman historians connect Romulus to Aeneas by ancestry and mention a previous settlement on 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
, sometimes attributing it to Evander and his Greek colonists. To the Romans, Rome was the institutions and traditions they credit to their legendary founder, the first "Roman". The legend as a whole encapsulates Rome's ideas of itself, its origins and moral values. For modern scholarship, it remains one of the most complex and problematic of all foundation myths. Ancient historians had no doubt that Romulus gave his name to the city. Most modern historians believe his name is a
back-formation In etymology, back-formation is the process of creating a new lexeme by removing actual or supposed affixes.Crystal, David. ''A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics, Sixth Edition'', Blackwell Publishers, 2008. The resulting neologism is called ...
from the name of the city. Roman historians dated the city's foundation to between 758 and 728 BC, and
Plutarch Plutarch (; grc-gre, Πλούταρχος, ''Ploútarchos''; ; AD 46 – after AD 119) was a Greek Middle Platonist Middle Platonism is the modern name given to a stage in the development of Platonic philosophy, lasting from about 90 BC&nbs ...

Plutarch
reports the calculation of
Varro Marcus Terentius Varro (; 116–27 BC) was a Roman polymath A polymath ( el, πολυμαθής, , "having learned much"; la, homo universalis, "universal human") is an individual whose knowledge spans a substantial number of subjects, known ...
's friend Tarutius that 771 BC was the birth year of Romulus and his twin. The tradition that gave Romulus a distant ancestor in the semi-divine
Trojan Trojan or Trojans may refer to: * Of or from the ancient city of Troy * Trojan language, the language of the historical Trojans Arts and entertainment Music * ''Les Troyens'' ('The Trojans'), an opera by Berlioz, premiered part 1863, part 1890 ...

Trojan
prince
Aeneas In Greco-Roman mythology, Aeneas (, ; from Greek language, Greek: Αἰνείας, ''Aineíās'') was a Trojan hero, the son of the Trojan prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite (equivalent to the Roman Venus (mythology), Venus). His father ...
was further embellished, and Romulus was made the direct ancestor of Rome's first Imperial dynasty. It is unclear whether or not the tale of Romulus or that of the twins are original elements of the foundation myth, or whether both or either were added.


Romulus-Quirinus

Ennius Quintus Ennius (; c. 239 – c. 169 BC) was a writer and poet who lived during the . He is often considered the father of Roman poetry. He was born in , formerly a small town located near modern in the heel of Italy (ancient , today ), and could ...
(fl. 180s BC) refers to Romulus as a divinity in his own right, without reference to
Quirinus In Roman mythology Roman mythology is the body of myths Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or ...

Quirinus
. Roman mythographers identified the latter as an originally Sabine war-deity, and thus to be identified with Roman
Mars Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System, being larger than only Mercury (planet), Mercury. In English, Mars carries the name of the Mars (mythology), Roman god of war and is often referred to ...
.
Lucilius The gens Lucilia was a plebeian The plebeians, also called plebs, were, in ancient Rome In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman people, Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the colla ...
lists Quirinus and Romulus as separate deities, and
Varro Marcus Terentius Varro (; 116–27 BC) was a Roman polymath A polymath ( el, πολυμαθής, , "having learned much"; la, homo universalis, "universal human") is an individual whose knowledge spans a substantial number of subjects, known ...
accords them different temples. Images of Quirinus showed him as a bearded warrior wielding a spear as a god of war, the embodiment of Roman strength and a deified likeness of the city of Rome. He had a Flamen Maior called the
Flamen Quirinalis In Religion in ancient Rome, ancient Roman religion, the Flamen Quirinalis was the flamen or high priest of the god Quirinus. He was one of the three ''flamines maiores'', third in order of importance after the Flamen Dialis and the Flamen Martiali ...
, who oversaw his worship and rituals in the ordainment of Roman religion attributed to Romulus's royal successor,
Numa Pompilius Numa Pompilius (; 753–673 BC; reigned 715–673 BC) was the legendary second king of Rome The king of Rome ( la, rex Romae) was the chief magistrate Chief magistrate is a public official, executive or judicial, whose office is the highest ...

Numa Pompilius
. There is however no evidence for the conflated Romulus-Quirinus before the 1st century BC.
Ovid Pūblius Ovidius Nāsō (; 20 March 43 BC – 17/18 AD), known in English as Ovid ( ), was a Augustan literature (ancient Rome), Roman poet who lived during the reign of Augustus. He was a contemporary of the older Virgil and Horace, with whom ...

Ovid
in ''
Metamorphoses The ''Metamorphoses'' ( la, Metamorphōsēs, from grc, μεταμορφώσεις: "Transformations") is an 8 AD Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. ...
'' XIV
lines 805-828
gives a description of the
deification Apotheosis (, from gr, ἀποθεόω/ἀποθεῶ, label=none, link=no, lit='to deify', transliteration=apotheoo/apotheo; also called divinization and deification from ) is the glorification of a subject to divinity, divine level and most c ...

deification
of Romulus and his wife
Hersilia 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'' may als ...

Hersilia
, who are given the new names of Quirinus and Hora respectively. Mars, the father of Romulus, is given permission by
Jupiter Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the List of Solar System objects by size, largest in the Solar System. It is a gas giant with a mass more than two and a half times that of all the other planets in the Solar System combined, but ...
to bring his son up to Olympus to live with the Olympians. One theory regarding this tradition proposes the emergence of two mythical figures from an earlier, singular hero. While Romulus is a founding hero, Quirinus may have been a god of the harvest, and the Fornacalia a festival celebrating a staple crop (
spelt Spelt (''Triticum spelta''), also known as dinkel wheat or hulled wheat, is a species of wheat Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the ...

spelt
). Through the traditional dates from the tales and the festivals, they are each associated with one another. A legend of the murder of such a founding hero, the burying of the hero's body in the fields (found in some accounts), and a festival associated with that hero, a god of the harvest, and a food staple is a pattern recognized by
anthropologists An anthropologist is a person engaged in the practice of anthropology. Anthropology is the study of aspects of humans within past and present Society, societies. Social anthropology, cultural anthropology and philosophical anthropology study the nor ...
. Called a "''dema'' archetype", this pattern suggests that in a prior tradition, the god and the hero were in fact the same figure and later evolved into two.


Historicity

Possible historical bases for the broad mythological narrative remain unclear and disputed. Modern scholarship approaches the various known stories of the myth as cumulative elaborations and later interpretations of Roman
foundation myth Foundation may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Games * ''Foundation'', an Amiga video game * ''Foundation'', a 2019 simulation video game by Polymorph Games Literature * Foundation (b-boy book), ''Foundation'' (b-boy book), by Joseph ...
. Particular versions and collations were presented by Roman historians as authoritative, an official history trimmed of contradictions and untidy variants to justify contemporary developments, genealogies and actions in relation to Roman morality. Other narratives appear to represent popular or folkloric tradition; some of these remain inscrutable in purpose and meaning. T.P. Wiseman sums up the whole issue as the
mythography Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. This includes oral traditions such as Narrative, tales, pr ...
of an unusually problematic foundation and early history... — A critical, chronological review of historiography related to Rome's origins. The unsavoury elements of many of the myths concerning Romulus have led some scholars to describe them as "shameful" or "disreputable."Cornell, Tim (1995),
The Beginnings of Rome: Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars (c. 1000–264 BC)
'. London: Routledge, .
In antiquity such stories became part of anti-Roman and anti-pagan propaganda. More recently, the historian Hermann Strasburger postulated that these were never part of authentic Roman tradition, but were invented and popularized by Rome's enemies, probably in
Magna Graecia Magna Graecia (, ; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic ...

Magna Graecia
, during the latter part of the fourth century BC. This hypothesis is rejected by other scholars, such as Tim Cornell (1995), who notes that by this period, the story of Romulus and Remus had already assumed its standard form, and was widely accepted at Rome. Other elements of the Romulus mythos clearly resemble common elements of folk tale and legend, and thus strong evidence that the stories were both old and indigenous. Likewise, Momigliano finds Strasburger's argument well-developed, but entirely implausible; if the Romulus myths were an exercise in mockery, they were a signal failure.


Depictions in art

The episodes which make up the legend, most significantly that of
the rape of the Sabine women The Rape of the Sabine Women ( ), also known as the Abduction of the Sabine Women or the Kidnapping of the Sabine Women, was an incident in Roman mythology Roman mythology is the body of myths of ancient Rome as represented in the Latin l ...

the rape of the Sabine women
, the tale of
Tarpeia In Roman mythology Roman mythology is the body of myths Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture o ...

Tarpeia
, and the death of Tatius have been a significant part of ancient Roman scholarship and the frequent subject of art, literature and philosophy since ancient times.


Palazzo Magnani

In the late 16th century, the wealthy Magnani family from Bologna commissioned a series of artworks based on the Roman foundation myth. The artists contributing works included a sculpture of Hercules with the infant twins by Gabriele Fiorini, featuring the patron's own face. The most important works were an elaborate series of frescoes collectively known as ''Histories of the Foundation of Rome'' by the Brothers Carracci:
Ludovico Ludovico () is an Italian masculine given name. It is sometimes spelled LodovicoLodovico is an Italian masculine given name, and may refer to: * Cigoli (1559–1613), Italian painter and architect * Lodovico, Count Corti (1823–1888), Italian ...
,
AnnibaleAnnibale is the Italian names, Italian masculine name, masculine given name and surname equivalent to Hannibal (given name), Hannibal (q.v.). In English, it may refer to : Given name * Annibale Albani (1682–1751), Italian cardinal * Annibale I Be ...

Annibale
, and . File:Romolo traccia con l'aratro il confine della città di Roma.png, Romulus marking the city's boundaries with a plough File:L'asilo per i profughi sul Campidoglio.png, The Asylum (Inter duos Lucos) File:Il ratto delle Sabine.png, The rape of the Sabine women File:Romolo dedica a Giove Feretrio le spoglie del re Acrone.jpg, Romulus dedicating the temple to Jupiter Feretrius File:Battaglia tra Romani e Sabini.png, The Battle of the Lacus Curtius File:Tito Tazio ucciso dai Laurenti.png, The death of Titus Tatius in Laurentium File:Carracci, Romolo appare a Proculo, Palazzo Magnani, Bologna.png, Romulus appearing to Proculus Julius File:La superbia di Romolo.jpg, The Pride of Romulus


The rape of the Sabine women

File:Sodoma 004.jpg, ''Ratto delle Sabine'' "The Rape of the Sabines",
Il Sodoma Il Sodoma (1477 – 14 February 1549) was the name given to the Italian Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. was a period in European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages In the h ...

Il Sodoma
(1507) File:L'Enlèvement des Sabines – Nicolas Poussin – Musée du Louvre, INV 7290 – Q3110586.jpg, ''L'Enlèvement des Sabines'' "The Abduction of the Sabines",
Nicolas Poussin Nicolas Poussin (, , ; June 1594 – 19 November 1665) was the leading painter of the classical French Baroque style, although he spent most of his working life in Rome. Most of his works were on religious and mythological subjects painted for a ...

Nicolas Poussin
(1638) File:RUBENS anversa osterriethuis the rape of the sabine woman 1634-36 56 x 87 cm.jpg, ''The Rape of the Sabine Women'',
Peter Paul Rubens Sir Peter Paul Rubens (; ; 28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640) was a Flemish Flemish (''Vlaams'') is a Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Geneti ...

Peter Paul Rubens
(1634–36) File:Rape of the Sabine Women (Loggia dei Lanzi) 2 2013 February.jpg, ''Ratto delle Sabine'' "Rape of the Sabines",
Giambologna Giambologna (1529 – 13 August 1608) — (known also as Jean de Boulogne and Giovanni da Bologna) — was a Flemish people, Flemish sculpture, sculptor based in Italy, celebrated for his marble sculpture, marble and bronze sculpture, bronze sta ...

Giambologna
(1583) File:Jacopo Ligozzi Rape of the Sabine Women.JPG, ''Ratto delle Sabine'' "The Rape of the Sabines", Jacopo Ligozzi (c.1565-1627) File:Theodoor van Thulden (attr) Rape of the Sabine Women.jpg, ''L'Enlèvement des Sabines'' "The Abduction of the Sabines", ''Attributed to''
Theodoor van Thulden Theodoor van Thulden (1606–12 July 1669) was a painter, draughtsman and engraver from 's-Hertogenbosch. He is mainly known for his altarpieces, mythological subjects, allegorical works and portraits. He was active in Antwerp Antwerp (; n ...
(17th c.) File:Rape of the Sabine Women by Sebastiano Ricci.jpg, "The Rape of the Sabine Women",
Sebastiano Ricci Sebastiano Ricci (1 August 165915 May 1734) was an Italian painter of the late Baroque The Baroque (, ; ) is a Style (visual arts), style of Baroque architecture, architecture, Baroque music, music, Baroque dance, dance, Baroque painting, pain ...
(c. 1700) File:Johann Heinrich Schönfeld - Rape of the Sabine Women - WGA21057.jpg, ''Der Raub der Sabinerinnen'' "The Rape of the Sabine Women", Johann Heinrich Schönfeld (1640) File:Charles Christian Nahl 1870, The Rape Of The Sabines - The Abduction.jpg, ''The Rape Of The Sabines – The Abduction'',
Charles Christian Nahl Carl Christian Heinrich Nahl (October 18, 1818 – March 1, 1878), later known as Charles Nahl, and sometimes Karl Nahl, Charles Christian Nahl or Charles C. Nahl, was a German-born painter who is called California's first significant artist. Earl ...

Charles Christian Nahl
(1870) File:Charles Christian Nahl 1871, The Rape Of The Sabines - The Captivity.jpg, ''The Rape Of The Sabines – The Captivity'',
Charles Christian Nahl Carl Christian Heinrich Nahl (October 18, 1818 – March 1, 1878), later known as Charles Nahl, and sometimes Karl Nahl, Charles Christian Nahl or Charles C. Nahl, was a German-born painter who is called California's first significant artist. Earl ...

Charles Christian Nahl
(1871) File:Charles Christian Nahl 1871, The Rape Of The Sabines - The Invasion.jpg, ''The Rape Of The Sabines – The Invasion'',
Charles Christian Nahl Carl Christian Heinrich Nahl (October 18, 1818 – March 1, 1878), later known as Charles Nahl, and sometimes Karl Nahl, Charles Christian Nahl or Charles C. Nahl, was a German-born painter who is called California's first significant artist. Earl ...

Charles Christian Nahl
(1871)


Tarpeia

File:Sodoma Tarpeia.jpg, ''The Vestal Virgin Tarpeia Beaten by Tatius’ soldiers''
Il Sodoma Il Sodoma (1477 – 14 February 1549) was the name given to the Italian Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. was a period in European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages In the h ...

Il Sodoma
(16th c.) File:Frieze Basilica Aemilia Massimo n3.jpg, Tarpeia's punishment, Pentelic marble fragment from the Frieze of the
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Basilica Aemilia
(100 BC-100 AD File:Tarpeia's Punishment.png, Reconstruction of Basilica Aemilia Frieze marble fragment File:Pictura loquens; sive, Heroicarum tabularum Hadriani Schoonebeeck, enarratio et explicatio (1695) (14751427905).jpg, Tarpeia, Illustration fro
''Pictura loquens'' "the Heroic Accounts of Hadrian Schoonebeeck"
(1695) (14751427905) File:Tarpeia.gif, Tarpeia conspires with Tatius in an illustration fro
''The story of the Romans''
by Hélène Adeline Guerber (1896)


Hersilia

File:Romolo ed Ersilia, final scene, Act 3.jpg, Print from Romolo ed Ersilia, final scene, Act 3, Artist;:
Giovanni Battista Cipriani Giovanni Battista Cipriani (1727 – 14 December 1785) was an Italian painter and engraver, who lived in England from 1755. He is also called Giuseppe Cipriani by some authors. Much of his work consisted of designs for prints, many of which w ...

Giovanni Battista Cipriani
, Engraver:
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Francesco Bartolozzi
(1781) File:F0442 Louvre JL David Sabines INV3691 detail01 rwk.jpg, Hersilia from a detail of ''Les Sabines'' "
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The Intervention of the Sabine Women
",
Jacques-Louis David Jacques-Louis David (; 30 August 174829 December 1825) was a French painter in the Neoclassical Neoclassical or neo-classical may refer to: * Neoclassicism or New Classicism, any of a number of movements in the fine arts, literature, theatre, m ...
(1799) File:Guercino - Hersilia Separating Romulus and Tatius - WGA10944.jpg, ''Ersilia separa Romolo da Tazio'' "Hersilia Separating Romulus and Tatius,
Guercino Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (February 8, 1591 – December 22, 1666),Miller, 1964 better known as Guercino, or il Guercino , was an Italian Baroque painter and draftsman from Cento in the Emilia region, who was active in Rome , establish ...
(1645)


Death of Tatius

The subject for the 1788
Prix de Rome The Prix de Rome () or Grand Prix de Rome was a French scholarship for arts students, initially for painters and sculptors, that was established in 1663 during the reign of Louis XIV of France. Winners were awarded a bursary that allowed them to ...
was the death of Tatius (''La mort de Tatius''). Garnier won the contest. File:Garnier La mort de Tatius.JPG, Version by Étienne-Barthélémy Garnier, now in the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts, Paris. File:Girodet La mort de Tatius.jpg, Version by Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson, Girodet, now in the Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Angers. File:Jacques Réattu - La mort de Tatius.jpg, Version by Jacques Réattu, now in the Musée Réattu, Arles.


Death of Romulus

File:Rubens Apparizione di Romolo e Proculo Cardiff.png, "Apparition of Romulus before Proculus", Rubens (17th c.)


See also

*Evander of Pallene *
Hersilia 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'' may als ...

Hersilia
*List of people who disappeared mysteriously: pre-1970, List of people who disappeared *Proculus Julius


Notes


Citations


Bibliography

* * * * *Cook, John Granger (2018),
Empty Tomb, Apotheosis, Resurrection
', p. 263.


Ancient Sources

*Dionysius of Halicarnassus, ''Roman Antiquities'' i & ii. *
Livy Titus Livius (; 59 BC – AD 17), known in English as Livy ( ), was a Ancient Rome, Roman historian. He wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people, titled , covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome before the traditiona ...
, ''
History of Rome The history of Rome includes the history of the Rome, city of Rome as well as the Ancient Rome, civilisation of ancient Rome. Roman history has been influential on the modern world, especially in the history of the Catholic Church, and Roman law ...
'' i–v.


Additional reading

*Carandini, Andrea (2011). ''Rome: Day One.'' Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press. . *Forsythe, Gary (2005). ''A Critical History of Early Rome: From Prehistory to the First Punic War.'' Berkeley: University of California Press. . {{Authority control 8th-century BC Romans 8th-century BC monarchs Kings of Rome Deified Roman people Founding monarchs Missing person cases in Italy People from Alba Longa People whose existence is disputed Romulus and Remus Fratricides