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From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
IV. THE RISE OF ROME TO 264 B.C.
» Contents of this ChapterPage 6
MYTHS OF EARLY ROME
Long after the foundation of Rome, when that city had grown rich and powerful, her poets and historians delighted to relate the many myths which clustered about the earlier stages of her career. According to these myths Rome began as a colony of Alba Longa, the capital of Latium. The founder of this city was Ascanius, son of the Trojan prince Aeneas, who had escaped from Troy on its capture by the Greeks and after long wanderings had reached the coast of Italy. Many generations afterwards, when Numitor sat on the throne of Alba Longa, his younger brother, Amulius, plotted against him and drove him into exile. He had Numitor's son put to death, and forced the daughter, Rhea Silvia, to take the vows of a Vestal Virgin.
ROMULUS AND REMUS
But Rhea Silvia, beloved by Mars, the god of war, gave birth to twin boys of more than human size and beauty. The wicked Amulius ordered the children to be set adrift in a basket on the Tiber. Heaven, however, guarded these offspring of a god; the river cast them ashore near Mount Palatine, and a she-wolf came and nursed them. There they were discovered by a shepherd, who reared them in his own household. When the twins, Romulus and Remus, reached manhood, they killed Amulius and restored their grandfather to his kingdom. With other young men from Alba Longa, they then set forth to build a new city on the Palatine, where they had been rescued. As they scanned the sky to learn the will of the gods, six vultures, birds of Jupiter, appeared to Remus; but twelve were seen by Romulus. So Romulus marked out the boundary of the city on the Palatine, and Remus, who in derision leaped over the half-finished wall, he slew in anger. Romulus thus became the sole founder of Rome and its first king.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy