800px-Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres 019


Romulus was the son of Rhea Silvia (a Vestal Virgin and the daughter of King Numitor of Alba Longa) and Mars, the Roman god of war. His twin brother was Remus. According to legend, Romulus would eventually kill Remus and found the city of Rome.

In Mythology

Early life

Romulus' mother, Rhea Silvia, was forced to become a Vestal Virgin (a chaste priestess of the Roman goddess Vesta) by her uncle, Amulius. Amulius had seized the throne of Alba Longa from his brother, Numitor, and imprisoned him.

Despite Rhea Silvia's vow of chastity, she is seduced by the god Mars, and bears twins; Romulus and Remus. They are abandoned and ordered to be left to die of exposure, while Rhea Silvia herself is buried alive, in what became standard punishment for such a crime (violation of a Vestal Virgin's oath of chastity). The servant ordered to dispose of the twins did not have the heart to, and to avoid directly doing so, he put in in a basket and set is on the banks of the Tiber river, which soon carries it away. The god of the river ensure the basket is caught in the branches of a tree and the twins are found and nourished by a she-wolf, and later raised by a shepherd.

Romulus with Remus

Founding of Rome

As shepherds, they tend their flocks but soon come into conflict with the shepherds in the service of Amulius. Those shepherds capture Remus and bring him before the King, who recognises him. Romulus raises a band of shepherds to liberate Remus and, in the conflict, Amulius is killed. The brothers restore their grandfather to the throne and leave to found their own city. However, they disagree over the name and location of the city. According to Livy, eventually Remus criticizes a wall being built around Romulus' city and leaps over it. Romulus killed him, saying "So perish every one that shall hereafter leap over my wall".

Later life

Romulus went on to be the first of six Roman kings. He also succeeded his grandfather to the throne of Alba Longa. At the end of his mortal life, he was thought to have been taken up into Olympus and he was deified in the Roman pantheon under the name Quirinus

Preceded by:
None (Title Created)
King of Rome
Succeeded by
Numa Pompilius

Preceded by:
King of Alba Longa
Succeeded by
Numa Pompilius
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