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Truth vs. fiction
  1. The Brothers of Romulus
  2. Definition

A cave was uncovered on the Palatine Hill in Rome that some think is the Lupercale in which Romulus and Remus were suckled by a lupa whether wolf or prostitute.

If this were said cave, it might prove the existence of the twins. The mother of the twins Romulus and Remus was said to have been a Vestal Virgin named Rhea Silvia, the daughter of the rightful king Numitor and niece of the usurper and ruling king, Amulius of Alba Longa, in Latium.

To prevent their being born, Amulius forced his niece to become a Vestal and therefore forced to remain a virgin.

The Brothers of Romulus

The penalty for violating the vow of chastity was a cruel death. The legendary Rhea Silvia survived violation of her vow long enough to give birth to twins, Romulus and Remus. Unfortunately, like later Vestal Virgins who violated their vows and therefore endangered the luck of Rome or were used as scapegoats when Rome's luck appeared to be running out , Rhea may have suffered the usual punishment -- burial alive shortly after delivery.

At the end of the Trojan War , the city of Troy was destroyed, the men were killed and the women taken as captives, but a few Trojans escaped. A cousin of the royals, Prince Aeneas , son of the goddess Venus and the mortal Anchises, left the burning city of Troy, at the end of the Trojan War, with his son Ascanius, the pricelessly important household gods, his elderly father, and their followers.

After many adventures, which the Roman poet Vergil Virgil describes in the Aeneid , Aeneas and his son arrived at the city of Laurentum on the west coast of Italy.

Aeneas married Lavinia, the daughter of the king of the area, Latinus, and founded the town of Lavinium in honor of his wife. Ascanius, son of Aeneas, decided to build a new city, which he named Alba Longa, under the Alban mountain and near where Rome would be built. There were two traditions on the founding of Rome.

  • Romulus - Roman Mythology About the Founding and First King of Rome.
  • Product description?
  • Romulus and Remus | Facts, Summary, Information & Origins;
  • Remus - the life of an unfortunate twin brother (feat. the famous she-wolf from the statue).

According to one, Aeneas was the founder of Rome and according to the other, it was Romulus. They then decided to establish a city of their own where they had been first rescued from the Tiber. When Romulus was chosen by an omen as the true founder of the new city, strife arose between the brothers, and Romulus killed Remus.

He then populated his city with fugitives from other countries; to get wives he and his fellow Romans abducted the women of the neighboring Sabine tribe see Sabines.


After a long reign, Romulus disappeared in a thunderstorm and was thereafter worshiped as the god Quirinus. From the outset B. It 'held a privileged position in Roman culture'; Romans 'considered brothers central to their public and poetic myth making, to their experience of family life, and to their ideas of intimacy among men'; their 'experience of family, intimacy, politics, and history was shaped by their ideas about brothers'.


This sits uneasily with the great importance attached to the father-son relationship in the Aeneas legend and, according to Judith Hallett,[[1]] the importance of the father-daughter relationship. Indeed, one of the contributions of the book is to illuminate the increased importance of the Aeneas tradition in the Principate at the expense of that of Romulus and Remus.

The claim for the fraternal relationship is also at odds with commemoration patterns documented by Saller and Shaw: [[2]] brothers and sisters are infrequent commemorators, compared with spouses, parents and children. The book focusses on five settings for fraternal interaction and symbolism: 1 'At home' property and family ; 2 'Between brothers' biology, identity, emotions ; 3 'In the forum' public life, case studies ; 4 'On the battlefield' fraternal cooperation and fratricide ; 5 At the palace' dynastic relationships.

There seems to be some confusion in her use of 'brothers' e.


It is not correct that the brothers of a testator were privileged over sons and daughters. They might come in as agnates in intestate succession; but this does not support the claim of an 'original fraternal partnership' And she overstates the preference for brothers, implicitly over sons and daughters. As Champlin stresses, kin such as brothers come in only in limited circumstances, and then as co-heirs to see to 'the proper execution' of a will when the heir e.

Nevertheless, she argues that ideas about consortium persisted and had relevance in the late Republic and early Empire. Her attempt to tie the metaphorical usage of consors and consortium to fraternal pietas is strained. But her presentation 48 of the legal evidence for considering the several male members e. In discussing inheritance, B. These rhetorical exercises are a fertile new source for personal relationships, and have been used to good effect in recent years by other writers on education, the family and Roman society.

The summary 61 of the argument for consortium as a basis for fraternal pietas leads on to the role of fraternal cooperation in 'a reciprocal definition of self' and in public life, the topics of Chapters 2 and 3. Chapter 2 deals with fraternity in its biological and metaphorical usages. It presents the historical examples of Marcus and Quintus Cicero, Catullus and his brother, and Seneca's family. It then discusses the overlap between biological brotherhood and other close male relationships. Two literary excerpts are used to show 'the varied symbolism of fraternity' 77 : Nisus-Euryalus and Pandarus-Bitias in Aeneid 9 and the Encolpius-Ascyltus-Giton trio in Petronius' Satyricon.

The latter is a particularly good analysis, providing more complex interrelations between these metaphorical fratres than emerge from the military pairs in the Aeneid. Chapter 3 provides historical examples of fraternal cooperation in public life but acknowledges 93 that there were limits to what society considered acceptable.

Such cooperation and mutual support had to be 'within the bounds of civic duty'; there could be 'tension between personal and public interest' This is well illustrated in the example of the Gracchi brothers : Romans felt uneasy about 'political collusion' between such brothers.

The Cicero brothers are used again, and the Scipiones Africanus and Asiagenus are discussed with Africanus' friend Laelius.