History of Rome

Date: 1893–1894

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Chapter XIV Legends of Early Rome



The Founding of Rome


. . . The government of Alba Longa being thus intrusted to Numitor, Romulus and Remus were seized with the desire of building a city on the spot where they had been exposed and brought up. . . . But ambition to be sole ruler interrupted their plans, and provoked them to a shameful quarrel. Since they were twins, and neither could claim the rights of an elder brother, they agreed to leave it to the gods, under whose protection the place was, to choose by augury which of them should give a name to the new city, and govern it when built. Romulus chose the Palatine1 and Remus the Aventine,1 as points of observation for taking the auguries.

It is said that an omen came to Remus first, in the shape of six vultures. When, after the omen had been declared, twice that number presented themselves to Romulus, each was hailed king by his own party. Remus claimed sovereign power because he had been the first to see any birds; Romulus likewise claimed to have triumphed because he saw more birds than his brother. . . . A common account is that Remus, in derision of his brother, leaped over the newly-erected walls of Rome, and was thereupon slain by Romulus in a fit of passion. "So," said Romulus, "may every one perish hereafter, who shall leap over my walls." Thus Romulus obtained supreme power for himself alone. The city, when built, was called after the name of its founder. . . .

1 Livy. , books i–vi, ix. The translation of D. Spillan, revised by J. H. Freese, E. S. Weymouth, and Francis Storr. London, 1893–1894. George Bell and Sons.

1 Livy, vi, 1.

1 Livy, i, 6–7.

1 Two of the "seven hills" of Rome.


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Chicago: D. Spillan, trans., "The Founding of Rome," History of Rome in Readings in Early European History, ed. Webster, Hutton (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1926), 155–156. Original Sources, accessed March 24, 2023, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=LUNC5AFQCMLHMD9.

MLA: . "The Founding of Rome." History of Rome, translted by D. Spillan, in Readings in Early European History, edited by Webster, Hutton, Boston, Ginn and Company, 1926, pp. 155–156. Original Sources. 24 Mar. 2023. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=LUNC5AFQCMLHMD9.

Harvard: (trans.), 'The Founding of Rome' in History of Rome. cited in 1926, Readings in Early European History, ed. , Ginn and Company, Boston, pp.155–156. Original Sources, retrieved 24 March 2023, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=LUNC5AFQCMLHMD9.