The Legend of Romulus and Remus

According to tradition, Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus in 753 BC. They were twin brothers, sons of a human mother and the god of war, Mars. After their birth, the king ordered them killed. They were placed in a basket and put into the Tiber River - left to die from exposure in the outdoors. But their basket washed up on the river bank where they were found by a female wolf. The wolf nursed the hungry babies and cared for them until they were found by a shepherd.

The shepherd and his wife raised the babies as their own. Romulus and Remus grew up and helped overthrow the king who had ordered their death. They wanted to build their own city along the Tiber River where their basket had washed ashore. They disagreed about where it should be, and Romulus killed Remus during their quarrels. Romulus built the city of Rome on one of the seven hills along the Tiber - the Palatine hill - and lived a long life as king of Rome.


© Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University,
Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester and Dallas Museum of Art
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