A-Z: General definitions: Romulus and Remus

Definition

The twins were descendants of Aeneas. Their mother, Rhea Silvia, was the daughter of Numitor, the king of Alba Longa, and their father was the god Mars. Numitor was ousted by his brother, Amulius, who had Rhea Silvia put to death and her two sons thrown into the Tiber. There they were rescued by a she-wolf, who brought them up. Reaching manhood, they overthrew Amulius and restored Numitor. They then decided to found a new city of their own. An omen gave the honour of giving his name to the new city to Romulus. The city was built on the Palatine Hill, traditionally in 753 BC. Remus showed his contempt for the new foundation by jumping over its walls and was thereupon killed by Romulus. Romulus was succeeded by six further kings until the last, Tarquinius Superbus, was expelled in 510 BC and the Roman Republic was established.

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Amulius

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