Romulus and Remus

According to legend, which city was founded by twin brothers named Romulus and Remus?

And the answer: Rome.    

According to legend, Rome was founded in 753 BCE by Romulus and Remus, twin brothers whose father was thought to be Mars, the god of war. Romulus went on to become the first king of Rome, which is named after him.

Romulus and Remus. Photo credit: public domain. 

According to the legend, the two twin brothers were abandoned soon after their birth. They were discovered by a she-wolf on the banks of the Tiber, who took them in and raised them into adulthood. Eventually, the boys grew up to found a city, but as brothers do, they argued about who would be the ruler of their new city. When the smoke cleared, Romulus remained. He became ruler and named the city after himself: Rome.

Stories aside, the history of Rome is long and complex: a village grew into the Eternal City (which remains a wonder today); Italy was conquered before Europe, parts of Africa, and the Middle East were incorporated into an empire that had around a quarter of the world’s population under its governance; and finally, a monarchy became a republic and then an empire. Over 1,000 years of history, the story of Rome is varied and detailed, but much of it comes from a single source: a man named Titus Livius or Livy (59 BCE – 17 CE). Some 200 years after the conquest of Italy had been completed, he wrote 142 books on Rome’s early history, but only 54 survive as complete volumes.

What remains today of Rome is astounding. As great structures were an important means of stating Roman power, emperors cemented their reputations with grand public works such as the Arch of Constantine or the Pantheon. Many Roman bridges, sculptures, and commemorative buildings remain a staple product of this long-lived, powerful empire.

Learn more about the history and culture of ancient Rome below.

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