How did Rome’s creation myth influence its character? Essay

Decent Essays
Rome’s creation myth begins with the story of Romulus and Remus, the tragic story of twin brothers who were born into nobility, nearly killed as newborns, and who ultimately engage in conflict resulting the death of one and the founding of an empire by the other. Rome’s creation myth tells the story of a mythical leader who, against all odds, triumphs, and as he prevails, so does Rome.
Rhea Silvia was a vestal virgin who, it is alleged, was raped by Mars, the God of War. This act resulted in the birth of twin brothers, Romulus and Remus. The twins, born of noble blood – Rhea’s grandfather was ruler at the time – were to be drowned in the Tiber river by order of Rhea’s uncle to prevent potential future challenges to the throne by the
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Rome’s troops were led by poor men, yet they inspired the men more than a rich man ever could. They yelled a great war-cry and soon surrounded the enemy that surrounded the Roman fort, thereby saving the soldiers inside . As in the creation myth, against the odds, Cincinnatus prevailed, as did Rome.
Another example of a Romans prevailing against the odds in keeping with the creation myth is in the story of Scipio and the Second Punic War, pitting the Romans against Hannibal and the Carthaginians who, after the Battle of Cannae in which the Romans were routed, were considered unbeatable in battle. Hannibal was considered a military genius of his time, having defeated Rome’s army in battle where Hannibal was outnumbered two to one at Cannae. Following Cannae, Rome’s army was all but destroyed and, had Hannibal chosen to strike, Rome likely would have fallen. Most expected Hannibal to destroy Rome while he had the initiative and few believed that Rome had a chance of defending itself, let alone defeating Hannibal and the Carthaginians. Fortunately for Rome, Hannibal stayed in mainland Italy, not attacking Rome itself.
Scipio was appointed consul and quickly reorganized Rome’s troops. Scipio proceeded to conquer Sicily, defeated Carthaginian reinforcements, and forced Hannibal to flee Italy. Scipio then took the war to Northern Africa, defeating Carthage in its own territory in a series of battles
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