Romulus And Remus : The Twin Brothers And Central Characters Of Amulius
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Professor - Romulus and Remus are the twin brothers and central characters of Rome’s foundation myth. Can anyone here tell me what the famous sculpture of them looks like?
Student - Um… I think they are with some kind of animal; a fox, a dog, or a wolf.
Professor - Yes, it’s a wolf. Quite right! They are with a wolf. I’ll explain why in just a minute. Um, their mother was Rhea Silvia, daughter of Numitor, King of Alba Longa. Before their conception, Numitor’s brother, Amulius, had seized power, killed Numitor’s male heirs and forced Rhea Silvia to become a Vestal Virgin, sworn to chastity. Rhea Silvia conceived the twins by the God Mars or by the semi-God, Hercules. Once the twins were born, Amulius had them abandoned to die in the River Tiber. They were saved by a series of miraculous interventions. First of all, the river carried them to safety; a she-wolf found and suckled them, and a woodpecker fed them. A shepherd and his wife found and fostered them to manhood. As simple shepherds, the twins still ignorant of their true origins were natural leaders. Each had quite many followers. When they discovered the truth about their birth, they killed Amulius and restored Numitor to his throne. The brothers rather than wait to inherit Alba Longa, they chose to found a new city. Romulus wanted to found the city on the Palatine hill; Remus preferred the Aventine hill. They agreed to determine the site through augury but when each claimed the results in his own favor, they