The Myth Of Romulus And Remus Essay

1515 Words7 Pages
The myth of Romulus and Remus, retold by writers such as Livy and Ovid, provided a rough model of Roman leadership for future Roman generations, with Romulus in particular embodying Roman values and exclusively portrayed as a good king. Much of their mythic narrative reflects the political realities of the Res Publica and the empire; these realities shaped the way that their story was told by different generations, the past often being used to justify the present. The qualities of the model Roman leader have been laid out multiple times. Nathan Rosenstein places valour and honour as distinctions of the utmost importance, and the willingness to “endure anything” to earn this. However, he also quotes sources that extend the criteria beyond simply garnering a reputation. Quintus Metellus’ 221BCE eulogy for his father outlines desired Roman virtues that continued from the Republican Era and into the Early Imperial Period; “to be a first-class warrior; the best orator; the bravest general…to be a man of the highest wisdom, to be considered the top senator; to acquire great wealth honourably; to be survived by many children; and to be the most renowned man in the state.”, only a few of which are present in the founding heroes, Romulus and Remus (Pliny HN 7.139-40). Similarly, Sallust defines the virtues of Caesar and Cato respectively, and between them emphases nobility of birth, eloquence, kindness, sternness, steadfastness, uprightness, military success, vigilance,
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