If you ask a historian or anthropologist when Rome began, they’ll trace back to 953 BC, with the arrival of the Greek Arcadians. If you ask a Roman, though, he’ll argue that the city was born 200 years later on its own accord.
School of the Vestal Virgins in Ancient Rome
Two twin brothers, Romulus and Remus, were born to a Vestal Virgin named Rhea Silvia. As her title suggests, she was meant to maintain her virginity so, when she gave birth, she was in big trouble.
The elders of the community formed a tribunal to find out the identity of the father. Rhea, fearing for the lives of herself and her newborns, claimed that the father was not a man, but a god. And not just any god, but the God of War: Mars.
To avoid the wrath of the war god, the elders chose to spare the kids, but kill their mother. She was buried alive in a place called “the Field of Shame”. To test the validity of their “divine blood line”, the newborns were placed in a wicker basket (like Moses) and sent to drift down the Tiber River. The elders believed that, if the boys were the sons of a god, he would spare them. And, according to this legend, he did.
The Birth of Rome
A great storm blew the infants downstream and eventually washed them up onto the banks of the Palatine Hill. It is here that they were found by the famous she-wolf and nurtured by her. That was, until they were later found by a shepherd, Faustulus, who raised them as his own.
Birth of Rome
Ambitious from birth, by their teenage years the boys had separated from their “father” and each other to build their respective communities. Romulus took to the Palatine Hill, controlling trade from the Tiber. Remus settled at the Esquiline Hill, controlling trade from Rome’s outskirts. But, of course, joint rule doesn’t seem so appealing when sole rule is just one murder away…
Birth of Rome
Greed took over and Remus crossed the boundary line, which had been marked where the Arch of Titus now stands in the Roman Forum, at which time he was killed by his brother. The communities were joined under one leader and one name: Roma, after Romulus himself. And thus Rome was born. Though, as you know, she was not built in a day.
Author: April Nicole
April is an American writer and photographer who has lived in Rome since 2013. She enjoys exploring the museums of the city, as well as indulging in authentic Italian cuisine!
Experience Rome with the #1 Ranked Vatican Tour Company on Tripadvisor Since 2011!
Vatican Early Access Before the Crowds Tour Overall rating: ★★★★★ 5 based on 23 reviews.
Click on the different category headings to find out more. You can also change some of your preferences. Note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our websites and the services we are able to offer.
Essential Website Cookies
These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our website and to use some of its features.
We provide you with a list of stored cookies on your computer in our domain so you can check what we stored. Due to security reasons we are not able to show or modify cookies from other domains. You can check these in your browser security settings.
Google Analytics Cookies
These cookies collect information that is used either in aggregate form to help us understand how our website is being used or how effective our marketing campaigns are, or to help us customize our website and application for you in order to enhance your experience.
If you do not want that we track your visist to our site you can disable tracking in your browser here:
Other external services
We also use different external services like Google Webfonts, Google Maps, and external Video providers. Since these providers may collect personal data like your IP address we allow you to block them here. Please be aware that this might heavily reduce the functionality and appearance of our site. Changes will take effect once you reload the page.
Google Webfont Settings:
Google Map Settings:
Google reCaptcha Settings:
Vimeo and Youtube video embeds: