Romulus and Remus
Romulus and Remus are the twin brothers and central characters of Rome’s foundation myth. Their mother is Rhea Silvia, daughter to Numitor, king of Alba Longa. Before their conception, Numitor’s brother Amulius seizes power, kills Numitor’s male heirs and forces Rhea Silvia to become a Vestal Virgin, sworn to chastity. Rhea Silvia conceives the twins by the god Mars, or by the demi-god Hercules; once the twins were born, Amulius has them abandoned to die in the river Tiber. They are saved by a series of miraculous interventions: the river carries them to safety, a she-wolf named Lupa finds and suckles them, and a woodpecker feeds them. A shepherd and his wife find them and foster them to manhood, as simple shepherds. The twins, still ignorant of their true origins, prove to be natural leaders. Each acquires many followers. When they discover the truth of their birth, they kill Amulius and restore Numitor to his throne. Rather than wait to inherit Alba Longa, they choose to found a new city.
Romulus wants to found the new city on the Palatine Hill; Remus prefers the Aventine Hill. They agree to determine the site through augury but when each claims the results in his own favor, they quarrel over which land is their own. Remus is then killed by Romulus by a stone. Romulus founds the new city, names it Rome, after himself, and creates its first legions and senate. The new city grows rapidly, swelled by landless refugees; as most of these are male, and unmarried, Romulus arranges the abduction of women from the neighboring Sabines. The ensuing war ends with the joining of Sabines and Romans as one Roman people. Thanks to divine favour and Romulus’ inspired leadership, Rome becomes a dominant force, but Romulus himself becomes increasingly autocratic, and disappears or dies in mysterious circumstances. In later forms of the myth, he ascends to heaven, and is identified with Quirinus, the divine personification of the Roman people.
The legend as a whole encapsulates Rome’s ideas of itself, its origins and moral values. For modern scholarship, it remains one of the most complex and problematic of all foundation myths, particularly in the matter and manner of Remus’ death. Ancient historians had no doubt that Romulus gave his name to the city. Most modern historians believe his name a back-formation from the name Rome; the basis for Remus’ name and role remain subjects of ancient and modern speculation. The myth was fully developed into something like an “official”, chronological version in the Late Republican and early Imperial era; Roman historians dated the city’s foundation to between 758 and 728 BC, and Plutarch reckoned the twins’ birth year as c. 27/28 March 771 BC. An earlier tradition that gave Romulus a distant ancestor in the semi-divine Trojan prince Aeneas was further embellished, and Romulus was made the direct ancestor of Rome’s first Imperial dynasty. Possible historical bases for the broad mythological narrative remain unclear and disputed. The image of the she-wolf suckling the divinely fathered twins became an iconic representation of the city and its founding legend, making Romulus and Remus preeminent among the feral children of ancient mythography.
The legend in ancient sources
Modern scholarship approaches the various known stories of Romulus and Remus as cumulative elaborations and later interpretations of Roman foundation-myth. Particular versions and collations were presented by Roman historians as authoritative, an official history trimmed of contradictions and untidy variants to justify contemporary developments, genealogies and actions in relation to Roman morality. Other narratives appear to represent popular or folkloric tradition; some of these remain inscrutable in purpose and meaning. Wiseman sums the whole as the mythography of an unusually problematic foundation and early history. Cornell and others describe particular elements of the mythos as “shameful”. Nevertheless, by the 4th century BC, the fundamentals of the Romulus and Remus story were standard Roman fare, and by 269 BC the wolf and suckling twins appeared on one of the earliest, if not the earliest issues of Roman silver coinage. Rome’s foundation story was evidently a matter of national pride. It featured in the earliest known history of Rome, which was attributed to Diocles of Peparethus. The patrician senator Quintus Fabius Pictor used Diocles’ as a source for his own history of Rome, written around the time of Rome’s war with Hannibal and probably intended for circulation among Rome’s Greek-speaking allies.
Fabius’ history provided a basis for the early books of Livy’s Ab Urbe Condita, which he wrote in Latin, and for several Greek-language histories of Rome, including Dionysius of Halicarnassus‘s Roman Antiquities, written during the late 1st century BC, and Plutarch‘s early 2nd century Life of Romulus. These three accounts provide the broad literary basis for studies of Rome’s founding mythography. They have much in common, but each is selective to its purpose. Livy’s is a dignified handbook, justifying the purpose and morality of Roman traditions observed in his own times. Dionysius and Plutarch approach the same subjects as interested outsiders, and include founder-traditions not mentioned by Livy, untraceable to a common source and probably specific to particular regions, social classes or oral traditions. A Roman text of the late Imperial era, Origo gentis Romanae (The origin of the Roman people) is dedicated to the many “more or less bizarre”, often contradictory variants of Rome’s foundation myth, including versions in which Remus founds a city named Remuria, five miles from Rome, and outlives his brother Romulus.
Stories of ancestry and parentage
There are several variations on the basic legendary tale.
Plutarch presents Romulus and Remus’ ancient descent from prince Aeneas, fugitive from Troy after its destruction by the Achaeans. Their maternal grandfather is his descendant Numitor, who inherits the kingship of Alba Longa. Numitor’s brother Amulius inherits its treasury, including the gold brought by Aeneas from Troy. Amulius uses his control of the treasury to dethrone Numitor, but fears that Numitor’s daughter, Rhea Silvia, will bear children who could overthrow him.
Amulius forces Rhea Silvia into perpetual virginity as a Vestal priestess, but she bears children anyway. In one variation of the story, Mars, god of war, seduces and impregnates her: in another, Amulius himself seduces her, and in yet another, Hercules.
The king sees his niece’s pregnancy and confines her. She gives birth to twin boys of remarkable beauty; her uncle orders her death and theirs. One account holds that he has Rhea buried alive – the standard punishment for Vestal Virgins who violated their vow of celibacy – and orders the death of the twins by exposure; both means would avoid his direct blood-guilt. In another, he has Rhea and her twins thrown into the River Tiber.
In every version, a servant is charged with the deed of killing the twins, but cannot bring himself to harm them. He places them in a basket and leaves it on the banks of the Tiber. The river rises in flood and carries the twins downstream, unharmed.
The river deity Tiberinus makes the basket catch in the roots of a fig tree that grows in the Velabrum swamp at the base of the Palatine Hill. The twins are found and suckled by a she-wolf (Lupa) and fed by a woodpecker (Picus). A shepherd of Amulius named Faustulus discovers them and takes them to his hut, where he and his wife Acca Larentia raise them as their own children.
In another variant, Hercules impregnates Acca Larentia and marries her off to the shepherd Faustulus. She has twelve sons; when one of them dies, Romulus takes his place to found the priestly college of Arval brothers Fratres Arvales. Acca Larentia is therefore identified with the Arval goddess Dea Dia, who is served by the Arvals. In later Republican religious tradition, a Quirinal priest (flamen) impersonated Romulus (by then deified as Quirinus) to perform funerary rites for his foster mother (identified as Dia).
Another and probably late tradition has Acca Larentia as a sacred prostitute (one of many Roman slangs for prostitute was lupa (she-wolf)).
Yet another tradition relates that Romulus and Remus are nursed by the Wolf-Goddess Lupa or Luperca in her cave-lair (lupercal). Luperca was given cult for her protection of sheep from wolves and her spouse was the Wolf-and-Shepherd-God Lupercus, who brought fertility to the flocks. She has been identified with Acca Larentia.
Founding of Rome
In all versions of the founding myth, the twins grew up as shepherds. They came into conflict with the shepherds of Amulius, leading to battles in which Remus was captured and taken to Amulius, under the accusation of being a thief. Their identity was discovered. Romulus raised a band of shepherds to liberate his brother; Amulius was killed and Romulus and Remus were conjointly offered the crown. They refused it while their grandfather lived, and refused to live in the city as his subjects. They restored Numitor as king, paid due honours to their mother Rhea and left to found their own city, accompanied by a motley band of fugitives, runaway slaves, and any who wanted a second chance in a new city with new rulers.
The brothers argued over the best site for the new city. Romulus favoured the Palatine Hill; Remus wanted the Aventine Hill. They agreed to select the site by divine augury (foresight), took up position on their respective hills and prepared a sacred space; signs were sent to each in the form of vultures, or eagles. Remus saw six; Romulus saw twelve, and claimed superior augury as the basis of his right to decide.
Remus made a counterclaim: he saw his six vultures first. Romulus set to work with his supporters, digging a trench (or building a wall, according to Dionysius) around the Palatine to define his city boundary. Remus criticized some parts of the work and obstructed others. At last, Remus leaped across the boundary, as an insult to the city’s defenses and their creator. For this, he was killed. The Roman ab urbe condita begins from the founding of the city, and places that date as 21 April 753 BC.
Death of Remus
Livy gives two versions of Remus’ death. In the one “more generally received”, Remus criticises and belittles the new wall, and in a final insult to the new city and its founder alike, he leaps over it. Romulus kills him, saying “So perish every one that shall hereafter leap over my wall”. In the other version, Remus is simply stated as dead; no murder is alleged. Two other, lesser known accounts have Remus killed by a blow to the head with a spade, wielded either by Romulus’ commander Fabius (according to St. Jerome’s version) or by a man named Celer. Romulus buries Remus with honour and regret.
City of Rome
Romulus completes his city and names it Roma after himself. Then he divides his fighting men into regiments of 3000 infantry and 300 cavalry, which he calls “legions”. From the rest of the populace he selects 100 of the most noble and wealthy fathers to serve as his council. He calls these men Patricians: they are fathers of Rome, not only because they care for their own legitimate citizen-sons but because they have a fatherly care for Rome and all its people. They are also its elders, and are therefore known as Senators. Romulus thereby inaugurates a system of government and social hierarchy based on the patron-client relationship.
Rome draws exiles, refugees, the dispossessed, criminals and runaway slaves. The city expands its boundaries to accommodate them; five of the seven hills of Rome are settled: the Capitoline Hill, the Aventine Hill, the Caelian Hill, the Quirinal Hill, and the Palatine Hill. As most of these immigrants are men, Rome finds itself with a shortage of marriageable women.
At the suggestion of his grandfather Numitor, Romulus holds a solemn festival in honor of Neptune (according to another tradition the festival was held in honor of the God Consus) and invites the neighboring Sabines and Latins to attend; they arrive en masse, along with their daughters. The Sabine and Latin women who happen to be virgins – 683 according to Livy – are kidnapped and brought back to Rome where they are forced to marry Roman men.
War with the Sabines
The Sabine and Latin men demand the return of their daughters. The inhabitants of three Latin towns (Caenina, Antemnae and Crustumerium) take up arms one after the other and are soundly defeated by Romulus. Romulus kills Acron, the king of Caenina, with his own hand and celebrates the first Roman triumph shortly after. Romulus is magnanimous in victory – most of the conquered land is divided among Rome’s citizens but none of the defeated are enslaved.
The Sabine king Titus Tatius marches on Rome to assault its Capitoline citadel. The citadel commander’s daughter Tarpeia opens the gates for them, in return for “what they wear on their left arms”. She expects their golden bracelets. Once inside, the Sabines crush her to death under a pile of their shields.
The Sabines leave the citadel to meet the Romans in open battle in the space later known as the comitium. The outcome hangs in the balance; the Romans retreat to the Palatine Hill, where Romulus calls on Jupiter for help – traditionally at the place where a temple to Jupiter Stator (“the stayer”) was built. The Romans drive the Sabines back to the point where the Curia Hostilia later stands.
The Sabine women themselves now intervene to beg for unity between Sabines and Romans. A truce is made, then peace. The Romans base themselves on the Palatine and the Sabines on the Quirinal, with Romulus and Tatius as joint kings and the Comitium as the common centre of government and culture. 100 Sabine elders and clan leaders join the Patrician Senate. The Sabines adopt the Roman calendar, and the Romans adopt the armour and oblong shield of the Sabines. The legions are doubled in size.
Organization and growth
Romulus and Tatius rule jointly for five years and subdue the Alban colony of the Camerini. Then Tatius shelters some allies who have illegally plundered the Lavinians, and murders ambassadors sent to seek justice. Romulus and the Senate decide that Tatius should go to Lavinium to offer sacrifice and appeased his offence. At Lavinium, Tatius is assassinated and Romulus becomes sole king.
As king, Romulus holds authority over Rome’s armies and judiciary. He organises Rome’s administration according to tribe; one of Latins (Ramnes), one of Sabines (Titites), and one of Luceres. Each elects a tribune to represented their civil, religious, and military interests. The tribunes are magistrates of their tribes, perform sacrifices on their behalf, and command their tribal levies in times of war.
Romulus divides each tribe into ten curiae to form the Comitia Curiata. The thirty curiae derive their individual names from thirty of the kidnapped Sabine women.
The individual curiae are further divided into ten gentes, held to form the basis for the nomen in the Roman naming convention. Proposals made by Romulus or the Senate are offered to the Curiate assembly for ratification; the ten gentes within each curia cast a vote. Votes are carried by whichever gens has a majority.
Romulus forms a personal guard called the Celeres; these are three hundred of Rome’s finest horsemen. They are commanded by a tribune of the Ramnes; in one version of the founding tale, Celer killed Remus and helped Romulus found the city of Rome. The provision of a personal guard for Romulus helps justify the Augustan development of a Praetorian Guard, responsible for internal security and the personal safety of the Emperor. The relationship between Romulus and his Tribune resembles the later relation between the Roman Dictator and his Magister Equitum. Celer, as the Celerum Tribune, occupies the second place in the state, and in Romulus’ absence has the rights of convoking the Comitia and commanding the armies.
For more than two decades, Romulus wages wars and expands Rome’s territory. He subdues Fidenae, which has seized Roman provisions during a famine, and founds a Roman colony there. Then he subdues the Crustumini, who have murdered Roman colonists in their territory. The Etruscans of Veii protest the presence of a Roman garrison at Fidenae, and demand the return of the town to its citizens. When Romulus refuses, they confront him in battle and are defeated. They agree to a hundred-year truce and surrender fifty noble hostages: Romulus celebrates his third and last triumph.
When Romulus’ grandfather Numitor dies, the people of Alba Longa offer him the crown as rightful heir. Romulus adapts the government of the city to a Roman model. Henceforth, the citizens hold annual elections and choose one of their own as Roman governor.
In Rome, Romulus begins to show signs of autocratic rule. The Senate becomes less influential in administration and lawmaking; Romulus rules by edict. He divides his conquered territories among his soldiers without Patrician consent. Senatorial resentment grows to hatred.
Death of Romulus
According to the legend, Romulus mysteriously disappeared in a storm or whirlwind, during or shortly after offering public sacrifice at or near the Quirinal Hill. A “foul suspicion” arises that the Senate, weary of kingly government, and exasperated of late by the imperious deportment of Romulus toward them, had plotted against his life and made him away, so that they might assume the authority and government into their own hands. This suspicion they sought to turn aside by decreeing divine honors to Romulus, as to one not dead, but translated to a higher condition. And Proculus, a man of note, took oath that he saw Romulus caught up into heaven in his arms and vestments, and heard him, as he ascended, cry out that they should hereafter style him by the name of Quirinus.
Livy repeats more or less the same story, but shifts the initiative for deification to the people of Rome:
Then a few voices began to proclaim Romulus’s divinity; the cry was taken up, and at last every man present hailed him as a god and son of a god, and prayed to him to be forever gracious and to protect his children. However, even on this great occasion there were, I believe, a few dissenters who secretly maintained that the king had been torn to pieces by the senators. At all events the story got about, though in veiled terms; but it was not important, as awe, and admiration for Romulus’s greatness, set the seal upon the other version of his end, which was, moreover, given further credit by the timely action of a certain Julius Proculus, a man, we are told, honored for his wise counsel on weighty matters. The loss of the king had left the people in an uneasy mood and suspicious of the senators, and Proculus, aware of the prevalent temper, conceived the shrewd idea of addressing the Assembly. ‘Romulus’, he declared, ‘the father of our city descended from heaven at dawn this morning and appeared to me. In awe and reverence I stood before him, praying for permission to look upon his face without sin. Go, he said, and tell the Romans that by heaven’s will my Rome shall be capital of the world. Let them learn to be soldiers. Let them know, and teach their children, that no power on earth can stand against Roman arms. Having spoken these words, he was taken up again into the sky”
Livy infers Romulus’ murder as no more than a dim and doubtful whisper from the past; in the circumstances, Proculus’ declaration is wise and practical because it has the desired effect. Cicero’s seeming familiarity with the story of Romulus’ murder and divinity must have been shared by his target audience and readership. Dio’s version, though fragmentary, is unequivocal; Romulus is surrounded by hostile, resentful senators and “rent limb from limb” in the senate-house itself. An eclipse and sudden storm, “the same sort of phenomenon that had attended his birth”, conceal the deed from the soldiers and the people, who are anxiously seeking their king. Proculus fakes a personal vision of Romulus’ spontaneous ascent to heaven as Quirinus and announces the message of Romulus-Quirinus; a new king must be chosen at once. A dispute arises: should this king be Sabine or Roman? The debate goes on for a year. During this time, the most distinguished senators rule for five days at a times as interreges.
Plutarch says that Romulus was 53 (“in the fifty-fourth year of his age”) when he “vanished” in 717 BC; this gives the twins a birth-date in the year 771 BC, and Romulus’ founding of Rome at the age of 18. Dionysius of Halicarnassus says that Romulus began his reign at 18, ruled for 37 years and died at 55 years old.
Ennius (fl. 180s BC) refers to Romulus as a divinity without reference to Quirinus, whom Roman mythographers identified as an originally Sabine war-deity, and thus to be identified with Roman Mars. Lucilius lists Quirinus and Romulus as separate deities, and Varro accords them different temples. Images of Quirinus showed him as a bearded warrior wielding a spear as a god of war, the embodiment of Roman strength and a deified likeness of the city of Rome. He had a Flamen Maior called the Flamen Quirinalis, who oversaw his worship and rituals in the ordainment of Roman religion attributed to Romulus’ royal successor, Numa Pompilius. There is however no evidence for the conflated Romulus-Quirinus before the 1st century BC.
Ovid in Book 14, lines 812-828, of the Metamorphoses gives a description of the deification of Romulus and his wife Hersilia, who are given the new names of Quirinus and Hora respectively. Mars, the father of Romulus, is given permission by Jupiter to bring his son up to Olympus to live with the Olympians. Ovid uses the words of Ennius as a direct quote and puts them into the mouth of the King of the Gods, “There shall be one whom you shall raise to the blue vault of heaven”. Ovid then uses a simile to describe the change that Romulus undertakes as he ascends to live with the Olympians, “as leaden balls from a broad sling melt in mid sky: Finer his features now and worthier of heaven’s high-raised couch, his lineaments those of Quirinus in his robe of state”.
Ancient pictures of the Roman twins usually follow certain symbolic traditions, depending on the legend they follow: they either show a shepherd, the she-wolf, the twins under a fig tree, and one or two birds (Livy, Plutarch); or they depict two shepherds, the she-wolf, the twins in a cave, seldom a fig tree, and never any birds (Dionysius of Halicarnassus).
Also there are coins with Lupa and the tiny twins placed beneath her.
The Franks Casket, an Anglo-Saxon ivory box (early 7th century AD) shows Romulus and Remus in an unusual setting, two wolves instead of one, a grove instead of one tree or a cave, four kneeling warriors instead of one or two gesticulating shepherds. According to one interpretation, and as the runic inscription (“far from home”) indicates, the twins are cited here as the Dioscuri, helpers at voyages such as Castor and Polydeuces. Their descent from the Roman god of war predestines them as helpers on the way to war. The carver transferred them into the Germanic holy grove and has Woden’s second wolf join them. Thus the picture served — along with five other ones — to influence “wyrd“, the fortune and fate of a warrior king.
In popular culture
- Romolo e Remo: a 1961 film starring Steve Reeves and Gordon Scott as the two brothers.
- The Rape of the Sabine Women: a 1962 film starring Wolf Ruvinskis as Romulus.
- In the Star Trek universe, Romulus and Remus are neighbouring planets with Remus being tidally locked to the star. Romulus is the capital of the Romulan Star Empire, which is loosely based on the Roman Empire.
- Remus Lupin, a werewolf in the Harry Potter series, a Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts in Harry’s 3rd Year, and a member of the Order of the Phoenix, is named after one of the brothers (in addition, his last name is based on the Latin word for “wolf”). As a nod to the myth, during the forbidden radio broadcast Potterwatch, he codenames himself “Romulus”.
- Metal Band Ex Deo’s hit single Romulus featured on their album. The band is recognized as an Epic Metal band with lyrics about Ancient Rome and mythology.
- Romolo is the mascot of Football club AS Roma, he is a grey wolf, clearly named after Romulus.
- Romulus and Remus are the names of the two protagonists in Undead Knights. Romulus is portrayed as a demonic knight and his brother is portrayed as a wisecracking, foul mouthed swordsman. Both brothers are shown to have died during a slaughter ordered by King Gradis and return as demonic necromancers.
- Romulus and Remus are the names of the main characters of the 1989 film, Brotherhood of the Rose.
- The novel Founding Fathers by Alfred Duggan describes the founding and first decades of Rome from the points of view of one of Romulus’s Latin followers, a Sabine who settles in Rome as part of the peace agreement with Tatius, an Etruscan fugitive who is accepted into the tribe of Luceres after his own city is destroyed, and a Greek seeking purification from blood-guilt who comes to the city in the last years of Romulus’ reign. The first three of these become senators. Romulus is portrayed as a gifted leader though a remarkably unpleasant person, chiefly distinguished by his luck; the story of his surreptitious murder by the senators is adopted, but although the story of his deification is fabricated, his murderers themselves think he may indeed have become a god. The novel begins with the founding of the city and the killing of Remus, and ends with the accession of Numa Pompilius.
- In the 2010 video game Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, a group described by Niccolò Machiavelli as a band of false pagans are the Followers of Romulus or Secta Luporium (Sect of wolves). They have an alliance with the The Borgia and drive people into the arms of the Church by terrifying the citizens of Rome.
- In the 2011 MMORPG Spiral Knights, a boss enemy fought by players portrayed to be twin wolves are referred to as the ‘Roarmulus Twins’.
- Sufjan Stevens‘ third studio album Michigan includes a song called “Romulus”.
- Asena, a similar legend concerning the origin of Turks
- The Golden Bough, a tale concerning Aeneas and Rome
- Adriano La Regina, “La lupa del Campidoglio è medievale la prova è nel test al carbonio“. La Repubblica. 9 July 2008
- Dionysius of Halicarnasus Roman Antiquities1.85
- Plutarch Life of Romulus 9.
- Ovid has Romulus invent the festival of Lemuria to appease Remus’ resentful ghost. Ovid Fasti 5.461
- The archaeologist Andrea Carandini is one of very few modern scholars who accept Romulus and Remus as historical figures, based on the 1988 discovery of an ancient wall on the north slope of the Palatine Hill in Rome. Carandini dates the structure to the mid-8th century BC and names it the Murus Romuli. See Carandini, La nascita di Roma. Dèi, lari, eroi e uomini all’alba di una civiltà (Torino: Einaudi, 1997) and Carandini. Remo e Romolo. Dai rioni dei Quiriti alla città dei Romani (775/750 – 700/675 a. C. circa) (Torino: Einaudi, 2006)
- Wiseman, TP (1995), Remus, A Roman myth, Cambridge University Press.
- Momigliano, Arnoldo (2007), “An interim report on the origins of Rome”, Terzo contributo alla storia degli studi classici e del mondo antico 1, Rome, IT: Edizioni di storia e letteratura, pp. 545–98 Unknown parameter
- Cornell, pp 60–2: “these elements have convinced the eminent historiographer H. Strasburger that Rome’s foundation myth represents not native tradition but defamatory foreign propaganda, probably originated by Rome’s neighbours in Magna Graecia and successfully foist on an impressionable and ethnically confused Roman people.” Cornell and Momigliano find this argument impeccably developed but entirely implausible; if an exercise in mockery, it was a signal failure.
- The escape of Aeneas from Troy and his foundation of a “New Troy” in Italy was not an exclusively Roman ancestor-myth. It is represented by 4th century votive statuettes from Etruscan Veii and was known in archaic Latium. Beard; et al, pp. 1–2 Missing or empty
- Fabius wrote in Greek, the Mediterranean lingua franca of the time. His narrative began with the arrival of the Greek hero Herakles in Italy. Plutarch claims that Fabius’ history follows Diocles “on most points”.Wiseman, pp. 1–2 Missing or empty
- of Halicarnassus, Dionysius, in Thayer, Roman Antiquities, Chicago, IL, USA: Loeb, pp. 1, 72–90; 2, 1–76.
- Plutarch, “The life of Romulus”, in Thayer, The Parallel Lives, Chicago, IL, USA: Loeb.
- Momigliano, Arnoldo (1990), The classical foundations of modern historiography, University Presses of California, Columbia and Princeton, p. 101 Unknown parameter
- Dillery (2009), in Feldherr, Andrew, The Cambridge Companion to the Roman Historians, Cambridge University Press, pp. 78–81 ff..
- Cornell, pp. 57–8 Missing or empty
- Banchich (2004), Origo Gentis Romanae (PDF), Cansius College Unknown parameter
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- Compare the story of Romulus and Remus to Moses, Perseus, and Sargon of Akkad for similar stories of babies being placed in cradles and set afloat in a body of water.
- Livy, (i), p. 4 Missing or empty
- Ovid, Fasti (iii), p. 55.
- Gordon, Arthur Ernest (1983). Illustrated introduction to Latin epigraphy. University of California Press. p. 226. ISBN 978-0-520-03898-1. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
- Wiseman, pp.9 -11.
- In Varro, the Ramnes derived their name from Romulus, the Titites derived their name from Titus Tatius, and the Luceres derived their name from an Etruscan leader or his title of honour: Livy, 1.13 describes the origin of the Luceres as unknown.
- Evans, Jane DeRose The Art of Persuasion University of Michigan Press 1992 ISBN 0-472-10282-6 books.google.co.uk
- Plutarch, Life of Numa Pompilius.
- Livy, 1.16, trans. A. de Selincourt, The Early History of Rome, 34-35) rel2243-04.fa03.fsu.edu
- Evans, 103: citing Cicero, de Rep. 2.10.20.
- Cassius Dio, Roman History, 1, (fragment: Ioann. Laur. Lyd., De magistr. rei publ. Rom. 1, 7, Zonaras) online at Thayer’s website penelope.uchicago.edu; see also Thayer’s linked note on the limits of historical accuracy in using known eclipses to date Romulus’ birth and death.
- Plutarch, Romulus, Classics, MIT Unknown parameter
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- Dionysius of Hallicarnassus, Roman Antiquities 2.56
- Evans, 103 and footnote 66: citing quotation of Ennius in Cicero, 1.41.64.
- Fishwick, Duncan (1993), The Imperial Cult in the Latin West (2nd ed.), Leiden: Brill, p. 53, ISBN 90-04-07179-2.
- ; see also “The Travelling Twins: Romulus and Remus in Anglo-Saxon England
- Albertoni, Margherita, et al. The Capitoline Museums: Guide. Milan: Electa, 2006. For information on the Capitoline She-Wolf.
- Beard, M., North, J., Price, S., Religions of Rome, vol. 1, illustrated, reprint, Cambridge University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-521-31682-0
- Cornell, T., The Beginnings of Rome: Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars (c. 1000–264 BC), Routledge, 1995. ISBN 978-0-415-01596-7
- Wiseman, T. P., Remus: a Roman myth, Cambridge University Press, 1995. ISBN 978-0-521-48366-7
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