Zonaras 7.3 Part I – Romus is Murdered

Romulus and Romus abandon Alba Longa; the murder of Romus.

Romulus and Romus then gave the throne to their maternal grandfather Numitor, and to their mother they gave an honor which they judged suitable to themselves. For they did not undertake to seize power, and moreover they wished to found a city on the spot where they were nursed. When they set about the task of building the new city, there arose between the brothers a dispute about the city and who would be sovereign, and it came to blows; in this contest, Romus died. Another story has it that as Romulus was digging a trench which was to be the city enclosure, Romus now hindered the work, and now scoffed at it. At last, when Romus leapt over it as if to show how easily it could be attacked, he was killed; some say that this was at Romulus’ hands, and others aver that he was slain by some other man. For this reason, it was enacted that anyone who dared to cross the trench except by the customary paths would be condemned to death.

῾Ρωμύλος μέντοι καὶ ῾Ρῶμος τὴν τῆς ῎Αλβης ἡγεμονίαν τῷ μητροπάτορι νείμαντες, καὶ τῇ μητρὶ τιμὴν πρέπουσαν, καθ’ ἑαυτοὺς εἶναι ἔκριναν· οὔτε γὰρ ἠνείχοντο ἄρχεσθαι καὶ πόλιν ἀναστῆσαι ἔνθα προετράφησαν ἤθελον. ὡρμημένοις δὲ πρὸς τὴν τῆς πόλεως δόμησιν διαφορὰ συνέβη τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς περί τε τῆς ἀρχῆς καὶ περὶ τῆς πόλεως, καὶ διὰ μάχης ἐχώρησαν, ἐν ᾗ ὁ ῾Ρῶμος ἀπέθανεν. ἕτερος δὲ λόγος ἔχει ὡς τοῦ ῾Ρωμύλου τάφρον ἤδη ὀρύττοντος, ἣ τῆς πόλεως ἔμελλεν εἶναι προτείχισμα, πῇ μὲν ἀπεῖργε τὸ ἔργον ὁ ῾Ρῶμος, πῇ δέ γε ἐχλεύαζε· καὶ τέλος διαλλόμενον αὐτὴν ὡς εὐεπιχείρητον οἱ μὲν ῾Ρωμύλου πατάξαντος, οἱ δ’ ἑτέρου τινὸς ἱστοροῦσι πεσεῖν.ὅθεν καὶ ἐνομίσθη τὸν στρατοπέδου τάφρον τολμήσαντα διελθεῖν παρὰ τὰς συνήθεις ὁδούς, θανατοῦσθαι.

3 thoughts on “Zonaras 7.3 Part I – Romus is Murdered

  1. Joel,

    There is a theory that in the Ancient world you needed a human sacrifice when laying the foundation of a city. Think Remus drew the short straw?


Leave a Reply