Happy Birthday Rome–You Were Almost Remora!

Traditional founding of Rome: April 21, 753 BCE

This passage from Ennius is preserved in Cicero’s De Divinatione 1.48

“They were struggling over whether the city would be called Roma or Remora.
And worry about which one of them would rule infected all men.
They were awaiting the word as when the consul wishes to give the signal
And all men eagerly look to the wall’s border to see
How soon he will send out the chariots from the painted mouths—
This is the way the people were watching and holding their mouths
For which man the victory would elevate to a great kingdom.
Meanwhile, the white sun receded into the darkness of night.
When suddenly a white light struck the sky with its rays.
At the same time there came flying straight down the most beautiful
Bird from the left and then the golden sun rose.
Three times, four sacred forms of birds descended from the sky
And settled themselves in propitious and noble positions.
In this, Romulus recognized that the first place was granted to him,
A kingdom and place made certain by the signs of birds.”

Certabant urbem Romam Remoramne vocarent.
Omnibus cura viris uter esset induperator.
Expectant vel uti, consul cum mittere signum
Volt, omnes avidi spectant ad carceris oras,
Quam mox emittat pictis e faucibus currus:
Sic expectabat populus atque ora tenebat
Rebus, utri magni victoria sit data regni.
Interea sol albus recessit in infera noctis.
Exin candida se radiis dedit icta foras lux.
Et simul ex alto longe pulcherruma praepes
Laeva volavit avis: simul aureus exoritur sol.
Cedunt de caelo ter quattor corpora sancta
Avium, praepetibus sese pulchrisque locis dant.
Conspicit inde sibi data Romulus esse priora,
Auspicio regni stabilita scamna locumque.

Festus, Sextus Pompeius, On the Meaning of Words, p. 266 M. (= p. 326, 35 L.)

“Alcimus says that Romulus was the son born to Tyrrhenia and Aeneas and that Alba was Aeneas’ granddaughter from her, whose son, named Rhodius, founded the city of Rome.”

Alcimus ait, Tyrrhenia Aeneae natum filium Romulum fuisse, atque eo ortam Albam Aeneae neptem, cuius filius nomine Rhodius condiderit urbem Romam.

Servius Danielis, Aeneid, 1, 373

“The Annals were gathered in this way: the pontifex had a whitened tablet for each year on which he kept written the names of the consul and the rest of the magistrates and below which he typically kept notes of anything worthy of remembering which happened at home or abroad and at sea or on land on a daily basis. Ancient authorities edited the annual records kept with this care and they named them after the pontifices who assembled them, the Annales Maximi.”

ita autem annales conficiebantur: tabulam dealbatam quotannis pontifex maximus habuit, in qua praescriptis consulum nominibus et aliorum magistratuum digna memoratu notare consueverat domi militiaeque terra marique gesta per singulos dies. cuius diligentiae annuos commentarios in octoginta libros veteres rettulerunt eosque a pontificibus maximis, a quibus fiebant, Annales Maximos appellarunt.

Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights 11 .14

The most noble and chaste response of King Romulus on the use of wine

Lucius Piso Frugi displays the simplest elegance of phrase and style in the first book of his Annales when he writes concerning the lifestyle and diet of King Romulus. These are the words who he has written: “They say that when Romulus was invited to dinner he didn’t drink much because he had business the next day. His fellow dinners remarked, “Romulus, if all men acted like you, wine would be cheaper.” And Romulus replied, “No, it would be more dear: if each man drank as he much as he desired: for I drank what I wanted.”

Sobria et pulcherrima Romuli regis responsio circa vini usum.

1 Simplicissima suavitate et rei et orationis L. Piso Frugi usus est in primo annali, cum de Romuli regis vita atque victu scriberet. 2 Ea verba, quae scripsit, haec sunt: “Eundem Romulum dicunt ad cenam vocatum ibi non multum bibisse, quia postridie negotium haberet. Ei dicunt: “Romule, si istuc omnes homines faciant, vinum vilius sit”. His respondit: “immo vero carum, si, quantum quisque volet, bibat; nam ego bibi quantum volui”.

Plutarch, Theseus and Romulus 2

“A ruler’s first duty is to save the state itself. This is saved no less in refraining from what is not fitting than from pursuing what is fitting. But the one who shirks or overreaches is no longer a king or a ruler, but in fact becomes a demagogue or a despot. He fills the subjects with hatred and contempt. While the first problem seems to come from being too lenient or a concern for humanity, the second comes from self-regard and harshness.”

δεῖ γὰρ τὸν ἄρχοντα σώζειν πρῶτον αὐτὴν τὴν ἀρχήν· σώζεται δ᾿ οὐχ ἧττον ἀπεχομένη τοῦ μὴ προσήκοντος ἢ περιεχομένη τοῦ προσήκοντος. ὁ δ᾿ ἐνδιδοὺς ἢ ἐπιτείνων οὐ μένει βασιλεὺς οὐδὲ ἄρχων, ἀλλ᾿ ἢ δημαγωγὸς ἢ δεσπότης γιγνόμενος, ἐμποιεῖ τὸ μισεῖν ἢ καταφρονεῖν τοῖς ἀρχομένοις. οὐ μὴν ἀλλ᾿ ἐκεῖνο μὲν ἐπιεικείας δοκεῖ καὶ φιλανθρωπίας εἶναι, τοῦτο δὲ φιλαυτίας ἁμάρτημα καὶ χαλεπότητος.

Happy Birthday Rome–You Were Almost Remora!

Traditional founding of Rome: April 21, 753 BCE

This passage from Ennius is preserved in Cicero’s De Divinatione 1.48

“They were struggling over whether the city would be called Roma or Remora.
And worry about which one of them would rule infected all men.
They were awaiting the word as when the consul wishes to give the signal
And all men eagerly look to the wall’s border to see
How soon he will send out the chariots from the painted mouths—
This is the way the people were watching and holding their mouths
For which man the victory would elevate to a great kingdom.
Meanwhile, the white sun receded into the darkness of night.
When suddenly a white light struck the sky with its rays.
At the same time there came flying straight down the most beautiful
Bird from the left and then the golden sun rose.
Three times, four sacred forms of birds descended from the sky
And settled themselves in propitious and noble positions.
In this, Romulus recognized that the first place was granted to him,
A kingdom and place made certain by the signs of birds.”

Certabant urbem Romam Remoramne vocarent.
Omnibus cura viris uter esset induperator.
Expectant vel uti, consul cum mittere signum
Volt, omnes avidi spectant ad carceris oras,
Quam mox emittat pictis e faucibus currus:
Sic expectabat populus atque ora tenebat
Rebus, utri magni victoria sit data regni.
Interea sol albus recessit in infera noctis.
Exin candida se radiis dedit icta foras lux.
Et simul ex alto longe pulcherruma praepes
Laeva volavit avis: simul aureus exoritur sol.
Cedunt de caelo ter quattor corpora sancta
Avium, praepetibus sese pulchrisque locis dant.
Conspicit inde sibi data Romulus esse priora,
Auspicio regni stabilita scamna locumque.

Festus, Sextus Pompeius, On the Meaning of Words, p. 266 M. (= p. 326, 35 L.)

“Alcimus says that Romulus was the son born to Tyrrhenia and Aeneas and that Alba was Aeneas’ granddaughter from her, whose son, named Rhodius, founded the city of Rome.”

Alcimus ait, Tyrrhenia Aeneae natum filium Romulum fuisse, atque eo ortam Albam Aeneae neptem, cuius filius nomine Rhodius condiderit urbem Romam.

Servius Danielis, Aeneid, 1, 373

“The Annals were gathered in this way: the pontifex had a whitened tablet for each year on which he kept written the names of the consul and the rest of the magistrates and below which he typically kept notes of anything worthy of remembering which happened at home or abroad and at sea or on land on a daily basis. Ancient authorities edited the annual records kept with this care and they named them after the pontifices who assembled them, the Annales Maximi.”

ita autem annales conficiebantur: tabulam dealbatam quotannis pontifex maximus habuit, in qua praescriptis consulum nominibus et aliorum magistratuum digna memoratu notare consueverat domi militiaeque terra marique gesta per singulos dies. cuius diligentiae annuos commentarios in octoginta libros veteres rettulerunt eosque a pontificibus maximis, a quibus fiebant, Annales Maximos appellarunt.

Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights 11 .14

The most noble and chaste response of King Romulus on the use of wine

Lucius Piso Frugi displays the simplest elegance of phrase and style in the first book of his Annales when he writes concerning the lifestyle and diet of King Romulus. These are the words who he has written: “They say that when Romulus was invited to dinner he didn’t drink much because he had business the next day. His fellow dinners remarked, “Romulus, if all men acted like you, wine would be cheaper.” And Romulus replied, “No, it would be more dear: if each man drank as he much as he desired: for I drank what I wanted.”

Sobria et pulcherrima Romuli regis responsio circa vini usum.

1 Simplicissima suavitate et rei et orationis L. Piso Frugi usus est in primo annali, cum de Romuli regis vita atque victu scriberet. 2 Ea verba, quae scripsit, haec sunt: “Eundem Romulum dicunt ad cenam vocatum ibi non multum bibisse, quia postridie negotium haberet. Ei dicunt: “Romule, si istuc omnes homines faciant, vinum vilius sit”. His respondit: “immo vero carum, si, quantum quisque volet, bibat; nam ego bibi quantum volui”.

Plutarch, Theseus and Romulus 2

“A ruler’s first duty is to save the state itself. This is saved no less in refraining from what is not fitting than from pursuing what is fitting. But the one who shirks or overreaches is no longer a king or a ruler, but in fact becomes a demagogue or a despot. He fills the subjects with hatred and contempt. While the first problem seems to come from being too lenient or a concern for humanity, the second comes from self-regard and harshness.”

δεῖ γὰρ τὸν ἄρχοντα σώζειν πρῶτον αὐτὴν τὴν ἀρχήν· σώζεται δ᾿ οὐχ ἧττον ἀπεχομένη τοῦ μὴ προσήκοντος ἢ περιεχομένη τοῦ προσήκοντος. ὁ δ᾿ ἐνδιδοὺς ἢ ἐπιτείνων οὐ μένει βασιλεὺς οὐδὲ ἄρχων, ἀλλ᾿ ἢ δημαγωγὸς ἢ δεσπότης γιγνόμενος, ἐμποιεῖ τὸ μισεῖν ἢ καταφρονεῖν τοῖς ἀρχομένοις. οὐ μὴν ἀλλ᾿ ἐκεῖνο μὲν ἐπιεικείας δοκεῖ καὶ φιλανθρωπίας εἶναι, τοῦτο δὲ φιλαυτίας ἁμάρτημα καὶ χαλεπότητος.

Zonaras 7.4 Part III: Romulus Becomes a Tyrant

 

Zonaras relates how Romulus consolidated both the substance and the pageantry of despotic power:

While things were going well for the Romans, those with less power stooped under the yoke of their neighbors, while the powerful did not think that it was necessary to take this into consideration, but rather to check their growth. The people of Veii were the first of the Tyrrhenians to start a war against Rome. They came against the Romans and, losing many men, the made a treaty of friendship lasting one hundred years, and they offered fifty of their noblest citizens as hostages.

Romulus led those whom he had conquered in triumph. Then, puffed up by his own unbelievable good fortune and being possessed of a rather dull mind, he departed from the more democratic aspects of government and exchanged it for a burdensome and grievous form of monarchy which he fashioned after his own mold. He then began to wear a purple cloak, as well a toga encircled with purple, red sandals, and he delivered his declarations while sitting in a reclining chair. There were always about his person many young men, whom he called ‘Celeres,’ which in the language of the Romans means ‘swift,’ and some others walked before him bearing rods which they used to part the crowd, and they had straps tied to them, so that they could bind those whom they ordered around.

῾Ρωννυμένων δὲ τῶν πραγμάτων ῾Ρωμαίοις οἱ μὲν ἀσθενέστεροι τῶν προσοίκων ὑπέκυπτον, οἱ δυνατοὶ δὲ οὐκ ᾤοντο δεῖν περιορᾶν, ἀλλὰ κολούειν τὴν αὔξησιν. πρῶτοι δὲ Τυρρηνῶν Οὐήιοι ἀρχὴν ἐποιήσαντο πολέμου. συμβαλόντες οὖν καὶ πολλοὺς ἀποβαλόντες ὁμολογίαν ἐποιήσαντο καὶ φιλίαν ἐπὶ ἐνιαυτοὺς ἑκατόν, καὶ τῶν παρ’ αὐτοῖς ἀρίστων παρέσχον εἰς ὁμηρείαν πεντήκοντα.

᾿Εθριάμβευσεν οὖν τούτους νικήσας ῾Ρωμύλος. εἶτα ἐπαρθεὶς ταῖς παραλόγοις εὐτυχίαις καὶ βαρυτέρῳ φρονήματι χρώμενος ἐξίστατο τοῦ δημοτικοῦ καὶ παρήλλαττε καὶ εἰς ἐπαχθῆ μοναρχίαν καὶ λυποῦσαν ἀπὸ τοῦ σχήματος ἑαυτὸν ἐσχημάτιζεν. ἁλουργῆ μὲν γὰρ ἐνεδύετο χιτῶνα καὶ τήβεννον ἠμπίσχετο περιπόρφυρον καὶ πεδίλοις ἐκέχρητο ἐρυθροῖς καὶ ἐν θρόνῳ ἀνακλίτῳ καθήμενος ἐχρημάτιζεν· ἦσαν δὲ περὶ αὐτὸν ἀεὶ καὶ τῶν νέων συχνοί, οὓς Κέλερας προσηγόρευεν, ὃ κατὰ τὴν τῶν ῾Ρωμαίων διάλεκτον δηλοῖ τοὺς ταχεῖς, καὶ πρόσθεν ἐβάδιζον ἕτεροι βακτηρίαις τὸν ὄχλον ἀνείργοντες, ὑπεζωσμένοι ἱμάντας, ὥστε συνδεῖν οὓς κελευσθῶσιν.

Zonaras 7.3 Part III – The Rape of the Sabine Women

Zonaras relates the well-known story of Romulus’ plan to increase the Roman population:

There were now many men living in the city, of whom very few were wedded to wives. So, Romulus had the idea that they could unite women to themselves. For they were just a mob who had come from difficult and undistinguished circumstances, and they were despised in their marriage suits by all of the neighboring tribes. Romulus then planned for his citizens to take wives by means of forcible seizure, so he announced that there would be a sacrifice, some games, and a religious assembly on the pretext that a strange new altar of the gods had been discovered. Many people came together for this. Romulus himself, however, sat at the front among the nobles, outfitted in a purple robe. He gave as the sign that the undertaking should commence the sudden spreading and re-fastening of his robe. Once this sign was given, the men, grabbing their swords, set out and grabbed the maiden daughters of the Sabines – not, indeed, anyone’s wife.

Πολλῶν δὲ τῇ πόλει ἐνοικισθέντων, ὧν ὀλίγοι γυναιξὶ συνεζεύγνυντο, φροντὶς τῷ ῾Ρωμύλῳ ἐγένετο ἵνα κἀκεῖνοι γυναῖκας ἑαυτοῖς συνοικίσωσι. σύγκλυδες γὰρ καὶ ἐξ ἀπόρων ὄντες καὶ ἀφανῶν, ὑπερωρῶντο πρὸς κῆδος παρὰ τῶν γειτνιώντων ἐθνῶν. βουλεύεται τοίνυν ἐξ ἁρπαγῆς λαβεῖν γυναῖκας τοὺς πολίτας αὐτοῦ, καὶ κηρύσσει θυσίαν καὶ ἀγῶνα καὶ θέαν μέλλειν τελεῖν πανηγυρικήν, ὡς βωμοῦ εὑρημένου θεοῦ καινοῦ. καὶ πολλοὶ συνῆλθον. αὐτὸς δὲ προυκάθητο μετὰ τῶν ἀρίστων, ἁλουργίδι κεκοσμημένος· δέδωκε δὲ τῷ δήμῳ τῆς ἐπιχειρήσεως σύμβολον τὴν τῆς ἁλουργίδος διάπτυξιν καὶ αὖθις ταύτης περιβολήν. οὗ γενομένου σπασάμενοι τὰ ξίφη μετὰ βοῆς ὥρμησαν καὶ ἥρπαζον τὰς θυγατέρας τῶν Σαβίνων παρθένους, οὐ μέντοι γυναῖκάς τινων

Zonaras 7.3 Part II – Romulus, The ‘Crafty Tyrant’

Zonaras relates how Romulus constructs the city walls, and employs some tricks of civic nomenclature to manipulate the people:

After burying his brother, Romulus settled his city. He yoked a bull to a cow, and threw a bronze ploughshare onto the plough; he then dug a large circular furrow, and those who followed him took the clods of earth which the plough dug out and turned them all around the furrow. Once it was time for the wall to be constructed, as it was said, the furrow was dug up where they had contrived to erect the walls, and they made intervals in the furrow, by lifting the plough up above them. For, they consider every wall a sacred thing; but if they had considered the gates sacred, it would not have been possible to bring in and send out some of the necessary and even impure articles of life.

The founding of the city was completed on the eleventh day before the Kalends of May, or better perhaps, on the twentieth of April. The Romans celebrate that day with festivals, considering it the birthday of their fatherland. It was said that Romulus was eighteen years old when he founded the city, which he founded near the home of Faustulus; this region was named the Palatine.

Now that the city was founded, he rounded up as much of the mob was the right age for military service and drew them up into military contingents. Each of these contingents consisted of three thousand infantry and three hundred cavalry, and was called a legion, because the fighters were chosen from all, while all of the rest were proclaimed part of the citizen body, which they named the people (populus). For this reason in their law books the assembly of the people is called the “popular” (popularia) assembly. He then marked out as counselors a hundred of the men most prominent for their birth, prudence, and mode of life, and called them patricians. The rest of the organized government he called the senate, which is the counsel of old men (gerousia). The patricians were so called either because they were the fathers of legitimate offspring, or perhaps more likely because they were able to demonstrate that their fathers were descended from well-known families, or from their patronia. (Thus they called the relationship of patronage, for they called those who took care of and protected a person “patrons.”) One could readily guess at Romulus’ motive here: he thought that by this appellation, he thought that it would be clear that the chief and most powerful men of the state would need to employ a certain paternal care for the lowborn, and that simultaneously the common people would be led on by the name of “patricians” not to feel put-upon by the honors granted to those more powerful than them, but would rather submit to it peacefully by both calling and considering them as “fathers.”

῾Ο δὲ ῾Ρωμύλος θάψας τὸν ἀδελφὸν ᾤκιζε τὴν πόλιν καὶ βοῦν ἄρρενα συζεύξας θηλείᾳ, καὶ ἀρότρῳ ὕννιν χαλκῆν ἐμβαλών, αὐτὸς μὲν αὔλακα βαθεῖαν κυκλοτερῆ περιέγραψεν, οἱ δ’ ἑπόμενοι τὰς βώλους, ἃς ἀνίστη τὸ ἄροτρον, εἴσω πάσας τῆς αὔλακος περιέστρεφον. καὶ ὅπου μὲν ἔμελλε τὸ τεῖχος ἀνίστασθαι, καθὼς εἴρηται, ἡ αὖλαξ ἐτέτμητο, ἔνθα δὲ πύλας στῆσαι διενοοῦντο, διάλειμμα ἐποιοῦντο τῆς αὔλακος, τὸ ἄροτρον ἀνέχοντες ὕπερθεν. πᾶν μὲν γὰρ τεῖχος νομίζουσιν ἱερόν· τὰς δὲ πύλας εἴπερ ἥγηντοἱεράς, οὐκ ἦν τὰ μὲν δι’ αὐτῶν εἰσάγειν, τὰ δὲ ἀποπέμπειν τῶν ἀναγκαίων καὶ μὴ καθαρῶν.

῾Η δὲ κτίσις τῆς πόλεως ταύτης ἡμέρᾳ τετέλεστο τῇ πρὸ ἕνδεκα καλανδῶν Μαΐων, ἣ ἂν εἴη μᾶλλον εἰκοστὴ ᾿Απριλλίου· καὶ τὴν ἡμέραν ταύτην ἑορτάζουσι ῾Ρωμαῖοι, γενέθλιον τῆς πατρίδος ὀνομάζοντες. ὀκτωκαίδεκα δ’ εἶναι ῾Ρωμύλος ἐνιαυτῶν ἀναγέγραπται ὅτε τὴν ῾Ρώμην συνῴκισεν. ἔκτισε δὲ αὐτὴν περὶ τὴν τοῦ Φαυστούλου οἴκησιν· ὠνόμαστο δ’ ὁ χῶρος Παλάτιον.

Κτισθείσης μέντοι τῆς πόλεως, ὅσον μὲν ἐν ἡλικίᾳ στρατευσίμῳ πλῆθος ἐτύγχανεν, εἰς στρατιωτικὰ διεῖλε συντάγματα, ἕκαστον δὲ σύνταγμα πεζῶν τρισχιλίων ἦν καὶ τριακοσίων ἱππέων, ἐκλήθη δὲ λεγεών, ὅτι λογάδες ἦσαν ἐκ πάντων οἱ μάχιμοι, τοῖς δ’ ἄλλοις δήμῳ ἐκέχρητο. καὶ τὸν δῆμον ποπούλους ὠνόμασεν· ὅθεν καὶ παρὰ ταῖς βίβλοις ταῖς νομικαῖς ποπουλαρία κέκληται ἡ δημοτικὴ ἀγωγή. τῶν μέντοι περιφανεστέρων γένει τε καὶ συνέσει καὶ βίου αἱρέσει ἑκατὸν ἀπέδειξε βουλευτάς, πατρικίους ὀνομάσας αὐτούς· τὸ δὲ λοιπὸν σύστημα σενάτον προσηγόρευσεν, ὅ ἐστι γερουσία. πατρίκιοι μέντοι οἱ βουλευταὶ ἐπεκλήθησαν ἢ ὅτι παίδων ἦσαν γνησίων πατέρες, ἢ μᾶλλον ὅτι αὐτοὶ πατέρας ἑαυτῶν ἀποδεικνύειν ἠδύναντο ἕκαστος ἐκ γένους ὄντες γνωρίμου, ἢ ἀπὸ τῆς πατρωνίας· οὕτω δ’ ἐκάλουν τὴν προστασίαν· πάτρωνας γὰρ τοὺς κηδεμονικοὺς καὶ βοηθητικοὺς προσηγόρευον. μάλιστα δ’ ἄν τις καταστοχάσαιτο τῆς τοῦ ῾Ρωμύλου διανοίας, εἰ οἴοιτο διὰ τῆς κλήσεως ταύτης ἐμφαίνειν χρῆναι τοὺς πρώτους καὶ δυνατωτάτους τῆς πόλεως πατρικῇ κηδεμονίᾳ κήδεσθαι τῶν ταπεινοτέρων, ἅμα δὲ καὶ τὸν δῆμον ἐνάγειν διὰ τῆς τῶν πατρικίων προσηγορίας εἰς τὸ μὴ ἄχθεσθαι ταῖς τῶν κρειττόνων τιμαῖς, ἀλλ’ εὐνοϊκῶς διακεῖσθαι, νομίζοντας πατέρας αὐτοὺς καὶ προσαγορεύοντας.

Zonaras: Romulus and… Romus? (7.1 pt. III)

Zonaras relates the birth of Romulus and Remus, how they were cast out by Amulius, and how they were raised either by a wolf or a prostitute.

So much for Lavinium and the Albans. Roman affairs had as their beginning Numitor and Amulius, who were the sons of Aventinus, and the descendants of Aeneas. Once the throne in Alba Longa had fallen to them through succession, they wished to apportion it out between themselves, along with the royal possessions. When Amulius set both the property and the crown as private, and asked his brother which of the two he would like for himself, Numitor chose the crown because he was the older brother. Amulius took the property and surrounded himself with the power which naturally attends wealth, and with it seized the crown. Numitor had a daughter and Amulius, fearing that she might have children who would rebel against him, made her a priestess of Hestia which entailed that she would be an unmarried virgin through all of her life. She was seen later to be pregnant by Ares, as the myth goes, but most probably it was by some man. She was imprisoned on that account, so that she could not escape when she gave birth. She gave birth to two children who were great and noble. Amulius, now even more terrified, ordered that the children be cast out. So, he took them and placed them in a little skiff in the Tiber. The water’s flow led the skiff away to a pleasant spot, where they say that a she-wolf came upon the children and offered them her teat; they also say that there was a woodpecker there feeding them and guarding them. One of Amulius’ swineherds, named Faustulus, came upon the children there and took them. He then raised them with his wife, whose name was Larentia. One was named Romulus, and the other Romus. Some deny that a she-wolf nursed them, which would be more credible or even have more of an air of truth, but this story took hold from the beginning. The Romans call both she-wolves and prostitutes “lupas.” The fact that Larentia, who raised the boys, was a prostitute and on that account called a lupa (she-wolf), caused the region to buy into the myth.*

  • NOTE: This idea is at least as old as Livy: Sunt qui Larentiam volgato corpore lupam inter pastores vocatam putent. “There are those who would say that Larentia was called ‘the she-wolf’ among the pastors, on account of having put her body into common circulation.”

Καὶ ταῦτα μὲν περὶ Λαουινίου καὶ ᾿Αλβανῶν· τὰ δὲ τῶν ῾Ρωμαίων ἀρχὴν ἐσχήκασι τὸν Νομίτωρά τε καὶ τὸν ᾿Αμούλιον, οἳ ᾿Αουεντίνου μὲν ἐγένοντο υἱωνοί, τοῦ δ’ Αἰνείου ἀπόγονοι. τῆς γοῦν ἐν ῎Αλβῃ βασιλείας κατὰ διαδοχὴν περιελθούσης αὐτοῖς, νείμασθαι ταύτην ἠθέλησαν καὶ τὰ χρήματα. τοῦ ᾿Αμουλίου τοίνυν ἰδίᾳ μὲν τὰ χρήματα θέντος, ἰδίᾳ δέ γε τὴν βασιλείαν, καὶ ἐξ ἀμφοῖν τὸν ἀδελφὸν προτρεψαμένου ὃ πρὸς βουλῆς αὐτῷ ἐπιλέξασθαι, τὴν βασιλείαν εἵλετο ὁ Νομίτωρ, ἅτε καὶ πρεσβύτερος ἀδελφός· λαβὼν δὲ τὰ χρήματα ὁ ᾿Αμούλιος, καὶ δύναμιν ἐκ τούτων περιβαλλόμενος, καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν ἀφείλετο. θυγατρὸς δὲ τῷ Νομίτωρι οὔσης, δεδιὼς μὴ παῖδες ἐξ αὐτῆς γένοιντο καὶ κατεξανασταῖεν αὐτοῦ, ἱέρειαν τῆς ῾Εστίας ἐκείνην ἀπέδειξεν, ἄγαμον διὰ τοῦτο καὶ παρθένον διὰ βίου μέλλουσαν ἔσεσθαι. ἡ δὲ κύουσα ἐφωράθη μετέπειτα ὑπὸ ῎Αρεος, ὡς μυθεύεται, ὑπ’ ἀνθρώπων δὲ πάντως τινός. εἵρχθη οὖν διὰ τοῦτο, ἵνα μὴ λάθῃ τεκοῦσα. καὶ ἔτεκε διδύμους παῖδας μεγάλους τε καὶ καλούς. μᾶλλον οὖν φοβηθεὶς ὁ ᾿Αμούλιος ἐκέλευσε τὰ βρέφη ῥιφῆναι. καὶ ὁ ταῦτα λαβὼν σκάφῃ ἐνθέμενος ἐμβάλλει τῷ ποταμῷ τῷ Τιβέριδι. παρασῦραν δὲ τὴν σκάφην τὸ ῥεῦμα εἴς τινα χῶρον κατήνεγκε μαλθακόν· ἔνθα κειμένοις τοῖς βρέφεσι λύκαιναν ἱστοροῦσι προσιοῦσαν θηλὴν παρέχειν αὐτοῖς, καὶ ὄρνιν δρυοκολάπτην παρεῖναι ταῦτα ψωμίζοντα καὶ φυλάττοντα. ἐκεῖ δὲ κείμενα τὰ βρέφη λαθὼν ἀφείλετό τις ᾿Αμουλίου συοφορβὸς Φαυστοῦλος καλούμενος· καὶ παρὰ τῆς ἐκείνου ἐτράφησαν γυναικός, ᾗ ὄνομα Λαρεντία· καὶ ὁ μὲν ῾Ρωμύλος, ὁ δ’ ἕτερος ῾Ρῶμος ἐκλήθησαν. τινὲς δὲ μὴ λύκαιναν εἶναι τὴν τῶν παίδων φασὶ τροφόν, ὃ καὶ πιθανώτερον ἢ ἀληθέστερον μάλιστα, ἀρχὴν δὲ τὸν λόγον οὕτω λαβεῖν. λούπας καλοῦσι ῾Ρωμαῖοι τάς τε λυκαίνας καὶ τὰς ἑταίρας· πορνευομένη δ’ ἡ Λαρεντία, ἣ τοὺς παῖδας ἐθρέψατο, καὶ λοῦπα διὰ τοῦτο καλουμένη, χώραν τῷ μύθῳ παρέσχετο.

Roma Could have Been Remora

This passage from Ennius is preserved in Cicero’s De Divinatione 1.48

“They were struggling over whether the city would be called Roma or Remora.
And worry about which one of them would rule infected all men.
They were awaiting the word as when the consul wishes to give the signal
And all men eagerly look to the wall’s border to see
How soon he will send out the chariots from the painted mouths—
This is the way the people were watching and holding their tongues
For which man the victory would elevate to a great kingdom.
Meanwhile, the white sun receded into the darkness of night.
When suddenly a white light struck the sky with its rays.
At the same time there came flying straight down the most beautiful
Bird from the left and then the golden sun rose.
Three times, four sacred forms of birds descended from the sky
And settled themselves in propitious and noble positions.
In this, Romulus recognized that the first place was granted to him,
A kingdom and place made certain by the signs of birds.”

Certabant urbem Romam Remoramne vocarent.
Omnibus cura viris uter esset induperator.
Expectant vel uti, consul cum mittere signum
Volt, omnes avidi spectant ad carceris oras,
Quam mox emittat pictis e faucibus currus: 90
Sic expectabat populus atque ora tenebat
Rebus, utri magni victoria sit data regni.
Interea sol albus recessit in infera noctis.
Exin candida se radiis dedit icta foras lux.
Et simul ex alto longe pulcherruma praepes 95
Laeva volavit avis: simul aureus exoritur sol.
Cedunt de caelo ter quattor corpora sancta
Avium, praepetibus sese pulchrisque locis dant.
Conspicit inde sibi data Romulus esse priora,
Auspicio regni stabilita scamna locumque.

Romulus and Remus
Ah, the city of brotherly….

The Struggle To Name Rome: Ennius, Annales 86-100

This passage from Ennius is preserved in Cicero’s De Divinatione 1.48

“They were struggling over whether the city would be called Roma or Remora.
And worry about which one of them would rule infected all men.
They were awaiting the word as when the consul wishes to give the signal
And all men eagerly look to the wall’s border to see
How soon he will send out the chariots from the painted mouths—
This is the way the people were watching and holding their mouths
For which man the victory would elevate to a great kingdom.
Meanwhile, the white sun receded into the darkness of night.
When suddenly a white light struck the sky with its rays.
At the same time there came flying straight down the most beautiful
Bird from the left and then the golden sun rose.
Three times, four sacred forms of birds descended from the sky
And settled themselves in propitious and noble positions.
In this, Romulus recognized that the first place was granted to him,
A kingdom and place made certain by the signs of birds.”

Certabant urbem Romam Remoramne vocarent.
Omnibus cura viris uter esset induperator.
Expectant vel uti, consul cum mittere signum
Volt, omnes avidi spectant ad carceris oras,
Quam mox emittat pictis e faucibus currus: 90
Sic expectabat populus atque ora tenebat
Rebus, utri magni victoria sit data regni.
Interea sol albus recessit in infera noctis.
Exin candida se radiis dedit icta foras lux.
Et simul ex alto longe pulcherruma praepes 95
Laeva volavit avis: simul aureus exoritur sol.
Cedunt de caelo ter quattor corpora sancta
Avium, praepetibus sese pulchrisque locis dant.
Conspicit inde sibi data Romulus esse priora,
Auspicio regni stabilita scamna locumque.

Abstemious Romulus Drank What He Wanted (Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights xi.14)

The most noble and chaste response of King Romulus on the use of wine

Lucius Piso Frugi displays the simplest elegance of phrase and style in the first book of his Annales when he writes concerning the lifestyle and diet of King Romulus. These are the words who he has written: “They say that when Romulus was invited to dinner he didn’t drink much because he had business the next day. His fellow dinners remarked, “Romulus, if all men acted like you, wine would be cheaper.” And Romulus replied, “No, it would be more dear: if each man drank as he much as he desired: for I drank what I wanted.”

Sobria et pulcherrima Romuli regis responsio circa vini usum.

1 Simplicissima suavitate et rei et orationis L. Piso Frugi usus est in primo annali, cum de Romuli regis vita atque victu scriberet. 2 Ea verba, quae scripsit, haec sunt: “Eundem Romulum dicunt ad cenam vocatum ibi non multum bibisse, quia postridie negotium haberet. Ei dicunt: “Romule, si istuc omnes homines faciant, vinum vilius sit”. His respondit: “immo vero carum, si, quantum quisque volet, bibat; nam ego bibi quantum volui”.