02225: Ares and Romulus. "There, as Ilia's son was giving kingly judgment to his citizens, Gradivus caught him up from earth." (Ov. Met. 14.823). Guillaume T. de Villenave, Les Métamorphoses d'Ovide (Paris, Didot 1806–07). Engravings after originals by Jean-Jacques François Le Barbier (1739–1826), Nicolas André Monsiau (1754–1837), and Jean-Michel Moreau (1741–1814).
|"All that you see here,
stranger, where mighty Rome now stands, was grass
and hill before the coming of Trojan Aeneas." (Propertius, Elegies 4.1.2).
The Roman extension of the Greek heroic myths develops mainly through Aeneas, who having fled
from the burning Troy, first wandered in the Mediterranean, and later settled down in Latium, starting a dynasty of kings who ruled in Lavinium and Alba Longa, being the predecessors of Rome.
|Introduction: Some Kings and Emigrants in Italy
Emigration to Italy, both before and after the Trojan War was not
uncommon. Philoctetes, unable
to return home because of the revolution that was
taken place in Meliboea, sailed to Campania in
Italy, and after making war on the Lucanians, he
settled in Crimissa. But this is all that has been
reported about him.
King Idomeneus 1
Nothing is known about the fate of King Idomeneus 1 of Crete either. Having being deposed by an usurper while he
was fighting in Troy, he
was not able to return to his land and instead
headed for Italy.
Diomedes 2 and King Daunus
Diomedes 2, who had
led the Argives against Troy, returned to Argos after the war, not
knowing that his wife Aegialia plotted against him.
When he realized that he had been conspired
against, he first took sanctuary at the altar of Hera in Argos, but by night he escaped to Italy with his companions. There he was received into the court of King Daunus. Some say that he had sons, Amphinomus 3 and Diomedes 3, by Daunus' Daughter, but nothing is known about them. Some affirm that Diomedes 2 died of old age; others that he was caused to
disappear while his companions were changed into
birds; and still others assert that King Daunus
murdered him by a trick.
Daunus, Turnus and Aeneas
King Daunus was father of Turnus, the man who
was at war with Aeneas in
Italy. Turnus was king of the Rutulians in Italy,
and wished, like Aeneas, to marry Lavinia 2; he had this wish backed by her mother Amata, whose nephew he was. Turnus was son of Venilia, who was said to have consorted not only with Daunus, but also with the god Janus. Turnus, whom some call Tyrrhenus 2, was killed in single combat by Aeneas.
Tyrrhenus 1, or as some say, Tyrsenus, is considered to be the inventor of the trumpet. He emigrated in ancient times from Lydia to Tyrrhenia (Italy), which was called after him. According to some, Tyrsenus is the son of Heracles 1 and Omphale; others call him son of Atys 3 and Callithea, and still others say that he was son of Telephus, son of Heracles 1. Atys 3 was king of Lydia in Asia Minor, and also considered to be a descendant of Heracles 1. However,
some call him son of Manes, son of Zeus and Gaia, Manes being the first king of Lydia. Others say that Atys 3 was son of Cotys 2, son of Manes and Callirrhoe 1, the Oceanid. Tyrsenus had a brother Lydus, who remained in the country as king of Lydia and called the country after himself. Tyrsenus' son Hegeleos is said to have taught the Dorians how to play the trumpet.
Xuthus 2 and the Ausonians
Xuthus 2 is said to have reigned over the land in the neighborhood of Leontini in Sicily. Xuthus 2 was son of Aeolus 2,
the always happy ruler of the winds. Aeolus 2 was son of Hippotes 1, son of Mimas 4, son of King Aeolus 1 of Thessaly, son of Hellen 1 (eponym of the Hellenes), son of Deucalion 1, the man
who survived the Flood. Xuthus 2's mother was Cyane 2, daughter of Liparus, a man who was chased from Italy and came to the Aeolian Islands. Liparus was son of Auson, king of Italy in the times when the Italians were called Ausonians
Traces of impious Lycaon 2
Among other Greek emigrants who came to Italy, but in earlier times, are Daunius and his brothers Iapyx 1, and Peucetius, sons of the impious Lycaon 2. Also Oenotrus,
perhaps the youngest of the brothers, is said to
have emigrated, and the land of Oenotria in Italy
received its name after him. He was born seventeen
generations before the Trojan War, and being
dissatisfied with his portion of his father's land,
left Arcadia and with
his brother Peucetius emigrated to Italy.
After the founding of Rome Demaratus arrived in
Italy, bringing with him a host of people from Corinth. He married a
Tarquinian woman, and had by her a son Tarquinius
Priscus, who became king of Rome.
The expedition of Heracles 1
Eryx 1, called by some son of Poseidon but by others son of Butes 1 (the Argonaut) and Aphrodite, was king
over the Elymi in Italy, and is remembered for
having challenged Heracles 1 to wrestle for the sake of a bull, which
resulted in his death. During his trip through
Italy, Heracles 1 also killed King Faunus 2, son of Hermes, who used to sacrifice his guests to the god that was his father. Otherwise it is also said that when Heracles 1 returned
from his expedition to Iberia (Spain), he came into
Italy where part of his followers asked to be
dismissed, and the permission being granted, they
settled in the Capitoline Hill. Among them there
were Trojan prisoners, whom Heracles 1 had taken
when he sacked Troy during the reign of Laomedon 1, one generation before the Trojan War. It is
during this expedition that Heracles 1, they say,
founded Herculaneum in the place where his fleet
lay at anchor.
Another king of Italy was Italus, after whom the country was named. Some say he is the son of Telegonus 3, son of Odysseus either by Circe or by Calypso 3. It is said that when Telegonus 3 learned from Circe that he was a son of Odysseus, he sailed in
search of him. And having come to Ithaca, he drove
away some of the cattle, and when Odysseus defended them, Telegonus 3 wounded him with the spear he had in his hands, which was barbed with the spine of a stingray, and Odysseus died of the wound. Telegonus 3 bitterly lamented what he had done when he learned that he had slain his own father, but nevertheless he married Odysseus' wife Penelope, and so Italus was born. Telegonus 3 is said to have been made immortal by Circe, who
sent him to the Islands
of the Blest together with Penelope. Italus had children: Roma 2, Sicelus 2, and Romus. After Roma 2, according to some, the city Rome was named. Sicelus 2, who was received as a guest by King Morges, Italus' successor, crossed to Sicily, calling the island after himself, and reigning over the Sicels. Romus is also said to have been the cause of the name of the city of Rome, but he is also given many other parentages.
Evander 2 was known for having emigrated to Italy from Arcadia. He
was called a wise man, and on his arrival he
founded a city Pallantium on the banks of the river
Tiber, called after their mother city in Arcadia. He was the son
of Hermes and the nymph Carmentis. Carmentis was a daughter of the river god Ladon 1, and was known for being skilled in the art of divination. She was the first to foretell how great Aeneas' line would become. Evander 2 married Carmenta and had by her two children, Pallas 6, and Lavinia 1. Pallas 6 became an ally of Aeneas in Italy, and was killed by Turnus, king of the
Rutulians in Italy who was at war with Aeneas. Lavinia 1 is said to have consorted with Heracles 1 and to have given birth to a child Pallas 7, who died before he reached puberty. The town of Pallantium was named after him as he died there. Evander 2 was still worshipped long afterwards, and when Rome, in historical times, became an Empire, public sacrifices were still performed yearly to him and Carmenta, and altars were erected in their honour in the Aventine and Capitoline hills.
Prince of Athens emigrates
Another who is also said to have emigrated to Italy is Hippolytus 4, Theseus' son. Phaedra, his stepmother,
fell in love with him but was refused since he
hated all women. But Phaedra, fearing that he might accuse her to his father, falsely charged Hippolytus 4 with an assault. King Theseus believed her,
and prayed to Poseidon that Hippolytus 4 might perish. So when the latter was riding in his chariot and driving beside the sea, Poseidon sent up a bull from the surf, and the horses were frightened, the chariot dashed to pieces, and Hippolytus 4, entangled in the reins, was dragged to death. Hippolytus 4 was the son of an Amazon, perhaps Antiope 4, or Hippolyte 3, or Melanippe 6. In any case, Hippolytus 4 is among those who were raised from the dead by Asclepius; so when he returned to life he went to Italy where he became king under the name of Virbius 1. He married Aricia and had a son Virbius 2, but nothing else is known about this family.
Trojan women force Greek men
Also the sisters of King Priam 1 of Troy, Aethylla, Astyoche 4, and Medesicaste 2, came to Italy as captives of the Greeks. But while being there and fearing slavery in Hellas, they set fire to the vessels, forcing the Greeks to settle in Italy. For this deed, the sisters were called Nauprestides. Astyoche 4 had been the wife of Telephus, son of Heracles 1, and was mother of Eurypylus 6, a Mysian killed by Neoptolemus at Troy.
Trojan women force Trojan men
In a similar way, others tell that Trojan refugees came with their vessels and anchored in the river Tiber. Here the women were distressed thinking about the sea and one of them, Roma 1, proposed to the other women to burn the Trojan ships that were anchored, so that their husbands would settle there, instead of sailing again. So they did, and having founded a city, they named it Rome after her.
Trojan traitors come to Italy as emigrants
Also the Trojan Antenor 1, whom the Achaeans spared because his
intervention had saved the lives of Odysseus and Menelaus when they came
to Troy as envoys in order
to demand the restoration of Helen and the property, is
said to have crossed with his children over to
Italy after the Trojan
War. But some have believed that Antenor 1 was spared
because Troy, they say, was
not taken through the trick of the WOODEN HORSE, but by
means of the betrayal of Antenor 1. There are still others who say that it was Aeneas who betrayed the
city of Troy, and that
because of this service the Achaeans allowed him
and his family to safely leave the city. Aeneas, they affirm, had
been excluded from his prerrogatives by King Priam 1 and his son Paris, who could be his
successor after the death of Hector 1. So he
overthrew the king and negotiated with the enemy.
Results of emigration
Of all these emigration waves or already
existing kingdoms, Aeneas' line was the one
to be most successful, as it had been predicted by
Carmentis, and also by Poseidon during the Trojan War:
"Even Zeus might be angry if Achilles killed Aeneas, who after all is destined to
survive and to save the House of Dardanus from
extinction ... Priam's line has fallen out of favor
with Zeus, and now Aeneas shall be King of Troy and shall be followed by his
children's children in the time to come." (Poseidon to the
gods. Homer, Iliad 20.300).
After Aeneas defeated King Turnus of the Rutulians, he married Lavinia 2, daughter of King Latinus 1 of Latium, and in that way he founded the dynasty of the kings of Lavinum and Alba Longa. King Latinus 1, whose parentage is very much in dispute (he is called son of Faunus 1 and Marica, or son of Odysseus and Calypso 3, or son of Telemachus and Circe, or son of Odysseus and Circe, or son of Heracles 1 and an Hyperborean Girl), died in the war, and his wife Amata, who had favored Turnus, hanged herself. Aeneas is then succeeded in the throne by the kings of Alba Longa listed below (see also Throne Succession: From Troy to Rome, and list at Aeneas).
Aeneas' son by his Trojan wife
Aeneas was first succeeded by his son Ascanius 2, son of Creusa 2 or Eurydice 10, who founded Alba and Mount Albanus.
Aeneas' son by his Latin wife
Upon his death, in the 38th year of his reign, Silvius, his half-brother, son of Aeneas and Lavinia 2, succeeded to the rule.
Silvius Aeneas and Latinus 2
Silvius was succeeded by his son Silvius Aeneas, who was in turn succeeded by his brother Latinus 2.
Alba and successors
After Latinus 2 his son Alba became king. Some say that Alba was succeeded by Epytus 2, but others say Capetus 4 was Alba's successor.
After either of them Capys 2 came to the throne. Capys 2 is called son of Epytus 2 and father of Capetus 2, his own successor.
Capetus 2 was succeeded by his son Tiberinus 2, who was also called Tiberius Silvius and drowned in the river Tiber, named after him. Tiberinus 2 undertook a campaign against the Etruscans, but while leading his army across the Alba river he fell into the flood and met his death, whence the name of the river was chosen.
Tiberinus 2 was succeeded either by Agrippa or Acrota
Some say his son Agrippa became king after him, but others say that it was his other son Acrota who succeeded him but soon resigning the throne in favor of Aventinus 2.
Agrippa was succeeded either by Remulus 1 or Allodius
Among those who say that Agrippa was king after Tiberinus 2 there are those who claim that he was succeeded by Allodius while others say the successor was Remulus 1.
This Remulus 1 is sometimes called son of Tiberinus 2 and other times son of Agrippa. Remulus 1 perished by a thunderbolt while striving to imitate the thunder.
Allodius, said by others to have succeeded Agrippa, was of a tyrannical nature and, being contemptuous of the divine powers, he made imitations of lightning and thunder (as it is also said about Remulus 1) terrifying the people as if he were a god. But himself he was slain by a stroke of lightning and his entire house was submerged in the Alban lake.
After Allodius or Remulus 1 or Acrota, Aventinus 2 came to the throne. From him the place and also the hill took their name.
Aventinus 2 was succeeded by Proca, who had two sons Amulius and Numitor 2.
Amulius seizes the kingdom by violence
At Proca's death his younger son Amulius seized the kingship by violence. Some say that he governed by the force of arms and that he vanquished his brother Numitor 2, Romulus' grandfather, and robbed him of power. It is also told that he divided the whole inheritance into two parts, setting the treasures and the gold which had been brought from Troy over against the kingdom, and Numitor 2 chose the kingdom. Amulius, then in possession of the treasure, and made more powerful by it than Numitor 2, easily took the kingdom away from his brother.
Numitor 2's daughter condemned to be a virgin...
But as with power follows the fear of losing it, Amulius tried to prevent Numitor 2's daughter Ilia to have children who could challenge his rule. So, for this purpose he appointed her priestess of Vesta (Hestia), and thus she was bound to live a virgin all her days. However, Ilia got pregnant, which was, for a Vestal, punished with death. She did not suffer the capital punishment because Amulius' daughter Antho interceded successfully on her behalf. That is how Ilia could give birth to the twins Romulus and Remus 1.
The twins exposed
When Amulius learned that the twins were born, he ordered a servant Faustulus to expose them, although some describe him as the shepherd who found the exposed twins, and together with his wife Acca 2 (Acca Larentia) took care of them. When they then were exposed under a wild fig-tree, a she-wolf came and gave them suck, and it is also said that a woodpecker helped in feeding them and watched over them. And as the wolf and the woodpecker are sacred to Mars (Ares), some argue, the children were called sons of Mars. Against this story goes the belief that Amulius, having raped Ilia, became the father of the twins.
The strange Phantom
It is also told that when a certain Tarchetius, a most lawless and cruel man, was king of Alba, he was visited with a strange phantom in his house, namely a phallus rising out of the hearth and remaining there many days. An oracle said to Tarchetius that a virgin must have intercourse with this phantom, and she should bear a son most illustrious for his courage, and of great good fortune and strength. Tarchetius then bade one of his daughters to consort with the phantom, but she sent a handmaid in her stead. When the handmaid gave birth to twins, Tarchetius gave them to Teratius with orders to destroy them, but he carried them to the river-side, and laid them down there. Then a she-wolf visited the children and gave them suck.
Reared by Faustulus
In any case, the twins grew to manhood under the supervision of Faustulus and his wife Acca 2, and both were described as courageous young men afraid of nothing, though Romulus seemed to have better judgement and sharper political sagacity.
The discovery of the truth about the twins leads to change of government
For a time the twins believed they were the children of Faustulus and Acca 2, and so they did at the time when Numitor 2 held Remus 1 as a prisoner for a minor quarrel concerning a matter of cattle. However, when Numitor 2 questioned Remus 1 about his origin he started to believe that there could be a relation with his daughter's pregnancy years ago. So Faustulus was called to Numitor 2, and so were all those who had been concerned with the exposure of the twins. From all this questioning Numitor 2 concluded that he was the grandfather of the twins, and when the twins also realized it, they all agreed that time had come for the restoration of Numitor 2 to the throne. For this purpose they decided to proceed at once to action and revolt against Amulius, Numitor 2 and Remus 1 from inside the city and Romulus, who was commanding an armed force, from without. The revolution was short, for as Amulius did not have the time to make any plans, he was almost immediately arrested and executed.
The Twins leave Alba
But as those who lead a revolt seldom give the power to someone else, the twins were not willing to live in Alba unless as its rulers. However, they could not rule the city while their grandfather Numitor 2 was alive. So they restored the government to him but at the same time decided to found a new city.
Dispute between the Twins
Having vanquished their enemies and being divorced from their grandfather, the twins had no one to quarrel with except themselves. So, while Romulus chose a certain site for the new city, his brother Remus 1 chose another one. And since when humans disagree they might be willing to leave the decision to objects or animals, Romulus and Remus 1 consented in settling their quarrel through the flight of birds of omen. So having taken their seats on the ground apart from one another, Remus 1 saw six vultures and Romulus twelve.
Death of Remus 1
But some say that Romulus lied about that number, and that Remus 1, being aware of the deceit, ridiculed some parts of the work, and obstructed others. At some point, Remus 1 leapt across the new walls of Rome, and for that he was killed either by Romulus or Celer, who was instructed to let no man cross the new walls, and put to death whoever dared to do so. Ignorant of this, Remus 1 mocked the lowly walls and leaped across them, being immediately killed by Celer.
First Civil War
In the battle that followed, for this one was Rome's first civil war, Faustulus, who reared the twins, and his brother Pleistinus, who had assisted him in rearing them, were killed. After having buried them along with his brother, Romulus proceeded to build his city, taking counsel from people from Tuscany, who prescribed all the details in accordance with certain sacred ordinances. They say that Rome was considered as founded in the third year of the sixth Olympiad, which should be in 754 BC.
The abduction of the Sabine women
After having organized all aspects of civil and military life and shortly after the foundation of the city, the rape of the Sabine women was perpetrated during a religious ceremony offered to the god Consus (Counsel), whose altar Romulus claimed to have discovered. Romulus appointed by proclamation a sacrifice, and invited all people to the games and spectacle. Among these the Sabines had come, and at a signal from Romulus his soldiers drew their swords and ravished away the daughters of the Sabines, letting the men to escape, for, as they claimed, their purpose had been to blend the two peoples together.
Number of abducted
Some say that the ravished Sabine maidens were only 30, but others say 527, and still others 683, and that among them there was only one married woman, Hersilia, who some say was married to Hostilius, while others say she was married to Romulus himself.
The Sabines would have reacted with war, had not their women being held by the Romans. So instead they tried to persuade Romulus through embassies, but they had no effect. Then Acron 3, king of the Caeninenses, who since the ravishing of the Sabine women had been suspicious of Romulus, advanced against him with a great force. However, that army was routed by Romulus, who also killed Acron 3 in single combat. But he promised the defeated that they should be Roman citizens on equal terms with the rest.
Afraid of the growing power of the new city, several other Sabine kingdoms raised in arms against Rome, but they were likewise defeated, and as always, Rome united and incorporated the conquered, distributing the territory among the citizens
Last war against the Sabines. The treason of Tarpeia 2
Finally the Sabines sent their own ruler, King Tatius, against Rome. The citadel was defended by Tarpeius, but his daughter Tarpeia 2 betrayed it to the Sabines, because she coveted the golden armlets which she saw the Sabines wearing. These armlets she asked as payment for her treachery. King Tatius was delighted and agreed, whereupon Tarpeia 2 opened one of the gates by night. When the Sabine army came in, Tatius took not only his armlet but also his shield, and casting them upon her, instructed the army to effect the payment in that way. As all men followed his example Tarpeia 2 was buried under the mass of metal, and died from its weight. This is why it has been said that those who offer to betray are loved, but those who have betrayed are hated. But some have said that Tarpeia 2 was a daughter of Tatius living with Romulus under compulsion.
Appeal of the Sabine Women
7834: Peter Hencke (d. 1777): The Rape of the Sabines. Ivory. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
The Sabines being now masters of the citadel, several encounters took place, but there was no victor. As the battles continued, the Sabine women, who had now being Roman citizens long enough, seeing their fathers fighting their husbands, came out to the battlefield with their children in their arms, and both armies, thus moved to compassion, drew apart to give the women place between the lines of battle. So they reproached the Sabine army:
"You did not come to avenge us while we were still maidens, but now you would tear wives from their husbands and mothers from their children. If you have to, then carry us with your sons-in-law and their children, and so restore to us our fathers and kindred, but do not rob us of our children and husbands." (The Sabine women. Plutarch, Parallel Lives Romulus 19.4).
This kind of appeal led finally to a truce and a peace conference, which resulted in a peace treaty stating, among other things, that Rome should be inhabited by both Romans and Sabines in equal terms, and that Romulus and Tatius should be joint kings and commanders of the army. In similar manner, they adopted each other's customs, and instituted new feasts and sacrifices which they shared.
Murder of the Ambassadors and death of Tatius
Five years after these events, some kinsmen of Tatius attacked the ambassadors of Laurentum on their way to Rome, rob them of their money and killed them. This was the only occasion of dissent between Romulus and Tatius, because Romulus wished to punish the perpetrators at once, while Tatius tried to turn aside the course of justice. However, the friends of the ambassadors took justice in their own hands, falling upon Tatius as he was sacrificing at Lavinium, and killed him. Romulus, who was together with Tatius, was spared by the murderers and escorted by them with loud praises of his sense of justice. Romulus buried Tatius but he never took any steps to prosecute his murderers, saying that murder had been requited with murder. For this performance, he was suspected of being secretly pleased of having got rid of his colleague. This episode had no consequences and caused no disturbances in the government. But some time later, when a plague fell upon the city and all agreed that it was caused by the miscarriage of justice in the cases of the death of Tatius and the ambassadors, the murderers on both sides were delivered and punished.
La Grandeur de Romulus
After these events Romulus waged and won several wars, but it is said that he renounced his popular ways, and dressing a scarlet tunic and over it a toga bordered with purple, sat like an absolute tyrant on a recumbent throne while giving audience. He is said to have annoyed the patricians in the senate, whose counsel he did not seek in important decisions.
Discontent and Disappearance
So one day he disappeared without leaving any trace. Some affirm that Romulus was killed by the patricians for releasing the hostages he had taken after the war against the Veientes, and for no longer comporting himself in the same manner toward the original citizens, and for exercising his power more like a tyrant than a king. Those who conspired against him divided his body in pieces and then came out of the senate-house, each one hiding his part of the body under his robes.
Others say that he disappeared while holding an assembly outside the city. Sudden and strange disorders filled the air, and the sun's light failing, night came upon the assembled with thunders and rain. When the storm had ceased and the multitude returned, they sought for King Romulus without finding him. So in order to appease the people, the nobles said that Romulus had been caught up into heaven, and was now to be a benevolent god just as before he had been a benevolent king. From that time Romulus has been worshipped as a god.
The story of Proculus
Later, a patrician Julius Proculus swore that as he was traveling on the road, he had met Romulus, and that he had told him:
"It was the pleasure of the gods, from whom I came, that I should dwell again in heaven. Tell the Romans that if they practise self-restraint, and add courage to it, they will reach the utmost heights of human power. And I will be your propitious deity Quirinus." (Plutarch, Parallel Lives Romulus 28.3).
And believing Proculus' testimony, everyone put aside all suspicion of murder and started praying to Quirinus, honouring him as a god, and supposing that not only his soul but also his body were in heaven. Romulus' wife was likewise said to have gone up with a star to heaven where she was received by her husband and made immortal. Since then she has been called Hora 1.
The name of Rome
The origin of the name of the city founded by Romulus has been disputed. Some believe that it was named after Romulus. Others say that the city was called after Roma 1, who had the idea of burning the Trojan ships that were anchored in the Tiber (see above). It has also been said that Rome was named after Roma 2, the daughter of Italus and Leucaria, or as some say, daughter of Telephus, the son of Heracles 1. Still others believe that the city was named after Roma 3, daughter of Roma 1. Roma 3 is said to have wedded King Latinus 1 and to have given birth to the twins Romulus and Remus 1. Romanus, son of Odysseus and Circe, has also been said to be at the origin of the name of Rome. It has also been told that Romis, tyrant of the Latins, gave his name to the city of Rome, after he had driven out the Tuscans, who had migrated from Thessaly into Lydia, and from Lydia into Italy. Rome is also said to have been called after Romus, son either of Phorbas 9, or of Aeneas, or of Latinus 1 and Roma 3, or of Odysseus and Circe, or of Ascanius 2, or of Emathion 3, or of Italus and Leucaria.