Sunday, 6 March 2011

Romulus: The Legendary Founder

Every great civilization has its humble beginnings!

Legend says that Rome was founded by Romulus, twin of Remus, who then became the first King of Rome. I won't elaborate on the legend since it has very little historical foundation. As a matter of fact, Romulus may not have existed at all, as we will see at a later date when I talk about the historicity of events in the Republic.

One thing that seems certain is that Rome was founded on the Palatine Hill, possibly by an individual named Romulus.  When Romulus completes his city he 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 focused on the patron-client relationship.

Thus, according to legend, Romulus established the very principles on which the entire Republic is based! And all of this around 750 BC.


  1. fascinating bit of history here.

  2. When I read your post I got curious about the name Remus. Do you know in french it is Remy? (yes, like the one from ratatouille)