Palatine Hill and the Foundation of Rome >> Part 1 !

According to Livy, Rome was founded on April 21st 753 B.C. on Palatine Hill, the hill located in the center of #SevenHills of #AncientRome.

It all started there, yes surprisingly at a location not far away from a swamp (lat.Velabrum, nowadays colosseum areal) on a hill which we today would not even call a hill(*the ancient roman city's street level is located 36 feet underneath).But there she is the city of Rome defining 2771 years of #history and being still a landmark in Europe.

#Rome was founded in 753 B.C. by none other than #Romulus, Brother of #Remus, sons of #RheaSilvia, which in turn was the daughter of "Numitor", brother of his younger brother #Amulius.

The Colosseum as seen from Palatine Hill,Picture by Dennis van den Worm

#Numitor, the son of "#Procas" who in turn was the grandson of "#Aeneas", (founding a new city after war in the area of italy which is related later to the Etruscans) trojan who fought alongside #Hector in the 'Trojan War' against the greeks. The war which was mentioned by the author #Homer in his epic poem most likely 600 years after the #TrojanWar took place (*if it occurred*) between the years 750 and 650 B.C.

And like so many other this story started with a legend, the legend with a guilt and the guilt brought forth a #hero.

Roman Coins, pictured by Nikita Andreev

Times were hard in the city of #AlbaLonga in 753 B.C. Amulius was usurper at that time, meaning he had no respect for the last will of his father and had overthrown his older brother King Numitor to take control over the city. What he did not know at that time was that his brother Numitor should been put back on throne soon by his grandsons 'Romulus and Remus' as the 15th and the last king in the line of Albani kings.

Amulius out of fear that her future sons could overthrow him (*he anticipated it actually the righty way) ordered Rhea Silvia, daughter of Numitor, his niece to become a so called vestal virgin with a reason. A priestess of the goddess Vesta was not allowed to get children(*meaning he wanted to end the line of his brother and killed his male heirs and therefore forced Numitors daughter Rhea Silvia to become a priestress) and with that that alone he felt safe. But how it often goes the end of the #story turned out to be another and Rhea Silvia was visited almost haunted by the god of war #Mars(Ares). Mars it is said lay with Rhea Silvia. "However, the author #Livy claims that Rhea Silvia was in fact raped by an unknown stranger, but blamed her pregnancy on divine conception. In either case, Rhea Silvia was discovered to be pregnant and gave no matter what birth to her sons.

A wolf like that might have raised Romulus and Remus, Photo by Michael LaRosa

It was custom that any Vestal Virgin betraying her vows of chastity was condemned to death; the most common death sentence was to be buried alive. However, King Amulius, fearing the wrath of the paternal god (Mars or Hercules) did not wish to directly stain his hands with the mother's and children's blood. So, King Amulius imprisoned Rhea Silvia and ordered the twins' death by means of live burial, exposure, or being thrown into the Tiber River. He reasoned that if the twins were to die not by the sword but by the elements, he and his city would be saved from punishment by the gods. He ordered a servant to carry out the death sentence, but in every scenario of this myth, the servant takes pity on the twins and spares their lives", @Brittany Garcia, published on 18 April 2018 in Left alone and placed by this 'good soul' servant into a basket they drifted along the riverbank as a she wolf found the basket intercepted by branches of a fig tree and decided to drag the boys out of the river to bring them into her cave on top of #PalatineHill (*some sources mention in this context a location underneath the spot where centuries later the house of #Livia was established).

Guttae, pictured by Dogancan Ozturan

And there the myth takes a pleasant turn, the she wolf (lat.#lupa) decides to raise the twins and adopt them as her own siblings. Woodpeckers provide them with food end eventually a shepherd named Faustulus takes care of the two twins and brings them back to the city they once been expelled from.

This decisive turn is of course is an allusion to the world of tragic drama implemented earlier in the #epic #tragedy writing of the classic #greeks, that one mortal can not change the coarse of history if the wills of the gods do not side him...

Yes, the #Palatine #Hill is where all that took place and if you want to find out more you just need to read the next post

'Rise of Romulus and Remus' - the Aftermath and the #Genesis of Rome.


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SM Morgan 

Santa Monica, USA