Chapter

The twins

Augusto Fraschetti

in The Foundation of Rome

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780748621200
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651030 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621200.003.0001
The twins

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The sole common component in the legends about the birth of the twins Romulus and Remus is that they were sons of a Vestal Virgin called Rhea Silvia. It was not difficult to show that this story of the conception of Romulus and Remus by a slave girl and a male organ which had miraculously materialised in the hearth of King Tarchetius of Alba was modelled on a legend concerning the birth of the good king Servius Tullius, the sixth successor of Romulus, conceived according to legend in very similar manner in the house of the king Tarquinius Priscus. However, when Amulius learnt that the girl was pregnant, he put her under strict supervision, and when the twins were born, had her locked up in a dark dungeon and ordered some of his shepherds to throw the twins into the Tiber to drown.

Keywords: twins; Romulus; Remus; Vestal Virgin; Rhea Silvia; Tarchetius of Alba; Servius Tullius; Tarquinius Priscus; Amulius; Tiber

Chapter.  10605 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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