The foundation

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:
The foundation

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This chapter pays more attention to certain highly typical features related to the auspices and the death of Remus. With regard to the auspices, it notes those of the twins' attributes that might be described as ‘natural’. Without anyone ever having instructed them in the reading of the auspices and the relevant soothsaying skills, both prepare a true templum (a ritually defined space) on a preordained high point to receive ‘auspicia impetrativa’. From these spaces, they set about observing the signs, just as later, in the historical period, observers would study the omens from the city's two auguracula. The birds which Romulus sees are in exactly twice the number seen by his brother: this means that Romulus has better auspices, just as in the historical period the senior magistrates possess ‘auspicia maxima’ relative to the junior magistrates such as aediles and quaestors, who hold ‘auspicia minora’.

Keywords: auspices; death; Remus; twins; templum; omens; auguracula; Romulus

Chapter.  13390 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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