The disappearance of the founder: Romulus ‘cut into pieces’ or his apotheosis

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 disappearance of the founder: Romulus ‘cut into pieces’ or his apotheosis

Show Summary Details


The death of the first king, Romulus the founder, constituted a problem on many levels for the Romans. Dionysius of Halicarnassus spoke of ‘many different stories’, various accounts on which there were evidently no agreement. According to one of these – a version Dionysius considered ‘rather fabulous’ – Romulus disappeared during a review of the army ‘in the camp’. Suddenly there occurred supernatural phenomena that obscured the light, or somehow removed Romulus from everyone's sight, and when these phenomena ceased, the throne was empty. After searching in vain, the people finally understood – or were made to understand – that the king had ascended to heaven to be among the gods, or better, that he had been swept up into heaven by his father Mars, and therefore was numbered among them.

Keywords: Romulus; Romans; Dionysius of Halicarnassus; supernatural phenomena; gods; Mars

Chapter.  11076 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.