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:

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The first to deny any historicity to the figure of Romulus, the founder of Rome, was Barthold Georg Niebuhr, in the first volume of his Storia romana, published in 1813. In his opinion at least, the figure, from his miraculous birth to his equally miraculous ascent to heaven, was an ensemble of legends, formed from the most varied elements: the sagas that circulated in ancient Latium and which could have been transmitted orally, and those spread by Greek historians, who, from at least the fourth century, were interested in Rome and its most ancient history. There were violent attacks on Niebuhr, who was in those years the Prussian ambassador in Rome, chiefly from spheres closely connected to the Curia; since, by denying the historicity of Romulus, he was also denying the passing of the legitimacy of the Roman empire.

Keywords: historicity; Romulus; Rome; Barthold Georg Niebuhr; Storia romana; sagas; Curia; Roman empire

Chapter.  2568 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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