The Story of Romulus and Remus
Romulus and Remus, the twin sons of the god of war, Mars, founded Rome. When Romulus and Remus were born their wicked uncle, the king, tried to kill them. He set the two babies afloat on the river in a basket planning for them to drown.
Instead, the babies floated down the Tiber River and drifted to shore. As they drifted to shore, a she-wolf was drinking from the river. Not long before, she had lost a litter of cubs. She looked at the babies and wondered, “Could these be her lost cubs?” Eagerly, she pulled them from the basket and took them to her den. There she fed and cared for Romulus and Remus as if they were her own cubs.
After many years, Romulus and Remus grew into brave young men. They had a band of young shepherds and farmers who followed them. With this band, they decided to found a new city. Then the trouble began. Who would rule the new city? Both Romulus and Remus wanted to rule. They agreed to let the gods decide.
Remus stood on top of a hill called Aventine. Romulus stood on top of the hill called Palatine. Both brothers waited for a sign from the gods. Soon six vultures flew over the Aventine. The followers of Remus cheered. Before they could proclaim Remus king, however, there was another sign: twelve vultures flew over the Palatine where Romulus was standing. The two brothers and their followers began to
argue. There had been two signs, but who then, should be King? In the end, Romulus was named King, for twice as many vultures had appeared over his hill.
On that very same day, Rome fought its first “war.” Newly kinged Romulus began to build a wall for his city. Since Romulus had just begun, the wall was only a foot high. Remus, who was still angry about not being chosen as King, began to tease and harass his brother. “Do you call that a wall?” he asked. “This is what your enemies will do to it!” and he jumped over the short wall.
“Then this is what my enemies will get!” cried Romulus. He attacked Remus and killed him. The legend says that Romulus, who already had magical powers from being the son of a god, had his powers double that day when he killed his twin brother. Thus, Romulus became the founder of the city, and its first King. He named the city after himself; he called it Rome.