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The Story of Romulus and Remus
The Birth of Rome
First published April 19, 2010
at Hubpages.com

          A study of the Roman Empire, its Emperors, and the coins they issued can not be fully enjoyed without an understanding of the mythology and beliefs surrounding Rome’s birth.
          The City of Rome (VRBS ROMA Latin) is reputed to have been born when Romulus killed his brother Remus on the fine spring day of April 21, 753 BC.
          There is a lot to cover on this subject, and it is easy to get sidetracked with related points, issues and possibilities, so I shall get right into it. I won’t speculate on what might have been had Remus won that fateful fight and killed his brother Romulus; such as the word ‘romance’ being ‘remance’, and The Eternal City of Rome being called The Eternal City of Reme. I shall not even think about the mellifluous ‘Bella Roma’ being transmogrified into a cat-scratch cacophony of ‘Bella Rema’. 'All roads lead to Reme?' I shall try not to from this point forward.

(33mm 23.77grms)
Severus Alexander AE32 of Pisidia, Antioch
 Obverse: IMP CAES SEVER ALEXANDER, laureate head right
Reverse: COL CAES ANTIOCH, she-wolf and twins right, SR in exergue
Lindgren 1222, BMC 64
(I purchased this coin from Harlan J. Berk, Ltd.)

          This coin is the size of a silver dollar and about twice as thick. It is made of bronze, and was issued by Severus Alexander. Caesar 221-222 AD, Augustus 222-235 AD.

The Birth of Rome - (April 21, 753 B.C.)

           The oldest evidence of humans living in what is now called Italy dates from the Bronze Age of around 1500 BC. It wasn't until nearly 800 years later, in 753 B.C., that a permanent 'Roman'settlement was begun. How that settlement came to be, and who built and named it is at the heart of this story; a story turned legend; turned myth.
           Two closely related peoples lived in the area before the permanent settlement was begun. They were the Latins and Sabines. Their story involves a she-wolf saving twin baby boys, fighting and murder, heroes, villains, love, rape, and hate. It is the story of the founding of ‘the eternal city’ of Rome, and the beginning of the Roman culture.
           The story of Romulus and Remus begins with a King named Numitor who was overthrown and imprisoned by his brother. Numitor was the king of Alba Longa. The brother that overthrew him was named Amulius.
           Amulius was not only a mean and violent brother, he was a very frightened and frightening king. When he saw that his brother's daughter, Rhea Silva, might give birth to a boy child that might challenge his right to the thrown, he sent her off to become a priestess with the Vestal Virgins.
          He believed that making her become a virgin priestess would eliminate the chance of an heir ever challenging him for the thrown. What he did not expect was for a god to intervene. Mars, the god of war, visited Rhea Silva and left her pregnant with twin boys. When these twins were born, Mars returned, took them far away and cast them into the Tiber River. The river water was high and turbulent as they drifted down stream. As it lowered, the tired and hungry boys were washed ashore. Before they died, however, a she-wolf, with the help of a woodpecker, found and began to care for them. It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the woodpecker and the wolf are sacred to the god Mars.
          Under a fig tree, the she-wolf warmed and nursed the twin baby boys back to health.

(20mm 3.66grms)
Sex. Pompeius Fostlus. Silver Denarius,  c.133-126 BC. Rome Mint
Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma rt., X  below chin and jug behind.
Reverse: SEX.  POM. FOSTLVS, wolf  rt. suckling the Twins, shepard
on lt., birds  on fig tree behind, ROMA in exergue.
RSC  Pompeia 1
(Wikipedia Commons)
          This Roman Republic coin was issued by Sextus Pompeius. He was the paternal uncle of triumvir Pompey the Great.

          The boys grew big and strong under the care of the she-wolf and woodpecker. Day followed day followed years while the she-wolf nursed and the woodpecker stood sentry. Life moved along and life was safe. Then one calm and sunny day while the boys and she-wolf were resting in the shade of the fig tree, the woodpecker was alerted to a sound. They looked up to see a shepherd named Faustulus, pushing through the leaves and branches. Faustulus was taken by surprise when he saw the twins resting with a she-wolf. He had merely wanted a better look at the woodpecker. However, finding the boys in need of human care, he took them home to his wife Acca Larentia. Acca Larentia, who was also known as Lobus (The Wolf), loved, nursed, and 

By: Anthony Ballatore

Roman Emperors & their Coins

0) Ancient Roman Coins On Ebay

1) When, where & why were coins first made?

2) The Story of Romulus and Remus & The Birth of Rome

3) The Roman Republic

4) Julius Caesar and the Death of the Republic

5) Augustus Caesar: The First Roman Emperor

6) Tiberius Caesar: The First Julio-Claudian Heir

7) Caligula: The first really crazy Caesar

8) Claudius: A level headed Caesar?

9) Nero: The Last Julio-Claudian Heir

Websites worth knowing:

By far the single best location for identifying, evaluating, and touring ancient coins. This link will direct you to their seach engines. Enjoy.

Along with WildWinds, this is a site of the highest regard, accurate information, and ethical policies; 'AUTHENTICITY GUARANTEED FOR ETERNITY' says it all.

Frank S. Robinson is a unique individual. I have more respect for Mr. Robinson than any other coin dealer.  His book 'The Case for Rational Optimism' (2009) will most likely leave you with this same perspective. If his book doesn't, dealing with him will. He is often mistaken for Neil Armstrong. :-)

Harlan J. Berk, Ltd.
Located in Chicago, Harlan J. Berk, Ltd. is an excellent location for both common and rare coins; often of
museum quality.

Reid Goldsborough's web pages are well written, educational, the first site to read regarding counterfiet coins. This site is hosted for free by VCoins.

A commercial coin and information site established December 3, 1998.  Their code of ethics and years of operation speaks loudly.

Another commercial coin and information site.

One of our sites dedicated to pens, ink, quills, books, writing, reading, history, and anything else that envolves language, art, and ideas.

raised the twins until they become strong young men.
         As the brothers grew, their adventures grew along with them. With each new adventure, they would wander farther and staying away longer. Knowing that the twins would eventually leave and not return, Larentia took the time she had left to tell the twins of their past. When the boys learned of their grandfather's imprisonment by his brother Amulius, they set out for revenge. How could a brother do such a thing to another brother? This was a matter they had to attend to immediately.
         They returned to Alba Longa and set their grandfather free and murdered his brother Amulius. With that done, they returned to the place near the Tiber River where their father, Mars, had placed them under the care of the she-wolf and woodpecker. The surveyed the land near and around the fig tree. They noticed seven hills. Romulus built a camp on Palatine Hill. Remus built camp at Quirinal Hill. Palatine and Quirinal Hill are two of the Seven Hills of Rome.
         One day Romulus began building a wall around his camp. With the wall built, Romulus invited all murders, thieves, slaves, and outcasts to his camp. He offered them safety behind his walls.
         Remus noticed the attention Romulus was getting with his wall and became jealous and insecure. He started to criticize his brother and the wall. The wall was not very high, and at one point Remus said he would show his brother how sad a wall he had to offer, and jumped over it laughing. Romulus became so furious that he attacked and killed Remus. Then, to further demonstrate how personal his village was to him, he named it after himself. The village of Romulus was named Roma (Rome).
         It wasn't long before Romulus noticed that the slaves, thieves, murderers, and outcasts that populated Rome were primarily men. He remembered how a great deal of the Sabines, who occupied the camp Remus had built on Quirinal Hill, were women. Romulus organized his men, announced a huge party, and invited the entire Sabine camp. When they were all drunk and sleeping, he and his men stole a large number of the Sabine women. This upset the Sabine men very much. However, as time pasted, the Sabine women found husbands and started families. Their families back at the Sabine village convinced the Sabine men that they were safe, well provided for, and not in danger. They begged the Sabines to forgive Romulus and his men and make peace. From that time on, the two hills joined to make a bigger and stronger Rome.
         The great city of Rome that exists today had begun its march through time.

Remember to insure all of your coins, and keep them in a safety deposit box; not at home.

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