Happy Birthday, Rome!
On this day in 753 BC (or so the story goes), twin brothers Romulus and Remus founded the great city of Rome. But the story before this founding is as wild and interesting as anything that came after it.
Romulus and Remus were the grandsons of Numitor, King of Alba Longa (along Italy’s Lake Albano). Before they were born, Numitor’s brother, Amulius, seized the king’s throne for himself—killing Numitor’s male heirs and locking-up his female descendants. Alas, Numitor’s daughter, Rhea Silvia, was sentenced to life as a Vestal Virgin. But the god, Mars, had other plans. He came to Rhea Silvia and the famous twin brothers were conceived.
When the new king, Amulius, discovered the offspring, they were immediately thrown into the Tibur River and left to drown. Fortunately, they were carried downstream where they were discovered by a “She-Wolf” who suckled them to health. Additionally, a woodpecker fed them!
The boys were raised to be simple shepherds. Because of their inherited leadership abilities, however, each began to attract many followers. When they eventually discovered their high-born status, they travelled back to their rightful homeland, killed the imposter Amulius, and restored Numitor to his throne.
Rather than wait for the throne of Alba Longa to pass to them, the impatient twins chose to set-off and found their own great city 12 miles away. During a quarrel over which hill would be the best site, Romulus killed Remus and named the new city after himself, “Rome.”
The Italian pewter candlesticks, pictured above, were not made in Rome—they were made in Tuscany, an Italian region two hours to the north. However, one can take comfort in the fact that modern transport between Rome and Tuscany is probably equivalent to the walking time between Rome and Alba Longa in the time of Romulus and Remus.
Please click on the photo above to learn more about the candlesticks.
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