Talk:Romulus and Remus

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Early comments[edit]

Would it be worth mention to point out the parallels with the recent case of the Chilean child who was nursed by a pack of feral dogs? Of course, that child was not an infant, but it still suggests the scenario is not quite as outlandish as previously thought. Just mostly. :) -- April

Sure. I actually had a student raise her hand last week when I asked "how many of you were raised by wolves?" My point was that they all ought to have had some experience of a built environmnet, but maybe she was being truthful? MichaelTinkler

  • Heh. Or her family keeps canines in the house... It's just fun to speculate that at the bottom of the 20-odd Roman stories of mythological figures raised by wolves (wasn't Atalanta?) there might have been one actual event similar to the Chilean incident. :) -- April

It is somewhat confusing that our text mentions first Tiberius then Faustulus who has saved the twins. We do not seem to be consistent. What is the source of the word "Tiberius"? If they are two names of the same person, we should indicate it. I.e., Faustulus or Tiberius, or: Faustulus, a.k.a (also called as) Tiberius. Is not it a confusion for the River Tiberius, if the babies were left on its shore? Similar confusion exists at Loba. Was she the same person as Acca Larentia? The latter word may refer to the Lares, domestic gods of the Romans that are actually Romulus and remus, it appears.

The last part of the new text is a bit long and too detailed but it is the cornerstone of the ancient chronology of the world. (It may be shifted under Rome's foundation but then the birth and death of Romulus would be quite irrelavent there.) The three solar eclipses shall be mentioned here TOGETHER. They are actually six but the other three belong to the Greek history. For example, the total eclipse of Odysseus is detailed under our "Penelope" for now. It occurred on April 16, 1178 BCE. Since total eclipses can be observed from the same place only once in 410 years (an average figure of astronomers), these eclipses provide exclusive absolute dates for us. The other two Greek eclipses are as follow: The expulsion of the last Roman king (end of 506, or February 23, 505 BCE in the new system) can be dated, bacause 28 years later (or, in the 28th year as one may believe) Xerxes crossed over to Greece with his army (Polybius, The Histories III, 22. 1-2) and that event is fixed to 478 BCE (as Hind and Chambers, 1889:323 observed long ago) by two solar eclipses. (The modern 509 BCE date is not well supported as absolute date.) Herodotus VII, 37 and VIII, 131 and IX, 1) testifies these two solar eclipses (fifth and sixth) as follow: When Xerxes was departing from Sardis, before crossing over to Greece, the Sun disappeared (on February 17, 478 BCE). Also in the next year, after the return of Cleombrotus to Sparta a solar eclipse was seen on August 1, 477 BCE. There are no other candidates for these eclipses and they fix harmoniously the Greek and Roman chronology. (Z.S., contact

I think the above should be put into the article on solar eclipses -- there's a little bit there on historical eclipses already. -- Tarquin

Thanks. It would be great to put this under solar eclipses as well. The details of the three eclipses detailed under Romulus and Remus can be shifted there, as important information for astronomers, etc. However, it would be nice to leave at least the three absolute dates of the three (Roman) eclipses within Romulus and Remus at least. The observation of Tarquin/Tarquin is good, and anyone should feel free to add cross-references, mention something short of it under many other relevant articles if accepted by the co-editors. Also, it is a questionmark form me if Sun or sun shall be written. As a celestial object, it is Sun, but you may render it to a civil or common "sun." (

re KT's query. It was the practice in many cultures to dispose of sickly children by leaving them outside at night. Although falling short of the crime of murder, this effectively doomed them to death from exposure or wild beasts. More recently, the practice was used to dispose of unwanted

children (ie girls) in China. Even in English law infanticide (aged under 1 year) is a lesser crime than murder. jimfbleak 07:23 May 15, 2003 (UTC)

You failed to mention that the two were the sons of the priestess AND the god Ares. This is important to the story because Romulus would in the end be taken back by his father and made a god, according to legend.

What's the deal with the "god of Mars?" is that supposed to be "the god, Mars"? Paul 19:12, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC) –––– I agree that the content lacks clarity. There is no certainty stated as to whether Romulus was a mythical or real person. Also, the origination of the writings on Romulus and Remus is vague and not listed as texts. 2601:603:1B7F:8B3E:B4C7:CBC6:1900:B0BD (talk) 03:07, 9 October 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Eclipse and dating stuff[edit]

I don't understand the eclipse and dating stuff being in this article. It does not directly relate to Romulus and Remus. It also, it seems to me, goes against the general consensus on Romulus and Remus, which is that they're legendary figures who didn't really exist - thus, giving the "correct" dates for Romulus's reign doesn't make a great deal of sense. Any way we can move it to somewhere else? john k 19:27, 15 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

I agree and have moved the entire section here, for inspection Zany or scientific, it is a definitive example of "Original research". I did add the quote from Velleius Paterculus, which gives the flavor of the foundation this house of cards is built upon. (Wetman 20:54, 15 May 2005 (UTC))[reply]

Redating the founding of Rome[edit]

"A new study claims to supersede the traditional date given by Varro, that is used worldwide, though never scientifically confirmed. The foundation of Rome took place 437 years after the capture of Troy (1182 BC), According to the Roman history of Velleius Paterculus (Book I.8.5), who sometimes uses Cato's dating system but here uses Varro's:
In the sixth Olympiad, two and twenty years after the first establishment of the Olympic games, Romulus the son of Mars, after avenging the wrongs of his grandfather, founded the city of Rome on the Palatine on the day of the festival of the Parilia... This event took place four hundred and thirty-seven years after the capture of Troy." [1]
"If the founding of Rome by the son of Mars accompanied by his eponymous grandfather Latinus be taken not as myth but as history, it can be said to have taken place shortly before a solar eclipse that was observed at Rome, now being associated with one on June 25, 745 BC which had a magnitude of 50.3%; its beginning occurred at 16:38, its middle at 17:28, and its end at 18:16.
"Varro may have used the consular list with its mistakes, and called the year of the first consuls "245 ab urbe condita" (a.u.c., "from the founding of the city"). He may have accepted from Dionysius of Halicarnassus an interval of 244 years for the kings after the foundation of Rome. Some modern historians claim that an era ab urbe condita did not, in reality, exist in the ancient world, and the use of reckoning the years in this way is modern.
"According to an obscure 16th-century astrologer, Lucius Tarrutius of Firmum, Romulus was conceived in the womb on the 23rd day of the Egyptian month Choiac, at the time of a total eclipse of the Sun. (This eclipse occurred on June 15, 763 BC, with a magnitude of 62.5% at Rome. Its beginning took place at 6:49, its middle at 7:47 and its end at 8:51.) He was born on the 21st day of the month Thoth. The first day of Thoth fell on March 2 in that year (Prof. E.J. Bickerman, 1980: 115). It means that Rhea Sylvia's pregnancy lasted for 281 days. Rome was founded on the ninth day of the month Pharmuthi, which was the 21st of April, as universally agreed.
"The Romans add that about the time Romulus started to build the city, an eclipse of the Sun was observed by Antimachus, the Teian poet, on the 30th day of the lunar month. This eclipse (see above) had a magnitude of 54.6% at Teos, Asia Minor. It started at 17:49 it was still eclipsed at sunset, at 19:20. Romulus vanished in the 54th year of his life, on the Nones of Quintilis (July), on a day when the Sun was darkened. The day turned into night, which sudden darkness was believed to be an eclipse of the Sun. It occurred on July 17, 709 BC, with a magnitude of 93.7%, beginning at 5:04 and ending at 6:57. (All these eclipse data have been calculated by Prof. Aurél Ponori-Thewrewk, retired director of the Planetarium of Budapest.) Plutarch placed it in the 37th year from the foundation of Rome, on the fifth of our July, then called Quintilis, on "Caprotine Nones", Livy (I, 21) also states that Romulus ruled for 37 years."
  • It's not entirely original research, as Wikipedia defines it. A secondary source analysing the dating, in the fourth paragraph, by Lucius Tarrutius of Firmum (in addition to the source actually cited in the text itself) can be found here, for example. Wikipedia should certainly be a tertiary source for such things. Uncle G 09:24, 2005 May 26 (UTC)


he was ruling for 50 years


In the Latin, the word for the birds counted by the twins in augury is vultur, vulturis, obviously the root word for the English "vulture" but also translated as "big bird" and perhaps even refering to eagles, which were though to have a special relationship with Zues.

Plutarch describes the bird as one that "lives on carrion", so vulture seems like a good translation given this context. Burritok (talk) 19:15, 31 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]

a naive "biography"[edit]

The sources for these mythic details need to be distinguished from time to time: "as Virgil said..." etc. It currently reads as if we imagine these are biographical details. --Wetman 20:38, 21 September 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Perhaps it wshould be noted that "she-wolf", in Latin, was a fairly common euphemism for "prostitute" (or so claims my Latin teacher; I have no sources to back this up).

...perhaps the result of too many late-night viewing of "Ilsa, She-wolf of the SS"? --Wetman 05:42, 28 September 2005 (UTC)[reply]


A couple of times an image was added, and removed again. Couldn't figure out why. Why not add this image? It wasn't added before (I think) and it seems perfect. Garion96 20:33, 14 October 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Someone added a picture but I changed it to this one. The other image had an unknown copyright status and will probably be deleted soon. Garion96 21:11, 16 October 2005 (UTC)[reply]

I think the fact that the call prostitutes 'she-wolf' would be in reference to the fact that wolves were very frowned upon in such time and whilst the twins could have possibly been raised by a prostitue there is a good chance that was not intended. The wolf is a sacred beast to the god mars and to me it seems that could be the significance to Lupa. I mean if you wish to look at it in a mythical sense, it seems likely Mars would send one of his creatures to save the boys.

The two meanings of "lupa"[edit]

I don't really know that it's relevant, and I've never heard any "confusion" among scholars about the Romulus and Remus myth, but after seeing what could be the start of an edit war I figured I'd post and confirm that, yes, lupa does mean both she-wolf and prostitute.[2] Seems to me it's probably some first-year Latin student very impressed with himself that he found out that they're the same word. Still, it deserves looking into before reverting it blindly again; maybe it deserves mention somewhere, I don't know. I know it's hard to assume good faith when it's a couple of anons posting this kind of subject matter, but... Kafziel 02:18, 28 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]




  1. A title or brief explanation attached to an illustration or cartoon.

Emphasis added.

Um. Yeah. The caption for the initial picture is ENTIRELY too long. -- MusicMaker5376 20:07, 22 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Two seperate articles[edit]

Shouldn't there be two different articles for each of the twins? Or at least one on the legend and another on the rule of Romulus as the first king of Rome? TarquiniusWikipedius 02:30, 29 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Why? We don't have separate articles on Cain and Abel, Castor and Pollux, Fred and George Weasley, Patty and Selma Bouvier, or countless others. -Silence 11:48, 29 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I think because Romulus went on (in myth at least) to do much more after the death of Remus. The two can only be linked for the first 20 some years of their lives. (talk) 00:29, 13 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]


Romulus and remus are on my comic strip for school —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) . 14:25, 23 May 2006


The king-to-be of Rome (whether it was to be Romulus or Remus), was decided over augury. They stood in separate areas and counted the birds that flew overhead. Romulus saw more birds and therefore became king.

Remus, when Romulus was building the walls to the city, was jumping back and forth over the city border, taunting Remus's efforts to build a wall. Remus was then brutally slain by his brother, Romulus, with the words "Sic deinde pereat quicumque alius traniliet moenia mea."

Hopefully this mistake in the introduction will be corrected soon.

Source: Fabulae Romanae Zoni 03:48, 10 January 2007 (UTC)Zoni[reply]

New York?[edit]

Is this supposed to be some kind of joke? ... With Amulius dead, the city settled down and offered Romulus and Remus the joint crown. However, the twins refused to be the kings so long as their grandfather was still alive, and would not live in the city as subjects. Thus after restoring the kingship to Numitor and properly honoring their mother Rhea Sylvia, the two left England to found their own city upon New York. Before they left England, however, they took with them fugitives, runaway slaves, and all others who wanted a second chance at life. Once Romulus and Remus arrived at the New York, the two argued over where the exact position of the city should be. Romulus was set on building the city upon the Bronx, but Remus wanted to build the city on the strategic and easily fortified Manhattan Island. They agreed to settle their argument by testing their abilities as augurs and by the will of the gods. Each took a seat on the ground apart from one another, and, according to Giuliani, Remus saw six vultures (which were considered to be sacred to Al Gore, their father), while Romulus saw twelve.

No, that was normal vandalism. For some reason this article attracts quite a lot of that. The New York part is already removed from the article. Garion96 (talk) 21:26, 11 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Are Romulus and Remus solely fictional?[edit]

This question reveals my vast ignorance on the subject: The article does state that Romulus and Remus belong to fiction and myth. But -- much of the article also treats them as actual persons (e.g., the mention of the lack of certainty of their birthdate). It is bizarre that the article should not state clearly whether they belong solely to myth, or were in fact also real people. My question is this: Are they or are they not believed to have been real (as well as appearing in myth)? In any case, my opinion is that whwatever the case is, this should be made crystal clear in the intro.Daqu 19:55, 7 March 2007 (UTC)[reply]

But it's not crystal clear, in fact. Remus may have been added to the founding myth explain the second suckling child under the bronze Capitoline Wolf, originally intended, however, as emblems of the dual nature of Rome's founding: Etruscans and Sabines. This opens an area of Original Research that Wikipedia avoids. --Wetman 21:15, 7 March 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Fine -- then that should be made crystal clear: Whatever the state of knowledge is about whether Romulus and/or Remus were actual historical characters in addition to being characters of myth -- that state of knowledge should be made clear in the article.Daqu 06:03, 6 April 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Someone has made a sensible start by adding T.P. Wiseman, Remus: A Roman Myth. (New York: Cambridge University Press,) 1995, to the references. But the questions that Wisemen sets out to answer (the questions are clear; his answers are debated) can scarcely be entered into this article, because of all the detailed and naive "biography", which is what is keeping people from recasting this article. --Wetman 09:11, 30 April 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Vandalism Detected[edit]

I`ve found a rather obvious and offensive vandalism of this article not too far down, right after the part where it states Romulus slew Remus. I`d fix it myself, but my knowledge of the legend is a bit lacking, so I do not know if the names used are mythologically accurate. But, I do know that coarse language does not belong in this format except in the case of an informative or comparative use, so someone please rectify this defacement. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Crossfire 7 (talkcontribs) 18:48, 16 April 2007 (UTC).[reply]

Fixed; thank you for noting this. If you suspect a page has been vandalised, you can look at the page history to see changes made recently. You can then revert to a version of the page prior to any vandalism. EALacey 20:31, 16 April 2007 (UTC)[reply]


I removed a statement that Romulus and Remus descend from fugitives from Amsterdam. I guess that would need some more referencing.RFB —The preceding unsigned comment was added by RFB (talkcontribs) 04:47, 21 April 2007 (UTC).[reply]

Thanks. It said "descendants of fugitives from Troy" before it was vandalised in this edit, so I've restored the earlier text. EALacey 06:36, 21 April 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Death by exposure[edit]

The end of 3rd and beginning of 4th para. in the section Life before Rome doesn't follow:

...ordered the death of the twins by exposure.

The servant ordered to kill the twins could not, however, and placed the two in a cradle and laid the cradle on the banks of the Tiber river and went away. Block quote

If the order was to kill the twins by exposure, and the servant 'placed the two in a cradleon the banks of the Tiber and went away', then he could 'kill the twins', and he did, and exactly as ordered.

So "the servant ordered to kill the twins could not, however" is false, surely?

Robert Crowdy 12:48, 21 April 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Influences on Art/Music[edit]

The story of R&R has had influences on art and music. I'd like to read something about that Gautam Discuss 22:00, 21 April 2007 (UTC)[reply]


Is it really appropriate to illustrate this page with Victorian cartoons? Paul B 09:36, 15 May 2007 (UTC)[reply]

It's one of those little challenges that will be defended by provocative specious arguments, designed to show the mainstream that we're critical fogies. Watch and see. --Wetman 03:48, 8 July 2007 (UTC)[reply]

It isn't at all appropriate considering they have satirical meaning. (talk) 16:40, 25 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Archaeologists Unveil Grotto Linked to Romulus, Remus[edit]

"Sanctuary of Rome's 'founder' revealed" from Yahoo News:

"Italian Archaeologists Unveil Grotto Linked to Romulus, Remus" from Fox News:,2933,312310,00.html

DonL (talk) 08:01, 21 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]

He has a way to go before his link gets accepted though.--Doug Weller (talk) 16:32, 5 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Comments and corrections[edit]

Sorry if this isnt the way im supposed to post this, but im relatively new. Although Romulus was the more well know of the two brothers, Remus played a large part in the beginning of Rome. Also, the incident at Alba Longa was a relatively important incident in the founding of Rome. I believe that this article should be separated into 3 different articles, one each for Romulus, Remus, and the dispute/revolt in Alba Longa. Also, if anyone could please give me advice ou how to post this properly, i would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.

Sniper201092 (talk) 21:53, 14 December 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Myth, not "biography"[edit]

This article presents, in naive and tediously pedestrian detail, a synthesized "biography", in the Christian fashion of creating "biographies" for figures like Christopher, Sebastian, Barbara, Margaret, et al. A wholesome corrective would be a report of the findings in Timothy Peter Wiseman, Remus: A Roman Myth (Cambridge University Press) 1995, which analyzes the myth as myth. --Wetman (talk) 21:52, 13 March 2008 (UTC)[reply]

  • What about a category or section for religious biography?... religious and mythical figures do have full fleshed biographies. Even fictional characters have biographies... perhaps they are called "character history" how is that different? (talk) 16:43, 16 September 2008 (UTC)amyanda[reply]

Which is the copy, Crystalinks or this?[edit] and this article have a lot of identical stuff, and the Crystalinks page links to this article -- as an extra reference, or is it copied from an earlier version? Of course, if it is the original, we have to cut it all out and that means basically starting afresh -- a very good idea.--Doug Weller (talk) 16:42, 5 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

It might be a copyvio. See this edit. Garion96 (talk) 16:51, 5 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Parellels to Moses[edit]

Should there be any kind of section about the parallels (and perhaps differences) in the Moses story? What about other comparitive religion/mythology? (talk) 16:43, 16 September 2008 (UTC)amyanda2000[reply]

  • They are mentioned in the article about Moses, so I think it would make sence to cross refererence that. From the Moses article:

This birth legend is in many respects similar to the 7th century BCE Neo-Assyrian version of the birth of the king Sargon of Akkad in the 24th century BCE who, being born of modest means, was set in the Euphrates river in a basket of bulrushes and discovered by a member of the Akkadian royalty who reared him as their own. Professor Eric H. Cline refers to the story of the birth of Moses as a 'foundation myth', similar to those of Sargon, Cyrus the Great and Romulus and Remus.

    • I would be interested (as a section in this article or a seperate one) of an schalarly essay/section on the comparative mythology including dating of the myths relative to each other and the theories about "borrowing" etc- the genesis of the myth I suppose. Moses has some good sections: Acedemic view, Historiography, Challenges to his historicity, & Date of the Exodus. Recomended article :Foundation Myths ,Foundation Myths in Comparative Mythology,Moses in Comparative Mythology, Romulous and Remus in Comparative Mythology or somethin similer. If such an ariticle already exists where would it be located? Comparative Mythology? Thanks. Even with such an article, I think this article would benifit from a brief mention. Perhaps that the legend is thought by some scholars to have inspired many elements of the Moses story (if this is the case, just throwing out an unsourced off the top of my head as an example) (talk) 17:25, 16 September 2008 (UTC)amyanda2000[reply]

Hi and welcome. You might want to get yourself an account. Let me know if you do and I'll give you a welcome menu. Anyway, you use the word 'essay' -- Wikipedia is not the place for essays no matter how scholarly, it is an encyclopedia reporting, in this case, what scholars say about Romulus and Remus as compared to Moses. If you can find some sources for that, great, bring them here. Look at WP:RS and WP:VERIFY for an explanation of the sort of sources Wikipedia likes. And WP:OR. Thanks. Oh, by the way, I put the stuff from Cline in the Moses article. Doug Weller (talk) 17:49, 16 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

It is tities the tribe of the sabines not titites —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:20, 27 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

The motif of an abandoned child specifically in a river context is a near universal mythological concept. It shouldn't be hard to understand why since most early and in fact virtually all early major civilizations were based around some type of river. Once again not hard to understand, it provides plentiful potable water for the obvious immediate survival needs and for later irrigation needs necessary to support a large population. Additionally, on a more practical level, women of these societies frequently put their child up for "adoption" using this method.

In the West at least (and still in many non-Western civilizations today), until the rise of Christianity, babies were not really "people" but rather property. It was common if a child had a birth defect to let it die by exposure on a rock or toss it off of a cliff. Even if the baby wasn't "defective" parents would kill their child for reasons such as gender, how pretty it was, or if they just didn't feel like raising a kid. Believe it or not simply sending a child down stream to be picked up was considered more merciful than the other methods. Here the child could be adopted by an older woman, a barren woman, or someone compassionate like with Moses.

If anything Moses is a relatively recent appropriation of this classical motif as is most of early Jewish custom regarding other pre-existing practices. It is only really starting with the Babylonian Exile around 550 B.C. that Jewish custom begins to become exclusively their own. Therefore, I don' believe the "Moses Parallel" needs to be included. If you want to include a small summary of the origin of this myth that uses Moses and others as an example then I'm fine with that.BinaryLust (talk) 00:44, 27 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]

See also[edit]

At the end of the article a reference could be made to the fictional use of the names of both Romulus and Remus in the fictional Star Trek television series' movies and books. Media: . Or I have also seen this type of reference made in the head of an article

--Vann98 (talk) 13:45, 18 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Cruft lists of "Romulus" and "Remus" (Uncle Remus?) aren't helpful to the Wikipedia reader interested in the subject of this article, though they lighten the burden of leisure for list-makers. Where "Romulus' is used on other occasions and with intentional reference to this Romulus, a connection should be made at the article in question... if it helps the reader's understanding of that subject. This is what relevance signifies. --Wetman (talk) 22:39, 26 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Missing section and corrections[edit]

This page is also missing an entire section of the myth. Romulus and Remus founded a new city, Rome, they did not continue to live in and rule the city of Amulius. Romulus kills Amulius and restores control of the city to Numitor and then the twins decide to found a new one and this isn't reflected in the article. Also, the article talks about Life after the founding of Rome and how Romulus became king after the assasination of Tatius. This is totally wrong, sorry. Romulus and Remus found Rome but they lack anyone to live there. The twins invite the outlaws of Italy to come to this new city. The population is made up entirely of murderers, smugglers, theives and the like and there are no women. To fix this, they have a horse race and invite the families of a nearby city, a people called the Sabines, to come. The romans attack and steal all of the women from these people. Titus Tatius forms a force and attacks Rome to get the women back. The myth says that the women had fallen in love with their Roman captors (badboy effect maybe?) and they throw themselves between the two armies to stop the fighting. The two sides even join together and all the Sabines move into Rome to live. From this point, Tatius and Romulus co-rule Rome until the death of Tatius a few years later, leaving Romulus the sole ruler. The article doesn't show this portion of the myth at all and makes it seem as though they don't really found a new city, rather they just rename the one they were already in... All of this info I've learned from reading the Aeneid and from The Dictionary of Classical Mythology by Pierre Grimal (ISBN-13: 978-0-140-51235-9) Vickler (talk) 18:03, 4 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Fact ar Fiction?[edit]

Quite frankly, it's unreasonable to ask the distinguishing of fact and fiction in what is only ASSUMED fact. The story is a legend, and attempting to sever fact from fiction is asking the impossible. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:39, 8 March 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Restored dates and infobox[edit]

I took the liberty of restoring these things. Even though we cannot tell for sure if Romulus and Remus truly were historical figures, I see no reason to remove this info. Lycurgus, the Spartan who was said to be the creator of Spartan's laws and society as it is famous today, is a figure no different from Romulus and Remus, yet his article has info similar to what was removed from this article - and I really do not see a reason to remove such info. It is not claimed that Romulus and Remus or Lycurgus would definetely be historical figures. --Kurt Leyman (talk) 13:47, 17 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I restored the infobox again. Can someone explain why it should be removed instead of just deleting it without explanation? -ShadowRangerRIT (talk) 21:31, 14 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Because the infobox is kind of idiotic. Father Mars? An infobox for one person used for two persons? A birth and death date for legendary figures? All that is so much better explained in prose instead of using a simple template. Garion96 (talk) 21:42, 14 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I agree. It is idiotic and likely to mislead. It's inappropriate to use such an infobox for mythical or legendary figures. Dougweller (talk) 07:07, 15 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Romulus and Remus are definitely mythological figures. An infobox for such figures is misleading, as they had no real date of birth or death, nor a real birthplace. In contrast, there is genuine doubt whether Lycurgus of Sparta is a mythological or historical personage, and so an infobox box would not be inherently misleading there--although I see that article has no infobox, and that doesn't bother me in the least. --Akhilleus (talk) 12:56, 15 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Is there an actual rule that infoboxes are only for 100% factual individuals? I recognize that Romulus and Remus were 90% mythological (possibly more than that), but if the mythology itself is sufficiently specific, why not use the infobox to summarize? -ShadowRangerRIT (talk) 13:36, 15 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]
The mythology is not specific about when Romulus and Remus were born, at least not at the level of saying 771 BC. (I just noticed this date is given at the beginning of the article's text, as if we were writing a biography. Ugh.) Some classical Roman authors believed the myths were historical fact, and tried to determine when the twins were born and when Rome was founded--and even though we're now generally taught that the legendary founding of Rome was in the 8th century BC, the Romans came up with a number of different dates. --Akhilleus (talk) 00:13, 16 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I'd not noticed that Kurt put the dates back in the lead. They definitely should not be there, and they are discussed later in the article. This is not, as you say, a biography. Dougweller (talk) 08:48, 16 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Restored infobox with the mother and father figures removed. The infobox adds structure to the article, and Romulus and Remus being historical figures (elements such as being fathered by Mars aside, of course) as some historians argue is not be discarded. I see no reason to remove the box. Lycurgus, the Spartan who was said to be the creator of Spartan's laws and society as it is famous today, is a figure no different from Romulus and Remus, yet his article has info similar to what was removed from this article - and I really do not see a reason to remove such info. It is not claimed that Romulus and Remus or Lycurgus would definetely be historical figures. "Romulus and Remus are definitely mythological figures." Whilst I do not (suprise suprise) belive that Romulus and Remus were fathered by Mars, there is no definete say to them being purely mythological - then again, I am not claiming that they would have certainly been historical figures. They are the mythological founders of Rome, just as Lycurgus was the mythological founder of Spartan law, but historical bases for these figures are something that should not be discarded. The article makes it very clear that Romulus and Remus were the traditional founders of Rome in Roman belifs, and that the dates given by ancient historians like Plutarch are only alleged. --Kurt Leyman (talk) 14:42, 24 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Kurt, you clearly do not have consensus for this. What other articles do is irrelevant to this one. The article now starts with a lead which gives them birth and death dates instead of keeping that for a later section. I'll start an RfC on this. Dougweller (talk) 15:53, 24 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]
There is consensus here to have it removed. You don't agree with consensus and immediately after/before your message here you added the infobox. And again after I reverted you. You see something wrong there? Garion96 (talk) 16:04, 24 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Bursting a bubble here, but...[edit]

Romulus was not entirely fictional. The City of Rome really was founded by the bastard son of prostitute--he was not actually raised by a wolf, a later embellishment thanks to a linguistic coincidence--and since no twin brother appears on the original king-list he was probably an only child not a twin.

Nevertheless, a man from very humble origins (though not actually raised by a wolf) did found the most influential city in world history.

We should tweak the Article to clarify that legend (exaggerated history) is not the same as myth (tales of the gods) even though they overlap.

My sources are Ovid and Livy among others. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 08:23, 7 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]

RfC: Are infoboxes & leads with alleged birth/death dates appropriate for probably mythological figures[edit]

The issue is discussed above. In the case of probably mythological figures (or even definitely mythological figures), should the lead/infobox contain birth & death dates even if shown somehow (in this case by a footnote) that they are alleged dates? Dougweller (talk) 16:19, 24 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]

RFC Comment: In cases such as this one, where there does seem to be some rough agreement as to the appropximate time these individuals would have lived were they in fact living people, I can see mentioning that in the lead. However, I have to think it would be going too far to add such information to an infobox, because that gives it the appearance of factuality which is not merited in this instance. John Carter (talk) 16:37, 24 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • I've already made it clear above that I don't think this article should have an infobox that contains birth/death dates, nor should such dates be in the lead. R & R are mythological heroes and thus should not be presented as if they had an actual date of birth and death; aside from that, the mythology is not united as to when the twins were supposedly born and died anyway. (One version of the story has Remus outliving Romulus!) --Akhilleus (talk) 17:23, 24 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • I believe that since mythical figures cannot be proven to have existed, their birth and death dates likewise cannot be proven. As such, I say no birth and death dates in the infobox, but do mention the alleged dates within the article. -- Tallen90 (talk) 16:43, 28 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • If the alleged dates of birth - yes, alleged, and it will be made clear that they are only alleged - will still be mentioned in the article, even if there won't be indobox, than that would be fine with me. --Kurt Leyman (talk) 02:11, 3 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • Save birthdates for known birth dates. After all, doesn't Eusebius give a birth date for Abraham? --Wetman (talk) 16:59, 28 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • As an uninvolved editor, I see no objection to the section on alleged dates. In the lead, the dates could be qualified by "traditionally" or something of the kind, to show doubt as to the veracity of this; likewsie in an infobox. This cannot be done with birth and death categories (either directly or via {{lifetime}}), but that cannot be helped. However, Roman dates in the form AUC (ab urbe condita) depend on a foundation date in 753 BC. If there is conflict in the ancient sources, the answer is to express that in the text. In this case the myth gives dates, and so should WP. They are mythical figures, not fictional ones. There are many things that we do not certainly know about the ancient world, but that does not mean that WP should not express what we do know, or at least what the sources say on a subject. Peterkingiron (talk) 16:33, 4 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • If the "birth dates" [sic] can't be omitted, then the template can simply be re-written in more flexible format: easily done no doubt. Flexibility does not appear to be a priority for inventors of templates, who so rarely have any competence in the actual text of articles into which they intrude their boxes. I note that the disinfobox does not appear at Aunt Jemima. Why not? Shall we insert it there? --Wetman (talk) 17:26, 4 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Sections on foundation of Rome[edit]

I've restored sections that were deleted by Dougweller some while ago. Before today, the article jumped from R+R's childhood to Romulus's joint rule with "Tatius", whose name was just suddenly introduced without any mention of who he was! This made the article completely unreadable and nonsensical. The earlier text has problems, but it is not unsupported. It refers to sources, but does not generally present them as footnotes - fairly typical of Wikipedia text written some years ago when such matters were less important. The article needs to give a full and coherent account of the R+R myth. Just deleting whole sections, seemingly arbitrarily, is like chopping whole chapters from the summary of a book, leaving chapter 1 jumping straight to chapter 4 without any explanation of who new characters are or what happened to the old ones. Paul B (talk) 16:01, 24 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, mea culpa for never finishing what I started. The original edit is here [3] and is basically a dump of Plutarch. What we need is a concise summary, not a copy and paste. And footnote 12 actually contradicts what it is cited for. Dougweller (talk) 16:21, 24 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Romulus and Caeculus: matriarcal link?[edit]

I wonder whether the two myths, that have many common traits, bear the mark of some kind of remembrance of a matriarcal society. Children generated by god, ie no known father, and reared by uncles and aunts or strangers who were connected to an uncle, as Acca and Faustulus to Numitor. All these features are typical of a matriarcal order of society.Aldrasto (talk) 05:17, 17 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Unless someone finds some reliable sources on this, it doesn't belong in the article. Note that this page is not an appropriate place to discuss the possibility unless sources are discussed. Dougweller (talk) 16:00, 22 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]

A deadlink to defunct site[edit]

I removed the dead link and comment (I assume it was based on the linked site) and pasted it here as reminder (to myself as much as any) that Rome's foundation myth requires evaluation within a modern scholarly perspective. Haploidavey (talk) 02:15, 3 February 2010 (UTC)[reply]

*Miracles "The parallels here are unmistakable. In both stories we have a "king" addressing his subjects, a cloud enveloping the "king", and the bodily ascension upwards into the heavens. Jesus and Romulus are simply two examples among many." It's well covered by Cornell and others (citation and context to come). Haploidavey (talk) 01:30, 4 February 2010 (UTC)[reply]


We've a mixed lot of sources categorised as "primary" and "secondary"; that's iffy, if not immediately misleading in a subject of such complex historiography. I'll change the format and layout. There'll be inline citations and external links to those "secondary" sources anyway, along with a cited, interpretive modern bibliography. (I'm not at all sure why Fabius and Livy would both be described as primary sources on the subject - and apart from a very brief summary, plus Plutarch's say-so, we have very little Fabius anyway). Haploidavey (talk) 23:05, 3 February 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for your hard work on this, the article has been a mess for a long time. Dougweller (talk) 13:24, 4 February 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Doug, thank you. It's not exactly a pleasure unless evisceration turns you on, but the topic's well worth the effort. Back to the gutting... Haploidavey (talk) 14:31, 4 February 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Acca Larentia et al, et al, et al[edit]

This quite long list is of little value (and will probably confuse many readers) unless connections and relevance are explained; we can't rely on linked articles to do that. I'll paste it here for now, and re-instate those supported by sources as relevant to the topic. Haploidavey (talk) 19:27, 5 February 2010 (UTC)[reply]

"The many names associated with Acca Laurentia, are: Acca Larenta, Larentia, Laurentia, Lara, Larunda, Larenta, Larentina, and Terra Mater, or the The Mother of the Lares, Bona Dea, Lupa, Luperca, and Dea Dia, as well as Fauna, who had an oracle on the nearby Aventine Hill and was the wife of Faunus."

"Shepherd Kings"[edit]

"Shepherd kings, as some mythographers would classify Romulus, were torn to pieces in a secret religious ceremony at the end of their "reign" and the beginning of the reign of the next "king"."

Are we sure about the use of the phrase 'Shepherd Kings' in this context? The title 'Shepherd Kings' usually refers to the Hyksos, an ancient Egyptian Tribe from the 18th century BC with no connection to Romulus & Remus. The contributor appears to be using it as though it is an established phrase with some more generalised mythologic meaning. Is this correct? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Butcherscross (talkcontribs) 13:53, 8 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Possibly. And possibly not. This seems one of the better written sections; I suspect "Shepherd Kings" might be from Frazer's fascinating and dubious The Golden Bough but citation's lacking here as elsewhere. I'll see what T. P. Wiseman's Remus has to offer. Haploidavey (talk) 14:08, 8 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]
No luck with the above, which seems another "grand scheme." I'll probably remove it at some point, unless someone comes up with a sourse, of cource. Haploidavey (talk) 02:13, 17 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Whether or not the section is well written, it seems entirely incoherent to me. The term "Shepherd Kings" is introduced and used without explanation - does it refer to Romulus and Remus themselves, or maybe to some sort of cult-leaders who worshiped them? A ceremony is mentioned, but why exactly is it being held, and by whom? Is someone literally torn apart in the ritual, or is this done in effigy? What "rumor" is being implied exactly? I might surmise that we're describing some mythological prototype applicable to Romulus and Remus, but then all the details seem very specific and certain for something so general. I'm going to go ahead and remove this section. Someone please correct me if I'm misunderstood, but at the very least clarification is in order (and citation). Ennen (talk) 18:47, 23 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Indeed, "better" is not necessarily "well". I think you're right to remove it. IIRC, the "Shepherd Kings" theory held that ancient shepherd communities elected one of their number as a sacred king, to be indulged for a year then ritually killed and dismembered. I've yet to find scholarly support for the idea; let alone its elucidation in a scholarly work pertaining to Romulus and Remus. Haploidavey (talk) 00:21, 24 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]

There is a work on this subject by a French scholar quoted by Dumezil. However it connects the dismembering of Romolus with an Indoiranian ritual.Aldrasto11 (talk) 04:08, 14 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]

As yet I have not been able to retrace the citation. However Frazer wrote of such ritual killing of the king in his work Scapegoat p. 210.Aldrasto11 (talk) 11:53, 16 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]

I thought it rang a bell but modern scholarship's wary of Frazer's constructs and conclusions. Does F. mention Romulus by name? Found an online of "Golden Bough". Frazer refers to Romulus' dismemberment ("in some versions") though not, as far as I can see, to his being a "shepherd king". So I don't think we can justify a section under the latter heading. Haploidavey (talk) 11:58, 16 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Yes Frazer does not talk specifically of shepherd kings: his argument concerns regality itself. The king being a god is as such the object of the projection of group aggressiveness. Hence the ritual murdering of the king-god. Best instance in Latium being o.c. the rex nemorensis.Aldrasto11 (talk) 13:19, 21 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]


Thankfully his is a minority opinion, rather than the most notable of "some". Not a matter to be given undue weight in the lede, so if no-one objects, I'll lay him to rest in a footnote. Haploidavey (talk) 02:13, 17 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]

"Birth and death dates"[edit]

Circa 771 etc? Given that this is mythography (and I sincerely hope we agree that it is), need we be quite so precious in offering historically spurious dates? Would this Plutarchian calculation not be best in a footnote? Haploidavey (talk) 14:36, 17 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Have changed - just had to. Haploidavey (talk) 15:18, 17 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]


About the section on the stories concerning the birth of the two twins, their rearing and deeds to their conflict on the foundation of Rome. I gather the author here has not read Dionysius's version which is by far the most complete and reliable. I would suggest adding it as it is significantly different on many essential points.Aldrasto11 (talk) 05:01, 15 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Historicity of Romulus[edit]

Emilio Peruzzi too gives his positive opinion in his works (Le origini di Roma etc.). Romulus would be Sabine nickname meaning the one from Rome.Aldrasto11 (talk) 11:58, 16 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Wiseman is a quotable source to edit this article on the various versions of the story. It is certain Remus was the original name whereas Romulus is a derivate, a nickname. Cf. Remoria a hill on which Remus stood and according to Dionysius that was 5 miles from the Palatine.05:49, 18 September 2010 (UTC)Aldrasto11 (talk) 05:49, 18 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Other sources[edit]

Among ancient sources a precise and explicit mention should go to Varro and Properce about Caelius Vibenna, Titus Tatius and the name of the 3 tribes.

Among contemporary sources it is always interesting the article by S. B. Platner Septimontium in Dictionary of Greek and Roman Ant.Aldrasto11 (talk) 13:12, 21 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Hey, I noticed there's very little reference for sections The Founding of Rome, and none for The city of Romulus, War with the Sabines, etc. What's up with that? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:01, 4 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Propose removal from Category:Fictional feral children, or not[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

If we leave that category, we should somehow annotate to be less misleading. Romulus was not entirely fictional, but the story of his being a feral child is fictional, not entirely unlike George Washington's cherry tree.

His father, despite later embellishment, was not Mars but an unknown customer of his mother (a prostitute). Furthermore, the "Lupa" who raised him was his prostitute mother, not literally a female wolf. Nevertheless, there was a real man that was later changed and exaggerated to become mythology. Not only did Ovid and Livy and others write this, but a man named Romulus also appears on the original list of the Seven Kings of Early Rome, the 1st on the list and the Founder. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 08:42, 7 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Modern sources disagree with you as does our article. Dougweller (talk) 10:24, 7 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]
The Article in that regard is therefore misleading. Ovid, Livy, and Carandini, not just me...I can email some of my old Professors perhaps. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 17:02, 7 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Oh, and Peruzzi apparently... The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 17:04, 7 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I'd forgotten about Carandini, but as a comment on the American Institute of Archaeology says, this "represents a sharp break with two millennia of scholarship." Don't know Peruzzi. But the article does actually cover this saying "Possible historical bases for the broad mythological narrative remain unclear and disputed." with a more detailed footnote. Until this view becomes more significant, that seems enough. As for Ovid etc, modern scholarship disagrees with them. Dougweller (talk) 18:00, 7 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Like many figures in mythology, we don't know and cannot know whether or not Romulus and/or Remus were real, or even what or how much of the story has to be true for them to be "real" (after all presumably someone was the leader of the first settlers of what became Rome). I think we can be fairly clear they were not raised by wolves, but that's only on the basis of common sense, not actual historical evidence. I agree that the title of the category is problematic, but categories are there to help people find relevant articles, and this one is certainly relevant to the concept of feral children, fictional or not. Paul B (talk) 18:46, 7 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]
To both of you just so we're clear, here is the life of the man I would call at least quote-on-quote "the real Romulus," and I will even acknowledge he may have had a different name, in which case we call him Romulus because his real name is lost to history. (In fact, that could be the same reason Old Republic-era Romans called him that.)
In the 800s and early 700s BC, there was a vestigial Neolithic village (and I say "vestigial" because even back then it was one of the last of its kind) and a prostitute. A son was born to this prostitute, conceived by an unknown customer. When the prostitute's son became the mayor of the village, he demolished it and built what was at the time a modern city, this new city being Rome. Once this project was completed, he formally proclaimed the new city-state in 753 BC and was crowned its 1st king.
Centuries after his death, perhaps even as early as the Tarquin's reign, his prostitute mother was replaced with a she-wolf (both "Lupa" in early Latin), and his anonymous customer father with Mars.
I forget whether it was Ovid, Livy, or Plutarch, but one of the ancient authors wrote fairly specifically that something like this (minus the leftover Prehistoric village, but archeological finds of both a city-wall built around 753 BC and Neolithic artifacts suggest that) had happened and was then exaggerated to become the myth as we know it. The ancient author didn't find a prostitute's son founding a city to be all that far-fetched, and neither do Carandini, Peruzzi, or (more humbly) I. (To be perfectly honest, I can't help but wonder if George Washington will be thought to be fictional a thousand years from now. Just take the cherry tree he didn't actually chop down, and add further centuries of embellishment; after all that's what legends are, real people exaggerated long after their deaths.) The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 21:18, 7 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Well, that's a very charming story, but it is little more than that. We cannot know if it is true. It's speculation. It can be included in the article if you have sources expounding this theory, though I'm not really sure what is meant by "prostitute" in this context. I'm guessing that the client-base is likely to have been rather small for a functioning service industry, but I'm not an expert in business-models in this field. However, this section is supposed to be about the category entitled "fictional feral children", to which I think this article properly belongs. Paul B (talk) 21:38, 7 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]
A. There are sources for this, although mostly ancient ones. I might check for it in Carandini's or Peruzzi's writing at some later date, and/or email old professors of mine. There was also an archeological find in 2007 that suggested it, something about a cave he briefly lived in, whatever his real name may have been.
B. You also agreed that the title of the category was problematic, hence the slight tangent. I suppose that can be discussed later at the Category Talk Page.
C. I'm going to close the Section on this note, but you can reply to this last post at my User Talk if you would like to do so. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 21:52, 7 August 2012 (UTC)[reply]
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

It isn't just me[edit]

I'm relieved to see that I'm not the only person who, having read the article, was still left feeling confused by the historicity of the subjects. But I'm dismayed to discover that the perplexity goes back to the origins of the article itself, and no editor with the appropriate classical education has seen fit to clarify things. Are these historical figures? Are they mythical figures? Are they historical figures heavily overlain with mythical qualities? The article doesn't say. Instead, it shifts between providing "biographical" details, including specific dates; and mythological elements. What would be helpful is to have a section just dealing with the question of teasing apart history from myth. fishhead64 (talk) 20:31, 17 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]

This is one of the drawbacks of the Wikipedia method: different people add bits of information to an article, & unless someone (who hopefully knows something about the topic) reviews & reworks the article, it suffers. And the fact this article has reached 40K in size means no one who is knowledgeable will be bold & rewrite it to reflect modern academic thinking. (I've had a taste of it reading Gary Forsythe's A Critical History of Early Rome (Berkeley, 2005), but I'm reluctant to revise this article based on having read one book, notwithstanding how good it is.)

The problem with the earliest Roman history is that the student will find (roughly speaking) three different takes on it: the traditional (as in up to the 18th or 19th centuries) approach, which was to treat Livy as accurate & simply retell what he wrote -- with a few nods to Plutarch, Dionysus of Hallicarnassus; what could be called the "19th century" approach, which was to acknowledge problems in the accepted account of this early history (e.g., the tale of Romulus & Remulus echoes many well-known folklore motifs such as twin birth, heros surviving despite being exposed at birth, being suckled by a wild animal); & contemporary approach, which while being critical still values the traditional story for the insights it offers to what the Romans thought of themselves & of their origins. I suspect this article had its origins in the EB 1911 article, which at best demonstrates the second approach, & despite that this article has had attention from intelligent & knowledgeable editors, it hasn't freed it from the limits of that venerable but outdated works, while mingling elements of all three approaches & serving it up as a messy combination. And to repeat myself, the size of this article is going to make even intelligent (& especially veteran) editors reluctant to perform the necessary work on it. -- llywrch (talk) 19:37, 8 April 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Lack of references in Stories of ancestry and parentage[edit]

I deleted the following passages from this section because they are not sourced. Please do not restore without citations or with new links wherein the differing stories can be supported. In particular, The portion about the King and his Niece's pregnancy features an uncited conclusion regarding blood-guilt. The portion on the Acca/Dea Dia features an unattributed description of the version of the legend itself, uncited conclusion about the connection between the two figures in question, and another unattributed reference to a variation of the legend in the last sentence of the paragraph. The claims about Hercules link to that article, but there is no mention of this account found there. The last portion has the same issues with the legend referenced, as well as claims made regarding Luperca and Lupercus (specifically that he was associated with the fertility of flocks).

  • Amulius forces Rhea Silvia into perpetual virginity as a Vestal priestess, but she bears children anyway. In one variation of the story, Mars, god of war, seduces and impregnates her: in another, Amulius himself seduces her, and in yet another, Hercules.
  • The king sees his niece's pregnancy and confines her. She gives birth to twin boys of remarkable beauty; her uncle orders her death and theirs. One account holds that he has Rhea buried alive – the standard punishment for Vestal Virgins who violated their vow of celibacy – and orders the death of the twins by exposure; both means would avoid his direct blood-guilt. In another, he has Rhea and her twins thrown into the River Tiber.
  • In another variant, Hercules impregnates Acca Larentia and marries her off to the shepherd Faustulus. She has twelve sons; when one of them dies, Romulus takes his place to found the priestly college of Arval brothers Fratres Arvales. Acca Larentia is therefore identified with the Arval goddess Dea Dia, who is served by the Arvals. In later Republican religious tradition, a Quirinal priest (flamen) impersonated Romulus (by then deified as Quirinus) to perform funerary rites for his foster mother (identified as Dia).
  • Yet another tradition relates that Romulus and Remus are nursed by the Wolf-Goddess Lupa or Luperca in her cave-lair (lupercal). Luperca was given cult for her protection of sheep from wolves and her spouse was the Wolf-and-Shepherd-God Lupercus, who brought fertility to the flocks. She has been identified with Acca Larentia.InformationvsInjustice (talk) 04:06, 15 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I'm fairly sure that the "alternative versions" you removed as uncited were once cited - perhaps to Wiseman? Or Cornell? I'll take a look. Haploidavey (talk) 08:17, 15 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
(I hope you don't mind my moving your comment in order to respond) I was really hesitant to do it. I made an effort to track down sources myself but after a respectable effort, I gave up. It's particularly troublesome, because you have portions that are supported and it just makes the other parts stick out like a sore thumb. I also searched the history for prior versions, but this page has had so much vandalism I gave up. If they're there, I seriously hope the original editor will restore them. Seriously, I'm working on a non-wiki project and the variants described may be pertinent to it.InformationvsInjustice (talk) 01:20, 16 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
(I've no problem with your moving my comment; it helps keep things in order - a major advantage when working on this well-meaning but rather lamentable article). I'll post links as I find them: one of the sources might already be in the article text - Banchich's transcription/translation (part annotated) of Origo Gentis Romanae. Some of this is cited (along with commentary), by Cornell and some by Wiseman (Remus); see article refs - I've paper copies of both, but I've also a horrendous cold, and won't be fit for careful reading for a day or two yet. Haploidavey (talk) 17:17, 16 October 2016 (UTC).[reply]
It breaks my heart a little, to see the epic vandalism (imagine, vandals being associated with something Roman!) and such a significant piece of history in such disrepair and to feel powerless to fix it. I have seen such a change recently in my visits to wikipedia. There are SO many errors and just unsourced content. I don't whether it's true or not. I searched related content and when that didn't help, I spent a little time with Livy and Plutarch to see if I could confirm some of these claims but I had to give up. I just didn't have any more time I could dedicate. It seems like every page I go to (related to this topic, and another huge mess that I just happened upon while working on something else) has major issues. In these Roman pages, it seems like the anachronistic English is everywhere. As a lawyer, I'm a stickler for citing authority. I guess this bespeaks the need to keep the articles simple and straightforward. A short, well-cited article serves those that want just to know the gist of something and also lets those needing more to go to the source. A long, poorly cited article doesn't serve either need. InformationvsInjustice (talk) 19:35, 16 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, one gets disheartened from time to time; as far as this article, and its beginnings are concerned, llywrch outlines the problems very well (in the section directly above this one). And that's very much the case throughout this subject area. Thus the copy-and-paste excerpts of near-unreadably florid, circuitous Victorian scholarese. I've been editing here since 2009, almost entirely within this subject area, primarily to inform myself and secondly an imagined 16-17 year-old student who has taken the trouble to read my offering. Simplicity and structure are paramount. Practise helps, of course; and self-review. And criticism (ouch). And to be honest, this article scares me. For Wikipedia in general, I'm not sure whether things have gotten worse or stayed more-or-less the same; in some ways, worse; an unfortunate overemphasis on growth in the number of articles (as if that were a positive indicator of Wikipedia's general good health - it isn't).Haploidavey (talk) 20:28, 16 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I'm curious what you mean by "scares me". I'll try to keep doing what I can. I joined the Wikiproject on Ancient Rome and Greece. It seems to me that this article should be a high priority.InformationvsInjustice (talk) 04:20, 17 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Sorry for the delay - and I'm not sure how or where to begin! Various editors, myself included, have tinkered at this article for years, and we can all agree that it's a mess. In some ways, overt vandalism's the least of our problems - it's easily reverted. It's much harder to address (and where necessary, to restrain) the good-faith, well-intended additions of "historical" material from "primary sources"; thus, I suppose, the article as a sequence of semi-digested chunks from Livy, Plutarch and Dionysus - with the odd piece of EB1911 or more recent scholarly commentary thrown in, and virtually no historiography. If it was up to me (and it isn't, of course) we'd junk everything and start from scratch; everything would be cited to modern scholarly sources, whether as myth, history, or proto-history. That's a very big ask... I don't know if you've read through the Servius Tullius article; various discussions at its talk-page seem relevant here. Haploidavey (talk) 11:11, 22 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
It seems to me that perhaps the page should be renamed "The legend of Romulus and Remus" with a redirect from here. The lead should begin "The legend of R & R is the mythical tale of the twin brothers who, according to the ancient Romans, founded the city of Rome and established the semi-historical kingdom which predated the Roman Republic..." From the recent, albeit light research I've done relating to the Roman foundation myth, it seems pretty clear to me that the consensus is that R & R were not historical figures. If the article could be tweaked to make that clear, it makes modern sources less critical to reliability. Even though vandalism is easily fixes, it fills up the history and makes look backs a pain. As I found out trying to source this section. Obviously, I don't need to tell you it's so important an article!
I'll create a new section. Let's continue any discussion there. — Preceding unsigned comment added by InformationvsInjustice (talkcontribs) 20:41, 23 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Verb tense for the legend: past or present[edit]

I believe the present tense should be used when recounting incidents in the legend. For instance:

Current version

  • In all versions of the founding myth, the twins grew up as shepherds. While tending their flocks, they came into conflict with the shepherds of Amulius. Remus was captured and brought before Amulius, who eventually discovered his identity. Romulus raised a band of shepherds to liberate his brother and Amulius was killed. Romulus and Remus were conjointly offered the crown but they refused it and restored Numitor to the throne.

Suggested version

  • In all versions of the founding myth, the twins grow up as shepherds. While tending their flocks, they come into conflict with the shepherds of Amulius. Remus is captured and brought before Amulius, who eventually discovers his identity. Romulus raises a band of shepherds to liberate his brother and Amulius is killed. Romulus and Remus are conjointly offered the crown but they refuse it and restore Numitor to the throne.

Comments? InformationvsInjustice (talk) 04:53, 15 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]

I rewrote attempted a rewrite of the article years ago, taking care to use "past-in-present" (more or less exactly as in your suggested version) when presenting material identified by modern scholarship as legendary; not just in the introduction. Take a look through the article history; and particularly some of the edit commentaries justifying changes to past tense throughout; sometimes by degrees, sometimes in one fell swoop. Here's a recent, more reasonable example - [4] by then, I'd given up. So, to cut to the chase - yes, please go ahead. Haploidavey (talk) 07:56, 15 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Obtuse language and run-ons in The death of Romulus Section[edit]

It really needs to be overhauled. It's sourced, but it needs to be written in less archaic English: "Weary of kingly government"; "This suspicion they sought to turn aside"; "exasperated of late by the imperious deportment of Romulus toward them"; "made him away".

Also the last three run-on sentences need to be fixed (the one below is the worst offender):

A "foul suspicion" arose that the Senate, weary of kingly government, and exasperated of late by the imperious deportment of Romulus toward them, had plotted against his life and made him away, so that they might assume the authority and government into their own hands. — Preceding unsigned comment added by InformationvsInjustice (talkcontribs) 07:49, 16 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Migration to "The legend of Romulus and Remus" and refocus on the myth over historicity[edit]

I propose renaming the article "The legend of Romulus and Remus" with a redirect from here. An ancient sources subsection should be created, which identifies the various (there aren't actually that man) writers whose work has handed down the myth. Modern sources and historicity could be dealt with in another subsection, free of the details of the story itself.

To stress the non-historical nature of the topic, the lead should begin "The legend of R & R is the mythical tale of the twin brothers who, according to the ancient Romans founded the city of Rome and established the semi-historical kingdom which predates the establishment of the Roman Republic..."

The importance of the topic to the understanding of ancient Rome merits whatever input can be gotten from all of you who have done so much great work over the years to maintain and improve the page.InformationvsInjustice (talk) 20:50, 23 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for the vote. Do you have any suggestions regarding the article's enumerated troubles? Perhaps a page on the legend itself could be created and this one dedicated to the characters themselves?InformationvsInjustice (talk) 23:43, 24 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose per Johnbod (above) and because this article already deals with the legend and its characters; an article on Romulus and Remus can have no other function; We can (or rather ought) to represent only what recent, mainstream modern scholarship (sorry, but I can't stress that enough) offers on the various characters, deeds, significance and developments of the legend and its source material. Imo, that's our remit; certainly a challenge, but quite possible.
We might even use the structure already suggested in the article lead/intro (! it's based on Wiseman's summary of the legend as a whole, minus his theses on Remus). Overlap with other articles pertaining to the topic is inevitable; Roman mythology and Foundation of Rome come to mind, and there are probably many more; but we keep all that to the most relevant, disciplined minimum. Haploidavey (talk) 11:52, 25 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
What Haploidavey said. Johnbod (talk) 14:37, 25 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks Johnbod and Haploidavey. Could the sections/subsections be better organized so as to more strictly convey the legendary account and then, separately, the historicity/recent, mainstream modern scholarship, and, finally, the different ancient sources and the details of how they differ?InformationvsInjustice (talk) 22:33, 25 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
The article will certainly need a complete overhaul, and there seem many possible approaches. The problem with any strict conveyance of the legendary account is that there isn't one - there are several to choose from, and favouring one or another - for whatever reason - would be convenient indeed but is beyond our editorial scope; therefore scholarly opinion and evaluation of "primary" sources count from the outset. Apropos of which, the intro already provides the narrative essentials common to the three major accounts. Google scholar results show that Livy's account in particular (apparently the most rationalised and historicised) is a well-covered topic in both modern literary criticism and historiography. At the moment, I'm inclined to organise in sequence and theme (much as the intro); and perhaps will also take a scatter-gun shot at the main text over the next few days, mostly to clear away those over-lengthy quotations... and will try to maintain readability for readers; this article seems to get around 300 2,000 hits per day, on average. (PS: I just took another look at the article; startling to see that the main text offers no account whatsoever of the twins "virgin birth and divine conception" - let alone of their special status as twins.) Haploidavey (talk) 23:31, 25 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I think the lead could do with a clearer statement for less sophisticated readers that it is all a myth/legend. The later sections also read, if taken by themselves, as history. But these are easily fixed by additional reminders of the status of the story. Otherwise I'm sure Haploidavey will make an excellent job of improving the article. Johnbod (talk) 02:18, 26 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you, Johnbod, for your kind and constructive comments. And please, do feel free to realign, clarify or otherwise change any text as you see fit. "Excellent" would be nice. Haploidavey (talk) 12:53, 26 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I have an alternative suggestion: An initial "sources" section to list or name those. Then a section on the "universal" elements of the story, and then subsections, not by elements of the story, but instead by sources, chronologically. So, the Livy subsection would describe his version, the Plutarch subsection would describe his, etc.21:28, 26 October 2016 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by InformationvsInjustice (talkcontribs)

Splitting article into "Romulus and Remus" and "Romulus"[edit]

Please follow these links to the proposed new articles to replace the existing one.


Romulus and Remus:

Comments? Feedback? Help? Informata ob Iniquitatum (talk) 04:43, 27 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

The concept Romulus and Remus does exist as a myth on its' own, so I see no reason why it shouldn't have its' own page separate to that of Romulus. Remus' only real mention is history is that he was murdered in the process of Romulus founding Rome. Meanwhile, Romulus went on to build a dynasty that would last until the Republic. In short; Romulus was impactful upon history, and Remus was only an element of his brothers' tale. Psychotic Spartan 123 04:52, 28 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
The New articles are live. Informata ob Iniquitatum (talk) 19:36, 29 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]


Should the article be reassessed? In light of the revisons? How does that process work? Informata ob Iniquitatum (talk) 20:03, 29 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Nice work here, and vastly better than before. Anyone can reassess, and probably will. It's entirely up to you, of course, but I'd wait a couple of weeks, and see if the rewrite draws more attention, and more editing. At least it's now where it belongs, and is shaped as it should be. Haploidavey (talk) 20:11, 29 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

There are links between this "sacred twin" imagery and functions of the Dioscuri/Castor and Pollux and Lares, and R&R borrowings or parallels; probably best made very briefly, in a subsection of iconography. Still can't find my copy of Wiseman's Remus, which deals with these connections (among much else). Haploidavey (talk) 20:28, 29 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

I added the links to See also. Please feel free to add something about them and move them over. Just for my own reference, how does one start a reassessment? Just delete the grade? Informata ob Iniquitatum (talk) 21:04, 29 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, you simply replace the old grade with whatever you think the new version merits; but it's best etiquette only to do that with projects of which you're a member (thus, G & R, I suspect). The criteria are reasonably explicit; If you open the Project header at the top of this page, you'll see a link - specifically, this one [5]. To be honest, I'm not sure I've ever used one! At least, not to promote anything I've been personally involved in - most articles seem scored far too high imo. Most of the stuff I've done a lot of work on has been "B" before I started rewriting, and remains "B" after 12 months intensive editing. Haploidavey (talk) 21:28, 29 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]


The lead is really hard to read, what with the enormous Mignard painting. Per MOS, leading image should be on the right. How about the altar image as lead image, and the Lupa somewhere below? And the Mignard (substantially and lawfully shrunken) nested further down? Haploidavey (talk) 00:21, 30 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

I have come to the conclusion that the capitoline wolf belongs at the top, simply because she (and the boys) are the most famous visual representation of the myth. I put them it, followed by the Alter and then the Mignard work in that order on the right. Informata ob Iniquitatum (talk) 00:56, 30 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

how do i read this?[edit]

Then the end of 79 through 84 on the account of their struggle with Amulius. 84 with the non-fantastical account of their survival 294. Finally 295 is the augury 85–86, 87–88 the fratricide.303


Livy discusses the myth in chapters 4, 5, and 6 of his work's first book. p. 7 parentage 4 p. 8 survival. p. 8 the youth. 5 9–10 the struggle with Amulius. 6 p. 11 (the beginning only) the augury and fratricide.

i don't understand how these are meant to be read in a way that makes any sense. (talk) 00:38, 28 September 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Yep, that's pretty bad. Even traditional cites are stupid now that space isn't at such a premium. A Roman work being cited as 1.12 might be referring to the 12th chapter of the 1st book, the 12th section of the 1st chapter, or the 12th line of the 1st book or stanza. Things should just be clearly distinguished whenever possible. — LlywelynII 07:19, 1 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]


We don't have to use this picture but the article needs to be able to explain to people who see it what the context was

It's been over a decade and this guy still hasn't gotten satisfaction. It doesn't matter that Livy may have omitted it: by far the common modern version of the story is that Romulus and Remus got violent over teasing over a short wall (murus Romuli), probably misunderstanding the ancient idea of the furrow created during the sulcus primigenius. Wherever it came from, it should be mentioned prominently here with suitable sourcing and (if necessary) caveats. — LlywelynII 07:19, 1 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]