Romulus and Remus

Legendary Founders of Rome

735 B.C.

Romulus and Remus Story

Numitor was dethroned by his younger brother, Amulius. Amulius forced Rhea Silvia, daughter of Numitor, to become a vestal virgin as a way to ensure to have no competitors for the throne. But, she had sons fathered by Mars, the god of war.

After finding out about the twins, Amulius ordered them to be drowned, but, their crib floated down the river until they came to rest under a fig tree (Ficus ruminalis). Then the twins were taken care of by a wolf and a woodpecker- both sacred to mars- until the herdsman, Faustulus, found them. Faustulus and his wife took care of them.

The twins, Romulus and Remus, became leaders of an adventurous group of youth-lings. They eventually kill Amulius and restore their grandfather to the throne.

The twins then went back to where they were first rescued (under the fig tree) and founded a town there. Romulus and Remus both started their own walls...

Here is where the stories differ:

-They could not decide who should name the new city, so they each stood on a different hill, Romulus on the Palatine hill and Remus stood on the Aventine hill. Remus saw 6 vultures, then Romulus saw 12 and so on... Each was acclaimed king, but a fight broke out and Remus was killed.

-Remus mocked Romulus and jumped over his half-built walls. Romulus became furious and slew Remus.

Either way Remus is killed and Romulus is king, he names his place Rome!

Commonly Alluded to elements...

  • Two Brothers (Romulus and/or Remus) (twins?)
  • Wolf
  • Mars
  • two hills or two walls (significant ones usually)
  • Etc...

Capitoline Wolf sculpture of Romulus and Remus

From Romulus and Remus' beginning, when the Wolf and woodpecker took care of them...

Harry Potter: Remus Lupin

Remus Lupin - a reference to the legend of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. They were raised by a she-wolf, hence "lupin". He can turn into a wolf on the night of a full moon, werewolf. He uses Romulus as his alias in Potterwatch (the radio station for the good witches and wizards).

The Jungle Book

Mowgli- the little boy, is found by Bagira by a river and is taken care of by a pack of wolves and other forest animals until the humans eventually take him in. The wolf in Romulus + Remus and Mowgli's situation, is a mother figure.

Thor: the Marvel Movie

~Not a direct reference, just some interesting, more recent info~

Thor and Loki: Rival brothers fighting get along at first, both fighting for their kingdom against the frost giants who would seek to take the throne. Soon, Odin gets 'sick', then Thor and Loki are at odds over who has rights to the throne. In the end, Odin is restored to power, Loki loses (or dies) and Thor wins!

Sound familiar? I hope so, cause all that was mentioned above has some correlation with the story of Romulus and Remus: brothers fighting to reinstate or keep their close relatives kingdom safe, then fighting over a kingdom that they both think they deserve.