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The Early History of Rome and its Establishment

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The city was founded around settlements at a ford across the Tiber River, at the crossroads of trade routes. According to archaeological evidence, Rome was founded as a village, probably in the 9th century B.C. by two Central Italic tribes, Latins and Sabines, on the hills Palatine, Capitol and Quirinale.


The fourteenth king Alba-Longi Numitor was overthrown by his brother Amulius. Amulius did not want Numitor’s children to prevent his ambitious plans: Numitor’s son disappeared during the hunt, and Ray Sylvia was forced to become a Vestal. In the fourth year of service, the god Mars appeared to her in a sacred grove, from which Ray Sylvia gave birth to two brothers. Enraged, Amulius ordered the babies to be put into the basket and thrown into the Tiber River. However, the basket was washed ashore at the foot of the Palatine Hill, where a she-wolf nursed them, and the cares of the mother were replaced by a woodpecker who had flown in and a lapwing tree. Subsequently, all these animals became sacred to Rome. Then the brothers were picked up by the royal shepherd Faustul. His wife, Akka Larentia, who had not yet comforted after the death of her child, took the twins to her care. When Romulus and Remus grew up, they returned to Alba Long, where they learned the secret of their origin. They killed Amuli and restored their grandfather Numitor on the throne.

Four years later, at the behest of their grandfather, Romulus and Rem went to Tiber to look for a place to found a new colony of Alba-Long. According to legend, Rem chose the lowland between the Palatine and Capitoline hills, but Romulus insisted on founding a city on the Palatine Hill. Appeal to the signs did not help, a quarrel broke out, during which Romulus killed his brother. Repenting in the murder of Remus, Romulus founded the city, to which he gave his name (Roma), and became it’s king. The date of foundation of the city is April 21, 753 B.C. (when the first furrow was made around the Palatine Hill by the plow). According to a medieval legend, the city of Siena was founded by the son of Remus – Senii.

From the middle of the second millennium BC. in the lower reaches of the Tiber, Latin-Sikul tribes settled, a branch of the Italians, who came to the Apennine Peninsula from the Danube regions in the beginning of the second millennium BC. The Latins settled in the Palatine and Velia hills, the neighboring hills occupied the Sabines. After the union of several Latin and Sabine villages in the middle of the VIII century B.C. on the Capitol Hill was built a fortress – Rome.

The Etruscans were ancient tribes that inhabited in the first millennium BC. northwest of the peninsula between the rivers Arno and Tiber and created a developed civilization that preceded the Roman and had a great influence on it. Roman culture inherited many customs and traditions from the Etruscan culture. Around the II century B.C., due to assimilation by Rome, the Etruscan civilization ceased to exist.

In order to increase the population of Rome in the early stages of its development, Romulus granted newcomers rights, freedoms, and citizenship on a par with the first settlers, for whom he took the land of Capitol Hill. Because of this, runaway slaves, exiles, and simply adventurers from other cities and countries began to flock to the city.

Rome also lacked a female population — neighboring peoples rightly considered it shameful for themselves to join kinship unions with a mob of vagrants, as they were called at that time by the Romans. Then Romulus invented a solemn celebration – Consualia, with games, wrestling and various gymnastic and cavalry exercises. Many neighbors of the Romans came to the feast, including the Sabines. At the moment when the spectators were fascinated by the course of the game, by a conventional sign, a large crowd of Romans with swords and spears in their hands attacked unarmed guests. In the confusion and crush, the Romans seized the women, and Romulus himself took Gersilia, the Sabinean wife. A wedding with a bride kidnapping ritual has since become a Roman custom.

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