top of page

History of Rome

There is no consensus about the actual origin of the name "Rome" among historians.   There are several versions of the origin of the name and the founding of the city.  One that emanated from the Greek mythology of Aeneas and one that reconciled the Greek version with the Italian accounting of the twin brothers Romulus and Remus.  According to Roman historians, the city of ROME was founded by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus on April 21, 753 BC. 


Rome was located on the Tiber River about 15 miles inland from the Mediterranean Sea. The Romans had easy access to the sea, and were somewhat protected from seaborne invasion. Also, Rome lay in the middle of the Italian peninsula, the boot-shaped landmass to the west of Greece.  

After the expulsion of the last of these kings, the power of the Etruscans declined as the Romans began the unification of Italy.

​This process reached its final stage when the right of Roman citizenship was extended throughout Italy in 89 BC, and with the subsequent diffusion of Roman institutions and culture from the Alps to Sicily, and Latin as the general language.


Romes Shewolf

The myth goes that lupa, a she-wolf  nursed and sheltered the twin-brothers Romulus and Remus after they were abandoned in the wild by order of King Amulius of Alba Longa. She cared for the infants at her den, a cave known as the Lupercal, until they were discovered by a shepherd, Faustulus.The twin brothers Romulus and Remus were purported to be sons of Rhea Silvia and fathered by either Mars, the god of war, or the demigod hero Hercules.

Romulus and Remus

They were abandoned at birth, in the manner of many mythological heroes, because of a prophecy that they would overthrow their great-uncle Amulius, who had overthrown Silvia's father Numitor.


Contrary to their orders, the twins were abandoned on the river Tiber by servants who took pity on the infants. The twins were nurtured by a she-wolf until a shepherd named Faustulus found the boys and took them in as his sons. Faustulus and his wife Acca Larentia raised the children. When Remus and Romulus became adults, they killed Amulius and restored Numitor. They decided to establish a city.


Each of them took auspices, then quarrelled over the result. Romulus and his followers began to establish city walls on his favoured hill, the Palatine. Remus wanted to found the city on the Aventine Hill. In the commonest version, according to Livy, Remus slighted Romulus' wall by leaping over it, and was killed, either by his twin or his twin's  followers.  In the following Romulus name the city after himself. 


Thus, Rome began with divisions and a fratricide, a story that was later taken to represent the city's history of internecine political strife and bloodshed.

bottom of page