According to legend, Romulus was born to a Vestal Virgin and left for dead as an infant near the Tiber River. His life nearly ended as quickly as it began, but fate had other plans. A humble shepherd rescued the child and helped raise him into manhood. As Romulus grew older, he fearlessly engaged in a series of perilous adventures that ultimately culminated in Rome’s founding, and he became its fabled first king. Establishing a new city had its price, and Romulus was forced to defend the nascent community. As he tirelessly safeguarded Rome, Romulus proved that he was a competent leader and talented general. Yet, he also harboured a dark side, which reared its head in many ways and tainted his legacy, but despite all of his misdeeds, redemption and subsequent triumphs were usually within his grasp. Indeed, he is an example of how greatness is sometimes born of disgrace. Regardless of his foreboding flaws, Rome allegedly existed because of him and became massively successful. As the centuries passed, the Romans never forgot their celebrated founder. This is the story that many ancient Romans believed.
ROMULUS The Legend of Rome’s Founding Father
By being critical of the available evidence, Hyden rather effectively sorts among the “fact, fiction, or somewhat in between” of Rome’s founder to give us an interesting, entertaining, and often thought provoking look at Rome’s origins, suggesting ways to interpret similar myths from other cultures.