The Foundation of Rome – Romulus and Remus

Romulus and Remus with the wolf (Sienna, Italy). Photo by Eric Parker (

21st April is celebrated in Rome as the city’s founding day. According to legend, this was the day in 753BCE when the abandoned twins, Romulus and Remus, who had been brought up by a wolf, returned to the banks of the Tiber to found a city. Romulus chose what would become known as the Palatine Hill and dug a ditch around it as the foundations for his wall. Remus, mocking his brother, jumped over the ditch. We can imagine that he said something along the lines ‘ so much for your wall!’ Romulus was so angered that he struck his brother down with the reply ‘ So perish anyone who leaps over my walls!’. He went on to build his city and become its first King.

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