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Founding Myths Of Greek And Roman Cities

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Roman Cities of the Ancient worlds

Alba Longa was supposedly a mythical city found on the Alban Hills roughly in the southeast region of what would in the future be Rome. King Numitor, who had a daughter, Rhea Silvia, ruled the hills until his younger brother Amuliu deposed him. Forced by her uncle to remain a virgin so that he would have no rivals to the throne Rhea was doomed for life until the war god Mars impregnated her and she gave birth to twin sons named Romulus and Remus. Unable to control her birth and her sons, Amulius decided to drown the twins in the river Tiber, but despite the attempt the infants survived as they were found near the Palatine hill, and suckled by a she-wolf until a shepherd, Faustulus found them. Growing up as Shepard's they formed a band of warriors and when they learnt of their identity they attacked their uncle, restored their grandfather to the throne and created a city on the spot where they had been found. Soon however, the two brothers quarreled and Remus was murdered with Romulus taking over the rule of the city and naming it 'Rome'. As time passed battles took place for the control of the area and the city grew. [The History Channel 2002] After Romulus there were five kings each of whom fought to retain his place in the monarchy and when the sixth king, SERVIUS TULLIUS, grandson of Vulcan, came to the throne the monarchy was coming to an end. Servius worshipped of Diana and introduced many reforms until the plot of his daughter and husband, Tarquinius Superbus who was the last king of Rome, murdered him. His son, SEXTUS raped LUCRETIA, the wife of Tarquinius COLLATINUS who told her husband and father, later killing herself. Tarquinius Superbus and his sons were forced into exile, and the Roman monarchy came to an end. [Lenardon, et al 2002]

This myth of the founding of Rome was set somewhere near the fourth century B.C. but Roman scholar Marcus Terentius Varro claimed it actually took place in the first century B.C. [The History Channel 2002]

Another founding myth originating from Greece suggested that the Trojan Aeneas founded started a dynasty, which would give birth to Romulus and Remus and create Rome. As the only survivor of Troy, Greek scholars stated that Aeneas most probably relocated and near the fifth century B.C., Aeneas created a small state, Rome that later grew into the Empire. While the founding myths of Rome are more realistic and bound to earth the Greek myths were more divine in nature. For consider the myth of Athens. It is said that when the gods were being given lands of worship where they would be the rulers and all men would worship them only. Athena gained the land she called Athens after a dispute with Cecrops a son of the soil, with a body compounded of man and serpent. Another similar myth suggested that the gods would determine which god would rule which area on the basis of who would offer the most. The contest for the land called Athens was between Athena and Poseidon, king of the sea. Poseidon offered the land a horse a symbol of his being a warrior while Athena planted an Olive Tree. Athena was judged the winner as the gods determined the tree would bring the



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