Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Legend of Romulus and Remus

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This is based on the history of how the City of Rome began in 753 BC.
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Once upon a time, there was an old and cruel King, named Amulius, who ruled a kingdom in a place far, far away.   He was suspicious of everyone who might try to inherit the throne from him.
He had a niece, Princess Rhea Silvia, and when Rhea was old enough, he sent her away to a secluded place so that she could not inherit or have a son who might one day become king.
One day, he was told that his niece did  have a son. Not one son, but two sons. . . . she had twin boys! Outraged, King Amulius sent a servant to take the babies, and throw them into the Tiber River, so that there would be no one to inherit the throne from him.
Fearing the King, the servant did as he ordered, and went that night to steal the babies away from Rhea while she slept.
Afraid of being seen, the servant hurried across the land to the Tiber River bridge and dropped the basket, with the babies, into the river.
Now, Tiberinus , the Tiber River God, saw what was happening and he reached up and caught the basket.  Gently, he lifted it up and guided it to shore.
Lupa, the she-wolf, was walking by the river bank. She had just lost her baby wolves and was very sad.

Surprised, at seeing the basket, with the babies, Lupa pulled it out of the water.

Lupa took the babies back to her cave and was very happy to have a replacement for the baby wolves she had lost.
One day Faustulus, a shepherd, was passing by  the cave and saw the babies and the she-wolf.

Not having any children of his own, Faustulus took the babies back to his wife at their hut. Lupa went along to help protect them.

   Faustulus named the babies, Remus and Romulus.
Many Years later ...........
Remus and Romulus grew up happy and loved by Faustulus and his wife.  But, like all brothers, they tend to have childish fights.

(These are not dresses -- it was tunics the boys wore.  When they are older, a toga is worn )
One day, not long after the shepherd and his wife had died, a man came to their village and said he heard about the story of their birth.  He informed them that they were the sons of Princess Rhea Silvia and heirs to the throne of King Amulius. And because they were twins, they could share being King.
It worked out well, and the boys took turns wearing the King's crown.

Remus and Romulus worked hard building their Kingdom, but now they needed a name for the City. As usual, the boys began to argue and couldn't agree. There were hills in the area, so each boy, decided to stand on a different hill, and count how many eagles they would see fly over before sunset.  The one who counted the most, would get to pick the name.

Remus counted six and then went to check with Romulus ---- Romulus counted twelve.  The boys argued again. This time about who was telling the truth.
Romulus won the argument and  named the city after him   So, on April 21st in the year 753 B.C., the city called "Rome" was born.
The boys decided  to build a fence around the city to protect it from invaders.  They argued again.  Remus said it wasn't high enough, but Romulus insisted it was.
To prove he was right, Remus attempted to jump over the fence.

  Alas, he did not make it!

The fall was fatal --- and Remus died.  Sadly, Remus was only 18 years old at his death, and a King for such a short time.
Many Years later ...........
The city flourished and grew very large with many citizens. Romulus became a successful king, although, like his brother, Remus,  there was always some who disagreed with his judgments.
One day, in the 37th year of his reign as King, Romulus went out to give a speech to the people of Rome.  He stood in the open field and as he spoke, a thunderstorm came along.  All the people scattered and ran for shelter from the rain --- All, but King Romulus.

A strange thing happened. After the rain, the people came out from the shelters to gather again in the field --- but King Romulus was gone!  He couldn't be found anywhere.
When they looked at the spot where he was standing, they only found his crown lying in the grass.

It was a mystery never solved.  Rumors and gossip abound. Some say he was murdered, others thought he was kidnapped.  But eventually, the one most favorite was, since it was a God that saved him at birth, it was only reasonable that after he built the great city of Rome, that the Gods would take him up to the heavens.
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The End
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