The story of Romulus and Remus

Name: ________________________________

The origins of Rome are steeped in myth and legend. Many ancient Romans believed twin boys named Romulus and Remus founded the city. A king feared the twins would rob him of his throne, so he tossed them into the frigid Tiber River. Soon after, the brothers were rescued by a she-wolf who nursed them back to health.

Romulus and Remus decided to establish a city on the Tiber River, but the brothers could not agree on a location. Signs from the heavens decreed that each brother would build a city, but Romulus’ city would be much larger. Romulus completed his city on April 21, 753BC. Remus was upset that Romulus had built his city, so he climbed over the wall. The enraged Romulus killed his brother with an ax. The city came to be known as Rome, named for its legendary founder.

The early Romans lived in small communities that grew into city-states, often ruled by kings from wealthy families. About fifty years after Romulus founded the city, the legends say the Etruscans conquered the Romans. The Etruscans were brutal rulers who rained terror on the Roman people. They were eventually ousted by a group of Roman aristocrats who founded the Roman Republic.

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