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Romulus and Remus are the mythical twin founders of Rome. Their grandfather was Numitor, king of Alba Longa, a descendant of the Trojan Prince Aeneas and father to their mother, Rhea Silvia. Numitor's brother Amulius deposed him, killed his sons and forced Rhea to become a Vestal Virgin, but Rhea conceived Romulus and Remus by Mars (or Hercules). Amulius exposed the newborns to die but a she-wolf found and suckled them. A shepherd and his wife raised them to manhood. The twins were natural leaders, and acquired many followers. When told their true identities, they killed Amulius, restored Numitor to the throne of Alba Longa and decided to found a new city for themselves. Romulus wished to build the new city on the Palatine Hill but Remus preferred the Aventine Hill. They agreed to determine the site through augury. Romulus received the more favorable signs but each claimed the results in his favor. Remus was killed in the dispute. Romulus named the new city Rome, after himself, and created the Roman Legions and the Roman Senate. Rome's population was swelled by landless refugees and outlaws, mostly men. They abducted women from the neighboring Sabine tribes, which led to war but eventually resulted the Sabines and Romans joining. In later life Romulus became increasingly autocratic, disappeared in mysterious circumstances and was deified as the god Quirinus, the divine persona of the Roman people. Ancient historians had no doubt that Romulus gave his name to the city. Most modern historians believe the mythological narrative is mostly or entirely fiction.
|David Sear identifies this simple round building without columns as the Sepulcher of Divus Romulus. The ruins of this tomb, which are sometimes erroneously called the stables of the Circus of Caracalla, are situated in a large quadrilateral enclosure forming part of the villa of Maxentius on the Appian way, about one mile from the gate of S. Sebastian.|