The Founding of Rome

Romulus & Remus

There are many stories about Ancient Rome.  Some of these are true while others are just made up.  Most of them are a blend of both.  Historians today are still unsure whether the stories about early Ancient Rome are true.  One of these is about the first seven kings of Rome.  According to the Romans, some of these kings were good while others were bad.  All of them were important because what they did affected how Rome came to be what it was.


Romulus was the first king of Rome.  He ruled from 753 to 715 BC.  Romulus founded Rome as a city from the very beginning.  The story of Romulus is that he was born the son of a god named Mars.  He and his brother, Remus, were abandoned by the Tiber River as babies.  However, a wolf found them and kept them both alive.  When they grew older, the brothers decided to start a city.  However, they couldn’t agree on who should be its leader.


They decided to let the gods choose the leader.  Romulus stood on one hill while Remus stood on another.  Six birds landed at Remus’ feet.  Remus took this as a sign from the gods that he should rule the city.  Soon after, however, twelve birds came to Romulus.  He argued that the gods favored him because they had sent more birds.  Remus refused to accept this.  He said that the birds had come to him first, which was more important.  Romulus ignored him and he began to build a wall together with his supporters.


What happened next is not clear.  According to one story, Remus made fun of the wall.  He insulted it and said it was no good.  To show how poorly made the wall was, he jumped over it.  When he did so, Romulus killed Remus.  Another story says that Remus died instantly after jumping over the wall.  No one killed him.  In any case, Romulus buried Remus and then continued building the new city.  It was named Rome, in honor of its founder.

Did you enjoy this lesson? If you did, why not try this one about Gladiators?