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Digging into the myths of Rome

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Author Topic: Digging into the myths of Rome  (Read 475 times)
Giovanni Magna
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« on: December 02, 2007, 03:49:48 pm »

Mr Carandini believes that Romulus actually existed, even if the details of his survival - washed up on the banks of the River Tiber along with his twin brother where they were discovered, suckled and saved by a female wolf - may be untrue.


"The legend of Rome contains complete fictions," he said. "I don't believe for a moment that Romulus was suckled by a she-wolf, it was a myth he created that corresponds to the typical myth of the rescued hero.


  We know Augustus was crazy about Romulus - he wanted to be the new Romulus

Professor Andrea Carandini

"But the Lupercal exists, the wall of the Palatine exist, the centre of political life that is the forum, founded by Romulus - all these are true."

One element of the Romulus and Remus story, which has Remus defying his brother by leaping over the settlement's boundary walls - an act which cost him his life - has became the defining characteristic of the Roman town.

"In all myths there is a purpose and a rationale, even though the particular story may not be true," said archaeologist Miranda Aldhouse-Green, of Cardiff University.

"The idea that there is a 'territorium', that Romulus is staking out territory and enclosing it within a sacred precinct, remains valid. It is quite true that whenever you excavate a Roman town, it has a clearly demarcated border."

"Even if we takes nothing else from the myth other than the idea of the importance of enclosure of a city, which is very much encapsulated in that myth... one can excavate and verify empirically," she added.

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