Saturday, January 06, 2007

Tales of Rome

Upon arriving in Tuscany, I very quickly developed a fascination for statues of Romulus, Remus and the she-wolf.

Romulus is the legendary founder of Rome. He and his twin brother Remus were the son’s of Ilia, a vestal virgin impregnated by Mars. Ilia’s father was Numitor the thirteenth King of Alba Longa who was disposed of and imprisoned by his evil brother Amulius. So as you can well imagine, these twins were no good news. Amulius thus decreed that they be thrown into the Tiber.

As luck would have it, not only did the basket that the twins were in wash up upon shore, but a she-wolf found them and suckled them until they were rescued by a shepherd named Faustulus.

Eventually the twins went back to Alba Longa, killed their great uncle and restored their grandfather to the thrown. However, rather than staying to eventually inherit the kingdom, the twins set off to found their own city at the site of their rescue. During the laying of the stone for the wall of the city, a sibling spat broke out when Remus made a mockery of his brother’s work by leaping over his “mighty wall.” Apparently this was a great insult and Romulus in his anger struck down and killed his brother. Now try to tell me that there aren’t issues in this family. Romulus called the city Rome after himself (how very creative and humble).


The Fool said...

Fascinating. I was hoping you'd share more photos from your trip.

Interesting that the founding of Rome is based on legend rather than a notation of military conquest. Considering their god set and its standing as a catalogue of family issues, it makes sense.

The variance of the statuary, especially the image of the wolf, is striking. From the emaciated first image; to serene & motherly in the center (no teeth shown, calmly strong); to feral in the final shots(teeth bared & lip curled). I wonder if the differences depicted are due to artistic temperament, or the times they were created?

The pictures are beautiful, and the tale intriguing. Thanks.

Cheryl said...

That's fascinating, Carla. And the photos are great, as usual!

Carla said...

Fool, unfortunately I don't have any information with regards to the artistic differences in which the wolf is depicted. I too, however, am curious and facinated, not only of the portrayal of the wolf here, but throughout history in both myth and legend.

Cheryl, thanks for the compliment.