The sole common component in the legends about the birth of the twins Romulus and Remus is that they were sons of a Vestal Virgin called Rhea Silvia. It was not difficult to show that this story of the conception of Romulus and Remus by a slave girl and a male organ which had miraculously materialised in the hearth of King Tarchetius of Alba was modelled on a legend concerning the birth of the good king Servius Tullius, the sixth successor of Romulus, conceived according to legend in very similar manner in the house of the king Tarquinius Priscus. However, when Amulius learnt that the girl was pregnant, he put her under strict supervision, and when the twins were born, had her locked up in a dark dungeon and ordered some of his shepherds to throw the twins into the Tiber to drown.
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