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The Foundation of Rome$
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Ausgusto Fraschetti

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780748621200

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621200.001.0001

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The foundation

The foundation

(p.28) (p.29) Chapter 2 The foundation
The Foundation of Rome

Augusto Fraschetti

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter pays more attention to certain highly typical features related to the auspices and the death of Remus. With regard to the auspices, it notes those of the twins' attributes that might be described as ‘natural’. Without anyone ever having instructed them in the reading of the auspices and the relevant soothsaying skills, both prepare a true templum (a ritually defined space) on a preordained high point to receive ‘auspicia impetrativa’. From these spaces, they set about observing the signs, just as later, in the historical period, observers would study the omens from the city's two auguracula. The birds which Romulus sees are in exactly twice the number seen by his brother: this means that Romulus has better auspices, just as in the historical period the senior magistrates possess ‘auspicia maxima’ relative to the junior magistrates such as aediles and quaestors, who hold ‘auspicia minora’.

Keywords:   auspices, death, Remus, twins, templum, omens, auguracula, Romulus

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