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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 disappearance of the founder: Romulus ‘cut into pieces’ or his apotheosis

The disappearance of the founder: Romulus ‘cut into pieces’ or his apotheosis

Chapter:
(p.84) (p.85) Chapter 4 The disappearance of the founder: Romulus ‘cut into pieces’ or his apotheosis
Source:
The Foundation of Rome
Author(s):

Augusto Fraschetti

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621200.003.0004

The death of the first king, Romulus the founder, constituted a problem on many levels for the Romans. Dionysius of Halicarnassus spoke of ‘many different stories’, various accounts on which there were evidently no agreement. According to one of these – a version Dionysius considered ‘rather fabulous’ – Romulus disappeared during a review of the army ‘in the camp’. Suddenly there occurred supernatural phenomena that obscured the light, or somehow removed Romulus from everyone's sight, and when these phenomena ceased, the throne was empty. After searching in vain, the people finally understood – or were made to understand – that the king had ascended to heaven to be among the gods, or better, that he had been swept up into heaven by his father Mars, and therefore was numbered among them.

Keywords:   Romulus, Romans, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, supernatural phenomena, gods, Mars

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