Table of Contents
The Building of Rome
Brutus and His Sons
How Lars Porsenna Besieged Rome
Caius Marcius and His Mother
The Deeds of the Fabii
The Battle of Corbio
How the Romans Won Two Cities
The Taking of Rome
The Gulf in the Forum
The Story of Titus Manlius
The Death of Decius
The Caudine Forks
The Two Fabii
How Pyrrhus Fought against Rome
THE BUILDING OF ROME
 THERE once reigned in a town called Alba in
Italy a king whose name was Numitor. He
had a brother called Amulius, who was a proud
and wicked man, and could not bear that his
elder brother should be king over him. So
Amulius plotted against his brother. He got
together a number of men who were as bad and
cruel as himself, and they attacked Numitor and
drove him from his throne, and made Amulius
king in his stead. They took the sons of Numitor,
and his daughter Rhea Silvia, and killed
 them. Then Amulius seized the two little sons
of Rhea Silvia, who were still only babies; he
gave them to his soldiers, and told them to
throw the poor little boys into the River Tiber."
"Then," thought he, "they will be drowned.
There will be none of my brother's children left
to trouble me, and I shall be king all my life."
The soldiers took the two babies in their
cradle, lying side by side fast asleep, and carried
them to the river.
Now, there had been a great deal of rain, and
the Tiber had overflowed its banks, so that the
men could not put the children in the deep
part of the river, but only at the edge, where
the water was shallow. However, they thought
that they would have obeyed the orders of
Amulius if they left the little boys there. So
they put the cradle down in the water, and
But the sun was shining, and the waters
were sinking fast; soon the dry land began
to show itself; the cradle stood still, and the
waters left it on the bank and ran back into
There lived not far from the Tiber a shepherd
whose name was Faustulus. He was
walking by the side of the river, when he
saw a cradle lying under a fig-tree, and beside
the cradle stood a great she-wolf. Faustulus
was very much astonished, and ran quickly to
see what this might mean. When he got near,
he saw that in the cradle were two beautiful
little baby boys, and the wolf was feeding them
with her milk, just as if they had been her
own little ones. But when she saw Faustulus,
she fled away into the woods; and he took
the children and carried them home to his
wife. So these two kind people loved the
boys and brought them up like their own sons.
Romulus and Remus, so the boys were
called, grew up strong and bold and active.
They did not care to till the ground and herd
the cattle, but loved to hunt in the woods
and mountains. Sometimes, too, they would
 attack the robbers whom they met in that
wild land, and take their plunder from them.
So, it happened that many young men from
the country round came to them and joined
their expeditions, and of these Romulus and
Remus were always the chiefs and leaders.
Faustulus had heard that two grandsons of
the king had been thrown into the Tiber, and
he guessed that these must be the boys he
had found. When Numitor, their old grandfather,
heard of these two young men, he too
thought they must be his daughter's sons.
Then Romulus and Remus took their friends
and companions with them, and went to Alba.
They attacked King Amulius and killed him.
When Numitor heard of what had happened,
he called the Alban nobles together, and told
them of all the wrongs he had borne from his
brother, and all the story of his grandsons.
While he was still speaking, the two brothers
marched with their followers into the midst of
the assembly, and they hailed their
grand-  father father as King of Alba, to the great joy of
all the Alban people.
Now Romulus and Remus were not content
to stay at Alba with their old grandfather;
but they determined to build a new city for
themselves. They made up their minds that
this new city should be near the River Tiber,
on the spot where they were found by Faustulus
when they were little babies. So they
took their companions with them, and went
to that place. There was still growing the
fig-tree under which their cradle had lain,
and they resolved that they would build their
walls there, and leave the fig-tree standing in
the midst. For hundreds of years afterwards
the fig-tree was to be seen standing in one
of the chief streets of Rome.
The walls were soon begun, but while they
were building, the two young men began to
quarrel. Remus spoke scornfully to his brother
and laughed at him, and jumped over the wall
that Romulus had just begun to raise.
Rom-  ulus was very angry, and in his rage he
struck his brother and killed him.
Thus he became the only leader and king.
He finished building the city, which he called
Rome after his own name. He ruled it for
many years, and after his death the Romans
worshipped him as a god.