|The Story of the Romans|
|by Helene A. Guerber|
| Elementary history of Rome, presenting short stories of the great heroes, mythical and historical, from Aeneas and the founding of Rome to the fall of the western empire. Around the famous characters of Rome are graphically grouped the great events with which their names will forever stand connected. Vivid descriptions bring to life the events narrated, making history attractive to the young, and awakening their enthusiasm for further reading and study. Ages 10-14 |
ROMULUS BUILDS ROME
REMUS and Romulus, the twins who had been nursed by the
she-wolf, grew up among the shepherds. They were tall
and strong, and so brave that all their companions were
ready to follow them anywhere. One day, when they were
watching their flocks on the hillside, their pasture
was claimed by the shepherds who were working for
 The young men were angry at this, and as the shepherds
would not go away, they began to fight. As they were
only two against many, they were soon made prisoners,
and were led before Numitor.
Their strong resemblance to the royal family roused the
old man's suspicions. He began to question them, and
soon the young men found out who they were. Then they
called together a few of their bravest companions, and
entered the city of Alba, where Amulius dwelt. The
unjust king, taken by surprise, was easily killed; and
the brothers made haste to place their grandfather,
Numitor, again on the throne.
Remus and Romulus were too restless and fond of
adventure to enjoy the quiet life at Alba, so they soon
left their grandfather's court to found a kingdom of
their own. They had decided that they would settle in
the northern part of Latium, on the banks of the Tiber,
in a place where seven hills rose above the surrounding
plain. Here the two brothers said that they would
build their future city.
Before beginning, however, they thought it would be
well to give the city a name. Each wanted the honor of
naming it, and each wanted to rule over it when it was
built. As they were twins, neither was willing to give
up to the other, and as they were both hot-tempered and
obstinate, they soon began to quarrel.
companions then suggested that they should stand on
separate hills the next day, and let the gods decide
the question by a sign from the heavens. Remus,
watching the sky carefully, suddenly cried that he saw
six vultures. A moment later Romulus exclaimed that he
 twelve; so the naming of the city was awarded
to him, and he said that it should be called Rome.
The next thing was to draw a furrow all around the hill
chosen as the most favorable site. The name of this
hill was the Palatine. Romulus, therefore, harnessed
a bullock and a heifer together, and began to plow the
place where the wall of the town was to be built.
Remus, disappointed in his hopes of claiming the city,
began to taunt his brother, and, in a fit of anger,
Romulus killed him.
Although this was a horrible crime, Romulus felt no
remorse, and went on building his capital. All the
hot-headed and discontented men of the neighboring
kingdoms soon joined him; and the new city, which was
founded seven hundred and fifty-three years before
Christ, thus became the home of lawless men.
The city of Rome was at first composed of a series of
mud huts, and, as Romulus had been brought up among
shepherds, he was quite satisfied with a palace
thatched with rushes. As the number of his subjects
increased, however, the town grew larger and richer,
and before long it became a prosperous city, covering
two hills instead of one. On the second hill the
Romans built a fortress, or citadel, which was perched
on top of great rocks, and was the safest place in case
of an attack by an enemy.
This is the city of which you are going to read the
story. You will learn in these pages how it grew in
wealth and power until it finally became the most
important place in the world, and won for itself the
name of the Eternal City.
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