|The Story of Rome|
|by Mary Macgregor|
|A vivid account of the story of Rome from the earliest times to the death of Augustus, retold for children, chronicling the birth of a city and its growth through storm and struggle to become a great world empire. Gives short accounts of battles and campaigns, and of the men who expanded the borders of the Roman empire to include all lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Ages 10-14 |
THE LADY ROMA
 LONG, long years ago, Troy, one of the great cities in Asia
Minor, was taken by the Greeks.
Many mighty Trojans had defended their city well, and
among them all none had fought more bravely than the
But when Æneas saw that the Greeks had set fire to
the city, he fled, carrying, it is said, his father on
his shoulders, and grasping by the hand his son
Moreover, so precious to him was the sacred image of
the goddess Pallas, that he saved it from the burning
The gods, pleased with his reverence, helped him in his
flight by building a ship. So when Æneas reached
the sea he at once embarked in it, with his followers
and their wives, and sailed away to seek for a new land
in which to build a new city.
As the Trojans sailed they saw a bright star shining
above them. Day and night the star was always to be
seen, showing the seafarers the direction in which to
At length the Trojans reached the western shore of
Italy, and here, at a town called Latium, they
The women were weary of the sea, and no sooner had they
landed than they began to wonder how they could
persuade their husbands to journey no farther, but to
settle in the pleasant country which they had reached.
 Among these women was a lady of noble birth, who was
wise as she was good.
Roma, for that was the lady's name, proposed that they
should burn the ship in which they had sailed. Then it
would be impossible for their husbands to go any
farther in search of a new home.
The other women agreed to Roma's daring plan, and with
mingled hope and fear the ship was set on fire.
When the men saw the flames devouring the vessel they
were troubled, but when they found out how it had been
set on fire, they were angry.
Yet, as anger could not give them back their ship, and
as Italy was a pleasant land, the men did as the women
wished. They settled near a hill called Mount
Palatine, and there they built a city.
Some old stories tell that the city was called Rome
after Roma, the noble lady who had first thought of
setting the ship on fire.
But other stories say that the country in which
Æneas landed belonged to a king named Latinus, who
welcomed the Trojan, and gave him ground on which to
build. Æneas married Lavinia, the daughter of the
king, and called the city which he built after her
Soon after this, King Latinus was killed in battle, and
then for three years Æneas ruled well and wisely
not only over his own Trojan followers, but also over
the subjects of his royal father-in-law. His people he
now called Latins, in memory of King Latinus.
When the three years were passed, war broke out against
the Etruscans, who were at that time the most powerful
tribe in Italy.
One day a terrible storm overtook the armies on the
battlefield; so dark grew the clouds that the soldiers
could not see each other.
When at length the sky cleared Æneas had
disappeared, and was seen no more on earth.
 "The gods have taken him away," said the Latins. So
they built an altar, and henceforth worshipped their
king as the god Jupiter.
Ascanius, who had escaped from Troy with his father,
now ruled in Lavinium. But he soon found that the city
was not large enough for all his people; so, leaving
Lavinium, he built a new city, and called it Alba
Longa, or the Long White City.
Alba Longa stood in the midst of the Alban hills, not
far from the site on which Rome itself was soon to be
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