A guide to...
Who were Romulus and Remus in Roman legend?
There was once a pair of twin brothers called Romulus and Remus. Their mother was Rhea Silvia, the daughter of King Numitor, and their father was Mars, the God of War.
King Numitor had a brother, Amulius, who wanted to be king so much that he took the throne for himself. He was so desperate to keep his position as king that he had tried to stop Rhea Silvia from having any children of her own because they might try to take back the throne.
When Romulus and Remus were born to Rhea Silvia, Amulius was shocked and very angry. In his rage, he put the twin boys into a basket and threw them into the river Tiber. He wanted nothing more to do with them.
What happened to Romulus and Remus?
After the two boys had floated down the river in their basket, they were rescued by a mother wolf. She cared for the boys as if they were her own wolf babies and she fed them with her own milk.
Once Romulus and Remus got bigger, they were taken home by a shepherd called Faustulus. He and his wife looked after them in his home until they were adults. One day, Romulus and Remus discovered who they really were and made a plan to kill Amulius and reclaim the throne for their own family.
How was the City of Rome founded?
Once they had carried out their plan and made their grandfather king instead, they decided to build a city of their own. They disagreed about where to build it. Romulus thought that they should build it on the Palatine Hill, but Remus wanted to use the Aventine Hill. They each began to build their own walled city.
One day, Remus paid Romulus a visit. Remus mocked Romulus’s city and its low walls. Romulus became so infuriated that he killed Remus instantly, declaring that he would kill any person who ever made fun of his city, which he called Rome. He continued to build up his city and officially made himself king in 753 BC.
You can find a full KS2 lesson plan about the founding of Rome in our Roman Britain Resource Pack.