F Heritage History | Story of Rome by Mary Macgregor
Contents 
Front Matter The Lady Roma The She-Wolf The Twin Boys Numitor's Grandson The Sacred Birds The Founding of Rome The Sabine Maidens The Tarpeian Rock The Mysterious Gate The King Disappears The Peace-Loving King Horatius Slays His Sister Pride of Tullus Hostilius King Who Fought and Prayed The Faithless Friend A Slave Becomes a King Cruel Deed of Tullia Fate of the Town of Gabii Books of the Sibyl Industry of Lucretia Death of Lucretia Sons of Brutus Horatius Cocles Mucius Burns Right Hand The Divine Twins The Tribunes Coriolanus and His Mother The Roman Army in a Trap The Hated Decemvirs The Death of Verginia The Friend of the People Camillus Captures Veii The Statue of the Goddess Schoolmaster Traitor Battle of Allia The Sacred Geese The City Is Rebuilt Volscians on Fire Battle on the Anio The Curtian Lake Dream of the Two Consuls The Caudine Forks Caudine Forks Avenged Fabius among the Hills Battle of Sentinum Son of Fabius Loses Battle Pyrrhus King of the Epirots Elephants at Heraclea Pyrrthus and Fabricius Pyrrhus is Defeated Romans Build a Fleet Battle of Ecnomus Roman Legions in Africa Regulus Taken Prisoner Romans Conquer the Gauls The Boy Hannibal Hannibal Invades Italy Hannibal Crosses the Alps Battle of Trebia Battle of Lake Trasimenus Hannibal Outwits Fabius Fabius Wins Two Victories Battle of Cannae Despair of Rome Defeat of Hasdrubal Claudius Enjoy a Triumph Capture of New Carthage Scipio Sails to Africa Romans Set Fire to Camp Hannibal Leaves Italy The Battle of Zama Scipio Receives a Triumph Flamininus in Garlands Death of Hannibal Hatred of Cato for Carthage The Stern Decree Carthaginians Defend City Destruction of Carthage Cornelia, Mother of Gracchi Tiberius and Octavius Death of Tiberius Gracchus Death of Gaius Gracchus The Gold of Jugurtha Marius Wins Notice of Scipio Marius Becomes Commander Capture of Treasure Towns Capture of Jugurtha Jugurtha Brought to Rome Marius Conquers Teutones Marius Mocks the Ambassadors Metellus Driven from Rome Sulla Enters Rome The Flight of Marius Gaul Dares Not Kill Marius Marius Returns to Rome The Orator Aristion Sulla Besieges Athens Sulla Fights the Samnites The Proscriptions of Sulla The Gladiators' Revolt The Pirates Pompey Defeats Mithridates Cicero Discovers Conspiracy Death of the Conspirators Caesar Captured by Pirates Caesar Gives up Triumph Caesar Praises Tenth Legion Caesar Wins a Great Victory Caesar Invades Britain Caesar Crosses Rubicon Caesar and the Pilot The Flight of Pompey Cato Dies Rather than Yieldr Caesar is Loaded with Honours Nobles Plot against Caesar The Assassination of Caesar Brutus Speaks to Citizens Antony Speaks to Citizens The Second Triumvirate Battle of Philippi Death of Brutus Antony and Cleopatra Battle of Actium Antony and Cleopatra Die Emperor Augustus

Story of Rome - Mary Macgregor




The Founding of Rome

It was in the year 753 B.C. that Romulus was chosen king. He at once began to make preparations to build a city on the Palatine hill. The foundation he wished to lay on the twenty-first of the glad month of April, for, as Romulus knew, this was a feast-day among the shepherds.

Often he, with his brother, had joined the herdsmen on that day, to offer cakes to the goddess Pales, to beseech her blessing on themselves and on their flocks. And when the prayers and sacrifices were over, how gladly he had joined in the shepherds' games and jollity! No better day could be found on which to lay the foundation of the new city.

When the feast-day arrived, a hole was first dug on the spot where the city was to stand.

Into this hole the king flung the first fruits of the earth, corn and fruit.

Each of his followers then took a handful of earth which he had carried with him from his own, perhaps distant, home, and flung it also into the hole, which was then filled to the top.

Here, too, an altar was built, on which the people laid offerings to the gods. From henceforth the spot, where the temple had been erected, was to be the hearth or centre of the new city.

Romulus then throwing his toga, or as we would say, his mantle, around him, with one end covering his head, took a white bull and a cow and yoked them to a sacred plough, the share of which was made of brass.

With this ploughshare the king then made a furrow to mark the boundary of the city, bidding his followers watch that the upturned earth fell inward to the hearth of the city. Not a clod must be allowed to lie without the furrow. When the plough reached the different spots at which the gates of the city were to stand, it was carefully lifted over the spaces.

As he guided the plough, Romulus cried to his gods that his city might become strong and endure, and ever grow more powerful in the great world.

Out of a clear sky thunder crashed, lightning flashed over the hills as Romulus uttered his petitions, and the people believed that the storm was the answer of the god Jupiter to the prayers of their king.

When these sacred rites were ended, Romulus bade his men begin at once to build the wall which was to surround his city.

The wall itself was sacred. None might enter the city, save by the gates. So the king bade one of his followers, named Celer, to guard the sacred furrow, and to see that no one dared to scale the wall or jump across it, as it was being built.

Remus, who was still angry that he had not been chosen king, had been standing near to Romulus as he laid the foundation of the city. Then, as the wall began to rise before him, a swift rage sprang up in his heart, and he leaped across it, crying: 'Shall such defences as these guard your city?'

Celer, the watchman, seeing that Remus had scorned the order of the king, raised his spade in sudden fury and struck the young prince dead to the ground.

Then, fearing lest Romulus should punish him for his hasty deed, he fled. Fear lent him wings, and his name from that day became a byword to betoken great speed.

Our own word, 'celerity,' comes from Celer, the swift-footed servant of Romulus.

When Romulus was told that his brother had been slain, he showed neither grief nor anger. 'Thus perish every one who may attempt to cross these walls,' were his stern words to those who brought the sad tidings.

Celer, it was plain, had fled in needless haste.