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On this page: Romulus – Romulus Augustulus – Romulus Sflvius



tories of Niebuhr (vol. i. p. 220, &c.) and Maiden (p. 6, &c.).

As Romulus was regarded as the founder of Rome, its most ancient political institutions and the organisation of the people were ascribed to him by the popular belief. Thus he is said to have divided the people into three tribes, which bore the names Ramnes, Tities, and Luceres. The Ramnes were supposed to have derived their name from Romulus, the Tities from Titus Tatius the Sabine king, and the Luceres from Lucumo, an Etruscan chief who had assisted Romulus in the war against the Sabines. Each tribe contained ten euriae, which received their names from the thirty Sabine women who had brought about the peace between the Romans and their own people. Further, each curia contained ten gentes, and each gens a hundred men. Thus the people, according to the general belief, were divided originally into three tribes, thirty euriae, and three hundred gentes, which mustered 3000 men, who fought on foot, and were called a legion. Besides those there were three hundred horsemen, called celeres, the same body as' the equites of a later time ; but the legend neg­lects to tell us from what quarter these horsemen came. To assist him in the government of the people Romulus is said to have selected a number of the aged men in the state, who were called patres, or senatores. The council itself, which was called the senatus, originally consisted of one hundred members ; but this number was increased to two hundred when the Sabines were incorporated in the state. In addition to the senate, there was another assembly, consisting of the members of the gentes, which bore the name of comitia curiata, because they voted in it according to their division into euriae. To this assembly was committed the election of the kings in subsequent times.

That part of the legend of Romulus which relates to the political institutions which he is said to have founded, represents undoubted historical facts. For we have certain evidence of the existence of such institutions in the earliest times, and many traces endured to the imperial period : and the popular belief only attempted to explain the origin of ex­isting phenomena by ascribing their first establish­ment to the heroic founder of the state. Thus, while no competent scholar would attempt in the present day to give a history of Romulus ; because, even on the supposition that the legend still re­tained some real facts, we have no criteria to sepa­rate what is true from what is false ; yet, on the other hand, it is no presumption to endeavour to form a conception of the political organisation of Rome in the earliest times, because we can take our start from actually existing institutions, and trace them back, in many cases step by step, to remote times. We are thus able to prove that the legend is for the most part only an explanation of facts which had a real existence. It would be out of place here to attempt an explanation of the early Roman constitution, but a few remarks are necessary in explanation of the legendary ac­count of the constitution which has been given above.

The original site of Rome was on the Palatine hill. On this there was a Latin colony established at the earliest times, which formed an independent state. On the neighbouring hills there appear to have been also settlements of Sabines and Etrus­cans, the former probably on the Quirinal and Ca-


pitoline hills, and the latter on the Caelian. In course of time these Sabine and Etruscan settle­ments coalesced with the Latin colony on the Palatine, and the three peoples became united into one state. At what time this union took place it is of course impossible to say ; the legend referred it to the age of Romulus. There ap­pears, however, sufficient evidence to prove that the Latins and Sabines were united first, and that it was probably long afterwards that the Etruscans became amalgamated with them. Of this we may mention, as one proof, the number of the senate, which is said to have been doubled on the union of the Sabines, but which remained two hundred till the reign of Tarquinius Priscus, who is reported to have increased it to three hundred (Liv. i. 35 ; Dionys. iii. 67). These three peoples, after their amalgamation, became three tribes ; the Latins were called Ramnes or Ramnenses ; the Sa­bines, Tities or Titienses ; the Etruscans, Luceres or Lucerenses. The name of Ilamnes undoubtedly comes from the same root as that of Romus or Romulus, and in like manner that of Tities is con­nected with Titus Tatius. The origin of the third name is more doubtful, and was a disputed point even in antiquity. Most ancient writers derived it from Lueumo, which etymology best agrees with the Etruscan origin of the tribe, as Lucumo was a title of honour common to the Etruscan chiefs, Others suppose it to come from Lucerus, a king of Ardea (Paul. Diac. s. v. Lucereses, p. 119, ed. Miiller), a statement on which Niebuhr principally relies for the proof of the Latin origin of the third tribe ; but we think with the majority of the best modern writers, that the Luceres were of Etruscan, and not of Latin, descent. Each of these tribes was divided into ten euriae, as the legend states ; but that they derived their names from the thirty Sabine women is of course fabulous. In like man­ner each curia was divided into ten gentes, which must be regarded as smaller political bodies, rather than as combinations of persons of the same kin­dred. For further information the reader is referred to the several articles on these subjects in the Dic­tionary of Antiquities.



ROMULUS SFLVIUS. [SiLvius.] RO'MULUS son of the emperor Maxentius. He was nominated colleague, in the consulship, to his father, whom he predeceased, as we learn from medals of consecration still extant, upon which he is represented as a boy. [See below.] The coin which bears the legend m. aur. romulus. nobilis. cabs, is probably spurious. (Eckhel, vol. viii. p. 59.) [W.R.]


ROMULUS, artists. 1. A sculptor of sarco­phagi, whose name is found inscribed on one side of a splendid sarcophagus in the Villa Medici. (Guattani, Monum. Ined. vol. i. p. Ivii.; R. Ro-chette, Lettre a M. Schorn, p. 398, 2d ed.)

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