QuoteReplyTopic: Romulus and Remus story interpretations! Posted: 15-Jan-2012 at 10:16
Here are a few facts on Romulus and Remus:
* The twins were said to have been born around 771 BC and appear in
Roman mythology as the twin sons of the priestess Rhea Silvia, fathered
by the god of war, Mars.
soon as they were born the pair were placed in a trough and thrown into
the River Tiber, in a form of quasi-infanticide tolerated in many
ancient cultures when children were unwanted. The trough came ashore
and they were found by a wolf who fed them with her milk.
* They were then raised by a shepherd, Faustulus. Reaching adulthood
the twins decided to found a town, and chose the place where the wolf
had nursed them. Romulus began to build walls on the Palatine Hill, but
Remus jeered at the low walls, leaping over them, and an angry Romulus
killed him. Not having enough wives for his men, Romulus decided to
steal women from the Sabines, an Italian tribe. He held a festival
inviting Sabines to it and then carried off the women. This was the
"Rape of the Sabine women", which later became a subject for painters.
* The Sabine made war on Romulus. The fighting ended when the Sabine
women, who had grown fond of their Roman husbands, rushed between the
fighters and begged both sides to make peace.
* Romulus is alleged not to have died, just disappeared one day in a
violent storm. The Romans, believing he had been taken up to heaven,
worshipped him under the name of Quirinus.
Inside this first answer of question:Did they exist?,We have maybe biggest truth about it here: "There was a lot of migration and movement around Europe at the time,
and for a small tribe or group lead by two brothers to decide to build
a settlement in a fertile place beside a river - that makes sense to
me. It may have been only a few huts surrounded by a defensive wall in
the beginning." http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090518140923AAaLyzM Only truth inside was baby boom idea as it looks from here.
">It seems unlikely that any part of this legend is true. Almost certainly it is a copy of a Greek tale, invented to explain the name of Rome and certain customs. For instance Roman brides were taken from their families on their wedding days with a pretense of force, and this probably accounts for the story of the Sabine women.
Which Greek tale bears resemblance to the Romulus and Remus story?
The story for the lost kid who had royal blood and was raised as an ordinary person is a common cultural matrix in many cultures. Sargon the Great says this about himself: "...Sargon, strong king, king of Agade, am I. My
mother was a high priestess, my father I do not know. My paternal kin
inhabit the mountain region. My city (of birth) is Azupiranu, which lies
on the bank of the Euphrates. My mother, a high priestess, conceived
me, in secret she bore me. She placed me in a reed basket, with bitumen
she caulked my hatch. She abandoned me to the river from which I could
not escape. The river carried me along: to Aqqi, the water drawer, it
brought me. Aqqi, the water drawer, when immersing his bucket lifted me
up. Aqqi, the water drawer, raised me as his adopted son. Aqqi, the
water drawer, set me to his garden work. During my garden work, Istar
loved me (so that) 55 years I ruled as king...."http://www.tektonics.org/copycat/sargon.html
Being conceived out of wedlock is the closest real thing to the virgin birth, and the women who conceived so were princesses, queens, or priestesses, not just ordinary peasant women; considering that in ancient times aristocracy was seen as offspring of gods, being a child of a queen or a priestess is the closest real thing to having divine parentage. The whole story is about deifying someone important - a way to show that this person/persons was from it's very beginning, extraordinary - all the way from being conceived and born. From the story of Dionysus and Oedipus to Jesus, it's the same thing - whoever was considered important was given divine parentage.
Now, on being suckled by female animals, like the goat Amaltea /whose horn became the Horn of Plenty/ who suckled Dionysus and the she-wolf that suckled Romulus and Remus, this I see as putting a person in the sacred space of divinities, by potraying him as being suckled by a female animal - actually this is the Mother-Goddess in disguise. There was a reason why female goddesses would be presented with many breasts, like some fantastic creatures - because they are an aspect of the mother-Goddess=Mother Nature who bore those animals and sustains then with her beasts - so, many breasts for the many alive creatures around. Artemis of Ephesus:
Artemis and Diana, and Bendida and Cotys were potrayed like huntresses - which is the animal-sustaining aspect of the holistic image of Mother Goddess; because hunters venture into the wild, and hunt beasts, in this way sustaining smaller creatures who feed on the remnants of the killed ones - the life on one depends on the death of another creature, and the Mother-Goddess is responsible for death as well as for life of everything alive. Artemis is an aspectf of the Great Mother, and on this Roman coin she is represented as holding in one hand a spear/(medenaywe's blade/ and an animal in the other - the archetypal symbols of the mother-Goddess - life and death are in her hands:
"...silver denarius Obverse: head of a captive woman of Gaul with long and tangled hair; on left a Gallish trumpet. Reverse: frontal image of Diana of Ephesus,
standing dressed in a gown and holding a stag in one hand, a long spear
in the other. Inscription on left worn away: SASERNA; on right: L
HOSTILIVS. 48 BCE. Syd. 953 ..."http://www.vroma.org/images/raia_images/index10.html
Not many tales of twins being suckled, though. But twins also represented divinity - so the Romans were chucking everything they could at their city-founder to make him divine; twin, son of a virgin priestess, father was a god, exposed on water and fed by divine earth-goddess/she-beast, raised as a shepherd to be revealed as a king, founded a city and then vanished in thunder to become a god himself.
Cyrus, King of the Persians, was supposed to have deen suckled by a dog, before being rescued by a shepherd. As with the she-wolf, this dog was later rationalised as the shepherd's wife.
Of course there were also heroes with divine mothers and mortal fathers and who were not suckled by the goddess; Aeneas, Achilles, Gilgamesh spring to mind.
Good ideas, Sidney, thanks. Romulus became the first king of Rome, after killing Remus; which reminds me of some Native American and African notions that killing someone one appropriate their power and energy, I have the sense that the killing of Remus somehow happened for a similar reason, since supposedly Romulus killed Remus because of sibling rivalry.
Cyrus is a good idea, the dog thing plays really well here, considering that dogs were the sacred animals of Artemis - she was called "the Great Bitch" and her priestesses were called "Sacred Bitches"; so it's a direct play in the mother-Goddess corner.
Aeneas probably didn't need to be put in the sacred space, he was already there, because his mother Aphrodite seducing his father. I suspect that Romulus and Remus were put of the sacred space because at first their father was not known, and vestals were supposed to be virgins, otherwise the punishment was death. So, the sucking thing came as a proof that they had divine origin, because the natural reaction of w she-wolf would be to eat babies she found, not to suckle them.
Maybe there is something to that - when the mother is mortal, and the father is a god, then such recognition has to happen, because Sargon mentions that he father was not known, and as such he would be considered a bastard, not with a divine father, if a divine parentage is not proved - hence being suckled by a dog was the proof; Romulus and Remus were in the same position.
In the cases when the father is mortal, this doesn't seem to matter, because a goddess cannot be called "whore", like a mortal woman would be called if she was to get pregnant out of wedlock. Hence, divine mother, mortal father, the case is clear - divine parentage; but mortal mother, divine father - this have to be proved. Romulus and Remus, Sargon, Dionysus - they are all from the latter case, so they were suckled by animals. Aeneas, Achiles, Gilgamesh were from the former, and they didn't need to prove anything.
Edited by Don Quixote - 06-Feb-2012 at 22:03
"...And Death Shall Have no Dominion..." Dylan Thomas
In his book, In Search of the Indo-Europeans, J. P. Mallory gives his opinion about the etymology of Remus:
"The significance of twins in Indo-European mythology can be readily seen in the creation or foundation myths of of the Indo-Europeans. The Proto-Indo-European *yem – ‘twin’ underlies the name of a god common to the Indo-Iranians (Indic Yama, Avestan Yima) who becomes the progenitor of mankind. In a recent study, Jaan Puhvel argues that the underlying form the name of Remus, the brother of Romulus in the story of the founding of Rome, was actually *iemus, the early Italic form of the Proto-Indo-European *yemus ‘twin’. In Norse mythology, mankind is formed from the remains of a giant whose name, Ymir, has also been derived by some from the Proto-Indo-European word for twin. Furthermore, Tacitus relates how the early Germans were the descendants of Mannus and Tuisto, the latter of which means again twin. Among the Celts we have the tale relating the foundation of Emhain Macha, the ancient capital of Ulster, which was explained by recourse to a myth in which Macha gave birth to emuin ‘twins’ again derived from the Proto-European *yem-. Analysis of all these tales indicates the Proto-Indo-Europeans believed that the progenitors of mankind were *Man (Indic Manu, Germanic Mannus) and *Twin, the latter of which was sacrificed and carved up by his brother to produce mankind."
On reading your quote, kegger I realized that I could make out a sound in the names which I recognized:
SéamusIrish pronunciation: [ˈʃeɪməs], is a male first name of Celtic origin. It is the Gaelic equivalent of the name James. The name James is the English New Testament variant for the Hebrew name Jacob. It entered the Irish and Scottish Gaelic languages from the French variation of the late Latin name for Jacob, Iacomus; a dialect variant of Iacobus, from the New Testament Greek Ἰάκωβος (Iákōbos), and ultimately from Hebrew word יעקב (Yaʻaqov), i.e. Jacob. Its meaning in Hebrew is "one who supplants" or more literally "one who grabs at the heel". When the Hebrew patriarch Jacob was born, he was grasping his twin brother Esau's heel.
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