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Bulfinch's Mythology The Age of Fable

Page: 179

Here the AEneid closes, but the story goes that AEneas, having triumphed over his foes, obtained Lavinia as his bride. His son Iulus founded the city of Alba Longa. He, and his descendants after him, reigned over the town for many years. At length Numitor and Amulius, two brothers, quarrelled about the kingdom. Amulius seized the crown by force, cast out Numitor, and made his daughter, Rhea Silvia, a Vestal Virgin. The Vestal Virgins, the priestesses of the goddess Vesta, were sworn to celibacy. But Rhea Silvia broke her vow, and gave birth, by the god Mars, to the twins, Romulus and Remus. For this offence she was buried alive, the usual punishment accorded to unfaithful Vestals, while the children were exposed on the river Tiber. Romulus and Remus, however, were rescued by a herdsman, and were educated among the shepherds in ignorance of their parentage. But chance revealed it to them. They collected a band of friends, and took revenge on their granduncle for the murder of their mother. Afterwards they founded, by the side of the river Tiber, where they had been exposed in infancy, the city of Rome.

Chapter XXVII


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