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chetius acquainted one of his daughters with the prediction, and ordered her to entertain the apparition; but she, declining it, sent her maid, When Tarchetius knew this, he was highly offended, and confined them both, intending to put them to death. Vesta however appeared to him in a dream, and forbade his killing them; but directed, that the young women-should weave a certain web in their fetters, and when that was finished be given in marriage. They wove therefore, in the day-time ; while others, by Tarchetius's order, unravelled it in the night. The woman having twins by this commerce, Tarchetius delivered them to one Teratius, with an injunction to destroy them. But, instead of that, he exposed them by a river-side; where a she-wolf came and gave them suck, and various kinds of birds brought food for their support; till at last a herdsman, who beheld it with surprise, ventured to approach and take up the children. Thus secured from danger, they grew up, and then attacked Tarchetius and overcame him. This is the account which Promathion gives, in his History of Italy.
But the principal parts of that account, which deserves the most credit, and has the greatest number of vouchers, were first published among the Greeks by Diocles the Peparethian, whom Fabius Pictors commonly follows; and, though there are different relations of the matter, yet to dispatch it in a few words, the story is this:
• Peparethus was one of the Cyclades, eminent for it's wine. Who Diocles was, is unknown; but Fabius Pictor, called by Livy, the oldest Roman writer, was one of the deputies sent to Delphi after the fatal battle of Cannæ, to inquire into the means of conciliating the offended gods. He is charged, by Polybius, with having treated the Carthaginians unjustly in his annals (Voss. de Hist. Lat. i. 3.)
The kings of Alba descending lineally from Æneas, the succession fell to two brothers, Numitor and Amulius. The latter divided the whole inheritance into two parts, setting the treasures brought from Troy against the kingdom ; and Numitor made choice of the kingdom. Amulius then having the treasures, and consequently being more powerful than Numitor, easily possessed himself of the kingdom toos and fearing the daughter of Numitor might have children, appointed her priestess of Vesta, in which capacity she was always to live unmarried and a virgin. Some say her name was Ilia, some Rhea, and others Sylvia. This lady, contrary to the law of the Vestals, was soon discovered to be with child. But Antho, the king's daughter, by much entreaty prevailed upon her father, that she should not be capitally punished. She was confined however, and excluded from society, lest she should be delivered without Amulius's knowledge. On the completion of her time, she was delivered of two sons of uncommon size and beauty; upon which Amulius, still more alarmed, directed one of his servants to destroy them. Some say, the name of the servant was Faustulus; others, that this was
9 From Æneas, down to Numitor and Amulius, there were thirteen kings of the same race; but we scarcely know any thing of them, except their names and the years of their respective reigns. Amulius the last of them, who surpassed his brother in courage and understanding, drove him from the throne; and, in order to secure it for himself, murdered Ægestus, Numitor's only son, and consecrated his daughter Rhea Sylvia to the worship of Vesta.
10 Of this division Dion. Halic, (i. 17.) makes no mention, but only says that Amulius by force seized the throne, to the exclusion of his elder brother, whose claim was incontestable : and his statement is apparently proved by a passage in Livy (i. 6.), who remarks that, as Romulus and Remus were twins, there was no method of determining which of them, in right of seniority, should rule the other. *
the name of the person who took them up. Pursuant to his orders, he put the children into a small trough or cradle, and went down toward the river with a design to cast them in; but seeing it very rough, and running with a strong current, he was afraid to approach it.
He therefore laid them down near the bank, and departed. The flood increasing continually set the trough afloat, and carried it gently down to a pleasant place now called Cermanum, but formerly (as it should seem) Germanum, because they call brothers • Germani.'
Near this place was a wild fig-tree, which they called Ruminalis, either on account of Romulus (as is generally supposed) or because the cattle there ruminated, orchewed the cud, during the noon-tide in the shade: or rather because of the suckling of the children there; for the ancient Latins called the breast ruma, and the goddess who presides over the nursery Rumilia", whose rites they celebrated without wine", and only with libations of milk. The infants, as the story goes, lying there were suckled by a she-wolf, and fed and taken care of by a wood-pecker. These animals are sacred to Mars; and the wood-pecker is held in great honour and veneration by the Latins. Such wonderful events contributed not a little to gain credit to the mother's report, that she had the children by Mars; though in this they inform us she was herself deceived, having suffered violence from Amulius, who came to her and lay with her in armour. Some say, the ambiguity
11 The Romans called that goddess not Rumilia, but Romina. (L.)
Heyne, in his Excurs. IV. on Virg. Æn vü, rejects this de rivation, and the fable of the wolf as grafted upon it; and thinks it much more probable that the city had it's name from Rumon, the old appellation of the Tiber. (Serv. ad Æn. viii. 90, &c.)
1 As pernicious to that period of life,
of the nurse's name gave occasion to the fable : for the Latins call not only she-wolves, but prostitutes, lupe ; and such was Acca Larentia, the wife of the children's foster-father Faustulus. To her also the Romans offer sacrifice, and the priest of Mars honours her with libations in the month of April, when they celebrate her feast Larentalia.
They worship also another Larentia '3, on the following account: The keeper of the temple of Hercules, having it seems little else to do, proposed to play a game at dice with the god, upon condition that, if he won, he should receive something valuable from that deity ; but, if he lost, he should provide a noble entertainment for him, and a beautiful woman to sleep with him. Then throwing the dice, first for the god and next for himself, it appeared that he had lost. Willing therefore to stand to his bargain, and to perform the stipulated conditions, he prepared a supper ; and engaging for the purpose one Larentia, who was very handsome but as yet little known, treated her in the temple, where he had provided a bed, and after supper left her for the enjoyment of the god. Accordingly the deity (it is said) had intercourse with her, and ordered her to go early in the morning
This lady, M. Ricard remarks, should be called Acca Taruntia, from the name of her keeper. She is supposed to be the same with Flora, who bequeathed her infamous wealth to the Roman people, and was honoured in return with the institution of the licentious Floral games. (See Varr. de L. L. V. 3., Macrob. Saturn. j. 10. and Ovid. Fast. iv. 947. v. 331.)
All this however the acute and classical Gifford, in a long note upon Juv. vi. 249., pronounces “an idle story;" affirms that " the flowers of Italy had a presiding power, ages before Rome or her senate was heard of;" and states the perplexities of some of the Roman writers upon this subject, as well as the date of the first legal sanction extended to the Floralia, and his own opinion of their remote and barbarous origin, with the time and manner of their celebration, &c.*
to the market-place, salute the first man whom she should meet, and make him her friend. The first that met her was one far advanced in years, and in opulent circumstances, Tarrutius by name, who had no children and had never been married. This man took Larentia to his bed, and loved her so well, that at his death he left her heir to his whole estate, which was very considerable ; and she afterward bequeathed the greatest part
of it by will to the people. It is added, that at the time when she was in high reputation, and considered as the favourite of a god, she suddenly disappeared about the place where the former Larentia was laid. It is now called Velabrum, because the river often overflowing, they passed it at this place in ferry-boats, to go to the Forum. This kind of passage they call velatura". Others derive the name from velum ( a sail') because they, who have the exhibiting of the public shows, beginning at Velabrum, overshadow all the way that leads from the Forum to the Hippodrome
** This etymology is confirmed by Varro de L. L. iv. 7., who derives velabrum (as contracted from vehelabrun) from veko.
The subsequent conjecture, which would deduce it's origin from delum (as M. Dacier rightly observes) must be
wrong; because the custom alluded to of stretching canvas at the public shows commenced, long after the date of the name Velabrum, at the time when Q. Catulus dedicated the Capitol (Plin. H. N. xix. 1.)
M. Ricard gives a long note in this place, upon the fanciful theory of M. le Comte de Gebelin, who resolving the whole story of Romulus and Remus into an allegory, from considerations (whimsically ingenious) of date, derivation, &c. identified them respectively with the summer and winter sun. Hercules is likewise by a strong effort brought in “ head and shoulders, as a parallel to Romulus : but the reader will not be sorry to escape the perusal of Egyptian or Phænician calendars and etymologies. The number of the Dii Majores, twelve, was indeed temptingly critical for one disposed to allegorize about months, &c. *