The Myth of Romulus and Remus for Kids, Ancient Rome Illustration

The Myth of Romulus and Remus

The ancient Romans loved myths and legends.  As Rome grew and became great, the Romans invented a myth to explain why they had the right to rule everyone else.  This was the myth they created, the myth of Romulus and Remus.

The myth of Romulus and Remus

Rhea was a princess and a mortal woman who was married to Mars, the Roman god of war.  Rhea and Mars had twin sons and named them Romulus and Remus.  Some of the other gods were jealous of Mars and Rhea, and plotted to kill Romulus and Remus.  Rhea heard about the plot.  Since Mars was away she needed to protect the boys.  She put them in a basket and set it floating down the river hoping that they would be found.  They were found by a female wolf who decided to raise them as her own cubs.  After the boys had grown some the wolf knew she couldn't keep them so she put them where a shepherd would find them.  The shepherd and his wife continued to raise Romulus and Remus.

As the boys grew into manhood, they decided to build a city and rule it as its king.  They had a contest to see who would be the top king.  When it appeared that Remus was going to win the contest, Romulus got so angry that he killed Remus with a rock and became the first king of Rome.  This is an important story for Romans since their city was started by the son of a god it had to be more powerful than any other city.

Now look at the names Romulus and Rome.  This is supposed to be how Rome got its name.

How did Rome get its name? (bbc kids)

Ancient Rome: How did Rome get its name? (free download, school history)