L. Livius quaest. omnibus Quiritibus in Foro s.p.d.
In honour of this most august day, I present the account of Rome's foundation written by my noble ancestor, T. Livius. Given the vicissitudes sweeping the Forum at present, I think it worth remembering and reflecting upon the ominous circumstances from which sprang the Eternal City.
Ab Urbe Condita Liber I.6-8 wrote:Romulus and Remus were seized with the desire to found a city in the region where they had been exposed and brought up. Since the brothers were twins, and respect for their age could not determine between them, it was agreed that the gods who had those places in their protection should choose by augury who should give the new city its name, who should govern it when built. Romulus took the Palatine for his augural quarter, Remus the Aventine.
Remus is said to have been the first to receive an augury, from the flight of six vultures. The omen had been already reported when twice that number appeared to Romulus. Thereupon each was saluted king by his own followers, the one party laying claim to the honour from priority, the other from the number of the birds. They then engaged in a battle of words and, angry taunts leading to bloodshed, Remus was struck down in the affray. The commoner story is that Remus leaped over the new walls in mockery of his brother, whereupon Romulus in great anger slew him, and in menacing wise added these words withal, “So perish whoever else shall leap over my walls!” Thus Romulus acquired sole power, and the city, thus founded, was called by its founder's name.
When Romulus had duly attended to the worship of the gods, he called the people together and gave them the rules of law, since nothing else but law could unite them into a single body politic.