This map is part of a series of 6 animated maps showing .

View series: Rome and its Empire

An example of an animated map

The legendary founding of Rome

This map is part of a series of 6 animated maps showing the history of Rome and its Empire.

According to legend, Rome was founded by Aeneas, a Trojan hero and son of the goddess Venus. When his city of Troy was taken by the Greeks, Aeneas set sail with a few companions in search of a new homeland. After several years sailing in the Aegean Sea and the central Mediterranean, he arrived in Carthage, where he fell in love with the queen Dido before setting off for the Italian peninsula and landing in Latium.

Aeneas was welcomed by King Latinus and married his daughter Lavinia. He then founded the city of Lavinium on the coast. Later, his son Ascanius founded Alba Longa in the Alban Hills above Latium.

Twelve kings reigned over Alba Longa. The thirteenth, Numitor, was deposed by his brother, Amulius, who sought to ensure that his descendents would keep the throne. To this end, he ordered that Romulus and Remus, infant twin sons born of the liaison between Numitor’s daughter, Rhea Silvia, and the god Mars, be set adrift in a basket along the Tiber River.

Miraculously, Romulus and Remus arrived on the riverbank near Mount Palatine, where they were suckled by a she-wolf and then reared by shepherds.

When they became adults, Romulus and Remus restored their grandfather Numitor to the throne of Alba Longa and decided to found a new city near the place where the she-wolf had looked after them.

Romulus marked the boundaries of the city by plowing a trench around the Palatine hill. He lifted the blade from time to time to mark where the gates would be built. It was forbidden to cross over this sacred trench, and when Romulus’ brother refused to respect this order, he killed him.

According to Roman historians, the legendary founding of Rome took place in the year 753 BC.