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Reconciling fratricide : the narration of violence in the Roman foundation myth

By Frances Rachel Glick


In the earliest versions of the Romulus and Remus myth (as reported by later\ud authors) Romulus kills his brother, Remus, when he jumps over the newly built walls of\ud Rome. In ensuing narrations of the Roman foundation myth, the suppression of certain\ud elements of the myth is common; the violent death of Remus in particular is treated as\ud an unwanted complication. How can one reconcile a murderous foundation myth with a\ud cityʼs subsequent greatness and prosperity? In this thesis, I explore the narrative\ud techniques writers use in recounting or alluding to this problematic foundation myth as\ud well as the myths connection with the civil wars of the late Republic. By examining\ud seven writers chronologically, I trace the evolution of the Romulus and Remus mythʼs\ud treatment through a variety of literary genres and through several periods of Roman\ud history

Topics: Narration (Rhetoric), Remus (Twin of Romulus, King of Rome), Violence in literature, Romulus, King of Rome, Roman mythology
Year: 2011
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