- from Early Romans
The earliest surviving Roman histories were written more than 500 years after the founding of Rome. Because so much time had passed, we don’t know if what the historians wrote was based on fact or legend.
Legend says that the city was founded by twins named Romulus and Remus. They were said to be descended from the Trojan hero Aeneas.
Romulus and Remus probably were not real people. But the legend of Rome’s founding can tell us something about how the Romans saw themselves and their city. In the legend, Aeneas made a heroic journey not for treasure or fame, but so that his descendants could one day found Rome. For the Romans, this showed that their civilization was chosen for greatness. It also reflected how the Romans valued public service.