How Did Rome Get Its Name?

According to legend, Rome derived its name from Romulus, its founder and first ruler. Romulus reportedly established the city of Rome in 753 B.C., although historians believe Rome contained inhabitants prior to that date. Folk legend asserts that Romulus vied for power of Rome with his twin brother, Remus; after killing Remus in a heated argument, Romulus assumed power and control of Rome, naming the new capital city after himself.

Romulus and Remus, twin boys, came into being as the offspring of Mars, the Roman god of war. At birth, an uncle of the boys cast them into the Tiber River, attempting to end their lives. Both boys survived, however, ultimately landing on shore through the help of a rescuer. The boys' rescuer, a mother wolf, nursed and raised them through childhood. Later, a herdsman assumed responsibility for the boys, guiding them through adolescence. Eventually, the twins reconnected with their father, Mars. Mars instructed the boys to assemble a city marking the location of their discovery. The twins successfully built what is now Rome. After building the city center, Romulus constructed a wall around its outer limits. Remus disliked the wall, ultimately making a joke out of it and consequently angering Romulus. Romulus then killed his brother, appointing himself as leader and founder of Rome.