In this paragraph we'll tell how the Romans thought Rome was founded. For that legend we have to go back in time a long way, to the beginning of the Trojan War...
The Trojan War began with the marriage of two Greek gods, Peleus and Thetis. All gods were invited, except Eris, the goddess of Quarrel and Altercation. She became very angry, and decided to take revenge. When the party was on, she slinked to a window, and threw a golden apple through it. Eris had written a message on it: "For the most beautiful goddess". Three goddesses thought that they had the right to get the apple. Hera (Latin: Juno), Pallas Athena (Latin: Minerva) and Aphrodite (Latin: Venus)supposed they were the most beautiful goddess. Hera was gorgeous, but above all very mighty, as the wife of the supreme god Zeus (Latin: Juppiter). Pallas Athena supposed she was the most beautiful, glittering in her armour. And Aphrodite, the goddess of Love and Beauty, found she was the right one for the apple.
Which goddess got the apple? The gods didn't know it, and the party was ruined. Eris had taken revenge. But that revenge had big consequences. The gods sent the three goddesses with the messenger of the gods, Hermes (Latin: Mercurius) to the city of Troy (Latin: Ilium) , in todays Turkey. There they asked Paris, son of Priamus, king of Troy, who the most beautiful goddess was. He was thinking for a long time, and the goddesses became nervous. Hera was very keen to get the apple, but she wasn't very sure of it. For that reason she tried to bribe Paris. She whispered in his ear:"When you choose me, you'll become the mightiest man on earth.". The other two women understood that she Hera tried to bribe the prince, so they had to bring the boy an offer too, otherwise Hera was chosen for sure. Pallas Athena promised Paris eternal glory. And then Aphrodite offered:"I'll give you the most beautiful woman on earth." Now Paris didn't have to think any longer: he chose Aphrodite.
The most beautiful female mortal on earth was Helena. Aphrodite knew that. But she also knew that Helena was married with the Greek king Menelaus. When Menelaus had left his palace for a long journey, Aphrodite took Paris with her to the palace of Menelaus in Sparta. Paris stayed there fore a few days, and Aphrodite made Helena fall in love with the handsome Paris. Paris took Helena back to Troje.
When Menelaus came back from his journey and discovered what had happened when he was away, he became furious. Years ago, when he became the happy bridegroom of Helena, all the other lovers of Helena stayed behind disapointed. They promised to help Menelaus whenever had to be fought for Helena. The angry king gathered all these men with their armies, and under the leadership of his brother Agamemnon this giant army assembled in Aulis. Agamemnon wanted to leave Aulis as soon as possible to go to Troy, but this was prevented by a very long calm. Agamemnon became impatient, and asked the prophet Calchas for an explanation. Calcha said that the goddess Artemis was angry on Agamemnon, because during a hunting-party he had shot a hind of Artemis. As a penalty for this she asked the death of the daughter of Agamemnon, Iphigeneia. When this innocent girl was standing on the altar and Agamemnon raised his sword, Artemis got pity. She changed Iphigeneia into a hind, and sent the daughter of Agamemnon to an island, to be a priest. Now the army could set their sails for Troy, where a lot of misery was waiting for them...
After ten years of fighting for the city of Troy, the Greeks still hadn't captured it. Then Odysseus striked out a list. He built a great wooden horse, and ten soldiers hid themselves in it. After that, the Greeks acted like the were going home, but they only sailed to the island Tenedus, close to the coast of Troy, to hide themselves. After ten years of war the Trojans are very happy that their enemies are gone, so they made a big party. They found the wooden horse, and thought that is was a gift of the Greeks, so they pulled it into the city. That night, when all the Trojans were sleeping, the Greeks jumped out of the horse, and opened the ports of the city for the rest of Agamemnon's army. The Greeks destroyed the whole city, set the city in fire, and murdered almost all Trojans.
One of the few survivors of this terrible war was Aeneas, who reached Latium in Italy, after many rambles. There he founded a city, called after his wife: Lavinium. His son, Ascanius (or: Iulus) founded the city Alba Longa. At a certain moment king Numitor rules in Alba Longa. The brother of that king, Amulius, was jealous of his brother, and took his place on the throne. Amulius couldn't sleep well, because he was angry for revenge. For that reason he decided to kill the sons of Numitor, and the make a Vestal of the daughter of his brother (Rhea Silvia)), so she wasn't able to become pregnant, but he was wrong. Rhea Silvia got 2 children, twins. She called the boys Romulus and Remus. Amulius didn't allow this, and ordered to put the boys in a basket, and throw them into the Tiber, the river where Rome was founded years after this happening. Romulus and Remus were lucky: the river had overflooded his banks, and there were undeep pools. The ones who had to throw Romulus and Remus into the Tiber, couldn't reach the real banks of the river. They taught it was good enough to put the babies in the slow-flowing water of the pools, at the place were now the fig-tree Ruminalis (in the past: Romularis) stands.
Romulus and Remus grew up. One day they went hunting in the forest. There they came across a few robbers, and these stole their booty. But the robbers took revenge: they laid an ambush, and they captured Remus, and extradited him to Numitor. Numitor discovered who Remus was, and together with Romulus and Remus and the shepherds from the village of Faustulus he killed the cruel Amulius. This way Numitor became king in Alba Longa again.
Romulus and Remus grew up. One day they went hunting in the forest. There they ran accross a few robbers, and they stealed their booty. But the robbers took revenge: they layed an ambush, and they captured Remus, and extradited him to Numitor. Numitor discovered who Remus was, and together with Romulus and Remus and the shepherds from the village of Faustulus he killed the cruel Amulius. This way Numitor became king in Alba Longa again.
The twins got the idea to found a city on the place where they were left in the river. But they got a problem: who will be the king of the new city? They decided to ask for a sign of the gods: Romulus went to the top of the hill Palatijn, and Remus went to the top o the Aventijn. Then Remus got sign: six vultures disappeared in the air. Remiss and his followers were very happy: Remiss would become the king. But then twelve vultures disappeared above the head of Romulus. Romulus found that Romulus had to become king. Both groups ran across, and started to fight. It turned out to a big bloodshed, and Remus was killed. Romulus founded the city on April 21 753 BC, and it was called after the founder: Rome...