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  • 20 Apr 2010
    Cristina Mazzoni

    April 21: Happy Birthday, Rome!

    Cristina Mazzoni, author of the very cool, very new, She-Wolf: The Story of a Roman Icon, bids happy birthday to Rome – and explains how the she-wolf became a potent symbol over the course of the past 2,763 years. -------- On April 21, Rome’s birthday is celebrated; this year, it is the city’s 2763rd. Tradition tells that, on this day in 753 bce, twin brothers Romulus and Remus—descendants of the Trojan refugee Aeneas—decided to found their own city. When Romulus built his walls on the Palatine Hill, Remus mocked and jumped over them; Romulus, provoked, killed him and remained Rome’s sole founder. It is from him that the Eternal City takes its name, as we all know. (But do we? According to another legend, it was a Trojan woman, Rhome, who named the city: with the help of her women friends, she forced the refugees she traveled with—including her own husband—to settle at the bend of the Tiber River by burning their ships.)

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