Their mother, Rhea Silvia, had been forced to become a Vestal Virgin by her uncle, Amulius, because he had overthrown her father, Numitor, and wanted to ensure she would not have any sons that might attempt to overthrow him. However, the god Mars came to her in her temple and of him she conceived her two sons, Romulus and Remus. When they were born, her husband abandoned them in a remote location. This practice was a form of quasi-infanticide tolerated in many ancient cultures, including the Roman and Greek, when children were unwanted.
Romulus and Remus, however, were found by Tiberinus and nursed by a female wolf underneath a fig tree, according to the myth, and were able to survive. (While such an incident, as passed down, is extremely unlikely, there has been at least one case of an abandoned child surviving with assistance from wild animals. In Chile, an 11-year-old boy was found cohabitating with a pack of feral dogs; he may or may not have nursed from one animal. (See: feral children)
Romulus and Remus were the discovered by Faustulus, a shepherd, who brought the children to his home. Faustulus and his wife, Acca Larentia, raised the boys as their own. According to Livy, some said that Loba, wife of Faustulus, had suckled them, not a female wolf. Indeed, her name meant wolf which was Lupus in Latin.
Upon reaching adulthood, Romulus and Remus killed Amulius and reinstated Numitor, their grandfather, as King of Alba Longa, then they built a settlement on the Palatine Hill on April 21, 753 BC (Varronian date). See founding of Rome. Remus then mocked the short height of the walls and Romulus killed him. He then named the city Rome and made himself king, marrying Hersilia.
Romulus attracted a population to his city by inviting exiles, refugees, murderers, criminals and runaway slaves. He acquired women by stealing the Sabine women after inviting them to a festival. Eventually, the Sabines accepted Romulus as their king.
A new study claims that the Varronian date is superseded. Its correctness have not been proved scientifically but it is used worldwide. The foundation of Rome took place 437 years after the capture of Troy (1182 BC), according to Velleius Paterculus (VIII, 5). It took place shortly before an solar eclipse that was observed at Rome on June 25, 745 BC and had a magnitude of 50.3%. Its beginning occurred at 16:38, its middle at 17:28, and its end at 18:16.
Varro may have used the consular list with its mistakes, and called the year of the first consuls "245 ab urbe condita" (a.u.c.). He may have accepted the 244-year interval from Dionysius of Halicarnassus for the kings after the foundation of Rome. Some modern historians claim that "an era ab urbe condita "(from the founding of the city of Rome) did not, in reality, exist in the ancient world, and the use of reckoning the years in this way is modern.
According to Lucius Tarrutius of Firmum, Romulus was conceived in the womb on the 23rd day of the Egyptian month Choiac, at the time of a total eclipse of the Sun. (This eclipse occurred on June 15, 763 BC, with a magnitude of 62.5% at Rome. Its beginning took place at 6:49, its middle at 7:47 and its end at 8:51.) He was born on the 21st day of the month Thoth. The first day of Thoth fell on March 2 in that year (Prof. E.J. Bickerman, 1980: 115). It means that Rhea Sylvia's pregnancy lasted for 281 days. Rome was founded on the ninth day of the month Pharmuthi, which was the 21st of April, as universally agreed.
The Romans add that about the time Romulus started to build the city, an eclipse of the Sun was observed by Antimachus, the Teian poet, on the 30th day of the lunar month. This eclipse (see above) had a magnitude of 54.6% at Teos, Asia Minor. It started at 17:49 it was still eclipsed at sunset, at 19:20. Romulus vanished in the 54th year of his life, on the Nones of Quintilis (July), on a day when the Sun was darkened. The day turned into night, which sudden darkness was believed to be an eclipse of the Sun. It occurred on 17 July, 709 BCE, with a magnitude of 93.7%, beginning at 5:04 and ending at 6:57. (All these eclipse data have been calculated by Prof. Aurél Ponori-Thewrewk, retired director of the Planetarium of Budapest.) Plutarch placed it in the 37th year from the foundation of Rome, on the fifth of our July, then called Quintilis, on "Caprotine Nones," Livy (I, 21) also states that Romulus ruled for 37 years.
He was slain by the senate or disappeared in the 38th year of his reign. Most of these facts have been recorded by Plutarch (Lives of Romulus, Numa Pompilius and Camillus), Florus (Book I, I), Cicero (The Republic VI, 22: Scipio's Dream), Dio (Dion) Cassius. Dionysius of Halicarnassus (L. 2). Dio in his Roman History (Book I) confirms our data by telling that Romulus was in his 18th year of age when he founded Rome. Therefore, three eclipse records prove that Romulus reigned from 746 to 709 BC.