Monday, 8 October 2012

Ancient legend and sacrifice

Ecclesiastical  Curiosities
Edited William Andrews (1899) Project Gutenburg
© Godric Godricson

It is said that when Romulus was about to found the city of Rome he dug a deep pit and cast into it the “first fruits of everything that is reckoned good by use, or necessary by nature,” and before the pit was closed up by a great stone, Faustulus and Quinctilius were killed and laid under it. The legend of Romulus slaying his twin brother Remus because he jumped the walls of the city to show how poor they were,  probably arises out of a confusion of the two legends and has become associated with the idea of a sacrificial foundation. To the present day there is a general Italian belief that whenever any great misfortune is going to overtake the city of Rome the giant shadow of Remus may be seen walking over the highest buildings in the city, even to the dome of St. Peter’s.

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