Roman mythology consists of a number of traditional stories relating to ancient Rome’s legendary origins and religious systems presented in the literature and art of other cultures in any period.
Roman Mythology vs Greek Mythology
It consists of a large number of stories that can be considered to be highly entertaining.
Stories from Greek Mythology are very famous all throughout the world and various interpretations have been found in children’s stories as well.
Founding myths about ancient Rome
The Aeneid and Livy’s early history are the best extant sources for Rome’s founding myths. Material from Greek heroic legend was copied onto this native stock very long back.
The Trojan prince Aeneas was said to be the husband of Lavina, daughter of King Latinus, patronymical ancestor of the Latini, and therefore through a convoluted revisionist genealogy as the forebear of Romulus and Remus. Hence the Trojans are said to be the actual roman people. They are supposed to be their ancestors.
Other myths about ancient Rome
The characteristic myths of Rome are often political or moral, that is, they deal with the development of Roman government in accordance with divine law, as expressed by Roman religion, and with demonstrations of the individual’s adherence to moral expectation or failures to do so.
They are basically moral stories that explain the moral status of Romans at that time as well as the cultural scenario at the time. Some very famous ancient Roman mythological stories are as follows:
- Rape of the Sabine women, explaining the importance of the Sabines in the formation of Roman culture, and the growth of Rome through conflict and alliance.
- Numa Pompilius, the Sabine second king of Rome who consorted with the nymph Egeria and established many of Rome’s legal and religious institutions.
- Servius Tullius, the sixth king of Rome, whose mysterious origins were freely mythologized and who was said to have been the lover of the goddess Fortuna.
- The Tarpeian Rock, and why it was used for the execution of traitors.
- Lucretia, whose self-sacrifice prompted the overthrow of the early Roman monarchy and led to the establishment of the Republic.
- Horatius at the bridge, on the importance of individual valor.
- Mucius Scaevola (“Lefty”), who thrust his right hand into the fire to prove his loyalty to Rome.
- Calculus and the founding of Praeneste.
- Manlius and the geese, about divine intervention at the Gallic siege of Rome
- Stories pertaining to the Nonae Caprotinae and Poplifugia festivals
- Coriolanus, a story of politics and morality.
- The Etruscan city of Corythus as the “cradle” of Trojan and Italian civilization.
- The arrival of the Great Mother (Cybele) in Rome.
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