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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter of the book Legendary Rivals: Collegiality and Ambition in the Tales of Early Rome analyzes destructive increase in competition during the Republic as viewed through Roman mythology. Romulus and Remus offer an obvious example of the potentially damaging nature of such competition; other legends that are built on a similar pattern show a preoccupation with its potential benefits. Romulus and Remus offer an obvious example of potentially damaging nature of such competition; other legends that are built on similar pattern show a preoccupation with its potential benefits. Historiographical and anthropological work on the retelling of history has shown that accounts of legendary past are constructed to reaffirm core values and solidify group belonging. But the tale of Romulus and Remus, rather than solidifying Roman identity, seemed to split it. This is a well-known problem that has been tackled numerous times in the past two centuries of scholarship.

Keywords: Remus; Roman mythology; Romulus

10.1163/9789004281851_002
/content/books/b9789004281851_002
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