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2 Birds

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Chapter Summary

The first and primary set of dyadic rivals under examination, Romulus and Remus, justly form one of the most frequently retold sets of stories of the Roman Republic. The history of the twin founders of the city survives in many variants. Greek historians preserve a number of different accounts of the city's foundation, including a variety of founders, while Romans seem to have always recognized a single version. This story largely disappears from historical narratives after the late first century BCE, partly due to the authority of Livy and partly because other historical episodes proved more fruitful for imperial Latin writers. This first century BCE tradition is often called the 'vulgate'; although this term is not particularly apt, it is a useful conceptual tool. According to Linderski, augural texts call favorable birds benevolantes, sinentes, or praepetes.

Keywords: birds; Greek historians; imperial Latin writers; Linderski; Remus; Roman Republic; Romulus



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