The story of Romulus and Remus served as a divine foundation myth for Rome and the Roman Empire. The myth begins with the journey of Aeneas, Troy's only surviving prince and his household as they travel across the sea to the Italian peninsula. These ragged survivors founded a city and named it Alba Longa, eventually the city passed to Aeneas' heirs. His descendent, Numitor was supplanted by his brother and Numitor's daughter was consigned to become a Vestal virgin to secure the usurper's position.
Divine Birth and Salvation
Rhea Silvia, the daughter of Numitor, became pregnant much to her uncle's dismay. The legends listed the father as Mars, the god of war or Hercules, the demigod. Whomever the father, her uncle was furious and ordered Rhea Silvia be buried alive after the birth of the twins (a common fate for Vestal virgins who violated their oaths) and the boys were left exposed on the banks of the river.
A wolf that suckled the twins and a sparrow that fed them. Eventually, the twins were found by a shepherd and carried to his wife. The couple raised the boys as their own. Romulus and Remus grew to manhood and developed as natural leaders. Eventually, they were recognized and when they confronted their great uncle, they were able to depose him and restore their grandfather Numitor to the throne.
The Founding of Rome
Despite being the heirs to Alba Longa, the young princes turn their attention to founding a new city with new people. So many had flocked to them, the dispossessed, the unemployed, criminals and more. Together they traveled to the seven hills where Rome would be founded and the twins argued over which hill would be the best: Palatine or Aventine. Romulus decried that his auguries were the best and so Rome's first wall was built upon the Palatine.
The stories behind Remus' death varied including Romulus slew him for disrespecting the walls to Remus simply died of illness. Romulus alone ruled Rome for many years, taking a co-leader only when the Romans absorbed the Sabine people and spread their influence throughout the Italian peninsula, eventually even taking Alba Longa as a Roman province. He established the Senate, the Patrician lifestyle and the Roman legions.
Towards the end of his life, Romulus grew more autocratic, making decisions without his consuls or senators. Eventually, he simply disappeared whether it was that he died of natural causes or murder. The name Romulus was deified and salutations were spoken to his name for the life of the Roman Empire.