Today, Rome celebrates its birth. According to tradition, the Eternal City was built in April 21 753 BC. This is not a historically certain date, but the historiographer Titus Livius Patavinus wrote about it. The myth is very well known: the nymph Rhea Silvia – descendant of Aeneas; the rape by god Mars; the birth Romulus and Remus; the wolf adopting them; the killing of the King Amulio who usurped Alba Long; and then the fratricide of Remus because he crossed the line of the future city. It is more likely that Rome was born from an ancient Etruscan colony (Rumon could be the Etruscan name of the River Tiber). The proof supporting this theory is that three out of the 7 famous kings of Rome were from what is now called Tarquinia.
According to others, the name Rome came from the Greek word Romè, meaning ‘Force’, in order to describe the belligerence and tenacity of the ancient village. After the monarchic era – which ended when Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger (from whom Caesar descended) killed Lucius Tarquinius Superbus – the republican era started and it lasted until the Augustinian era, until year 0.
Writing the whole story of Rome would be very complicated; therefore, we will focus on the name Eternal City. This name describes the ability of the Urbe to regenerate itself, making it possible to be the most important cultural and political center. After the Roman Empire fell, the present capital of Italy became the center of Christianity; hence, it became the heart of Europe itself. From a historical point of view, Pope Stephen had the intuition to create a Sacred Roman Empire to face the Saracen danger coming from France and other places.
Nevertheless, in everyone’s opinion, Rome became synonymous of predominance, power, military strength and justice. In iconography, imperial symbols are used, such as the wolf and the eagle, and so much more. The first thought coming to our minds is that a city as important as Rome is, should be treated better than it was during these last years. Its birthday could become the chance to give dignity to one of the wonder of the world that is still able to astound us and make us fall in love. Quoing Oratio: “Possis nihil urbe Roma visere maius” (May you never see anything bigger than Rome).
Translation provided by Mary Ann D’Costa