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In 753 BC the city of Rome was founded by Romulus, son of Mars. According to legend this legendary founder was the twin brother of Remus and the grandson of Numitor, king of Alba Longa. Legend has it that he is descended from Aeneas, Trojan hero, and even the gods themselves. In the 700's BC the king of Alba Longa, Numitor, was deposed by his brother, Amulius. The new king had all of Numitor's male heirs executed, and forced his daughter Rhea Silvia into the Vestal Virgins, where she was sworn to celibracy. Despite this, Rhea Silvia gave birth to two twins; Romulus and Remus. Upon hearing this Amulius asked one of his servents to kill the two children, but the servent felt mercy for the two, leaving them in the Tiber River instead.
The pair drifted in the Tiber, falling into a puddle downstream where a she-wolf came upon them. The she-wolf nurtured the pair until Faustulus, a shepherd, found them. Faustulus and his wife, Acca Larentia would raise the two as their own, into adulthood. As adults Romulus and Remus killed Amulius, restoring Numitor to power, in fulfillment of the prophecy. The two twins wished to build a new city, on the banks of Tiber River, but after quarreling about the site of the city, the two grew farther apart. Romulus would kill his brother, Remus, calling his new city after himself; Roma.
Romulus would found the city that would shape the globe, giving birth to an immense empire, reaching across Europe and much of the known world. This timeline explores what would have happened if Romulus never survived to adulthood. What if Amulius, who had deposed Romulus’ grandfather, had been successful in purging Numitor’s heirs?
The outcome would lead to a new world, where Rome never existed.
Points of Divergence
Archeological Excavation Site - Latium
Journal found dating to the late 700’s BC:
Page written in Old Latin, still legible:
I’ve faithfully served my master for several years, even before he first became king, and now he gives upon me the greatest task of all. This task leaves me quite conflicted, as I have much pity on poor Numitor’s posterity, who has suffered greatly from this ordeal. The younger brother of King Numitor, named Amulius, my master, was always envious of the king’s power. I was on hand when Amulius killed Numitor’s male heirs. That day will forever shape our kingdom. I watched as the greed of man poured across the earth. His eyes lit of fire, yet he was calm as he overthrew his own brother next, slaughtering his supporters right before me. Through the bloodshed I watched, but I didn’t dare say a word toward my master. Amulius became king of Alba Longa, as the last male descendant of Aeneas. But what of Numitor’s daughter, Rhea Silvia? Amulius asked me to ensure that she had no children to challenge him, by forcing her to become a Vestal Virgin. As a priestess of Vesta she would be sworn to celibacy. This I did, bringing her personally to the the college. All seemed well, but one day she came back from the forests. There, in the far woods where no travelers passed, she claimed Mars himself came before her, seducing her. Her pregnancy was hidden for quite some time, until recently. She gave birth to two boys. Male heirs of Numitor.
There is a great prophecy that these twins would overthrow Amulius, and he forced Rhea Silvia into imprisonment. Amulius could not let anyone grow to challenge his rule, and my master came before me this day and gave to me the two twins, instructing me to kill the two innocent grandchildren of Numitor. I look on upon these two children, wondering their fate. Perhaps the prophecy is true? This morning I performed the auguries outside the city, staring toward the heavens and looking for a sign from the gods.
Before my eyes I saw Zeus’ eagle drift across the sky. It’s majestic wings caught my attention, alerting me to its presence. Although I felt mercy upon these children at first. My master’s instruction were clear. The sign from Zeus also dictated that this action would be most propitious. This day two young souls await in the underworld, but may it be for the best of our people.
Point of Divergence:
|Reign of Amulius:|
771 BC - 700 BC