This essay will consider Rome's mythic founders Aeneas and Romulus. Focus will be drawn on each individual myth first and then on to how the two were fused together. Then moving on to their importance and also what they are able to indicate about early Rome and the Roman perception of the past. This essay draws no conclusions as to the factual base of the myths but rather deals with them as they are found in the main surviving literary evidence such as Livy.
This essay will focus on the literary evidence of the origins of the myths of Rome as it presents a far greater detail and holds the essence of what the Greeks and Romans believed in the origins of Rome whether they are factual or not. However, for some of the issued raised by the questions, archaeological evidence will need to be considered as literary evidence gives no definite timeline nor shows the true spread of cults throughout Italy.
So in some parts this essay needs to utilize the archaeological evidence to assist in allowing us to hypothesize about the myths of early Rome. It is also important to note at this time that I did not include Virgil in this study as he changed the myths quite substantially under motives that need not be considered to discuss the questions at hand.
Greek writers often wrote tales about legendary adventures of heroic figure who sailed west after the sack of Troy. Aeneas is one of these heroes to survive the Trojan War and go on a destined journey. There is a passage in the Iliad which prophesies that he and his descendants will one day rule the Trojans. Aeneas did not appear in Greece after the War, so they became to look westwards to find where he...