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Dr. Utr. Iur.


Van den Broeke

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The She-Wolf

Do you really believe that Romulus and Remus were raised by a she-wolf? That’s only mere a legend, isn’t it? When they are in Rome, most of the tourist visit only the Colosseum and the Forum. They believe that they have seen ancient Rome. But maybe the best part is the Palatine Hill. This is the hill were everything started. And sometimes it looks like only students and lost tourists are visiting it. The hill gave his name for what we’re calling today a palace. It is indeed the palace of the emperors. There started the city with Romulus. And it was the emperor Augustus who received from the senate a piece of land on it, and on behalf of the government there was build a house for him and his wife Livia, just an inch away where Romulus started the city. They were a very modern couple: they had a Lat-relation, with other words: a Living Apart Together relation. He got a house on one side, and Livia a house next door. Over the years it was expanded by his successors, Tiberius, Claudius and all those others, with the last extensions in the 4th century, until the whole hill became part of the residence of the emperors. But the house of Augustus was build alongside the area where Romulus founded the city. The recent(?) building on top the Palatine hill, the former pleasure house of the family of Pope Paulus III, Farnese, build during his reign from 1534 on, hosts today a little museum about the findings in the area. So you can find there in the basement a reconstruction of the beginning  of the city with Romulus and Remus. The little huts, build in etruscan stile as you can find in the etruscan museum of Rome, the Villa Giulia, dating back (after research with carbon 14) to the middle of the 8th century B.C. Saying that Rome was founded in 753 B.C. seems quite accurate. Of course, other civilizations, like the Greek, Egyptian and Etruscan, new and had contact with Italia and were following the whereabouts.

    I will give you a few lines, you tell me who I’m speaking about:

    1.A Virgin was given birth to a child: who is the Virgin?

    2. A child was left in a basket on the shore of a river: Who was the Child?

    3. Shepherds found a child, and it became a King: who was the Child?

The answers are looking easy: on the first question: Mary, the Mother of God, the second: Moses, the third one: Jesus.

But read then the following story:

The legend told us that Aeneas, after the destruction of Troy, left the city with his father, son and the house gods, the Penati. Arriving in Italy, they descended from the hills in the south of Rome, Alba Lunga, over what’s today the Via Latina, and arrived in today’s Rome where they settled. Seven generations later, one of their daughters, a priestess of the Vestal Virgin, got a sexual rapport with the god Mars. Born were twins. Of course, a virgin that is giving birth to twins, is not a virgin anymore, but a whore. Avoiding the provided punishment for that crime -being buried alive- she abandoned the children in a basket on the border of the Tiber, he river; where they were found by Faustius, the shepherd: It seems a well known story, isn’t it? But if you are going today to Pompeii, the famous city hit by the Vesuvius on that terrible day in August 79, there you will find the houses of the prostitutes, called Lupinari. And indeed the word she-wolf has still today that double annotation: it’s a she-wolf, but it is also a prostitute. If you changing the word she-wolf with prostitute, we’re coming to the real meaning of the legend. And it explains also the beginning of that first community on the Palatine Hill. Soon after the foundation, Romulus and Remus were joined by other outlaws, bandits, murderers, s.o.b.’s and so on. Unfortunately in the nearby tribes, there was no single father who wanted to give his daughter to this kind of outcasts. So, one day, the organized a banquet for all their former traders and their family of the Sabine Hills on the Aventine Hill in Rome. That night, at the end of the banquet, when all the fathers were drunk, the early Romans raped their daughters: the famous Rape of the Sabines. It took months for the neighbors to enter into the early city of Rome, and was only possible by the betrayal of Tarpeia, who opened the gate to the enemy. And the battle for retaking the raped princesses of the Sabines started. But suddenly the doors of the early huts opened. In their gates stood the crème of the crème of the Sabine society, and all with a swollen belly, asking the invaders -their fathers-: “Do you want also to kill the fathers of your grandchildren?” That brought the Sabines to reason. No! of course! And without slaughtering, they were forced to make peace for the good of their daughters and grandchildren. And so started the Roman civilization: it was based on s.o.b.’s, murderers, bandits, rapists and outlaws. But is it not the same way that Australia and the West of America was founded?

What we can learn of this history is that the immigrant is often the strongest. He left his country for a better future. The weak remained. But they do everything to make their new homeland working. Who of us in the Western World would keep his shop open 24/24? Maybe we in the west are to spoiled. Sometimes I have the feeling that America, only fourth or fifth generation of immigrants, have in there genes still that power of their ancestors, and know how to act ac    cording towards the future.