- LT (on a FB group's wall)
- Invented ancestry.
The Latin reading blog : Ausonius on a nouveau riche.
- HGL (my response)
- Note very well that between Romulus and Remus and himself, he would NOT have dared to insert a lot of publically known persons, especially not recent ones.
The case is thus not a case against Romulus and Remus really having existed.
In fact, I can't see any reference to Romulus having had a son, so the nouveau riche was contradicting the known historic traditions. from precisely the time of Romulus and Remus.
That would to Horace and others who really knew ancient Roman History (Livy and Virgil spring to mind, and Horace at least knew the latter) have made the claim ridiculous in quite another way than it is to certain moderns considering "Romulus" a "myth".
It's not like claiming to descend from Charlemagne, it's like claiming to descend from a physical son of Jesus.
(Obviously, there could have been a legal son of Jesus among closest kin refusing to believe Resurrection law of levirate and all that).
How do we tell Romulus had no son?
Second king was a Sabine, Numa Pompilius.
Third king was grandson, not of Romulus but of a comrade.
Fourth king was grandson by his mother to Numa.
Fifth king was a stranger.
Sixth king was a freedman married to the stranger's daughter.
Seventh king was either brother or nephew in law to sixth, either son or grandson to the fifth.
None of the kings descended from Romulus.
And Romulus, like later Caesar (in a way "eighth king" - since no kings between Tarquin the Proud and himself - and "one of the seven", since deified like Romulus, since priest like Numa ...) was someone whose ancestry would have counted, had it been there. That is usually the case with people counting with a religion of their community as a god.
So, the nouveau riche was showing off his ignorance of historic traditions by the claim.