According to the
founding myth of Rome, the
city was founded on 21 April 753 BC by the twin brothers
Romulus and Remus, who descended from the
 and who were grandsons of the Latin King
Alba Longa. King Numitor was deposed by his brother,
Amulius, while Numitor's daughter,
Rhea Silvia, gave birth to the twins.
 Because Rhea Silvia had been raped and impregnated by
Mars, the Roman
god of war, the twins were considered
The new king, Amulius, feared Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, so he ordered them to be drowned.
she-wolf (or a shepherd's wife in some accounts) saved and raised them, and when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor.
The twins then founded their own city, but Romulus killed Remus in a quarrel over the location of the
Roman Kingdom, though some sources state the quarrel was about who was going to rule or give his name to the city.
 Romulus became the source of the city's name.
 In order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent, exiled, and unwanted. This caused a problem, in that Rome came to have a large male population but was bereft of women. Romulus visited neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables he was refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the
Sabines to a festival and
stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins with the Sabines.
Another legend, recorded by Greek historian
Dionysius of Halicarnassus, says that Prince Aeneas led a group of Trojans on a sea voyage to found a new Troy, since the original was destroyed at the end of the
Trojan War. After a long time in rough seas, they landed on the banks of the
Tiber River. Not long after they landed, the men wanted to take to the sea again, but the women who were traveling with them did not want to leave. One woman, named Roma, suggested that the women burn the ships out at sea to prevent their leaving. At first, the men were angry with Roma, but they soon realized that they were in the ideal place to settle. They named the settlement after the woman who torched their ships.
The Roman poet
Virgil recounted this legend in his classical epic poem the
Aeneid, where the Trojan prince
Aeneas is destined by the gods to found a new Troy. In the epic, the women also refuse to go back to the sea, but they were not left on the Tiber. After reaching Italy, Aeneas, who wanted to marry
Lavinia, was forced to wage war with her former suitor,
Turnus. According to the poem, the
Alban kings were descended from Aeneas, and thus Romulus, the founder of Rome, was his descendant.