the roman identity

The Roman people were a overly proud and highly religious people, whose sense of identity as romans came primarily from their accomplishments in war and their respect of their ancestors. By examining Livys The Early History of Rome, we can identify these traits through roman patterns of behavior and the foundation myths that their nation is built upon. The romans repeatedly display not only an overdeveloped personal sense of pride, but an exceptional pride in their nation – taking precedence over even family loyalty. The first example of this Roman pride is seen in the very first foundation myth of Rome, the tale of Romulus and Remus. The second of the two versions of this story tells how after the auspices have indicated Romulus as the rightful leader of this new nation, Remus, by way of jeering at his brother, jumped over the half-built walls of the new settlement, whereupon Romulus killed him in a fit of rage, adding the threat, So perish whoever else shall overleap my battlements( P.40 Livy) . Not only do we see a foreshadowing of Romes violent nature in this tale, but it seems to indicate a strong belief in the superiority of this ( barely existant ) nation, one that necessitates a national pride of greater magnitude than the even the strength of the loyalty between brothers. This kind of loyalty to country, as displayed by the Romes founder, certainly sets a precendent for later roman citizens. Not surprisingly then, we see this same kind of pride with similar consequences later on following a battle between Rome and the Albans. The victory had been decided, not by a full scale war, but by a contest between three men from each country ( two sets of three brothers ). This contest left Rome victorious and five people dead – only one roman brother stood living. The victor returned to rome carrying the triple spoils and,slung across [ his ] shoulders was a cloak, and [ his sister …

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