Answered By: Gretchen Scronce
Last Updated: May 21, 2019     Views: 43

Here's the lead paragraph in an entry from Dictionary of Classical Mythology:

The mythical founders of Rome. Numitor, a descendant of AENEAS, was deposed from the rule of Alba Longa by his younger brother Amulius, who not only killed Numitor's sons but forced his only daughter, Rhea Silvia, to become a Vestal Virgin so that no other male heir might be born of her. But he reckoned without the gods, for the war-god MARS lay with the girl and she bore him twin sons, Romulus and Remus. Flinging her into prison, Amulius ordered the babies to be thrown into the River Tiber; but Mars was looking after his own, and the basket in which his sons lay floated safely to the shore and ran aground beneath a fig tree, later know as the Ficus Ruminalis and regarded as sacred. Here a she-wolf, coming down from the hills, heard the infants’ cries and suckled them, and a woodpecker fed them scraps of food. Both creatures were sacred to Mars. The royal shepherd, Faustulus, chanced by and saw the she-wolf tenderly licking the babies as if they were her own young. Guessing the boys’ royal parentage, he took them home, and he and his wife ACCA LARENTIA adopted them and brought them up as their own. (See complete entry here.)