Creation myths of the ancient romans

Updated April 17, 2017

Myths are sacred stories that are part of every culture. The creation myths explain the origins of the world, the birth of human beings and sometimes the derivation of particular culture. Roman myths are strongly influenced by Greek mythology. Creation myths can be divided into two kinds: One pertains to the creation of the world, and the other to the foundation of the Roman Empire.

Creation of the World

Just like its Greek counterpart, the Roman creation myth portrays the world before creation as unshaped matter, or chaos that was characterised by inharmonious coexistence of opposites. A naturally higher force, God, put a stop to this conflicting state by separating all the natural forces and organising them into harmonious whole. God also shaped planet Earth by rolling the matter into a ball. This creation myth was reflected later in Platonic philosophy, which also spoke about creation of the world as separation of the opposites and creating harmony.

Creation of a Man

There are two variances on the creation of a human being. One version depicts God creating a human being out of a Divine seed. Another story says that Prometheus sculpted a man out of the clump of earth to resemble gods. Since the earth still contained some divine qualities, so did the humans. And so human beings differed from other creatures by walking in the erect position and facing the heavens, rather then having their gaze directed at the ground like the rest of the creatures.

Creation of Roman Empire

One source says that Rome was created about 12th century after the war between Greece and Asia. The legend says that Aeneas, one of the greatest soldiers of the Greek Army, won the battle against Asia and moved to Carthage where Queen Dido fell in love with him. He, however, decided to travel to Italy, where he found the city of Rome. There he created a new mythology that bears strong resemblance to the Greek mythology.

Romulus and Remus

The myth about Romulus and Remus explains creation of Rome. Romulus and Remus were twin brothers. They were abandoned by their parents, put in a basket and left to float on the River Tiber. The twins were rescued by a female wolf who nursed them before they were found by a shepherd. The shepherd brought the twins up. When Romulus and Remus grew up, they visited the place where they were found by the wolf and decided to build a city there. The brothers disagreed over where the city should originate, and Romulus killed his brother in a rage. The city that Romulus built was named Rome after its founder.

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