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The myth of Romulus and Remus and the ties to ancient scripture


A recent review of the myth concerning Romulus and Remus evidenced a factual pattern that appeared to me to be a bit conspicuous and repetitive. As a “pattern recognition specialist” (thanks Ashton Lawson), I took a closer look.

According to Brittany Garcia, in her post of 18 April 2018, on World History.org, Romulus and Remus were the direct descendants of Aeneas, whose fate-driven adventures to discover Italy are described by Virgil in The Aeneid. Romulus and Remus were related to Aeneas through their mother's father, Numitor. Numitor was a king of Alba Longa, an ancient city of Latium in central Italy, and father to Rhea Silvia. Before Romulus' and Remus' conception, Numitor's reign was usurped by Numitor's younger brother, Amulius. Amulius inherited control over Alba Longa's treasury with which he was able to dethrone Numitor and become king. Amulius, wishing to avoid any conflict of power, killed Numitor's male heirs and forced Rhea Silvia to become a Vestal Virgin. (https://www.worldhistory.org/Romulus_and_Remus/)

Let’s use biblical names and see if the history can be reconciled:

Romulus and Remus were the direct descendants of Aeneas, whose fate-driven adventures to discover Italy are described by Virgil in The Aeneid. Romulus and Remus were related to Aeneas (Avraham) through their mother’s (Tamar) father, Numitor. Numitor (E’su) was a king of Alba Longa (Idumea), an ancient city of Latium in central Italy (Mount Sey’ir), and father to Rhea Silvia (Tamar). Before Romulus' and Remus' conception, Numitor's reign was usurped by Numitor's younger brother, Amulius. (Ya’aqov) Amulius inherited control over Alba Longa's treasury with which he was able to dethrone Numitor and become king. Amulius, wishing to avoid any conflict of power, killed Numitor's male heirs and forced Rhea Silvia (Tamar) to become a Vestal Virgin (put away).

Brittany Garcia also says that there is much debate and variation as to who was the father of Romulus and Remus. Some myths claim that Mars appeared and lay with Rhea Silvia; other myths attest that the demi-god hero Hercules was her partner. However, the author Livy claims that Rhea Silvia was in fact raped by an unknown man but blamed her pregnancy on divine conception. In either case, Rhea Silvia was discovered to be pregnant and gave birth to her sons who were twins. Is Rhea Silvia Tamar? Are the twins Perets and Zerach? Was the father Yahudah? 

Any Vestal Virgin betraying her vows of celibacy would be condemned to death (let her burn”); the most common death sentence was to be buried alive. However, King Amulius (Yahudah) fearing the wrath of the paternal god (Yah?) did not wish to directly stain his hands with the mother's and children's blood. So, King Amulius imprisoned Rhea Silvia and ordered the twins' death by means of live burial, exposure, or being thrown into the Tiber River. He reasoned that if the twins were to die not by the sword but by the elements, he and his city would be saved from punishment by the gods. He ordered a servant to carry out the death sentence, but in every scenario of this myth, the servant takes pity on the twins and spares their lives. The servant, then, places the twins into a basket onto the River Tiber, and the river carries the boys to safety.

Op. cit.

Scripture makes no report of Yahudah desiring to put to death the twins Zerach and Perets. Other than the location (ancient Latium as compared to the land of Idumea), the story has awesome similarities.

However, if the narrative is otherwise factually accurate, then Tamar would be a daughter of E’su! Again, the scripture is silent as to her heritage, other than that she appears to have been of Ivriyt lineage as Yahudah’s Kena’aniy sons would not touch her.

And Yahudah took a woman for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar. 7 And Er, Yahudah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of Yahuah; and Yahuah slew him. 8 And Yahudah said to Onan: Go in unto your brother's woman, and marry her, and raise up seed to your brother. 9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's woman, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. 10 And the thing which he did displeased Yahuah: wherefore he slew him also. 11 Then said Yahudah to Tamar his daughter-in-law: Remain a widow at your father's house, till Shelach my son be grown: for he said: Lest perchance he dies also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house.
Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 38:6-11

Brittany Garcia continues: The river god Tibernus ensured their safety by calming the river, and he caused their basket to catch in the roots of a nearby fig tree. The tree was located at the base of the Palatine Hill in the Velabrum swamp. The twins were first discovered by a she-wolf or lupa, who suckled them, and they were fed by a woodpecker or picus. Eventually, they were discovered and cared for by a shepherd and his wife: Faustulus and Acca Larentia. The two boys grew up to be shepherds like their adoptive father. One day while they were herding their sheep, they were met by shepherds of King Amulius. These shepherds started a fight with Romulus and Remus in which Remus was captured and taken before King Amulius. Romulus gathered and incited a band of local shepherds to join him in rescuing his brother. King Amulius believed that Rhea Silvia's children were dead; he did not recognize Remus or Romulus. Romulus freed his brother, and in the process killed King Amulius (Perets killing Ya’aqov).

According to St. Jerome, Remus was killed for his mockery by one of Romulus' supporters, either Fabius or Celer, who killed Remus by throwing a spade at his head. Afterwards, Romulus mournfully buries his brother, bestowing upon him full funeral honours. However, most sources would convey that Romulus killed Remus. Remus' death and founding of Rome are dated by Livy to April 21st, 753 BCE.

Excerpts taken from
Romulus and Remus
By Brittany Garcia, 18 April 2018
World History.org
https://www.worldhistory.org/Romulus_and_Remus/

Did Perets also kill Zerach?

Let’s take a look at this myth of the wolf in another perspective.

And El’ayim came to Bil`am at night and said to him: If the men come to call you, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say to you, that shall you do. 21 And Bil`am rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Mo’av. And El’ayim’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of Yahuah stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him. 23 And the ass saw the angel of Yahuah standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way and went into the field: and Bil`am smote the ass, to turn her into the way.
Bemidbar (Numbers) 22:20-23

But the angel of Yahuah stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. 25 And when the ass saw the angel of Yahuah, she thrust herself to the wall, and crushed Bil`am's foot against the wall: and he smote her again. 26 And the angel of Yahuah went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27 And when the ass saw the angel of Yahuah, she fell down under Bil`am: and Bil`am's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. 28 And Yahuah opened the mouth of the ass, and she said to Bil`am: What have I done to you, that you have smitten me these three times?
Bemidbar (Numbers) 22:24-28

And Bil`am said to the ass: Because you have mocked me: I would there were a sword in my hand, for now would I kill you. 30 And the ass said to Bil`am: Am not I your ass, upon which you have ridden ever since I was yours to this day? Was I ever wont to do so to you? And he said, Nay. 31 Then Yahuah opened the eyes of Bil`am, and he saw the angel of Yahuah standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head and fell flat on his face. 32 And the angel of Yahuah said to him: Wherefore have you smitten your ass these three times? Behold, I went out to withstand you, because your way is perverse before me: 33 And the ass saw me and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain you, and saved her alive.
Bemidbar (Numbers) 22:29-33

And the sons of Ya`aqov went into the wilderness to seize the beasts, and behold a wolf came toward them, and they seized him, and brought him to their father, and they said to him: This is the first we have found, and we have brought him to you as you did command us, and your son's body we could not find. 41 And Ya`aqov took the beast from the hands of his sons, and he cried out with a loud and weeping voice, holding the beast in his hand, and he spoke with a bitter heart to the beast: Why did you devour my son Yoceph, and how did you have no fear of the El’ayim of the earth, or of my trouble for my son Yoceph? 42 And you did devour my son for naught, because he committed no violence, and did thereby render me culpable on his account, therefore El’ayim will require him that is persecuted.
Yashar (Numbers) 43:40-42

Is this narrative in Yashar (Jasher) indicative of a different conclusion to the myth of Romulus and Remus? Is it possible that this alludes to a conclusion that in fact Romulus did not kill Remus, but that Remus went away from Romulus into the wilderness?

If Romulus and Remus are the Latinized names of the twins of Tamar; Zerach and Perets, then it is possible to see that one son – Perets in this case, was retained within the kingdom, but the other son – the first born Zerach – was not retained but left the care of the mother and went into an unknown wilderness.

And these are the generations of E῾su the father of the Edomiym in Mount Se`iyr: 10 These are the names of E῾su’s sons; Eliyphaz the son of Adah the woman of E῾su, Re’u’el the son of Basmath the woman of E῾su. 11 And the sons of Eliyphaz were Teyman, Omar, Tsepho, Ga`tam, and Qenaz. 12 And Timna was concubine to Eliyphaz E῾su’s son; and she bore to Eliyphaz Amaleq: these were the sons of Adah E῾su’s woman. 13 And these are the sons of Re’u’el; Nachath, and Zerach, Shammah, and Mizzah: these were the sons of Basmath E῾su’s woman.
Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 36:9-13

Compare this now with the narrative in Yashar (Jasher).

And it was after this that the sons of E῾su waged war with the sons of Ya`aqov, and the sons of E῾su fought with the sons of Ya`aqov in Chevron, and E῾su was still lying dead, and not buried. 2 And the battle was heavy between them, and the sons of E῾su were smitten before the sons of Ya`aqov, and the sons of Ya`aqov slew of the sons of E῾su eighty men, and not one died of the people of the sons of Ya`aqov; and the hand of Yoceph prevailed over all the people of the sons of E῾su, and he took Tsepho, the son of Eliyphaz, the son of E῾su, and fifty of his men captive, and he bound them with chains of iron, and gave them into the hand of his servants to bring them to Mitsrayim.
Yashar (Jasher) 57:1-2 

And it came to pass when the sons of Ya`aqov had taken Tsepho and his people captive, all those that remained were greatly afraid of their lives from the house of E῾su, lest they should also be taken captive, and they all fled with Eliyphaz the son of E῾su and his people, with E῾su’s body, and they went on their road to Mount Se`iyr. 4 And they came to Mount Se`iyr and they buried E῾su in Se`iyr, but they had not brought his head with them to Se`iyr, for it was buried in that place where the battle had been in Chevron.
Yashar (Jasher) 57:3-4 

And it came to pass when the sons of E῾su had fled from before the sons of Ya`aqov, the sons of Ya`aqov pursued them to the borders of Se`iyr, but they did not slay a single man from amongst them when they pursued them, for E῾su’s body which they carried with them excited their confusion, so they fled and the sons of Ya`aqov turned back from them and came up to the place where their brethren were in Chevron, and they remained there on that day, and on the next day until they rested from the battle. 6 And it came to pass on the third day they assembled all the sons of Se`iyr the Choriy, and they assembled all the children of the east, a multitude of people like the sand of the sea, and they went and came down to Mitsrayim to fight with Yoceph and his brethren, in order to deliver their brethren.
Yashar (Jasher) 57:5-6

The narrative in Yashar (Jasher) here is now telling us that the Edomiym (the Edomites) came down to Mitsrayim to do battle, and yet there is more:

And it came to pass at the end of many days and years, when the children of E῾su were dwelling quietly in their land with Bela their king, that the children of E῾su were fruitful and multiplied in the land, and they resolved to go and fight with the sons of Ya`aqov and all Mitsrayim, and to deliver their brother Tsepho, the son of Eliyphaz, and his men, for they were yet in those days slaves to Yoceph. 15 And the children of E῾su sent to all the children of the east, and they made peace with them, and all the children of the east came to them to go with the children of E῾su to Mitsrayim to battle.
Yashar (Jasher) 58:14-15

However, the house of E’su would not prevail:

And Yahuah gave all the mighty men of E῾su and the children of the east into the hand of Yoceph and his brethren, and the people of the children of E῾su and the children of the east were smitten before Yoceph. And Yoceph lived in the land of Mitsrayim ninety-three years, and Yoceph reigned over all Mitsrayim eighty years.
Yashar (Jasher) 58:19-20

And when the year came round, being the seventy second year from Yashar’el going down to Mitsrayim, after the death of Yoceph, Tsepho, the son of Eliyphaz, the son of E῾su, fled from Mitsrayim, he and his men, and they went away. 2 And he came to Africa*, which is Dinhabah, to Angeas king of Africa,* and Angeas received them with great honor, and he made Tsepho the captain of his host. 3 And Tsepho found favor in the sight of Angeas and in the sight of his people, and Tsepho was captain of the host to Angeas king of Africa* for many days.
Yashar (Jasher) 60:1-3

*Original word here is likely Dinhabah.

And Tsepho enticed Angeas king of Africa to collect all his army to go and fight with the Mitsriym, and with the sons of Ya`aqov, and to avenge of them the cause of his brethren. 5 But Angeas would not listen to Tsepho to do this thing, for Angeas knew the strength of the sons of Ya`aqov, and what they had done to his army in their warfare with the children of E῾su. 6 And Tsepho was in those days very great in the sight of Angeas and in the sight of all his people, and he continually enticed them to make war against Mitsrayim, but they would not.
Yashar (Jasher) 60:4-6

And Tsepho the son of Eliyphaz the son of E῾su, captain of the host to Angeas king of Dinhabah, was still daily enticing Angeas to prepare for battle to fight with the sons of Ya`aqov in Mitsrayim, and Angeas was unwilling to do this thing, for his servants had related to him all the might of the sons of Ya`aqov, what they had done to them in their battle with the children of E῾su. 6 And Tsepho was in those days daily enticing Angeas to fight with the sons of Ya`aqov in those days. 7 And after some time Angeas hearkened to the words of Tsepho and consented to him to fight with the sons of Ya`aqov in Mitsrayim, and Angeas got all his people in order, a people numerous as the sand which is upon the seashore, and he formed his resolution to go to Mitsrayim to battle.
Yashar (Jasher) 61:5-7

And amongst the servants of Angeas was a youth fifteen years old, Bil`am the son of Be`or was his name and the youth was very wise and understood the art of witchcraft. 9 And Angeas said to Bil`am: Conjure for us, I pray, with the witchcraft, that we may know who will prevail in this battle to which we are now proceeding. 10 And Bil`am ordered that they should bring him wax, and he made thereof the likeness of chariots and horsemen representing the army of Angeas and the army of Mitsrayim, and he put them in the cunningly prepared waters that he had for that purpose, and he took in his hand the boughs of myrtle trees, and he exercised his cunning, and he joined them over the water, and there appeared to him in the water the resembling images of the hosts of Angeas falling before the resembling images of the Mitsriym and the sons of Ya`aqov. 11 And Bil`am told this thing to Angeas, and Angeas despaired and did not arm himself to go down to Mitsrayim to battle, and he remained in his city.
Yashar (Jasher) 61:8-11

And when Tsepho the son of Eliyphaz saw that Angeas despaired of going forth to battle with the Mitsriym, Tsepho fled from Angeas from Africa, and he went and came to Kittiym. 13 And all the people of Kittiym received him with great honor, and they hired him to fight their battles all the days, and Tsepho became exceedingly rich in those days, and the troops of the king of Africa still spread themselves in those days, and the children of Kittiym assembled and went to Mount Cuptizia on account of the troops of Angeas king of Africa, who were advancing upon them.
Yashar (Jasher) 61:12-13

And at the revolution of the year the troops of Africa continued coming to the land of Kittiym to plunder as usual, and Tsepho son of Eliyphaz heard their report, and he gave orders concerning them and he fought with them, and they fled before him, and he delivered the land of Kittiym from them. 24 And the children of Kittiym saw the valor of Tsepho, and the children of Kittiym resolved and they made Tsepho king over them, and he became king over them, and while he reigned, they went to subdue the children of Tubal, and all the surrounding islands.
Yashar (Jasher) 61:23-24

And their king Tsepho went at their head, and they made war with Tubal and the islands, and they subdued them, and when they returned from the battle, they renewed his government for him, and they built for him a very large palace for his royal habitation and seat, and they made a large throne for him, and Tsepho reigned over the whole land of Kittiym and over the land of Italia fifty years.
Yashar (Jasher) 61:25

At that time died Hadad the son of Bedad king of Edom, and Samlah from Mesrekah, from the country of the children of the east, reigned in his place. 2 In the thirteenth year of the reign of Phar`oh king of Mitsrayim, which was the hundred and twenty fifth year of Yashar’el going down into Mitsrayim, Samlah had reigned over Edom eighteen years. 3 And when he reigned, he drew forth his hosts to go and fight against Tsepho the son of Eliyphaz and the children of Kittiym, because they had made war against Angeas king of Africa, and they destroyed his whole army. 4 But he did not engage with him, for the children of E῾su prevented him, saying: He was their brother, so Samlah listened to the voice of the children of E῾su, and turned back with all his forces to the land of Edom, and did not proceed to fight against Tsepho the son of Eliyphaz.
Yashar (Jasher) 66:1-4

We must keep in mind that the Romulus and Remus myth is predicated primarily on the Aenid, a poem of Virgil, allegedly written in 19 BC – i.e., a fiction work.  What was the source for Virgil’s epic work? That . . . was never disclosed.

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