According to Roman legend, the Eternal City was founded on 21st April 753 BC. It was founded by Romulus, one of the famous twins who were fathered by Mars and cast into the Tiber by their angry great uncle.
When the twins grew up, they decided to establish a new city, but couldn’t agree on the location – Romulus favoured the Palatine Hill, whereas Remus wanted to build on the Avantine Hill. The argument became violent and Romulus ended up killing his brother.
Rome was built on the Palatine Hill (it probably took slightly longer than a day) and grew into the greatest empire the world has ever seen.
To mark its ‘birthday’, the city will be hosting a number of events and festivities. One such event is the much anticipated unveiling of a huge 500m long frieze on the walls along the banks of the Tiber.
The work, entitled ‘Triumphs and Laments’, has been created by South African artist William Kentridge. 10m high figures depict the many famous victories of Rome, as well as some of the devastating defeats.
To celebrate the presentation of this piece of urban art, the Roman public are invited to attend a free theatrical performance over the next three nights, featuring Italian and South African musicians and shadow play.
Rome is a very popular choice of destination for school trips. With a great number of educational activities for subjects like art, classical studies, religious studies and Italian, it also works really well as a cross-curricular destination.
As the city celebrates its 2,769th birthday, maybe it’s time to take your students to visit Caput Mundi?