(1) Rōmānum imperium, quō neque ab exōrdiō ūllum ferē minus neque incrēmentīs tōtō orbe amplius hūmānā potest memoriā recordārī, ā Rōmulō exōrdium habet, quī Rhēae Silviae, Vestālis virginis, fīlius et, quantum putātus est, Mārtis, cum Remō frātre ūnō partū ēditus est.

(2) Is cum inter pāstōrēs latrōcinārētur, decem et octo annōs nātus urbem exiguam in Palātīnō monte cōnstituit, XI Kal. Maiās, Olympiadis sextae annō tertiō, post Troiae excidium, ut quī plūrimum minimumque trādunt, annō trecentēsimō nōnāgēsimō quārtō.

    Rome Founded, 753 BCE. Romulus, 753–716 BCE

    (1) quō: "than which," ablative of comparison (AG 406).

    neque ab exōrdiō ūllum ferē minus neque incrēmentīs tōtō orbe amplius hūmānā potest memoriā recordārī: Order: ferē neque ūllum (imperium) potest recordārī hūmānā memoriā tōtō orbe minus ab exōrdiō, neque (ullum imperium potest recordārī) amplius incrēmentīs."Practically no (empire) can be recalled in human memory in the whole world (which was) smaller (than this) in its beginnings, nor larger in its increase." fere softens the categorical hyperbole. toto orbe might be taken with ullum (none in the whole world), or with incrementis (its growth in the whole world).

    ā Rōmulō: The founding of Rome has a rather fanciful beginning, as Florus recounts:

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    Romulus, the son of Mars and Rhea Silvia, was the founding father of the city of Rome and its empire. When Rhea Silvia became pregnant despite her vow of priesthood, she claimed that Mars was to blame. She was not doubted for long, for when King Amulius ordered the child to be tossed into the Tiber River with his twin brother Remus, they did not die. Not only did the Tiber check its waves, but also a she-wolf, abandoning its pups, made its way to the crying infants and offered them its teats, becoming a mother to the twins. Later Faustulus, one of the royal shepherds, found them under a tree, and brought them home to raise them. (Florus, Epitome 1.1.36–44)

    quī: supply Rōmulus

    Vestālis virginis: The Vestals were a kind of nuns, six in number, who were priestesses of Vesta. It was their duty to keep the fire on the altar in her temple in the Forum burning constantly. Her altar, with its ever-burning fire, was the family hearth of the state, from which the household fires were kindled at certain dates (Hazzard).

    fīlius: in apposition with quī, subject of editus est (Hazzard)

    quantum putātus est: "so far as he was thought" = "as it was thought." Note that Latin prefers the personal construction where we prefer the impersonal (Hazzard).

    (2) Is: Rōmulus

    cum ... latrōcinārētur: "while he was leading the life of a robber." cum is circumstantial (AG 546).

    decem et octō annōs nātus: "having been born eighteen years" = "eighteen years old." The more common expression for the numeral is duodēvīgintī (Hazzard). natus comes from nascor.

    in Palātīnō monte: the Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome. The remains of this city are still found on this hill (Hazzard).​​​​ The other hills were the Capitoline, Quirinal, Aventine, Esquiline, Viminal, and Caelian (Hazzard).

    XI Kal. Māiās: April 21. The full expression would be ante diem ūndecimum Kalendās Māiās. In the Roman calendar it coincided with the Palilia (Parilia) or feast of Pales, the guardian divinity of shepherds (Hazzard).

    Olympiadis: the Greeks reckoned time by periods of four years, called Olympiads from the Olympian Games, which were celebrated at that interval. The starting point was 776 BCE. Hence the third year of the sixth Olympiad would be 753 BCE. Some prefer to recognize 754 BCE as the date of the founding of the city (Hazzard).

    post Trōiae excidium: the Romans attributed their origin to Aeneas, a Trojan prince whose adventures led him to Italy.

    ut qui plurimum minimumque tradunt: "as (those) who relate the most and least (say)," i.e., "more or less." (See LS trado II.B.2.b.) The expression occurs again at Brev. 10.18, but not elsewhere in attested Latin prose. It seems to be the ancestor of the Italian expression più o meno (Bordone).

    Core Vocabulary | Numbers | Dates

    exōrdium, ī [ex + ōrdō], n. a beginning
    incrēmentum, ī [incrēscō, to increase], n. growth, increase
    recordor, ārī, ātus sum [re + cor, heart] to remember, recall
    Rōmulus, ī, m.

    the son of Rhea Silvia and Mars, the founder of Rome

    Rēa or Rhēa, ae, f.

    Rhēa Silvia, the mother of Romulus and Remus

    Vestālis, e, adj. pertaining to the goddess Vesta
    Mārs, Mārtis, m. the Roman god of war
    Remus, ī, m. the brother of Romulus
    partus, ūs [pariō], m.

    a bringing forth, delivery, birth; progeny

    pāstor, ōris, m. shepherd
    latrōcinor, ārī, — [latrō] to be a robber, commit piracy
    nātus, a, um [nāscor], adj. lit. born; with annōs and numerals, old
    exiguus, a, um [exigō], adj. small, scanty
    Palātīnus, ī (sc. mōns), adj. the Palatine Hill
    Kal. = Kalendae, ārum, pl. f. the Kalends, the first day of the month
    Māius, ī, m.

    the month of May; usually as adj., Māius, a, um, agreeing with mēnsis, Kalendae, Nōnae, Īdūs

    Olympias, adis, f.

    an Olympiad, the space of four years intervening between the games at Olympus. The period was used in assigning dates, the first Olympiad beginning in 776 B.C.

    Trōia, ae, f.

    Troy, a city in the northwestern part of Asia Minor, renowned for its ten years' siege by the Greeks

    excidium, ī, n. downfall, ruin
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