It was perhaps the most important of ancient cities. It’s legacy is vital to our world today. Yet it’s beginnings are murky. But can we get any idea at all of how it all began, really? Barthold Georg Niebuhr wrote,
“According to an important statement of Cato preserved in Dionysius, the ancient towns of the Aborigines were small places scattered over the mountains. One town of this kind was situated on the Palatine hill, and bore the name of Roma, which is most certainly Greek.”
So what really happened? Niebuhr and others have laboriously fished history out of the murk. But no critic can ever destroy the beauty and charm of the old Latin chronicles or diminish the glory of the day that saw the first walls rise about the seven hills of the most important of ancient European cities.