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Old 21 November 2007, 05:50 PM
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Tarquin Farquart Tarquin Farquart is offline
 
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Wolf 'Mythical Roman cave' unearthed

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Italian archaeologists say they have found the long-lost underground grotto where ancient Romans believed a female wolf suckled the city's twin founders.

The cave believed to be the Lupercal was found near the ruins of Emperor Augustus' palace on the Palatine hill.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7104330.stm
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  #2  
Old 21 November 2007, 06:25 PM
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"You can imagine our amazement - we almost screamed," said Professor Giorgio Croci, the head of the archaeological team working on the restoration of the Palatine, told reporters.
I really appreciate that he could express his enthusiasm for his chosen work.
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Old 21 November 2007, 07:04 PM
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Whalephant

Well, since some people claim that the excavation of the historical Jericho proves the Bible to be correct...

Silas (prefers the Greek cognates to the Roman ones anyway)
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Old 22 November 2007, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Silas Sparkhammer View Post
Well, since some people claim that the excavation of the historical Jericho proves the Bible to be correct...

Silas (prefers the Greek cognates to the Roman ones anyway)
*snerk*
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  #5  
Old 22 November 2007, 08:42 AM
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So they've found a previously unknow ancient cave covered in shells and mosaics. It takes a huge leap of belief to think that therefore this is where Romulus and Remus were suckled.
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Old 22 November 2007, 08:52 AM
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Tarquin Farquart Tarquin Farquart is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Andrew of Ware View Post
So they've found a previously unknow ancient cave covered in shells and mosaics. It takes a huge leap of belief to think that therefore this is where Romulus and Remus were suckled.
I think it was the cave the Romans believed R&R were suckled in. It's a bit like finding Mount Olympus, doesn't mean you're going to find evidence of gods.
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Old 22 November 2007, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart View Post
I think it was the cave the Romans believed R&R were suckled in. It's a bit like finding Mount Olympus, doesn't mean you're going to find evidence of gods.
Exactly. It seems plausible to me that this is the lupercal. It is known from ancient sources that the lupercal existed, but there really aren't any details other than it was at the foot of the Palatine and contained a bronze sculpture of the she-wolf with R & R. (Source: J.J. Richardson: A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome).

Whether or not this is the Lupercal, it is pretty cool. Just the kind of thing that gets nerds like me all excited.
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Old 24 November 2007, 06:07 AM
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Ponder Italian expert skeptical of sacred Roman cave

A leading Italian archaeologist said that the grotto whose discovery was announced in Rome is not the sacred cave linked to the myth of the city's foundation by Romulus and Remus.

http://www.reuters.com/article/oddly...31072520071123
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  #9  
Old 10 February 2008, 06:08 PM
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Reading Does a Roman cave prove the myth?

The discovery of an ancient Roman cave has unearthed a debate about its historical purpose and delved into a deeper question for scholars: Can archaeology prove mythology?

http://www.usatoday.com/printedition...cale07.art.htm
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Old 10 February 2008, 07:14 PM
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"It is tempting to argue that the finds support historical events," Smith says, "when in fact they merely support ancient beliefs about events."
This is the key. Even if there was an historical Romulus, and evidence does suggest that there were Etruscan kings in Rome in the 8th century BCE, which corresponds to the mythical founding of Rome by Romulus in 753, that in no way means that Romulus was the son of Mars and was suckled by a wolf. That is a pretty big leap.

For instance, I believe that a guy named Jesus may have existed and been crucified sometime around 33 CE, but I certainly don't believe he was the son of god and rose from the dead.

Part of the fun of archaeology is in finding how often myth is tied to reality: the city of Troy has been excavated, the Minoan palaces on Crete really do resemble labyrinths, etc. However exciting these discoveries are, they do not prove myth. They simply prove that the ancient Greeks and Romans were curious about their histories and created stories based on the real world around them.

Looking at the article again, I'm not sure anything other than the title is suggesting that myth can be validated through archaeology. I would certainly hope that most archaeologists are more reputable than that.
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