You are on page 1of 1

The Rape occurred in the early history of Rome, shortly after its founding by

Romulus and his mostly male followers. Seeking wives in order to establish
families, the Romans negotiated unsuccessfully with the Sabines, who populated the
surrounding area. The Sabines feared the emergence of a rival society and refused
to allow their women to marry the Romans. Consequently, the Romans planned to
abduct Sabine women during a festival of Neptune Equester. They planned and
announced a marvelous festival to attract people from all nearby towns. According
to Livy, many people from Rome's neighboring towns attended, including folk from
the Caeninenses, Crustumini, and Antemnates, and many of the Sabines. At the
festival, Romulus gave a signal, at which the Romans grabbed the Sabine women and
fought off the Sabine men. The indignant abductees were soon implored by Romulus to
accept Roman husbands.[2]

Livy claims that no direct sexual assault took place, albeit the fuller evidence,
when compared with the later history, suggests a seduction based on promises by the
Romans (promises which were inadequate, in any event) and then betrayal of those
promises. Livy says that Romulus offered them free choice and promised civic and
property rights to women. According to Livy, Romulus spoke to them each in person,
declaring "that what was done was owing to the pride of their fathers,