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Who was Tiberinus Silvius?

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Tiberinus
Tiberinus - it was probably him that the Romans made offerings of thanksgiving. | Photo: Erin Silversmith | GNU Free Documentation License

According to the ancient historian Titus Livius, Tiberinus Silvius was the ninth king of Alba Long. He was to rule in the years 922-914 BCE and be the successor and son of a certain Capetus.

The kings of Alba Longa believed they derived their origin from the mythological Aeneas, who escaped from Troy and, after wandering in the Mediterranean for years, landed in Italy. The city of Alba Longa was to be founded by the son of Aeneas and Lavinia – Ascanius. The nickname Silvius comes from the son of Ascanius – Silvius – who was supposedly born in the forest.

Returning to Tiberinus, tradition has passed that the ruler died while crossing a river – formerly known as Albula. It was only after the drowning of Tiberinus that the Latins began to refer to it as Tiber. In antiquity, the river marked the boundaries between Latium and Etruria. It was on the seven hills around the river that Rome was founded.

Tiberinus was considered a god after his death and was worshipped as a river deity, mainly in the so-called Volturnia and Argei. During the Argei, the Romans threw 27 straw dummies into the Tiber – a form of sacrifice. The later Romulus and Remus were also to belong to the Tiberinus family.

Sources
  • Titus Livius, Ab urbe condita

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