(c)2012-2017 Iona Miller, All Rights Reserved
The Latin kings of Alba Longa, also referred to as the Latin kings of Rome or Alban kings of Rome, are a series of legendary kings of Latium ruling mainly from Alba Longa. In the mythic tradition of the founding of Rome, they fill the 400-year gap between the settlement of Aeneas in Italy and the establishing of the city walls of Rome by Romulus and Remus. It was this line of descent to which the Julii claimed kinship. After the defeat and destruction of Alba Longa and the incorporation of Latium into the Roman state, the Alban kingship is succeeded by the series of kings usually called "Etruscan," though only a few members of this line were brought in from neighboring Etruria to reign.
List of Latin kings
The following list is based on Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus, who is the source for the length of each reign.
The following list is based on Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus, who is the source for the length of each reign.
- Latinus, king of the "Aborigines", who gave his name to the new state of the Latins to be ruled from Laurentum by Aeneas and his own daughter Lavinia, given in marriage to Aeneas.
- Aeneas, a noble Trojan leading a force fleeing from the collapse of Troy. Listed as the first Latin king by both Livy and Dionysius. He ruled at Lavinium.
- Ascanius. A prior son of Aeneas and his Trojan wife Creusa. Founder of Alba Longa. Reigned there for 38 years. (BCE 1179-1141)
- Silvius. A son of Aeneas and Lavinia, younger half-brother of Ascanius. Reigned for 29 years. (BCE 1141-1112)
- Aeneas Silvius. A son of Silvius. Reigned for 31 years. (BCE 1112-1081)
- Latinus Silvius. Possibly a son of Aeneas Silvius. Reigned for 51 years. (BCE 1081-1030)
- Alba. Possibly a son of Latinus. Reigned for 39 years. (BCE 1030-991)
- Atys (in Livy) or Capetus (in Dionysius). Possibly a son of Alba. Reigned for 26 years. (BCE 991-965)
- Capys. Possibly a son of Capetus. Reigned for 28 years. (BCE 965-937)
- Capetus (II) or Calpetus. Possibly a son of Capys. Reigned for 13 years. (BCE 937-924)
- Tiberinus Silvius. Possibly a son of Capetus II. Reigned for 8 years. (BCE 924-916) Reportedly slain in battle near the Albula river and his body was carried away by it. The river was renamed Tiber.
- Agrippa. Possibly a son of Tiberinus. Reigned for 41 years. (BCE 916-875)
- Romulus Silvius (in Livy) or Alladius (in Dionysius). Possibly a son of Agrippa. Reigned for 19 years. (BCE 875-856) Reportedly a tyrant and contemptuous of the Gods. He frightened the people by throwing thunderbolts at them, until he himself was murdered by one and his house was submerged in the Alban Lake.
- Aventinus. Possibly a son of Alladius. Reigned for 37 years. (BCE 856-819) The Aventine Hill was reportedly named after him.
- Procas or Proca. Possibly a son of Aventinus. Reigned for 23 years. (BCE 819-796)
- Amulius. A younger son of Procas who reportedly usurped the throne. Reigned for 42 years. (BCE 796-754) Slain by his grand-nephews Romulus and Remus.
- Numitor. The older brother of Amulius. Reportedly succeeded him a year before the foundation of Rome. His successor is not named, but there must have been one, and he must have been of the same dynasty, as Gaius Cluilius, last king of Alba, descended from Aeneas, dies of natural causes while in camp during the siege of Rome under the kingship of Tullus Hostilius.
- Romulus. First king of Rome, ruling at Rome. The son of Rhea Silvia, daughter of Numitor.
The tale of Ares is the tale of the Greek, Trojan, and Roman family trees. The forms remain important for transgenerational reintegration of our ancestral spirits. Violent histories are the common core of transgenerational wounding.
Ares had four sons: Evenus, Molus, Pylus, and Thestius. My descent originates with Ares and Eurythemis, who had issue, Thestius (my 93rd gr-gr). The mother seems to have also married her divine son. We don't need to plot all the characters of the epic Trojan war, only those in the direct line of descent. The gods take sides in the conflict: Aphrodite, Ares, Artemis, and Apollo back the Trojans. Hera, Athena, Hephaestus, and Poseidon favor the Greeks, while Zeus remained neutral.
The Trojan Family tree consists largely of an unbroken paternal line sired by Erichthonius (my 88th gr-gr), King of Dardania and Acadia [ancient Turkey]. But that descent is rooted in the maternal triad of Electra of Mycenae [my 90th], Mycenean queen Clytemnestra of Troy with Agamemnon of Mycenae [both my 91st ge-gr], and Leda of Sparta [92nd], who famously coupled with Zeus as the Swan. Leda is usually considered the daughter of King Thestius of Aetolia and Eurythemis. And her daughter was Helen of Troy, (92nd gr-aunt) the catalyst of the war.
On the Greek side, Odysseus is my 85th gr-grandfather, and traces back his maternal and paternal lines to Zeus through Hermes. His gr-great grandaughter is Lavinia Roma of Alba Longa, and her son is Iulus, who founds the Julian Dynasty. So both lines of Odysseus and Aeneas merge when Lavinia marries Ascanius, the son of Aeneas, grandson of King Priam of Troy, descendant of Aphrodite, and ancestor of Romulus, Remus and the Gens Julia, clan of Julius Caesar.
This story with its variants is that of the Kings of Alba Longa, from the Silvii to the Julii dynasties. His grandfather, Anchises, and his son Aeneas (my 83rd gr-grandfather), claimed descent from Aphrodite. They became important divine forebears to the Romans, who claimed descent from both the Goddess of Love and the God of War. The Julian dynasty descended from their progenitor Iulus (my 81st gr-gr).
In some Roman traditions, Iulus, the semi-divine ancestor of gens Iulia, was identical with Aeneas’ son Ascanius (Virgil). In other traditions, Iulus was the son of Aeneas by his Trojan wife, Creusa, while Ascanius was the son of Aeneas' Latin wife Lavinia, daughter of Latinus (Livy). And, in still another tradition, Iulus was son of Ascanius. My genealogy lists Iulus as son of Ascanius and Lavinia.
With Aeneas, the dramatic setting changes from Troy to Rome and its antecedents. With a host of other beliefs among them, all descendants unconsciously pay homage to the strength and courage of their ‘progenitor’ Ares/Mars and his dynamic pioneering energy. That spirit is ratified in Julius Caesar, my 59th gr-grandfather, back through Aeneas to the Trojan kings, Zeus and the Titans. Or, so he claimed.
Zeus engineered the Trojan War because there were too many generations on the earth. Earth (Gaia) complained to Zeus there were too many humans for her to bear. She laments, "The people whom I nurture now dishonor Me. This Iao has taught them not to love.” Jung noticed, "Each of us, every living being, is a small earth, one could say, because we are in intimate connection with the earth, we are partially earth, we are conscious of our earthly body, for instance." (Visions Seminar, Pages 1158-1159)
Ares/Mars supported the Trojans and the Romans. The root lines of Julius Caesar show that Electra's maternal line descends from Ares' union with Eurythemis. The descent of the Julian Family tree continues through the collateral adoptive son, Augustus Caesar, which breaks the direct genetic chain but preserves rule in the Julian family.
In -7th BCE. Greece, Hesiod recounts the birth of Ares in Theogony 921 ff (trans. Evelyn-White). "Zeus took Hera to be his fresh consort, and she, lying in the arms of the father of gods and mortals, conceived and bore Hebe to him, and Ares, and Eileithyia."
There are a number of ways in which the idea of descent from the gods is used in ancient and medieval writings. In some legends individual heroes are said to be sons of gods or descended from a god, like Ares. Rather than literal divine ancestry and divine descent we can approach the god as a symbolic and metaphorical reality -- a lived and living connection to the Olympians as close as our skin.
Homer's story of Troy is the first written in Greek, allegedly 500 years after the events. It is a foundation of western tradition and archetypes of all sorts of behaviors and legendary heroes. Before that stories were sung about heroes and battles. In the 13th century BCE, Trojan and Greek warriors fought this long bloody battle that became an epic that still resonates through history.
The defeat of Troy was the end of the Bronze Age. It ushered in the Greek Dark Ages. More legends were born. But there are real people behind many of the legends. Trojan refugees were led West by Aeneas, who Julius Caesar claimed as his ancestor. As Romans they later returned and conquered Greece. In between, pre-history became history and empire.
Aeschylus says in Fragment 282 of Papyri Oxyrhynchus, (trans. Lloyd-Jones):
"[Dike the goddess of justice speaks: ...And I will tell you a proof which gives you this clearly. Hera has reared a violent son [Ares] whom she has borne to Zeus, a god irascible, hard to govern, an one whose mind knew no respect for others. He shot wayfarers with deadly arrows, and ruthless hacked . . ((lacuna)) with hooked spears . . he rejoiced and laughed . . evil . . scent of blood."
As the gods do not appear in isolation, a relationship with Ares, implies one with his extended and immediate family – Aphrodite, Zeus and Hera, and other Olympians. Their drop lines include Rome's founders Romulus and Remus, listed as gr-uncles of today's descendants. We are reminded again of Ares and his totem wolf as the divine twins were raised by a she-wolf.
Yet, clearly, “No one can 'prove' a descent from Julius Caesar,” [my 59th].
The dynasty Aeneas Gens Iulia includes Iulus, my 81st → Ascanius, King of Alba Longa, his father → Aeneas, King of Lavinium, his father, my 83rd]
This family which spawned Julius Caesar claimed descent from the Roman goddess Venus-Aphrodite (my 84th gr-gr) through Aeneas, her son by her lover Anchises, who was a Trojan prince. My genealogy shows this in the profile of Aeneas, closely braiding the Aphrodite and Ares dual-divinity generation of this line. Aphrodite as anima mundi binds all states of being together, the totality of the psyche.
Legend says Aeneas escaped the Fall of Troy (about 1200 BCE) and journeyed to Italy where he became the tribal ancestor of the Latins and the Etruscans. This acknowledges Zeus as prime ancestor.
Aeneas was a popular figure in medieval genealogical inventions. In the Norse saga, the Deluding of Gylfe, he is called Anea. Medieval Welsh genealogies called him Annyn Tro. In one Welsh source he is called a son of Brydain, giving name to Britain) and a grandson of Aedd Mawr (Edward the Great), c. 1300 BCE. These chronologies are too confused to be credible.
As we retreat through history most people are genetically related, even if the genealogy cannot be traced. The story becomes one not of our own family, but the collective family of man. Still, it is one thing to read history in a book, and quite another to read it in the lines of one's own direct descent.
The historian Strabo has Poseidon prophetically declare in Iliad XX, “But, now I know, the lineage of Aeneas will rule over all, and so too will his son, and his son's sons, who will be born thereafter." So it seemed throughout the rise and fall of Rome, including some of the most famous names and leaders in global history.
Alba Longa was an indigenous Latin iron age settlement in the mountains near Rome today. In Roman mythology, Alba was founded by Ascanius, the son of Aeneas, as a new colony of Trojan refugees and native Latins. In some accounts Ascanius was the son of Lavinia, and grandson of Latinus. (Livy); in other versions, Ascanius was the son of Creusa (Dionysius,Virgil). Virgil claims Ascanius and Iulus were the same. Dionysius makes Iulus the son of Ascanius, the founder and first king of Alba Longa. Many claimed Iulus as the ancestor of the Julian gens.
Eratosthenes places the sack of Troy around 1184 BC, more than four centuries before the traditional founding of Rome, in 753. The Alban kings history neatly closed the gap from Aeneas to Romulus. It is a mythical justification for the close ties between Rome and the indigenous Latin families descended from the Trojan immigrants or their Alban descendants.
Fifteen Trojan pedigrees of the Alban kings from Aeneas to Romulus survive. In the Aeniad, Virgil claimed that Latinus was the son of Faunus, and grandson of Picus, the first king of Latium, who was in turn the son of Saturn. But Picus was also said to be the son of Mars, rather than Saturn.
The Latins attacked the intruding Trojans, were defeated, and peace was cemented with the marriage of Aeneas and Lavinia, daughter of the Latin king. Aeneas founded a town of both Trojans and Latins, named Lavinium. (Kings of Alba Longa, Wikipedia)
Founding Rome: Ares Becomes Mars
No matter which of the ancient writers or genealogies we follow for the backstory of Rome, we encounter the same names over and over, even if their links and marriages are juggled around. No one argues about their descent from Ares and Aphrodite, whether in the same or different lines.
Following the Ares descent line down through time, we come to the era and people associated with the founding and legends of Rome. Ares insinuated himself actively into the founding of Rome, as Mars. Rhea Silvia conceived the Twins when Mars impregnated her in a sacred grove dedicated to him. Through their mother, they were descended from Greek and Latin nobility. His character defined that of the Empire -- its conquering and martial nature.
- Founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus are my 94th great uncles.
- Romulus was husband of Hersilia of Alba Longa, an abducted Sabine;
- Remus was father of Pompilia of Rome, my 1st cousin 95x removed
The Romans considered Mars second only to Zeus or Jupiter, his father, and my 95th gr-grandfather. The twin founders of Rome raised by a wolf are the mythical offspring of Ares and Rhea Silvia, Princess of Alba Longa (b. circa 808), the wife of Ascanius. Roman emperors were always priests of Ares/Mars.
Romulus and Remus were the direct descendants of Ares, through Aeneas, whose fate-driven adventures in Italy are described in The Aeneid by Vergil. The Julian family, including Julius Caesar and Augustus, traced their lineage to Ascanius and Aeneas, thus to the goddess Venus. The legendary kings of Britain allegedly trace their family through Brutus first king of Britain (my 70th gr-gr), a grandson of Aeneas. Geoffrey of Monmouth, a Benedictine monk living in the 12th century AD, fabricated this connection in the Historia Regum Britanniae.
In the Iliad, the god Poseidon prophesied that the descendants of Aeneas (the Aeneadae), would survive the Trojan War and rule their people forever. Virgil traced the divine connection down the line of Aeneas stretched through Romulus, Augustus, and the Julio-Claudian emperors down to Nero. Some Greek writers considered the Romans descendants of the Achaeans, rather than the Trojans. Or, the Romans are descended from Odysseus, one of the Achaeans, rather than his contemporary, the Trojan prince Aeneas.
Romulus and Remus were related to Aeneas through their mother's father, Numitor. He was a king of Alba Longa, an ancient city of Latium in central Italy, Numitor, 15th king of Alba Longa, was father to Rhea Silvia. Rubens depicts the Roman god Mars, identifiable with his war helmet and shield, raping the vestal virgin Rhea Silvia.
The identity of the father of Romulus and Remus generated debate. Some myths claim that Mars appeared and lay with Rhea Silvia; other myths name the demi-god hero Hercules as her partner. The genealogy shows Mars forcibly impregnated Rhea Silvia with Romulus and Remus.
However, the author Livy claims that Rhea Silvia was in fact raped by an unknown man, but blamed her pregnancy on divine conception. In either case, Rhea Silvia became pregnant and gave birth to her sons. Any Vestal Virgin betraying her vows of celibacy was condemned to death. But the king ordered the twins thrown into the Tiber River, expecting them to die of exposure. But a servant put them in a tiny boat and a she-wolf found and nursed them.
When we consider if Aeneas was their father or grandfather, consider there are more than 500 intervening years from the fall of Troy to the founding of Rome. Aeneas was the father of Ascanius with Creusa, and of Silvius with Lavinia. The former, also known as Iulus (or Julius), founded Alba Longa and was the first in a long series of kings.
Romulus named his city Roma after himself and created a government system of senators and patricians. When the male population exploded, the Roman men abducted women from the Sabines and Latins. In response to this rape or abduction of women, the Sabine and Latin men went to war against Rome. Romulus was the definitive winner of this war and this first hero’s victory was Rome's first triumph.
Ferdinand Bol - Aeneas at the court of Latinus.