Rome’s ancient king Romulus declared the first Roman triumph on 1 March 752 BCE.

By Alexis Culotta

Rome’s ancient king Romulus declared the first Roman triumph on 1 March 752 BCE. His celebration was due to the Romans’ defeat of Acron, king of the people of Caenina. 

The conflict between the Caeninenses and the Roman was derived from Romulus’ fiendish scheme to boost the female population of Rome. Failing to succeed in recruiting women from outside communities to marry Roman men, Romulus schemed a special summertime festival of Neptune Equester to which he invited all of these neighboring populations. The festival was a trap, as in the midst of the festivities Romulus signaled his troops to kidnap eligible women, an ensnarement recorded in history and in art as the abduction of the Sabine Women

Left distraught by Romulus’ machinations, Acron planned an attack on Rome, yet Romulus quickly defeated the king his forces and retaliated by attacking Caenina. Soon after his victory, Romulus dedicated a temple in Rome to Jupiter Feretrius, the aspect of the god who harbored the spoils of war, and thus offered to him the booty he had acquired from the Caeninenses. 


Carlo Brogi, Medallion of Romulus and Remus, 19th century. facade of the Certosa di Pavia. 

Sebastiano Ricci, The Abduction of the Sabine Women, c. 1700. Collection of the Prince of Liechtenstein. 

Jacques Louis David, Romulus’ Victory over Acron, 1812. École des Beaux Arts, Paris. 

Ludovico or Annibale Carracci, Romulus Dedicates to the Temple of Jupiter Feretrius the Spoils of Acron, 16th century. Palazzo Magnani, Bologna. 

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