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Rape of the Sabine Women - Photo Archive

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Rape of the Sabine Women

Myth about how the Romans abducted the women of the Sabines

Lexicon / Roman Religion and Mythology

The Rape of the Sabine Women is a mythological event from just after the founding of Rome. The young city of Rome had granted citizenship to criminals and lawless persons to grow quickly, and was therefore winning the wars againgst its neighbours, but a lack of women made it clear that the greatness of the city would vane in a generation or two due to lack of male offspring.

The neighbouring town scorned at Roman requests to marry their women, but accepted an invitation to a huge religious celebration in honour of Neptun. In the middle of the party, the Romans rushed in and abducted the Sabine women, who were the forced to marry their rapists.

The Sabines were horrified at this open breach of the rules of hospitality, and went home to prepare for war. When they later returned in arms to take back their women by force, the Sabine women had reconciled with their now husbonds, and stopped the commencing battle before it started by placing themselves inbetween the two battleready groups.

The Romans and the Sabines were reconciled and the city of Rome could continue on the path to greatness.

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Last updated on: 6 August 2003

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