The Shepard Faustulus

7:00 AM

The Shepherd Faustulus, Nicolas Mignard, 1654
When Mars, the god of war, saw Rhea Silva, he fell in love with her. Then, like most gods, he got his way. Except when she got pregnant. Two twin sons named Romulus and Remus were born, kin to the violent and powerful god of war. It would only make sense that they would eventually become shepherds.

…. Right?

Don’t worry, this gets weirder. The slave of Rhea Silva, after being commanded by Mars to send the twins down the river, wraps them in a blanket and places them in a cradle to give them a chance at survival. Now, what I want to know is, where’s that guy’s painting? He blatantly defied the wishes of THE GOD OF WAR. No disrespect to our friend Faustulus, but… who’s the hero in this scenario thus far? What’s worse, the myth is called The Shepherd Faustulus. I just wish credit was where credit was due.

But Faustulus does something relatively heroic, I guess. He sees the twins being raised by a she-wolf and rescues them. I have a problem with this too, however. As strange as it is, if I saw a she-wolf with some babies, and she hadn’t eaten them yet… I don’t know why I wouldn’t let her be. What makes me more qualified to raise kids? Opposable thumbs? Jungle book kid ended up just fine. Even in the painting we see the kid on the right looking at his brother like, what would modernly be translated as… “Are you kidding me? This guy?” Anyway, the annoyingly entitiled Faustulus takes the twins home to his wife, and she raises them as her own, as painted by Nicolas Mignard above.

The painting’s portion of the story stops there, but some more stuff goes on later down the road if we follow the mythology. Basically, Romulus and Remus do a whole bunch more weirdness, but stories vary exactly as to what. They get violent, build a city, fight each other, get arrested, all that good stuff. Blame bad parenting, or relation to the god of war, but I think it all would have been fine had they just stayed with the wolf. Ever heard anything bad about children raised by wolves? That’s what I thought.

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