Ceremonial Front
original west front

The Lupercal, Romulous and Remus

Although only a few pieces of this original relief have survived, they are significant enough to allow tentative reconstruction of the entire scene. The reconstructive incised drawing on this panel is the most entensive of the entire altar. As elsewhere, this is based on comparison with related representations of the scene on other Roman objects. Although some of the details are speculative, the scene most probably represented the Lupercal grotto on the Palatine Hill, with the twins Romulus and Remus being suckled by the she-wolf. Mars, their father, approaches at the left while Faustulus, the shepherd who raised them, protects at the right.