Peninsula shared by other italic populations: etruscans, sabines, italic hill tribes, etc: spoke separate languages, etruscan not spoken since 1st century a. d. , but does not have to be deciphered. Rome founded in hilly area easy to defend. Early roman settlements understood from archaeology no texts. Lived in huts hut-depiction urns were commonly used to house ashes of the deceased. The foundation myth of rome remus and romulus. Amulius and numitor kings of alba longa; numitor had a daughter rhea silvia who was a priestess and vestal virgin, meaning she couldn"t marry or reproduce. Rhea had twins, remus and romulus, because mars the god of war fell in love with her. The twins were ordered to be thrown into the river tiber, but the servant doing it left them at the edge of the river. Twins were found by a she-wolf (the capitoline wolf) and she suckled them.