This Italian surname of REMUS was a baptismal name 'the son of REMUS' meaning protector. REMUS was the twin brother of ROMULUS, the legendary founder of Rome the sons of Rhea Silvia. She was the daughter of Numitor, king of Alba Longa, who was deposed by his brother. Her uncle compelled her to become a Vestal Virgin, but she bore ROMULUS and REMUS, according to her, by Mars. Her uncle then imprisoned her and threw the babies into the Tiber. The shepherd Faustulus, found a wolf suckling them and reared them. When they reached manhood they returned to Alba Longa, restored Numitor to the throne and set off to found a city of their own. They went to the site of Rome, to consult the Gods. Romulus chose the Palatine Hill and REMUS, the Aventine. The Gods favoured Romulus, sending him an omen of twelve vultures, REMUS only six, thus Romulus was given the honour of founding Rome. As he commenced building the city wall REMUS jumped over it, a quarrel ensued and Romulus slew him. Despite evidence that hereditary surnames were in use in the Venetian Republic as early as the 10th Century, the origin of many Italian surnames is unclear. There is still a great potential for research into medieval Italian records while documented evidence indicates the adoption of the father's name as a surname is the most common form. The familiar endings of "i" and "o", meaning to be a member of a certain family, bears this out. The Church played a very important role in Central Italian heraldry and many Italian families who derived their titles from popes incorporated elements of the papal insignia, notably the papal tiara and the crossed keys, on their Coats of Arms. As in the rest of Europe, the turbulent history of Italy in the Middle Ages is reflected in its heraldry. Traces remain from the successive invasions of the Germans, French, Spanish and Austrians. Certain characteristics, such as the use of horse-shaped shields which were put on the foreheads of horses during tournaments, remain uniquely Italian.
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