April 21 remarks the traditional date of the founding of Rome, the supposed day on which Romulus would have founded the City in 753 BC. The date was identified by the 1st century Roman scholar Varro: by accepting the writings of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Varro set the year of the birth of the Roman Republic to 509 BC; the date of April 21, on the other hand, he deduced from a series of astrological calculations made by his friend Lucius Tarutius. The "Varronian date" became the norm from Emperor Claudius onwards, as Claudius himself decided to celebrate the City's 800th anniversary in 47 AD. The Roman chronology made famous by the Latin phrase "Ab Urbe condita" ("from the founding of the City") thus also sets April 21, 753 BC as its starting date.
April 21 is celebrated as Rome's "birthday" up to this day, and many are the events taking place all through the City for locals and tourists alike to enjoy.
Folia Magazine joins in the celebrations by wishing the Urbe a happy 2771st birthday!
"Building of Rome", illumination from the manuscript "Histoire ancienne jusqu'à César", ms. 1139 (U. 005), f. 258v, ca. 1470-1480, Bibliothèque Municipale, Rouen.