The most famous wolf myth is the one of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. The story has evolved through the ages, but the best-known version claims their mother was a virgin and that their father was the war god Mars. In typical Greek-Roman fashion, their great uncle – the king – abandoned them on the River Tiber in an attempt to avoid a prophecy of his death. Tiberinus, the god of the river, spared the twins. A wolf suckled the boys until a shepherd adopted them. Eventually, Romulus and Remus helped their grandfather retake his thrown and kill their great uncle.
The one constant throughout visual and literary representations of the werewolf is the willing – or unwilling – consumption of human flesh. This trope is drawn directly from the ancient origin of the werewolf myth.
Wolves played a vital part in Roman myths. A defining symbol of ancient Rome is the image of the twins Romulus and Remus being suckled by a she-wolf.
Werewolves are considered to be a traditional monster in the twenty-first-century popular culture.