Rape of the SabinesThe Rape of the Sabines is a legend from the early history of Rome (Livy 1: 9; Plutarch 2:14). According to these sources Romulus, who founded the city, wished to increase its population. He invited families from settlements nearby, including the Sabines, to attend a festival. During the celebrations, young Roman men carried off the unmarried daughters of the Sabines. According to Plutarch this event is the origin of the practice of carrying a bride over the threshold.
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN