The kings of Rome, all seven of them, are shrouded in mystery and legend. One of them, the second, was called Numa Pompilius. The king lived a humble life, retiring to the woods to be in contact with nature, and it was during this time that he met a nymph named Egeria. Egeria, being an invisible goddess of nature, came back to Rome with the king and helped him reform the religious festivals and rituals, bringing the city closer to the gods. The legend says that the two of them fell in love and that Numa, beloved by the gods, was allowed to marry the nymph and keep her with him until his death. When the king finally passed away Egeria became terribly sad and asked Diana, goddess of the hunt, to turn the king’s spirit into a spring of clean water so that she could be with him forever. Many springs can be found around the woods of Ariccia even today. Maybe one is the ancient king in company with his immortal wife.
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