Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Story Of Horatius

Publius Horatius, that is.

Horatius was an officer in the Roman army which defended the city against the Etruscan king Lars Porsena. Together with two other officers he was defending the bridge against superior enemy forces, allowing other Roman soldiers to evacuate and destroy the bridge. 

Though several times wounded, he managed to swim back to safety and was crowned as a hero.His story became an inspiration for a famous poem by T.B. Macaulay, an (early) Victorian poet:

But the Consul's brow was sad,
          And the Consul's speech was low,
     And darkly looked he at the wall,
          And darkly at the foe.
     "Their van will be upon us
          Before the bridge goes down;
     And if they once may win the bridge,
          What hope to save the town?"


     Then out spake brave Horatius,
          The Captain of the Gate:
     "To every man upon this earth
          Death cometh soon or late.
     And how can man die better
          Than facing fearful odds,
     For the ashes of his fathers,
          And the temples of his gods,


     "And for the tender mother
          Who dandled him to rest,
     And for the wife who nurses
          His baby at her breast,
     And for the holy maidens
          Who feed the eternal flame,
     To save them from false Sextus
          That wrought the deed of shame?

 Read the whole poem at Wikisource and the story of Horatius at Wikipedia

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