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Horatius at the Bridge

Horatius at the Bridge

Definition: Horatius or Horatius Cocles lived in the late 6th century B.C. during the legendary period of Rome. After the last king of Rome, Tarquin the Proud, was expelled, Lars Porsena of Clusium led the Etruscans in Tarquin's name against Rome.

Horatius is renowned as the heroic leader of the Roman forces against these Etruscans. He deliberately stood alone against the Etruscans on a bridge over the Tiber that the Romans were destroying from their side. In the end, when the bridge was destroyed, Horatius jumped into the Tiber and swam (in his armor) to safety. The story is told in the Second Book of Livy.

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