Tell the story of Horatius and the bridge.

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The story of Horatius and the bridge appears in various ancient sources, including Plutarch, Livy, Polybius, and Dionysius of Halicarnassus. It is also the subject of a famous English poem, one of the Lays of Ancient Rome , by Thomas Babington Macaulay. Although the accounts differ on points of detail,...

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The story of Horatius and the bridge appears in various ancient sources, including Plutarch, Livy, Polybius, and Dionysius of Halicarnassus. It is also the subject of a famous English poem, one of the Lays of Ancient Rome, by Thomas Babington Macaulay. Although the accounts differ on points of detail, these are the main events of the narrative.

In 509 BCE, Lars Porsena, king of Clusium, attacked Rome, with the aim of restoring the royal house of Tarquin to power and ending the new Republic. Porsena's troops joined battle with the Romans outside the city, in the Naevian Meadow, and drove them back across the Pons Sublicius, the bridge over the River Tiber.

Understanding that if Porsena and his men crossed the bridge, Rome would be destroyed, Horatius Cocles, a young patrician captain, defended the Pons Sublicius against the enemy onslaught. He was initially helped by two other commanders, Spurius Larcius and and Titus Herminius, but they eventually retreated, leaving Horatius to hold the bridge alone. Horatius gave the order for the bridge behind him to be destroyed. When this was accomplished, he leapt fully armed into the Tiber and swam back to Rome, the city he had saved.

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