Home Introduction Persons Geogr. Sources Events Mijn blog(Nederlands)
Religion Subjects Images Queries Links Contact Do not fly Iberia
This is a non-commercial site. Any revenues from Google ads are used to improve the site.

Custom Search
Quote of the day: It had been the ancient policy of the fo
Notes
Parallel Lives by Plutarchus

Publicola, chapter 16: War of Porsena against Rome: Horatius Cocles[508 BC]
Next chapter
Return to index
Previous chapter
Tarquin, after the great battle wherein he lost his son in combat with Brutus, fled to Clusium, and sought aid from Lars Porsena, then one of the most powerful princes of Italy, and a man of worth and generosity; who assured him of assistance, immediately sending his commands to Rome that they should receive Tarquin as their king, and, upon the Romans' refusal, proclaimed war, and, having signified the time and place where he intended his attack, approached with a great army. Publicola was, in his absence, chosen consul a second time, and Titus Lucretius his colleague, and, returning to Rome, to show a spirit yet loftier than Porsena's, built the city Sigliuria when Porsena was already in the neighborhood; and, walling it at great expense, there placed a colony of seven hundred men, as being little concerned at the war. Nevertheless, Porsena, making a sharp assault, obliged the defendants to retire to Rome, who had almost in their entrance admitted the enemy into the city with them; only Publicola by sallying out at the gate prevented them, and, joining battle by Tiber side, opposed the enemy, that pressed on with their multitude, but at last, sinking under desperate wounds, was carried out of the fight. The same fortune fell upon Lucretius, so that the Romans, being dismayed, retreated into the city for their security, and Rome was in great hazard of being taken, the enemy forcing their way on to the wooden bridge, where Horatius Cocles, seconded by two of the first men in Rome, Herminius and Lartius, made head against them. Horatius obtained this name from the loss of one of his eyes in the wars, or, as others write, from the depressure of his nose, which, leaving nothing in the middle to separate them, made both eyes appear but as one; and hence, intending to say Cyclops, by a mispronunciation they called him Cocles. This Cocles kept the bridge, and held back the enemy, till his own party broke it down behind, and then with his armor dropped into the river, and swam to the hither side, with a wound in his hip from a Tuscan spear. Publicola, admiring his courage, proposed at once that the Romans should every one make him a present of a day's provisions, and afterwards gave him as much land as he could plow round in one day, and besides erected a brazen statue to his honor in the temple of Vulcan, as a requital for the lameness caused by his wound.

Events: War of Porsena against Rome., Horatius Cocles defends the Sublician bridge