Lays of Ancient Rome
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 ... Show synopsis 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." Lord Macaulay's classic collection of four lays describe heroic episodes from ancient Roman history. They are a delightful literary adventure which allow the reader to enjoy a high point in European culture while learning some incredible details of Roman history. The first two poems describe famous conflicts which led to the creation of the Republic: the story of Horatio's defense of the bridge over the Tiber, and the Battle of Lake Regillus. The third lay tells the story of the Plebeian uprising against their near-slave conditions, and the fourth tells of the Pyrrhic and Punic Wars. These masterpieces were so highly regarded that they were required reading in British public schools for more than a hundred years-until they were replaced by the "dumbed-down" anti-European curricula.