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Lays of Ancient Rome

Thomas Babbington Macaulay

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ISBN 10: 1523321407 / ISBN 13: 9781523321407
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Lays of Ancient Rome

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Publication Date: 2016

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Good

About this title

Synopsis:

Lays of Ancient Rome

By Thomas Babbington Macaulay

Lays of Ancient Rome is a collection of narrative poems, or lays, by Thomas Babington Macaulay. Four of these recount heroic episodes from early Roman history with strong dramatic and tragic themes, giving the collection its name. Macaulay also included two poems inspired by recent history: Ivry (1824) and The Armada (1832).

The first poem, Horatius, describes how Publius Horatius and two companions, Spurius Lartius and Titus Herminius, held the Sublician bridge against the Etruscan army of Lars Porsena, King of Clusium. The three heroes are willing to die in order to prevent the enemy from crossing the bridge, and sacking an otherwise ill-defended Rome. While the trio close with the front ranks of the Etruscans, the Romans hurriedly work to demolish the bridge, leaving their enemies on the wrong side of the swollen Tiber.

This poem celebrates the Roman victory over the Latin League, at the Battle of Lake Regillus. Several years after the retreat of Porsena, Rome was threatened by a Latin army led by the deposed Roman king, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, together with his son, Titus Tarquinius, and his son-in-law, Octavius Mamilius, prince of Tusculum. The fighting described by Macaulay is fierce and bloody, and the outcome is only decided when the twin gods Castor and Pollux descend to the battlefield on the side of Rome.

This poem includes a number of finely described single-combats, in conscious imitation of Homer's Iliad

 

Contents

  • Horatius
  • The Battle of the Lake Regillus
  • Virginia
  • The Prophecy of Capys 

About the Author:

Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay, PC (25 October 1800 – 28 December 1859) was a British historian and Whig politician. He wrote extensively as an essayist and reviewer; his books on British history have been hailed as literary masterpieces.

Macaulay held political office as the Secretary at War between 1839 and 1841, and the Paymaster-General between 1846 and 1848. He played a major role in introducing English and western concepts to education in India. He supported the replacement of Persian by English as the official language, the use of English as the medium of instruction in all schools, and the training of English-speaking Indians as teachers.

In his view, Macaulay divided the world into civilised nations and barbarism, with Britain representing the high point of civilisation. In his Minute on Indian Education of February 1835, he asserted, "It is, I believe, no exaggeration to say that all the historical information which has been collected from all the books written in the Sanskrit language is less valuable than what may be found in the most paltry abridgement used at preparatory schools in England". He was wedded to the Idea of Progress, especially in terms of the liberal freedoms. He opposed radicalism while idealising historic British culture and traditions.

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