Horatius at the Bridge Set
The Lays of Ancient Rome are five ballads written by the Englishman Thomas Babington Macaulay and published in 1842. These ballads (lays) celebrate events and heroes in ancient Roman history, and Horatius at the Bridge is the most famous of Macaulay’s ballads. Ballads are narratives that are composed and sung orally. In more primitive societies, before the development of writing, they were an essential means of remembering and celebrating the past.
There are, however, no existing ballads from the ancient Romans. Macaulay thought these ballads must have existed and probably served as a primary source for Roman historians, such as Livy. And so Macaulay wrote The Lays of Ancient Rome, ballads that celebrate famous events in Roman history, written in a style and meter that would be appropriate for the ancient Romans. The Lays carry messages about values, patriotism, courage, and sacrifice that Macaulay considered relevant to his own time. Horatius at the Bridge is the ballad that “might have been,” had it not been lost in time. Macaulay published his Lays in 1842, and considered them a trifle. His trifle was a publishing phenomenon and since its first release, has never been out of print.
- Horatius at the Bridge
- Lapel Pin
The text includes the full ballad, Horatius at the Bridge, plus a complete student guide with exercises, maps, history, and test. Student exercises include:
- Definitions of words used in the poem
- Explanations of phrases
- Identification of persons in the context of the poem
- Location of place names through the use of maps
- Reading questions
- Summarizations of individual verses that have a common thread
- Research of poem references
“I chose to study the poem with this resource because I wanted to fully immerse us in the culture and writing of the Roman Empire. This resource DELIVERS! We learned more today about the geography of Rome, which is a huge part of understanding the Roman Empire and how it rose and fell, than we have in two years of reading from a textbook. I can truly say without hesitation that we would use this resource for a fun historical read even if we weren’t studying it as part of our history curriculum. It has me so excited about studying it the next few weeks and then moving on to some of the other Greek and Roman history guides.” – Ashley
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