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Chapter 1 - Horatius Cocles

Commemorating and Imitating a Great Deed

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 March 2018

Matthew B. Roller
Affiliation:
The Johns Hopkins University
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Summary

Chapter one examines the figure of Horatius Cocles, who according to legend defended the “bridge on piles” (pons sublicius) single-handedly and kept an Etruscan attack at bay, saving the city in the earliest years of the Republic. Horatius is richly endowed with monuments—topographical, bodily, textual, and iconographic—and is sometimes adduced as a norm or model for imitation among later Romans. An exemplary exemplum, Horatius provides a particularly suitable vehicle for analyzing the dynamics of commemoration, monumentality, and norm setting. In particular, this chapter studies cases in which the Horatius exemplum is tendentiously shaped to “fit” a certain context, or in which its meaning and value are disputed, or in which debate arises about whether a particular attempt at imitation is successful or unsuccessful, virtuous or vicious. Such polemics and contestation attest to this exemplum’s liveliness and rhetorical effectiveness from the late Republic onward.
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Chapter
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Models from the Past in Roman Culture
A World of Exempla
, pp. 32 - 65
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2018

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  • Horatius Cocles
  • Matthew B. Roller, The Johns Hopkins University
  • Book: Models from the Past in Roman Culture
  • Online publication: 21 March 2018
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316677353.003
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  • Horatius Cocles
  • Matthew B. Roller, The Johns Hopkins University
  • Book: Models from the Past in Roman Culture
  • Online publication: 21 March 2018
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316677353.003
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Horatius Cocles
  • Matthew B. Roller, The Johns Hopkins University
  • Book: Models from the Past in Roman Culture
  • Online publication: 21 March 2018
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316677353.003
Available formats
×