Do you wanna provide support to Tarquinus the Proud?
They're never going to get past us!
In 506 BCE, the king of the Etruscan town of Clusium, Lars Porsena, was asked to provide support to Tarquinus the Proud, and he saw this as an opportunity to stop the threat of Rome's power and agreed to march on Rome with his troops.
GET TO THE BRIDGE!
Maybe we could block the bridge.
The road between Etruria and Rome was defended by a fortress on the hill called the Janiculum where the Romans had stationed a defensive force. This defensive force was also guarding the river Tiber.
Dear River Tiber, please save me?
RETREAT! I'M GOING IN!!!!
When the Romans saw the size of the Etruscan forces, they ran back to the city, leaving the bridge undefended.
Why thank you.
Here, plough as much land as you can in one day and you can have it all!
A Roman soldier, Horatius Cocles, along with two of his friends, Spurius Lartius and Titus Herminius, rushed to the bridge. The realised that the bridge was too narrow for the advancing forces to cross en mass and could be easily defended if they blocked the bridge.
Whilst the three friends defended the bridge. the Romans started to dismantle the bridge from the roman side by hacking away at the bridge's foundations. Just before the bridge collapsed, Horatius told Lartius and Herminus to retreat. Once they had safely reached the riverbank, Horatius prayed to the River Tiber to protect him and jumped into the river just as the bridge collapsed
The Etruscan invasion had been stopped and Horatius was hailed as a hero for saving Rome from attack. He was rewarded by being given as much land as he could plough in just one day. He also had a statue erected to honour home in Rome.