Who has not thrilled to the story of Horatius at the bridge?
and two other Romans stood off the Army of Lars Porsena until
the bridge to Rome could be destroyed? How his companions ran
to safety as the bridge began to fall? How Horatius, only after the
bridge was down, quit his post and swam the Tiber to safety? Here
is a translation of a papyrus found recently which requested an
award for Horatius:
Rome, II Calends, April CCCLX
SUBJECT: Recommendation for Senate Medal of Honor
TO: Department of War, Republic of Rome
I. Recommend Caius Horatius, Captain of Foot, CMCMXIV, for the
Senate Medal of Honor.
II. Captain Horatius has served XVI years, all honorable.
III. On the II day of March, during the attack on the city by Lars
of Clausium and his Tuscan Army of CMX men, Captain Horatius, with
Sergeant Sporius Laritus and Corporal Julius Herminius, held the entire
Tuscan army at the far end of the bridge until the structure could be
destroyed thereby saving the city.
IV. Captain Horatius did valiantly fight and kill one Major Picus
in individual combat.
V. The exemplary courage and the outstanding leadership of Captain
Horatius are in the highest tradition of the Roman Army.
Commander, II Foot Legion
Ist, Ind, AG IV Calends, April CCCLX
IInd Ind, G-III IX Calends, May CCC
I. For comment and forwarding.
II. Change end of paragraph III from "saving the city" to "lessened
effectiveness of the enemy attack." The Roman Army was well dis-
persed tactically; the reserve has not been committed. The phrase as
written might be construed to cast aspersions on our fine army.
III. Change paragraph V from "outstanding leadership" to read "com-
mendable initiative." Captain Horatius's command was II men, only
I/IV of a squad.
IIId Ind, G-II II Ides, June CCCLX
I. Omit strength of Tuscan forces in paragraph III. This information
II. A report evaluated as B-II states that the officer was a Captain
of Tifernum. Recommend change to "an officer of the enemy forces."
IVth Ind, G-I IX Ides, January CCCLXI
I. Full name is Caius Claudius Horatius.
II. Change service from XVI to XV years. One year in Romulus
Chapter BPOE, has been given credit for military service in error.
Vth Ind, JAG II, February CCCLXI
I. The Porsena raid was not during wartime; the temple of Janus
II. The action against the Porsena raid, ipso facto, was a police action.
III. The Senate Medal of Honor cannot be awarded in peacetime
(AB/CVIII-XXV, paragraph XII, C).
IV. Suggest consideration for Soldier's Medal.
VIth Ind, AF IV Calends, April CCCLXI
Concur in paragraph IV, Vth Ind.
VIIth Ind, G-I I May CCCLXI
Soldier's medal is given for saving lives; suggest star of bronze
VIIIth Ind, JAG II Calends, June CCCLXI
IXth Ind, JAG II Calends, September CCCLXI
I. XVIII months have elapsed since event described in basic letter.
Star of bronze cannot be awarded after XV months have elapsed.
II. Officer is eligible for Papyrus Scroll with Metal Pendant.
X Ind, AG I Calends, October CCCLXI
For draft of citation for Papyrus Scroll with Metal Pendant.
XI Ind, G-I III Calends, October CCCLXI
I. Do not concur.
II. Our currently fine relations with Tuscany would suffer and current
delicate negotiations might be jeopardized if publicity were given to
Captain Horatius' actions at this time.
XII Ind, G-II VI November CCCLXI
A report rated D-IV, partially verified, states that Lars Porsena
sensitive about the Horatius affair.
XIIIth Ind, G-I X November CCCLXI
I. In view of information contained in preceding XI and XIII the
endorsements, you will prepare immediate orders of Captain C. C.
Horatius to one of our overseas stations (remote).
II. His attention will be directed to paragraph XII, POM, which prohibits
interviews or conversations with newsmen prior to arrival at final
Rome II Calends, I April CCCLXII
SUBJECT: Survey, Report of, Department of War
TO: Captain Caius Horatius, III Legion, V Phalanx, APO XIX, C/O
I. Your statements concerning the loss of your shield and sword in
the Tiber River of III March CCCLX have been carefully considered.
II. It is admitted that you were briefly in action against certain
elements on that day. However, Sergeant Lartius and Corporal Herminius
were in the same action and did not lose any government property.
III. The Finance Officer has been directed to reduce your next pay
by II-I/IV talents (I-III/IV talents cost on each sword, officers; III/IV
talent cost of one each shield, M-II).
IV. You are enjoined and admonished to pay strict attention to
conservation of government funds and property. The budget must
be balanced next year.
H. MARCUS AURELIUS
Lieutenant of Horse