Who was Horatius Cocles?

Horatius Cocles
   Horatius was a legendary Roman hero. Thomas Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Rome relates the story of Horatius’ defense of the bridge over the Tiber River. When the last king of Rome was overthrown, he went to the Etruscans for help. The Etruscan army advanced to the bank of the Tiber River across from Rome. With two companions, Lartius and Herminius, Horatius held back the Etruscans while the Romans chopped down the bridge behind them. His friends ran back just in time, but Horatius remained alone until the bridge fell. Then, although he was wounded, he jumped into the rushing Tiber and swam to safety. In gratitude for Horatius’ bravery in saving the city, the people gave him many gifts and erected a statue in his honor.