According to Roman legend, Cloelia was one of the Roman hostages given to the Etruscan king Lars Porsenna in the course of his war with the newly founded Roman republic. She escaped by swimming across the Tiber to Rome, but had to be handed back to Porsenna. He freed her, however, together with some of her companions, in admiration of her bravery, thus initiating a reconciliation between the two sides. The Romans erected an equestrian statue to her on the Via Sacra.

Equestrian Cloelia

Maiden named Cloelia,
Hostage whose bravery
Livy records,
Merits a statue for
Actions and prowess that
Nature accords.

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