Horatius Cocles (c. 510 B.C.)

Roman hero traditionally of the late 6th century B.C. but undoubtedly legendary, who first with two companions and finally alone defended the Sublician bridge (in Rome) against Lars Porsena and the entire Etruscan army, thereby giving the Romans time to cut down the bridge. He then threw himself into the Tiber to swim to the other shore. Versions differ as to whether he reached safety or was drowned. The myth possibly arose in explanation of an ancient statue of a crippled, one-eyed man in the nearby Temple of Vulcan. The ancients claimed this represented the wounded Cocles, but it is probably a statue of the god Vulcan, who was both lame and traditionally associated with the Cyclops (One-Eyed). (Encyclopaedia Britannica Article)