85.—Roman Eagle.details

[Picture: 85.—Roman Eagle.]
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85.—Roman Eagle.

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The cavalry and the war-chariots of the active Britons met the invader on the beach; and whilst the soldiers hesitated to leave the ships, the standard-bearer of the tenth legion leaped into the water, exclaiming, as Cæsar has recorded, “Follow me, my fellow-soldiers, unless you will give up your eagle to the enemy! I, at least, will do my duty to the republic and to our general!” (Fig. 85.) The Romans made good their landing. The symbols of the great republic were henceforward to become more familiar to the skin-clothed and painted Britons (Fig. 79); but not as yet were they to be bound with the chain of the captive (Fig. 81). (p. 26)

The eagle has been the symbol of oppressive nations for more than two thousand years; it was the German eagle that you can still see on old Nazi coins; it was the Roman eagle, as here, and today we have the American eagle.

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