Lays of Ancient Rome

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Something of a mixture, Macaulay's effort at a version of folk poetry based on early Roman history is hardly wonderful poetry but is delightful and from some point incriminating. These efforts fall exactly in the mainstream of rather idealized efforts to resume an authentic "folk" voice. At the same time, Macaulay approaches this work with a relatively sophisticated knowledge of Roman history and Medieval literature. But why Rome and not, for example, Macaulay's England? Beyond the heavy emphasis on Classical literature in Macaulay's Britain, there is also the British conception of itself as a new Rome. Some parts of these poems betray concerns also about social and class stratification of Victorian Britain.
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