The Essays and Lays of Ancient Rome is one of the most famous epic poems of the Victorian era. A stirring teacher of Roman history accenting the virtues of courage, sacrifice, and determination, it has been required reading for British students for nearly a hundred years and is well known for its action, spirit, and daring adventure.rn rn rn AUTHOR BIO:rn Thomas Babington MacAulay (1800-1859) was an English historian and author born in Leicestershire and educated at Cambridge University. During his early career, he was a member of the Supreme Council of the East India Company, reformed the Indian educational system, and composed a legal code for the colony. rn rn On his return to England, Macaulay devoted himself to writing history, but returned to public office as secretary of war, paymaster of the forces, and a noted member of Parliament. MacAulay's works include The History of England from the Accession of James the Second.