Marcus Atilius Regulus (consul 294 BC)

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Marcus Atilius Regulus, consul in 294 BC,[1] was the second man from the gens Atilia to become consul of Rome.[2]

He succeeded an illustrious plebeian consul Publius Decius Mus who had "devoted himself to the gods," i.e., deliberately thrown himself into the thick of battle after due rituals to ensure Roman victory against the Samnites.[3]

During his consulship Atilius Regulus fought in Samnium and Apulia and won the battle at Interamna, but a triumph was refused.[4] In fact, Atilius Regulus obtained his triumph according to the Fasti triumphales.[5]

Regulus is best known as father of the ill-fated consul Marcus Atilius Regulus (consul 267 BC and suffect consul 256 BC) and probably father of another consul Gaius Atilius M.f. Regulus who was consul in 257 BC and 250 BC. At least two of his grandsons were also consuls. Aulus Atilius A.f. Calatinus, a relative of Rullianus, was a patrilineal relative.

Origins of the Atilii[edit]

The Atilius Reguli were cousins of the other famous Atilii, the Atilii Calatinii. The origins of the Atilii are somewhat uncertain, although a Calabrian connection is indicated.[6]

The Atilii were the leading family of Campania at the time of their gaining Roman citizenship, and the surname Regulus might refer to their regal position in that society.

Calatinus is clearly a cognomen referring to Calatia, six miles southwest of Capua. This region had been conquered during the consulship of the first named Atilius, Marcus Atilius Regulus Calenus, in 335 BC. Since his colleague, the patrician Marcus Valerius Corvus, actually conquered Cales, it is likely that Atilius came from there.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Livy Ab urbe condita X 32.1
  2. ^ Broughton, T. Robert S.: The Magistrates Of The Roman Republic. Vol. 1: 509 B.C. - 100 B.C.. Cleveland, Ohio: Case Western Reserve University Press, 1951. Reprint 1968. (Philological Monographs. Edited by the American Philological Association. vol. 15, part 1), p. 179
  3. ^ Livy Ab urbe condita X 26-30
  4. ^ Livy Ab urbe condita X 32-33 and 35-36
  5. ^ Fasti triumphales
  6. ^ This entire section is drawn from the Wikipedia article on Aulus Atilius Calatinus. Munzer is apparently a source, but proper citations and verification is desperately needed for this Roman family
  7. ^ This makes no sense. It also seems to imply that Atilius, or his ancestor, was an illustrious client of Valerius Corvus, if Corvus brought the region under Roman rule. However, sources show relationships by marriage between the Fabii and the Atilii, not between the Valerii and the Atilii
  • Livy. History of Rome