Marcus Atilius Regulus (consul 267 BC)
- This is about the Roman general and consul. for other Romans of that name, see Marcus Atilius Regulus (disambiguation).
Marcus Atilius Regulus
Regulus Returning to Carthage (1791)
by Andries Cornelis Lens
|Consul of the Roman Republic|
267 BC – 267 BC
|Preceded by||Publius Sempronius Sophus and Appius Claudius Russus|
|Succeeded by||Decimus Junius Pera and Numerius Fabius Pictor|
|Consul of the Roman Republic|
256 BC – 256 BC
|Preceded by||Lucius Manlius Vulso Longus and Quintus Caedicius|
|Succeeded by||Marcus Aemilius Paullus and Servius Fulvius Paetinus Nobilior|
|Born||Before 307 BC|
|Battles/wars||First Punic War|
Battle of Cape Ecnomus
Siege of Aspis
Battle of Adys
Battle of Tunis
Regulus first became consul in 267 BC, when he fought the Messapians. Elected as a consul again in 256 BC, he served as a general in the First Punic War (256 BC), where he defeated the Carthaginians in a naval battle at Cape Ecnomus near Sicily and invaded North Africa, winning victories at Aspis and Adys, until he was defeated and captured at Tunis in 255 BC. After he was released on parole to negotiate a peace, he is supposed to have urged the Roman Senate to refuse the proposals and then, over the protests of his own people, to have fulfilled the terms of his parole rather than break his word by returning to Carthage, where, according to Roman tradition and Livy, he was tortured to death. In Tertullian's "To the Martyrs" (Chapter 4) and Augustine of Hippo's The City of God (I.15), it is said the Carthaginians "packed him into a tight wooden box, spiked with sharp nails on all sides so that he could not lean in any direction without being pierced." However, Polybius does not mention it, while Diodorus (a writer hostile to the Carthaginians) implies he died from natural causes. He was posthumously seen by the Romans as a model of civic virtue.
He is mentioned in Historiae Animalium by Conrad Gessner:
"Dragons are certain great beasts, and there are none greater upon the earth.
Neither is it to be thought incredible, that the soldiers of Attilius Regulus did kill a Dragon which was a hundred and twenty foot long..."
Atilius Regulus, the son of the eponymous consul of 294 BC, descended from an ancient Calabrian family. According to later Roman historians, he married one Marcia, who tortured several Carthaginian prisoners to death on hearing of her husband's death. He had at least two sons and one daughter by Livy's account; both sons became consuls: Marcus in 227 BC and Gaius in 225 BC (killed in battle against the Gauls).
A cousin, Gaius Atilius Regulus, served as consul in 257 BC and in 250 BC.
- "Marcus Atilius Regulus". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- Translation by Gerald G. Walsh, S.J., Demetrius B. Zema, S.J., Grace Monahan, O.S.U., and Daniel J. Honan.
- Carthage and the Carthaginians, R. Bosworth Smith.
- Topsell, Edward; Gessner, Conrad; Moffett, Thomas; Rowland, John (1658). The history of four-footed beasts and serpents. Duke University Libraries. London, Printed by E. Cotes, for G. Sawbridge [etc.]
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Regulus, Marcus Atilius". Encyclopædia Britannica. 23 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 48.
Media related to Marcus Atilius Regulus at Wikimedia Commons
Publius Sempronius Sophus and Appius Claudius Russus
| Consul of the Roman Republic
with Lucius Julius Libo
Decimus Iunius Pera and Numerius Fabius Pictor
Lucius Manlius Vulso Longus and Quintus Caedicius
| Consul (Suffect) of the Roman Republic
with Lucius Manlius Vulso Longus
Marcus Aemilius Paullus and Servius Fulvius Paetinus Nobilior