Marcus Atilius Regulus

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Regulus, Marcus Atilius


Died circa 248 B.C. Roman military commander and political figure.

As consul in 267 B.C., Regulus conquered Brundisium. During the First Punic War and his second term as consul, he won a victory in 256 over the Carthaginians at Cape Ecnomus and commanded the military operations of the Romans in Africa. He won a victory near Clupea, but in the spring of 255 the army of Regulus was routed by the Carthaginians at Tunis, near Carthage. Regulus died in captivity.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Consider, for instance, Cicero's discussion of Marcus Atilius Regulus in De Officiis [On Obligations], which I teach to freshmen every year.
In his ode eulogizing Marcus Atilius Regulus, the Roman poet Horace specifically credited the hero with mindfulness of that name.(79) Regulus had forfeited his life both to uphold a promise and to magnify the honor of Rome.
Cicero offered this dictum while explicating and defending the actions of Marcus Atilius Regulus. Reverting now to the legend itself, we shall encounter a fecund tradition, both literary and artistic, both ancient and modern.
The Story of Marcus Atilius Regulus. Within the Roman canon of exempla, none better illustrates faithfulness to promises made to other peoples than the heroic sacrifice of Regulus.(138) Like so many of the Roman commanders who took part in the Punic Wars, he typified Roman ingenuity, courage, and virtue; he helped to define Roman-ness.