|REGULUS RETURNS TO ROME|
Marcus Atilius Regulus was a legendary martyr of Rome. He was elected consul
during the first Punic War, even though his years of military service had
passed, and he was at the time, living quietly on his modest farm. Instead of
fighting mainly in Sicily and at sea, Regulus had the idea of sending an army to
Africa and fighting the Carthaginians on their own turf. He continued with
great success until the Carthaginians hired a Spartan mercenary, named Xanthippus
to lead their army. He won a great victory over the Romans, and took Regulus
captive. After several subsequent battles, the Carthaginians sent Regulus as an
envoy to Rome to sue for peace, on terms favorable to Carthage. Instead of
advocating the Carthaginian position, however, Regulus recommended to the
Romans that they continue to prosecute the war. Although he had ample
opportunity to escape, he returned voluntarily to Carthage, where he was
treated as a traitor, tortured, and killed.
Key events during the life of Regulus:
||Elected consul, led the Roman army against Greek settlements in Brundisium.
||Retired to private life, working the land on his own farm.
||Start of First Punic War.
||Elected consul again, defeated Carthage at sea, then took war to Africa.
||Defeated in battle and taken prisoner by the Spartan Xanthippus.
||Sent to Rome to negotiate peace with Carthage—instead urges Rome to continue resistance.
||Returned to Carthage, and died in captivity, after tortures.
||Carthage's most able general in first Punic War; father of Hannibal.
||Spartan mercenary general in first Punic War; captured Regulus, led Carthage to victories.