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Headword: Ῥήγουλος
Adler number: rho,126
Translated headword: Regulus
Vetting Status: high
A proper name.[1]
The Carthaginians, enslaved in spirit by their many defeats, took Regulus, the Roman general who had fallen into their hands shortly before and whom they had harshly and barbarously tortured, freed him from his fetters, tended to his other wounds and sent him off to his people, believing there would be some moderate settlement to the war and an exchange of prisoners by agreement devised by the man. After coming to Rome with the other envoys of the Carthaginians he went into the Senate and rejected the honors customary for consulars: he told them he had no right to citizenship since fortune had made the Carthaginians his masters. He advised those in the charge of the senate to utterly forbid the exchanges and not to let up on the enemy who had already come to a point of desperation. For it was in no way worthy to strengthen the force of the opposition by many thousands exchanged for one man alone, already old, and a few others who remained with the Carthaginians. The Romans were astonished at these things and dismissed the embassy of the Carthaginians unsuccessful; him [Regulus] they tried to detach by force from those who were taking him [back]. But he said he could not remain in a city in which he would not have an equal share in government according to the paternal customs, but was compelled by the law of war to be a slave to others. He went willingly with the Carthaginians, rejecting the tears and lamentations of his relatives steadfastly. He returned then to Carthage and was subjected to every type of torture. For they say that in addition to many other outrages there was a container put around him, the same size as his body and packed with iron spear points inside by which he was killed, weary from his upright position, and falling upon the spearpoints and when he rested against the walls and whenever he changed his position in any way. And thus he had fared.[2]
Greek Original:
Ῥήγουλος: ὄνομα κύριον. ὅτι οἱ Καρχηδόνιοι τοῖς πολλοῖς ἀτυχήμασι δουλωθέντες τὸ φρόνημα, Ῥήγουλον τὸν στρατηγὸν Ῥωμαίων, ὃν μικρῷ πρόσθεν ὑπὸ χεῖρα πεσόντα σφίσι πικρῶς τε καὶ βαρβαρικῶς ἐκόλαζον, τότε τῶν δεσμῶν ἀνέντες τά τε ἄλλα θεραπεύσαντες, πρὸς τοὺς οἰκείους ἐξέπεμπον, εὕρασθαί τινα μετρίαν τοῦ πολέμου κατάθεσιν καὶ τῶν αἰχμαλώτων ἀντίδοσιν τῇ συντάξει τοῦ ἀνδρὸς οἰόμενοι. ὁ δὲ πρὸς τὴν Ῥώμην ἅμα πρεσβείαις Καρχηδονίων ἀφικόμενος ἔς τε τὸ συνέδριον παρελθὼν τὰς μὲν συνήθεις τοῖς ὑπατικοῖς τιμὰς διωθήσατο: οὐ μετεῖναι τῆς πολιτείας αὑτῷ λέγων, ἀφ' οὗπερ ἡ τύχη δεσπότας αὐτῷ Καρχηδονίους ἐπέστησε. παρῄνει γε μὴν τοῖς ἐν τέλει τῆς βουλῆς ἀπείπασθαι παντελῶς τὰς διαλλαγὰς καὶ μὴ ἀνεῖναι τοὺς ἐναντίους ἐς τὸ ἀνέλπιστον ἤδη ἀφιγμένους. οὐ γὰρ εἶναί πως ἄξιον, ἀνδρὸς ἑνὸς μόνου καὶ ἤδη γηραιοῦ ὀλίγων τε ἄλλων τῶν ὑπολελειμμένων ἐς τὴν Καρχηδονίων, πολλὰς χιλιάδας ἀλλαξαμένους αὐξῆσαι τὴν τῶν ἐναντίων δύναμιν. ἐφ' οἷς ἀγασθέντες αὐτὸν οἱ Ῥωμαῖοι τὴν μὲν πρεσβείαν ἄπρακτον τῶν Καρχηδονίων ἀποπέμπουσιν: αὐτὸν δὲ πρὸς βίαν ἀφαιρεῖσθαι τῶν ἀγόντων ἐπεχείρουν. ὁ δὲ οὐ μενετέον αὑτῷ φήσας ἐν πόλει, ἐν ᾗ τῆς ἴσης οὐ μεθέξει κατὰ τοὺς πατρίους θεσμοὺς πολιτείας, πολέμου νόμῳ δουλεύειν ἑτέροις ἠναγκασμένος, εἵπετο τοῖς Καρχηδονίοις ἑκούσιος, τά τε δάκρυα τῶν οἰκείων καὶ τοὺς ὀλοφυρμοὺς ἀκλινῶς διωθησάμενος. ἐπανελθὼν δὴ οὖν πρὸς τὴν Καρχηδόνα παντὶ κολάσεων εἴδει καταναλίσκεται: πρὸς γὰρ δὴ τοῖς πολλοῖς αἰκισμοῖς, οἴκου, φασί, περιτεθέντος αὐτῷ στενοῦ καὶ ἰσομέτρου τῷ σώματι, αἰχμαῖς σιδηραῖς κατὰ τὸ ἐντὸς πεπυκνωμένου, διαφθαρῆναι αὐτόν, ἀπαγορεύοντα μὲν πρὸς τὴν ἀκλινῆ στάσιν, περιπίπτοντα δὲ ταῖς αἰχμαῖς, ἔν τε ταῖς ἐπὶ τῶν τοίχων ἀναπαύσεσι, καὶ ὅλως ἐν ταῖς ἐξαλλαγαῖς τοῦ σχήματος. καὶ ὁ μὲν οὕτως ἐπεπράγει.
[1] That of Marcus Atilius Regulus, Roman consul in 267 and 256 (suffect) BC, who campaigned in N Africa in the later 250s. See generally OCD4 p.199. Andrew Drummond writes there: "He died in captivity [in Carthage], probably of natural causes. The later legend (unknown to Polybius but already found in C.Sempronius Tuditanus fr.5 Peter, cf. Hor. Carm.3.5 [web address 1]) of his return to Rome to negotiate an exchange of prisoners (or peace terms), his successful opposition to any concession, and consequent brutal death at Carthage may have been invented to palliate his widow's torturing of two Punic prisoners in revenge for his death (cf. Diod.Sic. 24.12)". The version of this "legend" in the present entry, John of Antioch fr.113 Roberto, is similar to the one in Eutropius (from Cassius Dio).
[2] Dio relates the situation more clearly: "They cut off his eyelids and for a while shut him up in the dark and then they put him into some sort of specially constructed container, bristling with spikes, and turned him towards the sun; thus through sleeplessness and suffering, because the spikes kept him from reclining in any fashion, he died." (Zonaras 8.15)
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; constitution; ethics; geography; historiography; history; law; military affairs
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 15 June 2000@18:59:32.
Vetted by:
William Hutton (Minor alterations) on 15 June 2000@22:30:23.
William Hutton on 16 June 2000@11:38:54.
David Whitehead (augmented notes; cosmetics) on 23 May 2001@03:57:40.
Catharine Roth (added link) on 23 May 2001@21:00:15.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 28 October 2013@06:39:51.
David Whitehead on 5 August 2014@11:01:19.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 30 January 2015@04:04:04.


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