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I RECENTLY read in the works of Tuditanus the well-known story about Atilius Regulus: 1 That [p. 103] Regulus, when a prisoner, in addition to the advice which he gave in the senate at Rome against making an exchange of prisoners with the Carthaginians, also declared that the Carthaginians had given him a poison, not of immediate effect, but such as to delay his death for a season; that their design was that he should live for a time, until the exchange was accomplished, but afterwards should waste away as the drug gradually took effect. Tubero in his Histories says 2 that this Regulus returned to Carthage and was put to death by the Carthaginians with tortures of a novel kind: “They confined him,” he says, “in a dark and deep dungeon, and a long time afterwards suddenly brought him out, when the sun was shining most brightly, and exposed him to its direct rays, holding him and forcing him to fix his gaze upon the sky. They even drew his eyelids apart upward and downward and sewed them fast, so that he could not close his eyes.” Tuditanus, however, reports that Regulus was for a long time deprived of sleep and so killed, and that when this became known at Rome, Carthaginian captives of the highest rank were handed over by the senate to his sons, who shut them in a chest studded within with spikes; 3 and that they too were tortured to death by lack of sleep.
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