[ Y.R. 496. B.C. 256.] Attilius Regulus,
consul, having overcome the Carthaginians in a sea-fight,
passes over into Africa: kills a serpent of prodigious magnitude, with great loss of his own men. [Y.R. 497. B.C. 255.]
The senate, on account of his successful conduct of the war,
not appointing him a successor, he writes to them, complaining; and, among other reasons for desiring to be recalled, alleges, that his little farm, being all his subsistence, was going
to ruin, owing to the mismanagement of hired stewards.
[Y.R. 498. B.C. 254.] A memorable instance of the instability
of fortune exhibited in the person of Regulus, who is overcome in battle, and taken prisoner by Xanthippus, a Lacedae-
monian general. [Y.R. 499. B.C. 253.] The Roman fleet
shipwrecked; which disaster entirely reverses the good fortune which had hitherto attended their affairs. Titus Corucanius, the first high priest chosen from among the commons.
[Y.R. 500. B.C. 252.] P. Sempronius Sophus and M. Valerius Maximus, censors, examine into the state of the senate,
and expel thirteen of the members of that body. [Y.R. 501.
B.C. 251.] They hold a lustrum, and find the number of citizens to be two hundred and ninety-seven thousand seven
hundred and ninety-seven. [Y.R. 502. B.C. 250.] Regulus
being sent by the Carthaginians to Rome to treat for peace,
and an exchange of prisoners, binds himself by oath to return
if these objects be not attained; dissuades the senate from
agreeing to the propositions: and then, in observance of his
oath, returning to Carthage, is put to death by torture.