The City of God, Volume I

incredible,—more incredible because more marvellous, and more marvellous because a greater exhibition of power.

15. Of Regulus, in whom we have an example of the voluntary endurance of captivity for the sake of religion; which yet did not profit him, though he was a worshipper of the gods.

But among their own famous men they have a very noble example of the voluntary endurance of captivity in obedience to a religious scruple. Marcus Attilius Regulus, a Roman general, was a prisoner in the hands of the Carthaginians. But they, being more anxious to exchange their prisoners with the Romans than to keep them, sent Regulus as a special envoy with their own ambassadors to negotiate this exchange, but bound him first with an oath, that if he failed to accomplish their wish, he would return to Carthage. He went, and persuaded the senate to the opposite course, because he believed it was not for the advantage of the Roman

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