Battle of Lake Regillus

Infobox Military Conflict

conflict=Battle of Lake Regillus
partof=the Roman-Italic Wars
date=c. 496 BC
place=near Frascati (Rome)
result=Roman victory
combatant1=Roman Republic
combatant2=Latins or Etruscans
commander1=Aulus Postumius, Aebutius Helva (master of the horse)
commander2=Octavius Mamilius, Tarquinius Superbus

The Battle of Lake Regillus was a legendary early Roman victory, won over either the EtruscansFact|date=February 2007 or the Latin League.Grant," The History of Rome", p. 37] It has been dated at various years, including 509 BC, 496 BC and 493 BC.

The battle may be entirely legendary, due to the scarcity of records from this early date in Roman history. According to Livy the fight was waged against the Latins, with help from Tarquinius Superbus, the former Etruscan king of Rome. Lake Regillus, the relic of volcanic crater, was dried in the 18th century: it was located between Frascati and the ruins of Tusculum, east to Rome.

Aulus Postumius was dictator for the year and Titus Aebutius Helva was master of the horse. Octavius Mamilius, Tarquinius, and his son Sextus led the Latins; the presence of the Tarquinii caused the Romans to fight more passionately than in any previous battle. Tarquinius was injured at the beginning of the battle when he attacked Postumius; Aebutius meanwhile attacked Mamilius, but was injured in the arm, while Mamilius suffered a minor wound to the chest. Tarquinius' troops, made up of exiled Romans, began to push the Romans back, and Marcus Valerius Volusus (consul 505 BC) was killed by a spear when he tried to attack Sextus. Postumius then brought fresh troops from his own bodyguard into the battle. Mamilius was killed in the ensuing fight by Titus Herminius, who was subsequently killed by a javelin. Postumius ordered the "equites" to dismount and attack on foot, and soon the Latins were forced to retreat. The Latin camp was also captured. Postumius and Aebutius returned to Rome in triumph. [Livy, "From the Founding of the City" 2.19]

A popular Roman legend had the Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux) helping in the victory, transfigured as two young horsemen, and Postumius ordered a temple built to them in the Roman Forum, in the place in which they were watering their horses.

In the 19th century it was celebrated in the "Lays of Ancient Rome" by Thomas Macaulay.



;Primary sourcescite wikisource|From the Founding of the City|Livy (print: "Book 1 as The Rise of Rome, Oxford University Press, 1998, ISBN 0-19-282296-9")

;Secondary sources
*cite book|authorlink=Michael Grant (author)|last=Grant|first=Michael|title=The History of Rome|publisher= Faber and Faber|year=1993|id=ISBN 0-571-11461-X

*Livy: Ab Urbe Condita Book II cap. 19; 20.
* [ Ab Urbe Condita (Latin)] [ "The Battle of Lake Regillus"] poem from Macaulay's "Lays of Ancient Rome".

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