The paper addresses the issue of history and legend of Marcus Atilius Regulus (a consul in 267 and 256 BC, the victor de Sallentineis) and his military operations on Carthaginian grounds (256–255 BC) which ended with his defeat and captivity, the embassy to Rome and his death. It also concerns the phenomenon of Regulus’ heroisation and heralding him as a hero by the Roman writers. The author of this paper elaborates on the reason for which a defeat (the 256–255 BC African campaign was ascribed as such in 2nd-century BC literature) became a moral victory due to later writers; moreover, the author wonders how history became a legend, the legend a political myth and Marcus Atilius was labeled as exemplum virtutis, an exemplar of Roman virtues: virtus, fides and pietas erga deos patriamque. In other words, the author considers how Regulus, who contributed to the most spectacular defeat in the history of the Roman Republic, became one of the most admired Roman heroes and his defeat was deemed a victory. A particular conception of history, cultivated by some ancient authors, helped to create the legend of Regulus as a result of many transformations. The conception was supposed to be philosophy’s supplementary element. This manner of defining history was developed for providing (often using fiction or fact manipulation) renowned examples to illustrate grand rules proclaimed by philosophers.