|Siege of Tunis|
|Part of Carthage's Mercenary War|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Casualties and losses|
The blockade of Tunis was conducted late in 238 BC by Carthaginian forces against the mercenaries who had mutinied against Carthage in the wake of the First Punic War.
The First Punic War was the first of three wars fought between Ancient Carthage and the Roman Republic, the two great powers of the Western Mediterranean. For 23 years, in the longest continuous conflict and greatest naval war of antiquity, the two powers struggled for supremacy, primarily on the Mediterranean island of Sicily and its surrounding waters, and also in North Africa.
After Hamilcar's victory of the Battle of "The Saw" Hamilcar marched on the main rebel force at Tunis. Mathos, the main rebel leader had few favourable options and awaited Hamilcar's advance.It is likely that Hamilcar initiated the blockade around October 238 BC. To the East of Tunis is the sea while to the west there was a large salt marsh. This left the two approaches, to the north and south. Hamilcar encamped to the south while his subordinate, Hannibal (not to be confused with his son), blocked the approach from the north.
Hamilcar Barca or Barcas was a Carthaginian general and statesman, leader of the Barcid family, and father of Hannibal, Hasdrubal and Mago. He was also father-in-law to Hasdrubal the Fair.
The Battle of "The Saw" was a major event, mostly a protracted siege rather than a battle in the Mercenary War between Carthage and her former mercenary armies from the First Punic War. It takes its name from its location: a box-like canyon known as "The Saw" because of its shape.
Mathos was a Berber. He served with distinction as an officer and military leader in the army of Carthage during the First Punic War in Sicily.
Hamilcar had become embittered towards the mercenaries due to their execution and torture of Carthaginian envoys earlier in the war. It is probable because of this and in the hope of demoralizing the mercenaries he crucified a number of mercenary leaders that he had captured at the Battle of the Saw. The crosses were raised outside Hannibal's camp, in full view of the rebels.
Mathos observed that Hannibal was careless about keeping his camp on alert and made a surprise attack, overrunning the camp and capturing Hannibal.Polybius puts the blame on Hannibal, but Seibert is more ready to blame Hamilcar for not anticipating the attack.
The Punic Wars were a series of three wars fought between Rome and Carthage from 264 BC to 146 BC. At the time, they were some of the largest wars that had ever taken place. The term Punic comes from the Latin word Punicus, meaning "Carthaginian", with reference to the Carthaginians' Phoenician ancestry.
The Second Punic War, also referred to as The Hannibalic War and by the Romans the War Against Hannibal, was the second of three wars between Carthage and the Roman Republic, with the participation of Greek polities and Numidian and Iberian forces on both sides. It was one of the deadliest human conflicts of ancient times. Fought across the entire Western Mediterranean region for 17 years and regarded by ancient historians as the greatest war in history, it was waged with unparalleled resources, skill, and hatred. It saw hundreds of thousands killed, some of the most lethal battles in military history, the destruction of cities, and massacres and enslavements of civilian populations and prisoners of war by both sides.
This article concerns the period 239 BC – 230 BC.
Year 238 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Gracchus and Falto. The denomination 238 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
Year 240 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Centho and Tuditanus. The denomination 240 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
The Battle of the Aegates was fought off the Aegadian Islands, off the western coast of the island of Sicily on 10 March 241 BC. It was the final naval battle fought between the fleets of Carthage and the Roman Republic during the First Punic War. The better-trained Roman fleet defeated a hastily raised, undermanned and ill-trained Punic fleet, which was a decisive Roman victory as Carthage sued for peace, resulting in the Peace of Lutatius leading to Carthage surrendering Sicily and some adjoining islands to Rome.
The Mercenary War, also called the Libyan War and the Truceless War by Polybius, was an uprising of mercenary armies formerly employed by Carthage, backed by Libyan settlements revolting against Carthaginian control.
The Battle of the Metaurus was a pivotal battle in the Second Punic War between Rome and Carthage, fought in 207 BC near the Metauro River in Italy. The Carthaginians were led by Hasdrubal Barca, brother of Hannibal, who was to have brought siege equipment and reinforcements for Hannibal. The Roman armies were led by the consuls Marcus Livius, who was later nicknamed the Salinator, and Gaius Claudius Nero.
Salammbô (1862) is a historical novel by Gustave Flaubert. It is set in Carthage during the 3rd century BCE, immediately before and during the Mercenary Revolt which took place shortly after the First Punic War. Flaubert's main source was Book I of Polybius's Histories. The novel kickstarted a renewed interest in the history of pre-Imperial Rome's conflict with the North African Phoenician colony of Carthage.
The Battle of the Bagradas River or the Macar was fought between Carthaginian forces and part of the combined forces of Carthage's former mercenary armies during the Mercenary War which it used to conduct the First Punic War and those of rebelling Libyan cities. After the forces of Hanno the Great were defeated at Utica, and failed to engage the mercenaries afterwards despite favorable conditions, Carthage raised a new army under Hamilcar Barca in Carthage. Hamilcar managed to leave Carthage despite the rebel blockade of the city and cross the Bagradas River. Rebel armies from besieging Utica and the camp guarded the bridge on the Bagradas River. Hamilcar Barca, by brilliant maneuvering, defeated the combined rebel army. This was the first major Carthaginian victory of the war. A description of the battle forms one of the grandiose set-piece scenes of Gustave Flaubert's novel, Salammbo.
The Battle of Utica was the first major engagement in the Mercenary War between Carthaginian forces and part of the combined forces of the former mercenary armies previously deployed by Carthage to conduct the First Punic War and those of rebelling Libyan cities. The forces of Hanno the Great broke the siege of Utica. However, they failed to prepare any meaningful defense of the city once they liberated it or to maintain proper lookouts for enemy movement. As a result, the Carthaginian forces suffered heavy losses when the mercenary forces counter-attacked, captured the Carthaginian baggage and equipment and besieged the army of Hanno within Utica. Hanno managed to regain his freedom of maneuver later but failed to capitalize on opportunities to engage the rebel forces under favourable conditions. This prompted Carthage to mobilize another army under Hamilcar Barca.
Autaritus was a leader of Gallic mercenaries in the Carthaginian army during the First Punic War.
Naravas was a Berber and Numidian leader in the Mercenary War of the Carthaginian state. Naravas is the Greek form of Narbal or Naarbaal.
Hannibal was a Carthaginian general who took part in the Mercenary War between Carthage and rebel mercenaries.
The battle following the defection of Numidian chieftain Naravas to Hamilcar Barca was fought between Carthaginian forces commanded by Hamilcar Barca and part of the combined forces of Carthage's former mercenary armies during the Mercenary War, which Carthage had formerly employed during the First Punic War, and those of rebelling Libyan cities supporting the mercenaries.
Under the leadership of the Barcid family, Ancient Carthage expanded its possessions in Spain from 237 to 218 BC after the end of the First Punic War in 241 BC and the Mercenary War in 238 BC.