The Layman’s Historian

Episode 26 - Hamilcar Barca and the End of Carthaginian Sicily

July 28, 2018

With both Rome and Carthage exhausted by the constant strain of war, the Carthaginians dispatched the young Hamilcar Barca to take over a much-depleted command in Sicily. While Hanno the Great insisted on demobilizing the Carthaginian war fleet to save money and opened up new fronts against the Numidians in the African interior, Hamilcar led his meager army deep into enemy territory to conduct a guerrilla campaign against the Romans. Hamilcar would face a succession of Roman commanders, all of whom failed to dislodge him from the mountain strongholds he held in central Sicily. However, the war would be decided without him. The Romans managed to muster a final fleet thanks to private donations from her patriotic citizens, and in 241 BC, this new navy under the Consul Lutatius smashed a hastily raised Carthaginian fleet. Cut off from his homeland, Hamilcar was forced to enter into negotiations for peace. Carthage received stern terms which included an enormous war indemnity of 3,200 talents. With the ratification of the treaty, Hamilcar Barca and the last of the Carthaginian troops descended from the mountains and sailed home. Carthaginian Sicily was no more.

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Link to my Map of the Mediterranean World Circa 300 BC

Link to the Episode 26 page on the Layman's Historian website

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