Ever since the disastrous Battle of the Crimissus in 339 BC, Carthage proved reluctant to send her own citizens to war, preferring instead to pay others to do her fighting for her. Thus, her recruiters scoured the earth in search of the best mercenaries money could buy to supplement her native North African contingents of Libyans and Numidians. Although on paper, Carthage's polyglot armies appeared inferior to Rome's more homogenous organization, in practice, if well-equipped and well-led, Carthaginian soldiers could, and did, prove themselves the equals of their legionary opponents. Under Hannibal, Carthage's mercenary soldiers reached their zenith of effectiveness, maintaining their ethnic fighting styles while being unified by the iron will of their commander, forming a flexible, stubborn fighting force which would be a nightmare to Rome for years to come.
Can't quite picture what a Numidian cavalryman or Gallic warrior looked like? Click here to see an example with 28mm miniatures!
Recommended further reading:
A Companion to the Punic Wars (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World) Edited by Dexter Hoyos
Carthage Must Be Destroyed by Richard Miles
Implacable Enemies: The Barcid Armies at War by Karwansary Publishers
Clash of the Colossi: The First Punic War by Karwansary Publishers
Link to my Map of the Mediterranean World Circa 300 BC
Link to the Episode 32 page on the Layman's Historian website
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