Carthaginian Warfare


Carthaginian warfare has been overshadowed by defeat to Rome in the Punic Wars, but for six centuries before that Carthage was remarkably successful in conquering lucrative territories in North Africa, the Iberian Peninsula, and Sicily. By combining the finest mercenary armies with their own elite forces and huge naval fleet, Carthage was able to dominate the western Mediterranean and protect and expand its vast network of colonies and trading posts from the 9th to 3rd centuries BCE.

More about: Carthaginian Warfare


  • 580 BCE - 376 BCE
    Carthage and Greece fight for dominance in Sicily.
  • 539 BCE
    Etruscan & Carthaginian alliance expels the Greeks from Corsica.
  • 535 BCE
    Battle of Alalia. Carthaginian navy, in alliance with Etruscans, defeated Greek ships off the island of Corsica.
  • 500 BCE
    Carthage expands into southern Spain.
  • 480 BCE
    Tyrant of Syracuse Gelon defeats the Carthaginians at the battle of Himera.
  • 406 BCE
    Agrigento is attacked and destroyed by Carthage.
  • c. 341 BCE
    Timoleon defeats a Carthaginian army at the battle of Crimisus in Sicily.
  • 338 BCE
    Timoleon agrees a peace treaty with Carthage over their control of Sicily.
  • 311 BCE
    A Carthaginian army defeats Agathocles of Syracuse near Gela, Sicily.
  • 310 BCE
    Agathocles of Syracuse lands an army of 14,000 in North Africa.
  • 309 BCE
    Syracuse defeats a Carthaginian army in Sicily and kills their general Hamilcar.
  • 307 BCE
    Carthage defeats the army of Agathocles of Syracuse led by Archagathus while Agathocles is in Sicily.
  • 306 BCE
    Carthage and Agathocles of Syracuse sign a peace treaty and divide Sicily between them.
  • 264 BCE - 241 BCE
    First Punic War. Carthage cedes Sicily to Rome.
  • 260 BCE
    First Roman naval victory against Carthage off Mylae in the First Punic War.
  • 255 BCE
    A Carthaginain army led by the mercenary Spartan commander Xanthippus defeats two Roman legions near Tunis during the First Punic War.
  • Jun 250 BCE
    A Carthaginian army led by Hasdrubal is defeated by Roman consul Metellus near Palermo in the First Punic War.
  • 247 BCE
    Hamilcar Barca raids southern Italy and then lands on Sicily during the First Punic War.
  • 237 BCE
    Hamilcar Barca arrives in southern Spain to expand Carthage's interests there. He makes his base at Gades and founds Acra Leuce.
  • 229 BCE
    Hasdrubal takes command of Carthage's armies in Spain.
  • 221 BCE
    Hannibal takes command of Carthage's armies in Spain.
  • 219 BCE
    Hannibal crosses the Ebro river in Spain and sacks the city of Saguntum, Rome's ally, sparking off the Second Punic War.
  • 218 BCE - 201 BCE
    Second Punic War.
  • Apr 218 BCE - May 218 BCE
    Hannibal leaves Spain to cross the Pyrenees and Alps into Italy.
  • Nov 218 BCE
    Hannibal wins the battle of Ticinus.
  • Dec 218 BCE
    Hannibal wins the battle of Trebia.
  • Jun 217 BCE
    Hannibal wins the battle of Lake Trasimene.
  • 216 BCE
    "Hannibal ante portas." Hannibal directly threatens the city of Rome, but cannot advance due to lack of supplies and reinforcements.
  • Aug 216 BCE
    Hannibal wins the battle of Cannae, the worst defeat in Roman history.
  • 215 BCE
    A Carthaginian army led by Hasdrubal is defeated at the battle of Ibera in Spain.
  • 212 BCE
    A Carthaginian army is defeated in Sicily by a Roman army led by Marcellus. Syracuse falls to Rome who now control the island.
  • 209 BCE
    Scipio Africanus captures the Carthaginian base and treasury Carthago Nova in southern Spain.
  • 207 BCE
    Hannibal, harassed by Roman forces, is reduced to controlling only Bruttium in southern Italy.
  • c. 22 Jun 207 BCE
    Rome defeats a Carthaginian army at the battle of Metaurus.
  • 206 BCE - 205 BCE
    The Romans conquer Gades. End of the Carthaginian presence on the Iberian Peninsula.
  • 206 BCE
    Scipio Africanus wins the battle of Ilipa in Spain.
  • 204 BCE - 203 BCE
    Scipio Africanus wins two battles and besieges Utica in North Africa.
  • 203 BCE
    Carthaginian commander Mago is unable to join forces with Hannibal and his army is defeated in Cisalpine Gaul.
  • 203 BCE
    Scipio Africanus attacks the two camps of Syphax and Gisgo in North Africa and destroys their armies.
  • 203 BCE
    Scipio Africanus defeats a Carthaginian army led by Hasdrubal in North Africa.
  • 203 BCE
    Hannibal is recalled from Italy to defend Carthage against Scipio Africanus.
  • 19 Oct 202 BCE
    Battle of Zama: Scipio Africanus defeats Hannibal, ending the Second Punic War.
  • 150 BCE
    A Carthaginian army attacks Numidia, breaking the peace treaty agreed with Rome and sparking the Third Punic War.
  • 149 BCE - 146 BCE
    Third Punic War.
  • 149 BCE
    Rome sends an army of 80,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry to attack Carthage.
  • 147 BCE
    Scipio Africanus the Younger takes over command of the siege of Carthage and builds a mole to block its harbour.
  • 146 BCE
    Scipio Africanus the Younger sacks Carthage and enslaves its population.