Ancient History & Civilisation


Agathocles of Syracuse—Invaded Carthaginian North Africa in 310 B.C. and subsequently won a victory in the field, which prompted the revolt of native Libyans before Agathocles was forced to withdraw. This invasion revealed how vulnerable Carthage was at home.

Antiochus III—Basileus of the Seleucid Empire, he made the mistake of hiring Hannibal as a military consultant after the Second Punic War, and then allowed himself to be drawn into a disastrous war with Rome that ended with defeat at the Battle of Magnesia in 189 B.C.

Appius Claudius—Roman survivor of Cannae who helped Scipio Africanus put down the mutiny at Canusium and who later joined Marcellus at the siege of Syracuse.

Archimedes—The great Greek mathematician who organized the defense of Syracuse against Rome.

Hamilcar Barca—Hannibal’s father, and a commander during the First Punic War. Hamilcar later established the family empire in Spain and is thought to be the source of his son’s hatred of Rome.

Hannibal Barca—Instigator of the Second Punic War, invader of Italy, and among the most capable generals in history.

Hasdrubal Barca—Brother of Hannibal. He was left behind in Spain to guard the family holdings during the Second Punic War. He later invaded Italy over the Alps and was subsequently killed at the Battle of the Metaurus in 207 B.C.

Mago Barca—Brother of Hannibal. He played a vital role at Cannae and later returned to Spain, where he struggled against the Romans. He too invaded Italy in 206 and subsequently died from a wound he received there.

Cato, M. Porcius—A Roman politician and soldier. He was an archetype of conservatism and was a lifelong enemy of Scipio Africanus, not to mention Carthage.

Q. Fabius Maximus—Roman consul and dictator who devised the unpopular strategy of avoiding battle with Hannibal and relying on attrition instead.

Cn. Fulvius Flaccus—Brother of the consul Q. Fulvius Flaccus, and the losing general at the First Battle of Herdonea. He was tried for treason, and his surviving troops were exiled to join the legiones Cannenses.

Q. Fulvius Flaccus—Roman consul and important commander in the Second Punic War. He was one of the key participants in the siege of Capua.

Flaminius, Caius—Roman consul and general who made a career of assaulting the Gauls and giving their conquered lands to Roman colonists. He was ambushed by Hannibal at Lake Trasimene and was killed along with much of his army.

Flaminius, T. Quinctius—Roman general and victor at the Battle of Cynoscephalae, which effectively finished Philip V. Flaminius later was sent to Bithynia to hunt down Hannibal.

Hanno “the Great”—The leader of the Carthaginian opposition to the Barcid agenda. He was the Barcids’ opponent during the Second Punic War and appears to have spoken for the interests of commercial agriculture.

Hasdrubal (cavalry commander)—Brilliantly led the Celtic and Spanish cavalry at Cannae.

Hasdrubal Gisgo—Longtime Carthaginian commander, first in Spain and then in North Africa during the Second Punic War. Not a great soldier, but extremely persistent. Also, the father of Sophonisba.

Hasdrubal the Handsome—Carthaginian politician and Hamilcar Barca’s son-in-law. He took over the Barcid holdings in Spain after Hamilcar’s death. Hasdrubal the Handsome was assassinated in 221 and replaced by Hannibal.

Hippocrates and Epicydes—Carthaginian brothers of Syracusan descent whose maneuvers proved to be the catalyst for Syracuse’s revolt against Rome.

Indibilis—A powerful local Spanish chieftain whose shifting loyalties came to epitomize the treacherous political environment in Iberia during the Second Punic War.

Laelius, Gaius—Longtime military subordinate to Scipio Africanus. A talented commander in his own right, he played an important role in securing the North African countryside during the Roman invasion that would lead to Carthage’s surrender.

Laevinus, M. Valerius—Capable Roman commander in Greece during the first of Rome’s wars against Philip V. He later served in Sicily.

Sempronius Longus, T.—Roman consul defeated at the Battle of the River Trebia in 218 B.C.

Maharbal—Opportunistic Carthaginian cavalry commander who challenged Hannibal to march on Rome after Cannae.

Marcellus, M. Claudius—One of the key Roman generals during the Second Punic War, and conqueror of Syracuse. Marcellus was an extremely belligerent commander who was killed in one of Hannibal’s ambushes in 208.

L. Marcius, Septimus—Roman commander in Spain who rallied the survivors after the defeat of the elder Scipio brothers.

Masinissa—Numidian prince and later king of Massylia in North Africa. He was an excellent cavalry commander who first served with the Carthaginians in Spain and later switched sides to join the Romans. He would prove a potent force in Carthage’s defeat and later destruction.

Muttines—Talented Numidian cavalry commander who went over to the Roman side in Syracuse and subsequently became a citizen.

Nero, C. Claudius—Roman general in the Second Punic War in both Spain and Italy. It was his surprise march to the Metaurus that probably sealed Hasdrubal Barca’s fate.

Paullus, L. Aemilius—One of the two consuls defeated at Cannae. Paullus was killed there.

Philip V—King of Macedon who after Cannae made an alliance with Hannibal and subsequently fought two wars with Rome.

Pleminius, Quintus—A Roman legate whose brutal behavior at Locri toward the town’s citizens and toward his fellow Roman commanders almost brought about the disgrace of Scipio Africanus.

Prusias II—King of Bithynia who employed Hannibal during the 180s as a city planner and admiral. Prusias ultimately betrayed Hannibal.

Pyrrhus—Epirote king who invaded Italy and fought the Romans in a series of three costly battles between 280 and 275 B.C.

Regulus, M. Atilius—Roman consul who invaded North Africa during the First Punic War and subsequently suffered defeat and capture. His example was later cited by Romans wary of staging an analogous invasion during the Second Punic War.

Salinator, M. Livius—A Roman consul who came out of retirement and disgrace to lead (with Nero) the Roman armies at the Battle of the Metaurus, which ended the invasion by Hasdrubal Barca.

Scipio, Cn. Cornelius—Brother of Publius Cornelius Scipio, who was also known as Scipio the Elder. Like his sibling, Cnaeus died fighting in Spain.

Scipio, P. Cornelius—Father of Scipio Africanus. He and his brother led the Roman effort in Spain until they were defeated and killed.

Scipio Africanus, P. Cornelius—Victorious Roman leader in Spain, and the conqueror of Hannibal at Zama in North Africa.

Sophonisba—Heroic daughter of Hasdrubal Gisgo. She was also the wife of Syphax, whom she influenced deeply and kept loyal to Carthage until he was defeated and captured.

Syphax—The Massaesylian king who provided much of the opposition to the Romans during Scipio Africanus’s invasion of North Africa.

Torquatus, T. Manlius—Hard-core Roman who denounced the prisoners that Hannibal took at Cannae. He subsequently consolidated Roman control of Sardinia.

Varro, C. Terentius—Roman consul defeated at Cannae. He survived to be given other commands, somewhat inexplicably.

Xanthippus—The Greek mercenary who organized the Carthaginian defense in 255 B.C. in the face of the Roman invasion led by Regulus.

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