Battle of Herdonia (210 BC)
The second battle of Herdonia took place in 210 BC during the Second Punic War. Hannibal, leader of the Carthaginians, who had invaded Italy eight years earlier and destroyed a Roman army, operating against his allies in Apulia; the heavy defeat increased the war's burden on Rome and, piled on previous military disasters, aggravated the relations with her exhausted Italian allies. For Hannibal the battle did not halt for long the Roman advance. Within the next three years the Romans reconquered most of the territories and cities lost at the beginning of the war and pushed the Carthaginian general to the southwestern end of the Apennine peninsula; the battle was the last Carthaginian victory of the war. There is a controversy among modern historians arising from the narrative of Titus Livius, the major source of this event, who describes two battles taking place in the span of two years at the same place between Hannibal and Roman commanders with similar names; some state that there was just one battle in fact.
Following his incursion into southern Italy in 217 BC, Hannibal defeated the Roman forces in the battle of Cannae. This victory brought him a host of new allies from Campania, Apulia, Lucania and Magna Graecia, who revolted from Rome enticed by his narrative of Roman oppression. One of these allies was the city of Herdonia in northern Apulia, it was the site of a general engagement between Hannibal and the Romans in 212 BC, because despite the severe defeats on the battlefield Rome still managed to preserve intact the core of its system of alliances in Italy and continued to mount a slow but steady counter-offensive. The first battle of Herdonia ended with the total annihilation of the troops led by the praetor Gnaeus Fulvius Flaccus; however Flaccus' army was just a fraction of the forces fielded by Rome. The siege of Capua, which had begun years before, ended in 211 BC with the fall of the largest city that had taken the side of Hannibal after Cannae; the Carthaginian's inability to defend Capua reversed the mood among many of his allies and Hannibal's position began to weaken.
The Roman advance in southern Italy continued in 210 BC. Two armies stood against Hannibal in Apulia; the one was under the consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus. The proconsul Gnaeus Fulvius Centumalus commanded the other, their overall strength was four Roman legions plus an equal allied contingent. Since they operated not far from each other Hannibal did not dare to challenge them; this allowed Marcellus to capture the city of Salapia, betrayed to him by a fraction of its citizens, to destroy the Carthaginian garrison. Following this setback Hannibal retreated and a rumour was spread that he was going away to Bruttium. Upon learning this Marcellus moved to Samnium and reduced two more towns that served as Carthaginian bases in this region. Meanwhile, Hannibal returned to northern Apulia with forced marches and managed to catch Centumalus off-guard when the latter was besieging Herdonia. Despite the Carthaginian numerical superiority the proconsul did not decline the battle, he clashed with the Carthaginian infantry.
Hannibal waited until the Romans and their allies were engaged and sent his Numidian cavalry to surround them. Part of the Numidians attacked the Roman camp, insufficiently protected; the others dispersed it. The same happened to the Romans fighting in the front line. Centumalus, eleven military tribunes and 7,000–13,000 soldiers were slain; the rest were scattered and some escaped to Marcellus in Samnium. The victory did not bring strategic advantages to Hannibal. Judging that in the long run he could not retain Herdonia, the Carthaginian general decided to resettle its population in Metapontum and Thurii to the south and destroy the city itself. Before that he set an example to other eventual traitors by executing some of the distinguished citizens who had conspired to betray Herdonia to Centumalus. For the rest of the summer he was forced to fight off the second Roman army; the next battle with Marcellus at Numistro was inconclusive and Hannibal was unable to regain the positions lost at the beginning of the campaign.
The second defeat at Herdonia did not make the Roman Senate change its warlike stance. Once again, as in the aftermath of Cannae, the senators resorted to punitive actions against the remnants of the defeated army. 4,344 men were rounded up and sent to Sicily where they joined the survivors of Cannae and were sentenced to serve on the island until the end of the war. This had undesired repercussions; the deportation of the soldiers, most of whom were of Latin origin, caused considerable discontent among the Latin colonies, drained by ten years of continuous warfare on Italian soil. Amidst great want of additional manpower and financial resources twelve out of thirty colonies refused to send any more levies and money to Rome; this crisis put severe strain on the Roman war effort. First Battle of Herdonia Note: All links to online sources were active on October 26, 2007 Appian, Roman History, The Hannibalic War, Livius Articles on Ancient History Eutropius, Abridgement of Roman History, Book III, available on Corpus Scriptorum Latinorum - A Digital Library of Latin Literature Livius, The History of Rome, Vol. IV, University of Virginia
Battle of Beneventum (212 BC)
The Battle of Beneventum was fought between Carthage and Roman republic in 212 BC. During this conflict Hanno the Elder was defeated by Quintus Fulvius Flaccus. Livy gives a short account of this battle at 25.13-14
Battle of Cannae
The Battle of Cannae was a major battle of the Second Punic War that took place on 2 August 216 BC in Apulia, in southeast Italy. The army of Carthage, under Hannibal and decisively defeated a larger army of the Roman Republic under the consuls Lucius Aemilius Paullus and Gaius Terentius Varro, it is regarded both as one of the greatest tactical feats in military history and as one of the worst defeats in Roman history. Having recovered from their losses at Trebia and Lake Trasimene, the Romans decided to engage Hannibal at Cannae, with 86,000 Roman and allied troops, they massed their heavy infantry in a deeper formation than usual, while Hannibal used the double-envelopment tactic and surrounded his enemy, trapping the majority of the Roman army, who were slaughtered. The loss of life on the Roman side was one of the most lethal single day. Only about 15,000 Romans, most of whom were from the garrisons of the camps and had not taken part in the battle, escaped death. Following the defeat and several other Italian city-states defected from the Roman Republic to Carthage.
As news of this defeat reached Rome, the city was gripped in panic. Authorities resorted to extraordinary measures, which included consulting the Sibylline Oracles, dispatching a delegation led by Quintus Fabius Pictor to consult the Delphic oracle in Greece, burying four people alive as a sacrifice to their Gods. To raise two new legions, the authorities lowered the draft age and enlisted criminals and slaves. Despite the extreme loss of men and equipment, a second massive defeat that same year at Silva Litana, the Romans refused to surrender to Hannibal, his offer to ransom survivors was brusquely refused. With grim determination the Romans fought for 14 more years until they achieved victory at the Battle of Zama. Although for most of the following decades the battle was seen as a major Roman disaster, by modern times Cannae acquired a mythic quality, is used as an example of the perfect defeat of an enemy army, it was studied by German strategists prior to World War II, General Norman Schwartzkopf claimed to have drawn inspiration from Hannibal's success for his devastatingly effective land offensive in the First Gulf War.
Shortly after the start of the Second Punic War, Hannibal crossed into Italy by traversing the Pyrenees and the Alps during the summer and early autumn of 218 BC. He won major victories over the Romans at Trebia and at Lake Trasimene. After these losses, the Romans appointed Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus as dictator to deal with the threat. Fabius used attrition warfare against Hannibal, cutting off his supply lines and avoiding pitched battles; these tactics proved unpopular with the Romans who, as they recovered from the shock of Hannibal's victories, began to question the wisdom of the Fabian strategy, which had given the Carthaginian army a chance to regroup. The majority of Romans were eager to see a quick conclusion to the war, it was feared that, if Hannibal continued plundering Italy unopposed, Rome's allies might defect to the Carthaginian side for self-preservation. Therefore, when Fabius came to the end of his term, the Senate did not renew his dictatorial powers and command was given to consuls Gnaeus Servilius Geminus and Marcus Atilius Regulus.
In 216 BC, when elections resumed, Gaius Terentius Varro and Lucius Aemilius Paullus were elected as consuls, placed in command of a newly raised army of unprecedented size and directed to engage Hannibal. Polybius wrote: The Senate determined to bring eight legions into the field, which had never been done at Rome before, each legion consisting of five thousand men besides allies.... Most of their wars are decided with their quota of allies, but on this occasion, so great was the alarm and terror of what would happen, they resolved to bring not only four but eight legions into the field. Rome employed four legions each year, each consisting of 4,000 foot soldiers and 200 cavalry. Perceiving the Carthaginian army as a real threat, for the first time the Senate introduced eight legions, each consisting of 5,000 foot soldiers and 300 cavalry, with allied troops numbering the same amount of foot soldiers but 900 cavalry per legion—more than triple the legion numbers. Eight legions—some 40,000 Roman soldiers and an estimated 2,400 cavalry—formed the core of this massive new army.
Livy quotes one source stating the Romans added only 10,000 men to their usual army. While no definitive number of Roman troops exists, all sources agree that the Carthaginians faced a larger foe. Consuls were each assigned two of the four legions to command employing all four legions at once to the same assignment. However, the Senate feared a real threat and not only deployed all four legions to the field but all eight, including allies. Ordinarily, each of the two consuls would command his own portion of the army, but since the two armies were combined into one, Roman law required them to alternate their command on a daily basis; the traditional account puts Varro in command on the day of the battle, much of the blame for the defeat has been laid on his shoulders. However, his low origins seem to be exaggerated in the sources, Varro may have been made a scapegoat by the aristocratic establishment, he lacked the powerful descendants that Paullus had, descendants who were willing and able to protect his reputation—most notably, Paullus was the grandfather of Scipio Aemilianus, the patron of Polybius.
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Battle of the Upper Baetis
The Battle of the Upper Baetis was a double battle, comprising the battles of Castulo and Ilorca, fought in 211 BC during the Second Punic War between a Carthaginian force led by Hasdrubal Barca and a Roman force led by Publius Cornelius Scipio and his brother Gnaeus. The immediate result was a Carthaginian victory. Before this defeat, the brothers had spent seven years campaigning in Hispania, which had limited the resources available to Hannibal, fighting the Romans in Italy; this double battle represents the only Carthaginian victory in a major land battle during the Second Punic War in which Hannibal was not in command of the Carthaginian armies. After the defeat of Hasdrubal Barca in the Battle of Dertosa in the spring of 215 BC, the Romans had secured their bases north of the Ebro, they proceeded to win over some Iberian tribes in the region. Both the Romans and Carthaginians put down Iberian tribal revolts; the Scipios received no reinforcement from Italy. Due to a lack of support from Rome, the Scipios mounted no decisive operations against the Carthaginians in 214–213 BC.
In 215 BC, the brothers complained about the lack of Roman supplies and finance for their army. The Roman Senate responded by sending private companies to supply their forces. Two of these merchants and Postumius, turned about to be criminals who cheated the Scipios of their money. In 214 BC, Rome suffered a financial crisis as a result of the strains of war, increasing the Scipios' funding troubles. Despite the lack of any reinforcement or renewed funding, the Scipios went over to the offensive in 212 BC, re-capturing Saguntum, lost to Hannibal in 219 BC. Meanwhile, Hasdrubal had been reinforced by two armies, led by his younger brother, Mago Barca, Hasdrubal Gisco. According to Livy, the Romans fought multiple battles against the Carthaginians south of the Ebro from 215–214 BC, at Iliturgi and Orongi. Livy's chronology is confused and contradicted by Polybius, who explicitly states that the Scipio brothers did not venture south of the Ebro until 212 BC; as a result, most historians consider these engagements to be ahistorical.
The Scipios had persuaded Syphax, a Numidian king, to open hostilities against Carthage with an army, trained by Statorius, a Roman centurion, in 213 or 212 BC. On the whole, the situation in Iberia was stable enough for Hasdrubal Barca to shift his attention to Africa in 213/212 BC in order to put down this rebellion. Hasdrubal Barca returned to Iberia in late 212 BC, bringing with him 3,000 Numidians under Masinissa, the future king of Numidia. In 212 BC, the Scipio brothers captured Castulo, a major mining town and the home of Hannibal's wife Imilce, they wintered at Castulo and Ilugia. The brothers hired 20,000 Celt-Iberian mercenaries to reinforce their army of 20,000 Romans; the Romans strength had been reduced by losses sustained against the Carthaginians and Iberian tribes since 218 BC and the need to garrison the main Roman base at Tarraco. Observing that the Carthaginian armies were deployed separately from each other, with Hasdrubal Barca's army near Amtorgis. Publius Scipio led Roman and allied soldiers to attack Mago Barca near Castulo, while Gnaeus Scipio took one-third of the Roman army in Spain and the mercenaries to attack Hasdrubal Barca.
This stratagem would lead to two battles, the Battle of Castulo and the Battle of Ilorca, which took place within a few days of each other. Gnaeus Scipio arrived at his objective first. However, Hasdrubal Barca had ordered the armies of Indibilis and Mandonius and Hasdrubal Gisco to join Mago near Castulo. Hasdrubal Barca held his ground against Gnaeus Scipio, staying within his fortified camp managed to bribe the Celt-Iberian mercenaries to desert Gnaeus Scipio; this led to Hasdrubal's army outnumbering that of Gnaeus Scipio. Hasdrubal bided his time; as Publius Scipio neared Castulo, he was harassed day and night by the Numidian light cavalry under Masinissa. When informed that Indibilis was moving across his line of retreat with 7,500 Iberians, Publius Scipio decided not to face Mago but to attack the Iberian chieftain, fearing that he would be surrounded by Carthaginian forces. Leaving 2,000 soldiers in his camp under the legate Tiberius Fonteus, he marched out that night to launch an attack on the Iberians and evade Masinissa's cavalry.
Scipio marched throughout the night and caught Indibilis and his men by surprise in the early morning. However, the Iberians managed to hold off the Romans in the confused night battle just long enough for Masinissa to arrive. With the Numidian horse attacking from the flank, the Roman assault on the Iberians began to slacken; when Mago and Hasdrubal Gisco arrived with their combined armies, the Romans after a grim struggle and fled, leaving Publius Scipio and most of their comrades dead on the field. Mago gave the Numidians enough time to loot the dead before force marching the army towards Hasdrubal Barca's position. A handful of Roman survivors managed to reach their camp. Gnaeus Scipio had lost the advantage of numbers with the desertion of the mercenaries. Although unaware of Publius Scipio's fate, Gnaeus decided to withdraw towards northern Iberia after Mago and Hasdrubal Gisco arrived with their armies; the Romans moved out of their camp, leaving their camp fires burning, made for the Ebro at night.
Battle of Cissa
The Battle of Cissa was part of the Second Punic War. It was fought in the fall near the Greek town of Tarraco in north-eastern Iberia. A Roman army under Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus defeated an outnumbered Carthaginian army under Hanno, thus gaining control of the territory north of the Ebro River that Hannibal had just subdued a few months prior in the summer of 218 BC; this was the first battle that the Romans had fought in Iberia. After the successful conclusion of the Siege of Saguntum, Hannibal Barca had rested his army. In the summer of 218 BC, he had started out for Italy with either 90,000 foot and 12,000 cavalry, or with 26,000 foot and 10,000 horse, he had spent the summer conquering the area north of the Ebro River. After subduing the Iberian tribes, but leaving the Greek cities unmolested, Hannibal crossed over into Gaul to continue his march to Italy, leaving a contingent to guard the newly conquered territories and sending 10,000 less reliable troops home; the Roman navy had been mobilized in 219 BC.
Consul Tiberius Sempronius Longus received 4 legions and instructions to sail for Africa with 160 quinqueremes. Publius Cornelius Scipio was to sail for Iberia escorted by 60 ships. However, the Gallic Boii and Insubre tribes in northern Italy had attacked Roman colonies, causing part of Scipio’s force to deploy there and fresh legions were raised to replace them, delaying his departure. While Hannibal was marching through Gaul, Scipio had landed with his army at the allied Greek city of Massilia, he sent a cavalry patrol north, up the eastern bank of the Rhone River, which clashed with a similar force of Numidian light cavalry and, after a hard fought skirmish, drove off the Carthaginians. Scipio marched north from his base. Arriving at the deserted Carthaginian camp, Scipio learned that Hannibal was three day's march away and decided to send his forces to Iberia under the command of his elder brother Gnaeus, consul in 221 BC, while he himself returned to Northern Italy to organize the defences against Hannibal.
Hasdrubal Barca, the younger brother of Hannibal, had 12,650 infantry, 2,550 cavalry and 21 elephants to guard the Carthaginian possessions south of the Ebro. Hannibal had left a certain Hanno with 10,000 infantry and 1,000 cavalry to garrison the newly conquered territory north of the Ebro; this Hanno has been identified by various authors as Hannibal’s nephew, a brother or no Barcid relation. Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus, with 20,000 infantry 2,200 cavalry and 60 quinqueremes, sailed from Massilia and landed at Emporiae in Iberia; the Greek cities of Emporiae and Tarraco welcomed the Romans, Gnaeus began to win over the Iberian tribes north of the Ebro. Hasdrubal Barca, after being warned of the Roman expedition, marched north with an army of 8,000 foot soldiers and 1,000 cavalry to join Hanno. Hanno had been surprised by the Roman arrival in Iberia. Seeing the grip of the Carthaginians on the newly conquered Iberian tribes loosening because of the activities of Scipio, he decided to offer battle.
Hanno attacked the Romans just north of Tarraco, near a place called Cissa or Kissa. There were no brilliant manoeuvres or ambushes, the armies faced off. Being outnumbered two to one, Hanno was defeated easily, losing 6,000 soldiers in battle. Furthermore, the Romans managed to capture the Carthaginian camp, along with 2,000 more soldiers and Hanno himself; the camp contained. The prisoners included Indibilis, an influential Iberian chieftain who would cause severe trouble for the Romans later; the Romans stormed the town of Cissa, though to the frustration of the Romans it did not contain any valuable booty. Gnaeus became master of Iberia north of the Ebro. Hasdrubal, arriving too late to aid Hanno and not being strong enough to attack the Romans, still crossed the river and sent a flying column of light cavalry and infantry on a raid; this force caught some Roman sailors foraging and inflicted such casualties that the effectiveness of the Roman fleet in Iberia was reduced from 60 to 35 ships.
The Roman fleet, raided the Carthaginian possessions in Iberia. Roman prestige was established in Iberia. After punishing the officers in charge of the naval contingent for their lax discipline and the Roman army wintered at Tarraco. Hasdrubal retired to Cartagena after garrisoning allied towns south of the Ebro. If Hanno somehow had won the battle, it might have been possible for Hannibal to get reinforcements from Barcid Iberia as early as 217 BC; this battle brought the same results for Scipio in Iberia as the Battle of Trebia would bring for Hannibal in Italy: securing a base of operation, winning over some of the native tribes as a source of provisions and recruits cutting off the overland communication of Hannibal from his base in Iberia. Unlike Hannibal, Scipio did not launch a major campaign on enemy territory south of the river. Nor would he cut loose from his base like Hannibal did in the near future. Scipio took time to consolidate his holdings, subjugate or befriend Iberian tribes and raid Carthaginian territory.
These activities laid the foundation for the future Roman operations in Iberia. Bagnall, Nigel; the Punic Wars. ISBN 0-312-34214-4. Cottrell, Leonard. Hannibal: Enemy of Rome. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80498-0. Lazenby, John Francis (197
Siege of Saguntum
The Siege of Saguntum was a battle which took place in 219 BC between the Carthaginians and the Saguntines at the town of Saguntum, near the modern town of Sagunto in the province of Valencia, Spain. The battle is remembered today because it triggered one of the most important wars of antiquity, the Second Punic War. After Hannibal was made supreme commander of Iberia at the age of 26, he spent two years refining his plans and completing his preparations to secure power in the Mediterranean; the Romans did nothing against him. The Romans went so far as turning their attention to the Illyrians who had begun to revolt; because of this, the Romans did not react when news reached them that Hannibal was besieging Saguntum. The capture of Saguntum was essential to Hannibal's plan; the city was one of the most fortified in the area and it would have been a poor move to leave such a stronghold in the hands of the enemy. Hannibal was looking for plunder to pay his mercenaries, who were from Africa and the Iberian Peninsula.
The money could be spent on dealing with his political opponents in Carthage. Some historians doubt whether Hannibal attacked Saguntum deliberately or whether he was provoked by the Saguntines, who had Rome's support. Since most of the remaining ancient sources covering this period are pro-Roman, one cannot rule out the possibility that Rome encouraged Saguntum to defy Hannibal. However, Rome failed to support their ally during the siege of Saguntum; this might be due to the fact that Rome's legions were occupied elsewhere or might have been a calculated move to have a casus belli against Carthage. Hannibal's alleged hatred of Rome and all Romans might have been an idea of Roman propaganda to justify the second and the third Punic war. During Hannibal's assault on Saguntum, he suffered some losses due to the extensive fortifications and the tenacity of the defending Saguntines, but his troops stormed and destroyed the city's defenses one at a time. Hannibal was severely wounded by a javelin, fighting was stopped for a few weeks whilst he recovered.
The Saguntines turned to Rome for aid. In 218 BC, after enduring eight months of siege, the Saguntines' last defenses were overrun. Hannibal offered to spare the population on condition that they were "willing to depart from Saguntum, each with two garments"; when they declined the offer and began to sabotage the town's wealth and possessions, every adult was put to death. This marked the beginning of the Second Punic War. Hannibal now had a base of operations from which he could supply his forces with food and extra troops. After the siege, Hannibal attempted to gain the support of the Carthaginian Senate; the Senate did not agree with Hannibal's aggressive means of warfare, never gave complete and unconditional support to him when he was on the verge of absolute victory only five miles from Rome. In this episode, Hannibal was able to gain limited support which permitted him to move to New Carthage where he gathered his men and informed them of his ambitious intentions. Hannibal undertook a religious pilgrimage before beginning his march toward the Pyrenees, the Alps, Rome itself.
The next phase of the war was marked by extraordinary Carthaginian victories at Trebia, Lake Trasimene, the Battle of Cannae. At the end of the 1st century AD the siege of Saguntum was described in much detail by the Latin author Silius Italicus in his epic poem Punica. In his verses several Saguntine leaders and heroes stand out, as well as a Libyan warrior princess fighting for Carthage, but few historians give the tale any credit as a historical source. In 1727 the English dramatist Philip Frowde wrote a tragedy entitled The Fall of Saguntum, based on Silius' poem; the band Ex Deo has a song called Hispania On their album “The Immortal Wars”, about the siege. Alorcus
Carthage was the center or capital city of the ancient Carthaginian civilization, on the eastern side of the Lake of Tunis in what is now the Tunis Governorate in Tunisia. The city developed from a Phoenician colony into the capital of a Punic empire dominating the Mediterranean during the first millennium BC; the legendary Queen Dido is regarded as the founder of the city, though her historicity has been questioned. According to accounts by Timaeus of Tauromenium, she purchased from a local tribe the amount of land that could be covered by an oxhide. Cutting the skin into strips, she laid out her claim and founded an empire that would become, through the Punic Wars, the only existential threat to Rome until the coming of the Vandals several centuries later; the ancient city was destroyed by the Roman Republic in the Third Punic War in 146 BC and re-developed as Roman Carthage, which became the major city of the Roman Empire in the province of Africa. The city was sacked and destroyed in the Muslim conquest of the Maghreb in 698.
The site remained uninhabited, the regional power shifting to the Medina of Tunis in the medieval period, until the early 20th century, when it began to develop into a coastal suburb of Tunis, incorporated as Carthage municipality in 1919. The archaeological site was first surveyed by Danish consul Christian Tuxen Falbe. Excavations were performed in the second half of the 19th century by Charles Ernest Beulé and by Alfred Louis Delattre; the Carthage National Museum was founded in 1875 by Cardinal Charles Lavigerie. Excavations performed by French archaeologists in the 1920s first attracted an extraordinary amount of attention because of the evidence they produced for child sacrifice. There has been considerable disagreement among scholars concerning whether or not child sacrifice was practiced by ancient Carthage; the open-air Carthage Paleo-Christian Museum has exhibits excavated under the auspices of UNESCO from 1975 to 1984. The name Carthage /ˈkarθɪdʒ/ is the Early Modern anglicisation of French Carthage /kaʁ.taʒ/, from Latin Carthāgō and Karthāgō from the Punic qrt-ḥdšt "new city", implying it was a "new Tyre".
The Latin adjective pūnicus, meaning "Phoenician", is reflected in English in some borrowings from Latin—notably the Punic Wars and the Punic language. The Modern Standard Arabic form قرطاج is an adoption of French Carthage, replacing an older local toponym reported as Cartagenna that directly continued the Latin name. Carthage was built on a promontory with sea inlets to the south; the city's location made it master of the Mediterranean's maritime trade. All ships crossing the sea had to pass between Sicily and the coast of Tunisia, where Carthage was built, affording it great power and influence. Two large, artificial harbors were built within the city, one for harboring the city's massive navy of 220 warships and the other for mercantile trade. A walled tower overlooked both harbors; the city had 37 km in length, longer than the walls of comparable cities. Most of the walls were located on the shore, thus could be less impressive, as Carthaginian control of the sea made attack from that direction difficult.
The 4.0 to 4.8 km of wall on the isthmus to the west were massive and were never penetrated. The city had a huge necropolis or burial ground, religious area, market places, council house, a theater, was divided into four sized residential areas with the same layout. In the middle of the city stood a high citadel called the Byrsa. Carthage was one of the largest cities of the Hellenistic period and was among the largest cities in preindustrial history. Whereas by AD 14, Rome had at least 750,000 inhabitants and in the following century may have reached 1 million, the cities of Alexandria and Antioch numbered only a few hundred thousand or less. According to the not always reliable history of Herodian, Carthage rivaled Alexandria for second place in the Roman empire. On top of Byrsa hill, the location of the Roman Forum, a residential area from the last century of existence of the Punic city was excavated by the French archaeologist Serge Lancel; the neighborhood, with its houses and private spaces, is significant for what it reveals about daily life there over 2100 years ago.
The remains have been preserved under embankments, the substructures of the Roman forum, whose foundation piles dot the district. The housing blocks are separated by a grid of straight streets about 6 m wide, with a roadway consisting of clay. Construction of this type presupposes organization and political will, has inspired the name of the neighborhood, "Hannibal district", referring to the legendary Punic general or sufet at the beginning of the second century BCE; the habitat is typical stereotypical. The street was used as a storefront/shopfront. In some places, the ground is covered with mosaics called punica pavement, sometimes using a characteristic red mortar; the merchant harbor at Carthage was developed, after settlement of the nearby Punic town of Utica. The surrounding countryside was brought into the orbit of the Punic urban centers, first commercially politically. Direct management over cultivation of neighbouring lands by Punic owners followed. A 28-volume work on agriculture written in Punic by Mago, a retired army general, was trans