Truceless War: Carthage's Fight for Survival, 241 to 237 BC by Associate Professor Department of Classics and Ancient

By Associate Professor Department of Classics and Ancient History Dexter Hoyos

The rebellion of Carthage's mercenaries and oppressed Libyan matters in 241-237 BC approximately ended her strength or even life. This 'truceless' conflict, unmatched for its savagery, used to be fought over so much of Punic North Africa and unfold to Sardinia.

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Extra resources for Truceless War: Carthage's Fight for Survival, 241 to 237 BC (History of Warfare)

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1 The troops then had a shock. As soon as the peace was Ànally ratiÀed, Hamilcar laid down his command, boarded a ship for Carthage and left. This was unusual, not to mention unhelpful, behaviour for a Carthaginian commander. Of course the army knew Gisco well and trusted him, but their general’s abrupt self-removal from their midst 1 On the close of the war, the peace negotiations and the promises to the army of Sicily see Pol. 2–6; Diod. 13–14; Nep. Hamil. 5; Zon. 17; App. Iber. 15, Lib. 18, Sic.

His political links are not reported but he was important enough to become the republic’s negotiator with the army of Sicily a few months on. The most natural inference is that he was a friend of Hamilcar’s or at least a tried and true military colleague. If neither, he would hardly have been appointed commandant of Lilybaeum. At the same time Hamilcar had no compunction about saddling him with the hard and risky task of dealing with their unpaid army. Colleague or friend, Gisco was ultimately expendable.

Hamilcar returned without much renown or money, negotiator of a treaty of defeat and ex-general of an army that had become a Ànancial encumbrance—not to mention a physical nuisance at Carthage itself. He may even have been prosecuted before the tribunal of One Hundred and Four. Appian, who all too often is a confused chronicler of Punic affairs, has such a trial years later, on charges of misconduct while in Sicily, but after the great rebellion in Libya. The chronology of events makes this virtually impossible.

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