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Carthaginian Armies

February 3, 2019 — Leave a comment

Weapons and Warfare

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Hannibal and his staff at the battle of Zama – art by Giuseppe Rava

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The Carthaginian army has a mix of all kinds of troops, because of his high proportion of, Spanish and African allies.

The Carthaginians relied heavily on mercenaries. Polybius (6.52.4) believed the Roman army was superior to the Carthaginian because Rome fielded armies of citizens while Carthage employed foreign mercenaries. The most famous mercenaries employed by the Carthaginians were the Numidian horsemen. Equipped with light leather shields (Sall. Iug. 94.1), they would sometimes fight from two horses, to prolong the stamina of their mounts (Livy 23.29.5). However, in its earlier wars with the Greeks, Carthage relied also on its own citizen forces. Plutarch (Tim. 27-9) notes that at the battle of the River Crimisus in 341, the 10,000 Carthaginian hoplites were equipped with iron cuirasses, bronze helmets and large whiteshields, and were drawn up as a phalanx…

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