Nevertheless, the Romans fought well under the circumstances, and initially forced Saburra to give ground as they moved inexorably forward. 3 – Battle of Bagradas (Tunis) (255 BC) The Carthaginians were in danger of losing the war because they had no idea how to combat the Roman tactic of using corvii to board ships. When Curio saw the retreating backs of the Numidians, he believed his tactics were playing out as expected. [22] Carthage was a well-established maritime power in the Western Mediterranean; Rome had recently unified mainland Italy south of the Arno River under its control. [30] Both sides were determined to establish naval supremacy and invested large amounts of money and manpower in maintaining and increasing the size of their navies. Curio’s cavalry stumbled upon them in the early hours of the morning as they slept in their tents and, taking advantage of their confusion, proceeded to attack. Category:Battle of Bagradas. Hamilcar and two previously unknown generals named Hasdrubal and Bostar were placed in joint command of an army which was strong in cavalry and elephants and was approximately the same size as the Roman force. The result was a crushing defeat for the Caesarean forces and the death of Curio. The Battle of the Bagradas (49 BC) occurred on August 24 and was fought between Julius Caesar's general Gaius Scribonius Curio and the Pompeian Republicans under Publius Attius Varus and King Juba I of Numidia. The elephants were deployed in a single line in front of the centre of the infantry. With a hot sun beating down on them, his soldiers were soon both tired and thirsty. Wikipedia article of the day is Battle of the Bagradas River (255 BC). Some units of the Carthaginian cavalry were now returning from their pursuit and started to attack or feint against the Roman rear and flanks. [54][55], The Carthaginians established a camp on a hill near Adys. The Battle of Bagradas River or “Battle on the Macar” (c. 240 BC) was fought between Carthaginian forces and part of the combined forces of Carthage's former mercenary armies during the Mercenary War which it used to conduct the First Punic War and those of rebelling Libyan cities. Some later Roman accounts make various claims of Regulus being mistreated. HistoryMarche 578,710 views Most of the Romans were packed into a space where they could not resist effectively and were slaughtered. [35][36][37] The Carthaginians were aware of the Romans' intentions and mustered all available warships, 350, under Hanno and Hamilcar, off the south coast of Sicily to intercept them. And so the battle on the Plains of Bagradas River started – the Carthaginians initiated the battle with an attack by the elephants. Curio queried how he could ever look Caesar in the face after he had lost him his army, and turning to face the oncoming Numidians, fought on until he was killed. The sailors on the boats finally agreed to take a few of the married soldiers who had families back home, while others swam out to the ships and were pulled aboard. The Battle of the Bagradas (49 BC) occurred near the Bagradas River (the classical name of the Medjerda) in what is now Tunisia on 24 August and was fought between Julius Caesar's general Gaius Scribonius Curio and the Pompeian Republicans under Publius Attius Varus and King Juba I of Numidia.The result was a crushing defeat for the Caesarean forces and the death of Curio. The war there had reached a stalemate, as the Carthaginians focused on defending their well-fortified towns and cities; these were mostly on the coast and so could be supplied and reinforced without the Romans being able to use their superior army to interfere. As the prospect of a decisive battle drew nearer, and as Xanthippus's skill at manoeuvring the army became more evident, full control was given to him. [91] The Romans sent a fleet to evacuate their survivors and the Carthaginians attempted to oppose it. [58][60][note 4], Most male Roman citizens were eligible for military service and would serve as infantry, a better-off minority providing a cavalry component. An army was usually formed by combining a Roman legion with a similarly sized and equipped legion provided by their Latin allies. Background The Battle of Bagradas River or "Battle on the Macar" (c. 240 BC) was fought between Carthaginian forces and part of the combined forces of Carthage's former mercenary armies during the Mercenary War which it used to conduct the First Punic War and those of rebelling Libyan cities. The battle of the Bagradas River (24 July 49 BC) was a major defeat for Caesar's army in North Africa, and firmly established Pompey's control over the area (Great Roman Civil War).At the outbreak of the Great Roman Civil War Caesar swept down the Italian peninsula, capturing Rome and forcing Pompey and most of the Senate to flee east to Greece. Polybius considered this to be an effective anti-elephant formation, but points out that it shortened the frontage of the Roman infantry and made them liable to being out-flanked. The Battle of Bagradas River, Battle of Tunis or perhaps first Battle of Bagradas River was fought in the First Punic War between a Roman expeditionary force under consul Marcus Atilius Regulus and a Carthaginian army led by the mercenary general Xanthippus of Sparta. Then Xanthippus ordered the phalanx to attack. [7], However, their fatigue began to tell against Curio’s troops, and they were too tired to pursue the Numidians who were steadily falling back, and Curio’s cavalry were too few and too tired to take advantage of the break in the attack. The Roman army of about 15,000 infantry and 500 cavalry advanced to meet them, and set up camp about 2 km (1 mi) away. [7], Marcius Rufus, left in charge of the detachment at Castra Cornelia, attempted to hold discipline after news of the disaster reached the camp. Jump to navigation Jump to search. In most circumstances Carthage recruited foreigners to make up its army. Saburra, who was convinced that Curio would attack swiftly, gave orders to feign a retreat as soon as the Romans came into view, warning his men to be ready for a signal to turn around and attack. [4] Varus, however, had just learned that King Juba was on his way with a large force, and so reassured them that with Juba's assistance, Curio would soon be defeated. [68][71] The Carthaginians also employed war elephants; North Africa had indigenous African forest elephants at the time. In despair, according to most ancient sources, the Carthaginians sued for peace. Light infantry skirmishers were positioned in front of the legions, and the 500 cavalry were divided between the flanks. SlitherineGames 5,042 views. The Battle of the Bagradas River, also known as the Battle of Tunis, was a victory by a Carthaginian army led by Xanthippus over a Roman army led by Marcus Atilius Regulus in the spring of 255 BC, nine years into the First Punic War. A few infantry served as javelin-armed skirmishers. [79], Xanthippus, fearful of the envy of the Carthaginian generals he had outdone, took his pay and returned to Greece. But he soon realised that his forces were beginning to crack, so he ordered his army to retreat northward to some low hills that bordered the plain. [19] Modern historians usually also take into account the later histories of Diodorus Siculus and Dio Cassius, although the classicist Adrian Goldsworthy states that "Polybius' account is usually to be preferred when it differs with any of our other accounts. It was expected he would achieve this by raids and by fomenting rebellion among Carthage's subject territories, but consuls had wide discretion. [7] Saburra saw what was happening and had his cavalry cut off Curio's retreat. [46] The Roman Senate sent orders for most of the Roman ships and a large part of the army to return to Sicily under Longus, probably due to the logistical difficulties of supplying more than 100,000 men over the winter. The Battle of Bagradas, also known as the Battle of Tunis, or the Battle of Bagradas Plains between the Roman Republic and Carthage occurred in the spring of 255 BC during the First Punic War.The battle ended in a decisive Carthaginian victory. Among the handful that escaped were Gaius Caninius Rebilus and Gaius Asinius Pollio.[11]. In this he differed from other generals, including Roman ones, leading armies against Carthage in Africa. [15] The modern historian Andrew Curry considers that "Polybius turns out to [be] fairly reliable";[16] while the classicist Dexter Hoyos describes him as "a remarkably well-informed, industrious, and insightful historian". After landing on the Cape Bon Peninsula and conducting a successful campaign, the fleet returned to Sicily, leaving Regulus with 15,500 men to hold the lodgement in Africa over the winter. [63] It is not clear how the 15,000 infantry at the Bagradas River were constituted, but they possibly represented four slightly under-strength legions: two Roman and two allied. [82] This part of the Roman force probably consisted of Latin allies. [53][83] Regulus apparently hoped to punch through the elephants with his massed infantry, overcome the Carthaginian phalanx in their centre and so win the battle before he needed to worry about being attacked on the flanks. Leaving a quarter of his forces guarding his own camp under the command of Marcius Rufus, Curio began his march to the Bagradas River about two hours before dawn. 40:55. The previous year, the newly constructed Roman navy established naval superiority over Carthage. Both legionary sub-units and individual legionaries fought in relatively open order. [76][77], Xanthippus led the army of 100 elephants, 4,000 cavalry and 12,000 infantry – the latter included the 5,000 veterans from Sicily and many citizen-militia[78] – out of Carthage and set up camp close to the Romans in an area of open plain. [38][39][40] When they met at the Battle of Cape Ecnomus, the Carthaginians took the initiative, hoping their superior ship-handling skills would be decisive. Relieved by this news, Curio sent his cavalry out after sunset with orders to locate Saburra’s camp and then to wait for Curio and the rest of the army. [67] This was Carthage's only victory in a major land battle during the war. The Battle of the Bagradas (49 BC) occurred on August 24 and was fought between Julius Caesar's general Gaius Scribonius Curio and the Pompeian Republicans under Publius Attius Varus and King Juba I of Numidia.The result was a crushing defeat for the Caesarean forces and the death of Curio. The Battle of the Bagradas (49 BC) occurred on August 24 and was fought between Julius Caesar's general Gaius Scribonius Curio and the Pompeian Republicans under Publius Attius Varus and King Juba I of Numidia.The result was a crushing defeat for the Caesarean forces and the death of Curio. [7][8], Carthaginian written records were destroyed along with their capital, Carthage, in 146 BC and so Polybius's account of the First Punic War is based on several, now-lost, Greek and Latin sources. The Battle of the Bagradas River (the ancient name of the Medjerda), also known as the Battle of Tunis, was a victory by a Carthaginian army led by Xanthippus over a Roman army led by Marcus Atilius Regulus in the spring of 255 BC, nine years into the First Punic War.The previous year, the newly constructed Roman navy established naval superiority over Carthage. But they were too disordered to fight effectively and the phalanx held firm. Finding these completely unacceptable, the Carthaginians decided to fight on. [45] Regulus was left with 40 ships, 15,000 infantry and 500 cavalry to overwinter in Africa. [95] The question of which state was to control the western Mediterranean remained open, and their relationship was tense. 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