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Hamilcar trapped

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Chapter Summary

Hamilcar in his first operation had shown boldness, very unlike his confrère Hanno, and been blessed by luck. The smallness of his numbers had been more than compensated by rebel exuberance and indiscipline. His tactics of feigned retreat in face of the enemy turning into abrupt counterattack required troops confident in drill and in their leader, though as military movements they were (and Hamilcar surely meant them to be) the simplest in the circumstances. But to see them foreshadowing Hannibal's at Cannae or elsewhere, as is sometimes done, is hardly plausible. The victory at the Bagradas won back the strategic initiative for the Carthaginians. What Hamilcar did with his 2,000 prisoners Polybius does not say, but putting them to death would not have made a good impression on the Libyan population, which he was keen to win over.

Keywords: Bagradas; Cannae; Carthaginians; Hamilcar; Hannibal; Hanno; Libyan population; Polybius



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