History of Spain

Carthaginian Iberia
Hispanic warriors, 2nd Century BCE ©Angus McBride
237 BCE Jan 1 - 218 BCE

Carthaginian Iberia

Saguntum, Spain

After the defeat of Carthage in the First Punic War, the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca crushed a mercenary revolt in Africa and trained a new army consisting of Numidians along with mercenaries and other infantry. In 236 BCE, he led an expedition to Iberia where he hoped to gain a new empire for Carthage to compensate for the territories that had been lost in the recent conflicts with Rome and to serve as a base for vengeance against the Romans.

In eight years, by force of arms and diplomacy, Hamilcar secured an extensive territory, covering around half of the Iberian Peninsula, and Iberian soldiers later came to make up a large part of the army that his son Hannibal led into the Italian Peninsula to fight the Romans, but Hamilcar's premature death in battle (228 BCE) prevented him from completing the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula and was soon followed by the collapse of the short lived empire he had established.

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Last Updated: : Wed Jan 31 2024