Second Punic War

Battle of Baecula
208 BCE Apr 1

Battle of Baecula

Santo Tomé, Jaén, Spain

The Battle of Baecula was a major field battle in Iberia during the Second Punic War. Roman Republican and Iberian auxiliary forces under the command of Scipio Africanus routed the Carthaginian army of Hasdrubal Barca.

After the battle, Hasdrubal led his depleted army (mainly formed by Celtiberian mercenaries and Gallic warriors) over the western passes of the Pyrenees into Gaul, and subsequently into Italy in an attempt to join his brother Hannibal. Scipio's failure to stop Hasdrubal's march to Italy was criticized by the Roman Senate. Scipio did not exploit his victory at Baecula to drive out the Carthaginians from Iberia, instead choosing to withdraw to his base at Tarraco. He secured alliances with many of the Iberian tribes, who switched sides after the Roman successes at Carthago Nova and Baecula. Carthaginian reinforcements landed in Iberia in 207 BC, and would soon launch a final attempt to recover their losses at the Battle of Ilipa in 206 BC.