Second Punic War

Battle of Beneventum
214 BCE Jan 1

Battle of Beneventum

Benevento, Province of Beneven

An important part of Hannibal's campaign in Italy was to attempt to fight the Romans by using local resources; raising recruits from among the local population. His subordinate Hanno was able to raise troops in Samnium in 214 BC. Roman legions under Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus defeated Hanno's Carthaginian forces in the battle of Beneventum, denying Hannibal reinforcements.

The ensuing onslaught led to the total destruction of Hanno's army and the capture of his camp; less than 2,000 of his men escaped with their lives, including Hanno. Gracchus, after the battle, proceeded into Lucania, in order to prevent Hanno from raising another army in this area and using it to reinforce Hannibal. Gracchus was eventually able to push Hanno into Bruttium as a result of his victory outside of Beneventum.

Being robbed of the prospect of badly needed reinforcements, Hannibal was forced to come to terms with the fact that he would be unable to conduct a successful campaign in Campania. Hannibal could win allies, but defending them against the Romans was a new and difficult problem, as the Romans could still field multiple armies, which in total greatly outnumbered his own forces.