Second Punic War
Battle of Rhone Crossing
Hannibal's army crossing the Rhône
218 BCE Sep 1

Battle of Rhone Crossing


The Battle of the Rhône Crossing was a battle during the Second Punic War in September of 218 BC. Hannibal marched on the Italian Alps, and an army of Gallic Volcae attacked the Carthaginian army on the east bank of the Rhône. The Roman army camped near Massalia. The Volcae tried to prevent the Carthaginians from crossing the Alps and invading Italy.

Before they crossed the river, the Carthaginians sent a detachment to cross upriver, under Hanno, son of Bomilcar, and took up position behind the Gauls. Once the detachment was in place, Hannibal crossed the river with the main contingent of his army. As the Gauls massed to oppose Hannibal, Hanno attacked their rear and routed the Volcae army. This was Hannibal's first major battle (victory) outside of the Iberian Peninsula. It gave him an unopposed path to the Alps and into Italy.