Battle of Zama

Battle of Zama

Second Punic War

Battle of Zama
The Battle of Zama ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
202 BCE Oct 19

Battle of Zama

Siliana, Tunisia

The Battle of Zama was fought in 202 BCE near Zama, now in Tunisia, and marked the end of the Second Punic War. A Roman army led by Publius Cornelius Scipio, with crucial support from Numidian leader Masinissa, defeated the Carthaginian army led by Hannibal. After defeating Carthaginian and Numidian armies at the battles of Utica and the Great Plains, Scipio imposed peace terms on the Carthaginians, who had no choice but to accept them. At the same time, the Carthaginians recalled Hannibal's army from Italy. Confident in Hannibal's forces, the Carthaginians broke the armistice with Rome. Scipio and Hannibal confronted each other near Zama Regia. Hannibal had 36,000 infantry to Scipio's 29,000. One third of Hannibal's army were citizen levies, and the Romans had 6,100 cavalry to Carthage's 4,000, as most of the Numidian cavalry that Hannibal had employed with great success in Italy had defected to the Romans. Hannibal also employed 80 war elephants. The elephants opened the battle by charging the main Roman army.

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