Second Punic War

Rome gains supremacy in Italy: Battle of the Metaurus
©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
207 BCE Jun 23

Rome gains supremacy in Italy: Battle of the Metaurus

Metauro, Province of Pesaro an

In the spring of 207 BCE, Hasdrubal Barca marched across the Alps and invaded northern Italy with an army of 35,000 men. His aim was to join his forces with those of his brother, Hannibal, but Hannibal was unaware of his presence. The Roman armies were led by the consuls Marcus Livius, who was later nicknamed the Salinator, and Gaius Claudius Nero.

The Romans facing Hannibal in southern Italy tricked him into believing the whole Roman army was still in camp, while a large portion marched north and reinforced the Romans facing Hasdrubal. Claudius Nero had just fought Hannibal in Grumentum, some hundreds of kilometres south of the Metaurus river, and reached Marcus Livius by a forced march that went unnoticed by both Hannibal and Hasdrubal, so that the Carthaginians suddenly found themselves outnumbered. In the battle, the Romans used their numerical superiority to outflank the Carthaginian army and rout them, the Carthaginians losing 15,400 men killed or captured, including Hasdrubal.

The battle confirmed Roman supremacy over Italy. Without Hasdrubal's army to support him, Hannibal was compelled to evacuate pro-Carthaginian towns in much of southern Italy in the face of Roman pressure and withdraw to Bruttium, where he would remain for the next four years.

HistoryMaps Shop

Visit Shop

There are several ways to support the HistoryMaps Project.
Visit Shop
Support Page
Last Updated: : Wed Jan 31 2024