Second Battle of Herdonia

Second Battle of Herdonia

Second Punic War

Second Battle of Herdonia
Second Battle of Herdonia ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
210 BCE Jan 1

Second Battle of Herdonia

Ordona, Province of Foggia, It

The second battle of Herdonia took place in 210 BCE during the Second Punic War. Hannibal, leader of the Carthaginians, who had invaded Italy eight years earlier, encircled and destroyed a Roman army which was operating against his allies in Apulia. The heavy defeat increased the war's burden on Rome and, piled on previous military disasters (such as Lake Trasimene, Cannae, and others), aggravated the relations with her exhausted Italian allies. For Hannibal the battle was a tactical success, but did not halt for long the Roman advance. Within the next three years the Romans reconquered most of the territories and cities lost at the beginning of the war and pushed the Carthaginian general to the southwestern end of the Apennine peninsula. The battle was the last Carthaginian victory of the war; all battles which followed were either inconclusive or Roman victories.


The victory did not bring strategic advantages to Hannibal. Judging that in the long run he could not retain Herdonia, the Carthaginian general decided to resettle its population in Metapontum and Thurii to the south and destroy the city itself. Before that he set an example to other eventual traitors by executing some of the distinguished citizens who had conspired to betray Herdonia to Centumalus. For the rest of the summer he was forced to fight off the second Roman army. The next battle with Marcellus at Numistro was inconclusive and Hannibal was unable to regain the positions lost at the beginning of the campaign.

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