Battle of the Bagradas River (255 BC)
The Roman army was defeated by a Carthaginian army led by Xanthippus. The war continued for another 14 years, mostly on Sicily or in nearby waters. The main source for almost every aspect of the battle is the historian Polybius, a Greek sent to Rome in 167 BC as a hostage.
About Battle of the Bagradas River (255 BC) in brief
The Battle of the Bagradas River took place nine years into the First Punic War. The Roman army was defeated by a Carthaginian army led by Xanthippus. The war continued for another 14 years, mostly on Sicily or in nearby waters, before ending with a Roman victory. The main source for almost every aspect of the battle is the historian Polybius, a Greek sent to Rome in 167 BC as a hostage. Other sources include inscriptions, coins, archaeological evidence and empirical evidence from reconstructions such as Olympias. The immediate cause of the war was the issue of control of the Sicilian town of Messana. By 256 BC the war had grown into a struggle in which the Romans were attempting to decisively defeat the Carthaginians. The Romans were engaging the whole of Sicily, at a minimum, in a struggle for control of their whole mainland, and at a maximum for control over the Arno River. In 264 BC the trireme of Rome and Carthage went to war as the Romans attempted to unify the Mediterranean. The battle was won by the Romans, who captured Tunis, only 16 kilometres from Carthage, in 255 BC. It was the first of a series of battles between Carthage and Rome that lasted until the end of the first century BC, when the Romans won the war. The Battle of Tunis took place in the spring of 255 BC, and is also known as the Battle of Adys. It is one of the most important battles in the history of the Roman Empire, and the Romans are thought to have won it by a margin of more than 1,500 to 1,000.
It took place near the modern-day town of Tunis, in North Africa, about 16 kilometres north of the city of Carthage in the east of North Africa. It also took place during the Roman invasion of the Cape Bon Peninsula in 264 BC, during which time the Romans gained a naval superiority over Carthage. The first book of the forty comprising The Histories, written sometime after 167 BC, or about a century after the battle, deals with the events of this battle. It includes a now lost manual on military tactics, but he is best known for his The History, written about a decade after that battle. Other, later, histories of thewar exist, but in fragmentary or summary form, and they usually cover military operations on land in more detail than those at sea. The accuracy of Polybio’s account has been much debated over the past 150 years, but the modern consensus is to accept it largely at face value. Modern historians usually also take into account the later histories of Diodorus Siculus and Dio Cassius, although the classicist Adrian Goldsworthy states that \”Polybius’ account is usually to be preferred when it differs with any other accounts.\””. The Romans had no effective answer to the elephants, their outnumbered cavalry were chased from the field and the Carthagoans then surrounded most of the Romans and wiped them out; 500 survived and were captured, including Regulus.