Thursday, April 26, 2018

1st Battle of Nola 216 BC (2nd Punic Wars)

1st Battle of Nola 216 BC

Following his victory at Cannae, Hannibal encamped before the town on Nola. The Roman forces of the town were commanded by Marcus Claudius Marcellus. Initial contact between the antagonists was limited to minor skirmishes. After repeated skirmishes, Hannibal decided to launch a decisive attack on Nola. Marcellus anticipated this and managed to devise a trap for Hannibal. Marcellus was aware that the Carthaginians were planning an attack and quietly drew up his lines of battle inside the walls of Nola. He placed his legions near the town’s main gate. Allied forces, light forces, and cavalry were placed inside gates to the left and right of the town. Hannibal approached the town with his light forces in the fore. Carthaginian infantry encumbered by ladders and scaling gear followed the light forces. Carthaginian cavalry brought up the rear of Hannibal’s formation. As the Carthaginians neared the town, the gates were thrown open and the Romans rushed forth. The initial shock made a great impression on the Carthaginians, but with Hannibal’s personal intervention, a battle line was established. The Roman wings then fell upon the Carthaginian flanks with great effect. Marcellus managed the Roman force admirably. Hannibal finally gave up trying to rescue the day and retired in good order after sustaining severe casualties.

Hannibal regarded it as essential to take the city of Nola, a Roman fortress in Campania, a region that linked his various allies geographically and contained his most important harbor for supply. Prior to his first attempt, the pro-Carthage faction in the city had been eliminated by the Romans, so there was no chance of the city being betrayed. Hannibal repeatedly tried to take this city by assault or siege, but was thwarted three times, in 216, 215 and 214, by forces led by Marcus Claudius Marcellus.

Updated 05/02/2018

Monday, April 23, 2018

Mycenae-Tiryns War 1585 BC

The  City-State of Tiryns attacks the Palace at Mycenae in 1585 BC over a dispute over territory.