First Punic War > Battles > Battle of Agrigentum

Battle of Agrigentum

Punic Wars - Punic Wars Decoration

Battle of Agrigentum


Roman Republic

Lucius Postumius Megellus

Quintus Mamilius Vitulus

Military Forces

  • 40,000
  • 50,000


  • 1,200
  • 30,000


The Battle of Agrigentum was the first major battle of the First Punic War that occurred in 262 BC between the Carthaginians and the Roman Republic. The battle was fought after the prolonged siege of the city of Agrigentum on the island of Sicily. Following a Roman victory they would control the entire island.


There are a few versions of the Battle of Agrigentum that all give slightly different accounts of the pitched conflict. Based on the Greek historian Polybius, Hanno engaged the Romans who were on the verge of starvation who despite being in a distressed state managed to defeat the Carthaginians and capture the city. According to Polybius the Romans lost 3,000 infantry and 200 cavalry while the Carthaginians lost 30,000 infantry and 540 cavalry while another 4,000 were captured prisoner during the entire siege and battle of Agrigentum.

The later Byzantine historian Zonaras stated that Hanno wanted to fight but the Romans had declined due to previous losses of their cavalry. However, as food became scarce during the siege of the Roman camp they eventually resolved to fight. The Romans interrupted an attempt to coordinate assaults between the garrison in the city and Hanno's relief army and managed to outflank the Carthaginians. They attacked them on the rear and front and managed to also defeat an assault from the Carthaginian garrison as well.


Regardless of which account you chose to believe, the Romans defeated the Carthaginians and forced them to retreat from Agrigentum. According to some accounts Hannibal and his mercenaries were able to escape by filling the Roman trenches with straw. The Romans would attempt to pursue the Carthaginians but they would turn their attention back to capturing the city instead. Following this they looted and sacked the city.

In the aftermath of the looting and plundering the Romans would occupy the city of Agrigentum as well as sold the entire population of 25,000 into slavery. While they sought to make an example of the city, in reality all this did was make the other cities around resistant to harsh Roman rule. Hannibal Gisco and the rest of the Carthaginian garrison managed to escape relatively unscathed despite the victory. Following this control over the grain supply on Sicily would prove vital for the urban population of Rome and would give them confidence to the Romans to expand beyond Italy and Sicily.

First Punic War

+ First Punic War Links


Sabalico Logo
Sabalytics Logo
World Map Logo
rStatistics Logo
Time Zone Logo
Galaxy View Logo
Periodic Table Logo
My Location Logo
Weather Track Logo
Sprite Sheet Logo
Barcode Generator Logo
Test Speed Logo
Website Tools Logo
Image Tools Logo
Color Tools Logo
Text Tools Logo
Finance Tools Logo
File Tools Logo
Data Tools Logo
History of Humanity - History Archive Logo
History of Humanity - History Mysteries Logo
History of Humanity - Ancient Mesopotamia Logo
History of Humanity - Egypt History Logo
History of Humanity - Persian Empire Logo
History of Humanity - Greek History Logo
History of Humanity - Alexander the Great Logo
History of Humanity - Roman History Logo
History of Humanity - Punic Wars Logo
History of Humanity - Golden Age of Piracy Logo
History of Humanity - Revolutionary War Logo