Second Punic War Battles > Battle of Beneventum (212 BC)

Battle of Beneventum (212 BC)

Punic Wars - Punic Wars Decoration


The Battle of Beneventum was fought between Carthage and Roman republic in 212 BC. During this conflict Hanno the Elder was defeated by Quintus Fulvius Flaccus. Livy gives a short account of this battle at 25.13-14. The Battle of Beneventum, also known as the Battle of Maleventum, was a significant engagement during the Second Punic War that took place in 212 BC between the Roman Republic, led by the consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus, and the Carthaginian forces under the command of Hannibal's brother, Hanno, and the Carthaginian general, Maharbal.

Following several setbacks in the early years of the war, the Romans sought to regain control over strategic territories in southern Italy that had fallen under Carthaginian influence. While Hannibal was occupied in central Italy, his brother, Hanno, was tasked with maintaining Carthaginian control over southern Italy and preventing Roman advances.


Roman Army: The Roman force was led by Marcus Claudius Marcellus, a veteran commander renowned for his military prowess. The exact size of the Roman army is uncertain but likely consisted of several legions along with allied troops.

Carthaginian Army: The Carthaginian forces were commanded by Hanno and Maharbal. Their army comprised Carthaginian soldiers, mercenaries, and allies from southern Italy. The Carthaginian force was likely comparable in size to the Roman army.


The Roman consul Marcellus, aware of the Carthaginian presence in the region, moved to intercept the Carthaginian army near Beneventum (modern-day Benevento). The battle began with skirmishes between the vanguard units of both armies. Marcellus then launched a full-scale assault on the Carthaginian position, aiming to break through their lines and force a decisive engagement. The Roman cavalry, commanded by Marcellus himself, played a crucial role in the battle. They engaged the Carthaginian cavalry and managed to gain the upper hand, disrupting Carthaginian formations and providing support to the Roman infantry.

The main clash occurred between the Roman and Carthaginian infantry. The Roman legions, renowned for their discipline and training, pushed back the Carthaginian forces, gradually gaining ground despite fierce resistance. After a hard-fought battle, the Roman forces managed to break the Carthaginian lines and achieve victory. The Carthaginians suffered heavy casualties and were forced to retreat from the battlefield.


The Roman victory at Beneventum allowed Marcellus to consolidate Roman control over southern Italy, weakening Carthaginian influence in the region and bolstering Roman morale. The defeat at Beneventum was a setback for the Carthaginians, further limiting their ability to resist Roman advances in southern Italy and disrupting their supply lines. While the Battle of Beneventum was a significant victory for the Romans, the war continued for several more years, with further engagements and campaigns in Italy and beyond.

The Battle of Beneventum enhanced Marcellus's reputation as a skilled and effective military leader, earning him praise and recognition within the Roman Republic. The victory at Beneventum demonstrated Roman resilience and determination in the face of adversity, highlighting their ability to adapt and overcome challenges in the ongoing conflict with Carthage.

The Battle of Beneventum was a significant victory for the Roman Republic during the Second Punic War, solidifying their control over southern Italy and weakening Carthaginian influence in the region. It showcased the military skill and determination of the Roman forces under the leadership of Marcus Claudius Marcellus.

Coordinates: 41.1333°N 14.7833°E

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Livy, 25.13-14

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