Second Punic War Battles > Battle of Beneventum (214 BC)

Battle of Beneventum (214 BC)

Punic Wars - Punic Wars Decoration

The Battle of Beneventum in 214 BC was a significant engagement during the Second Punic War between the Roman Republic, led by the consul Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, and the Carthaginian forces under the command of Hanno, a Carthaginian general. It took place near the town of Beneventum (modern-day Benevento) in southern Italy. Following the loss of several key battles in the early stages of the war, the Romans aimed to regain control of southern Italy, which had fallen under Carthaginian influence. Consul Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus was tasked with confronting the Carthaginian forces in the region. The Carthaginians, under the command of Hanno, sought to maintain control over southern Italy and prevent Roman advances in the region. They had established a stronghold near Beneventum.


Roman Army: The Roman force was led by Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, a consul renowned for his military skill and leadership. The exact size of the Roman army is uncertain but likely comprised several legions along with allied troops.

Carthaginian Army: The Carthaginian forces were commanded by Hanno, a Carthaginian general tasked with defending southern Italy. The Carthaginian army included Carthaginian soldiers, mercenaries, and local allies.


The Roman consul Gracchus moved to confront the Carthaginian forces near Beneventum, seeking to engage them in battle and reclaim control of the region. The battle began with skirmishes between the vanguard units of both armies. Gracchus then launched a full-scale assault on the Carthaginian position, aiming to break through their lines and achieve a decisive victory. The Roman cavalry, commanded by Gracchus 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, known for their discipline and combat effectiveness, pushed back the Carthaginian forces, gradually gaining ground despite fierce resistance. After a fierce and 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 Gracchus 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 Gracchus'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 in 214 BC 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 Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus.

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