Second Punic War Battles > Battle of Carteia

Battle of Carteia

Punic Wars - Punic Wars Decoration


The Battle of Carteia took place in 206 BC during the Second Punic War between the forces of Rome and Carthage. sBy 206 BC, the Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio, later known as Scipio Africanus, had established Roman dominance in Hispania (modern-day Spain) following his victories at the Battle of Cartagena and the Battle of Ilipa. The Carthaginian general Mago Barca, brother of Hannibal Barca, attempted to rally support for Carthage in Hispania by gathering local allies and mercenaries. Mago Barca's forces, consisting of Carthaginian soldiers, mercenaries, and local allies, were stationed near the town of Carteia, located on the southern coast of Hispania. Scipio Africanus, leading a Roman army supported by Numidian cavalry under the command of Masinissa, advanced towards Carteia with the intent of confronting Mago's forces and further weakening Carthaginian influence in the region.


The battle began with skirmishes between the advanced scouting parties of both armies, as they sought to gain information about the enemy's position and intentions. Mago Barca, realizing that his forces were outnumbered and outmatched by the Roman army, opted for a strategic retreat, abandoning Carteia and withdrawing his troops to more defensible positions. Scipio Africanus pursued Mago's retreating forces, harassing them with cavalry attacks and skirmishes, but ultimately refrained from engaging in a full-scale battle, preferring to consolidate his gains and avoid unnecessary risks.


The Battle of Carteia ended in a strategic victory for Scipio Africanus and the Romans. Mago Barca's retreat deprived Carthage of a crucial stronghold in Hispania and further weakened Carthaginian influence in the region. The successful campaign in Hispania bolstered Scipio Africanus' reputation as a brilliant military commander and paved the way for his subsequent campaigns in North Africa, culminating in the decisive Roman victory at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC.

The Battle of Carteia marked another significant setback for Carthage in Hispania and contributed to the overall momentum of the Roman war effort in the Second Punic War. Scipio Africanus' skillful leadership and strategic acumen played a crucial role in securing Roman dominance in Hispania and ultimately bringing an end to the Second Punic War with a Roman victory.

Second Punic War

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Titus Livius, Ab urbe condita, 28.36.7-9

Revista Cartagena Historica, La conquista Bárcida.

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