Second Punic War Battles > Battle of Cornus

Battle of Cornus

Punic Wars - Punic Wars Decoration

The Battle of Cornus took place in 215 BC during the Second Punic War between the Roman Republic and the Carthaginian Empire. It was a significant engagement fought on the island of Corsica, where the Carthaginians, led by Hanno the Elder, faced off against a Roman force under the command of Titus Manlius Torquatus. In 215 BC, the Romans launched a military campaign to seize control of the strategically important island of Corsica, which was under Carthaginian influence.

The Romans aimed to disrupt Carthaginian naval operations and gain a foothold in the western Mediterranean. Titus Manlius Torquatus, the Roman consul, was tasked with leading the campaign in Corsica. His forces consisted of Roman legions and allied troops from Italy. The Carthaginians, led by the experienced general Hanno the Elder, sought to defend Corsica and prevent Roman expansion in the region. They deployed a sizable force to counter the Roman invasion.


Roman Army: The size of the Roman force is not well-documented, but it likely consisted of several thousand infantry and cavalry troops, along with naval support.

Carthaginian Army: Hanno the Elder commanded a Carthaginian army comprising Carthaginian soldiers, mercenaries, and local allies. The exact size of the Carthaginian force is also uncertain but would have been comparable to the Roman contingent.


The battle likely began with skirmishes between the Roman and Carthaginian forces as they maneuvered for position on Corsica. The details of the main battle are not well-documented, but it likely involved pitched fighting between the Roman and Carthaginian infantry, with cavalry and naval support playing significant roles. Despite facing a determined Carthaginian defense, the Romans emerged victorious at the Battle of Cornus. The exact reasons for the Roman victory are unclear, but superior tactics, leadership, and perhaps naval superiority likely played a role.


The Roman victory at Cornus enabled them to establish control over Corsica, strengthening their position in the western Mediterranean and disrupting Carthaginian naval operations in the region. The Battle of Cornus was just one of many engagements in the wider Second Punic War, which would continue for several more years with battles fought across the Mediterranean world.

The Battle of Cornus demonstrated the strategic importance of Corsica in the context of the Second Punic War. Control of the island provided the Romans with a valuable base for further military operations in the western Mediterranean. The battle showcased the military leadership of Titus Manlius Torquatus and the Roman army's ability to achieve success against Carthaginian forces even in challenging terrain.

The Battle of Cornus was a significant Roman victory in the context of the Second Punic War, allowing the Romans to gain control of Corsica and strengthen their position in the western Mediterranean. While details of the battle are limited, its outcome had important implications for the wider conflict between Rome and Carthage.

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