Second Punic War Battles > Battle of Utica (204 BC)

Battle of Utica (204 BC)


The Battle of Utica in 204 BC was a significant engagement during the Second Punic War between the forces of the Roman Republic, commanded by Publius Cornelius Scipio, and the Carthaginian forces under the leadership of Hanno, a Carthaginian general. It took place near the city of Utica in North Africa. After suffering significant losses in the Battle of Bagrades in 203 BC, the Carthaginians sought to reinforce their position in North Africa and repel the Roman invasion led by Scipio.

Scipio aimed to consolidate Roman control over North Africa by defeating the remaining Carthaginian forces and securing victory in the region. Hanno sought to defend Utica, a strategic city in North Africa, and prevent the Romans from further advancing into Carthaginian territory. Scipio led a Roman army into North Africa and initiated a campaign to confront the Carthaginian forces defending Utica.

The Carthaginian forces, under the command of Hanno, deployed outside Utica in a defensive formation, preparing to repel the Roman assault. The Roman and Carthaginian forces clashed in a pitched battle near Utica. The fighting was fierce and intense as both sides sought to gain the upper hand. Despite determined resistance from the Carthaginians, the Roman army, under Scipio's command, ultimately prevailed. The Carthaginian forces were defeated, and Hanno was forced to retreat.


The victory at the Battle of Utica allowed Scipio to consolidate Roman control over North Africa, weakening Carthaginian influence in the region. The defeat at Utica forced the Carthaginians to retreat further inland, abandoning Utica and other strategic positions to the advancing Roman army. The Battle of Utica further enhanced Scipio's reputation as a skilled military commander and contributed to the Roman Republic's eventual triumph in the Second Punic War.

The Battle of Utica marked a significant victory for the Roman Republic and helped pave the way for its eventual dominance in the western Mediterranean. The defeat at Utica weakened Carthaginian resistance in North Africa and hastened the eventual downfall of Carthage in the Third Punic War. The Battle of Utica demonstrated the effectiveness of Roman military tactics and leadership under Scipio Africanus, who would later play a crucial role in defeating Hannibal at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC.

Second Punic War

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Livy, XXIX, 35

Cassius Dio, XVII, 68

Appian, The Punic Wars, 3.16; Caven, The Punic Wars, pp. 238-239.

Cassius Dio, XVII, 69.

Polybius, The Histories, XIV, 1.14.

Scullard, Scipio Africanus, pp. 124-125.

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