- Battle of Tunis
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Tunis
First Punic War
result= Decisive Carthaginian victory
Marcus Atilius Regulus †
strength1= 15,000 Infantry
strength2= 12,000 Infantry
casualties1= 12,000 dead
casualties2= 800 dead
The Battle of Tunis between the
Roman Republicand Carthageoccurred in the spring of 255 BCduring the First Punic War. The battle ended in a decisive Carthaginian victory. The battle is also referred to as the first Battle of BagradasRiver.
mercenarygeneral Xanthippus was hired by the city of Carthage following heavy-handed negotiations by Rome. He made the Romans fight on open ground, which allowed him to maximize the effect of the excellent Carthaginian cavalry and Nubian elephant.
The Roman army under
Marcus Atilius Reguluswas based at Tunis. Faced by the resurgent Carthaginian army Regulus was keen to gain another victory rather than risk the chance that someone else would get the glory of eventual victory. Xanthippus is credited with the Carthaginian formation, with a hastily raised phalanx of civilians in the centre, mercenary infantryon their right and a line of elephants in front of the infantry, with the elite Carthaginian cavalry split between the two flanks. The Romans were formed in their normal formation, with the legionary infantry in the centre and the outnumbered cavalry on the flanks.
The Carthaginians started the battle with an attack by the elephants. This tied up the main force of Roman infantry. The Roman cavalry, outnumbered four to one, was quickly defeated. Only on their left did the Romans have any success, when 2,000 troops, possibly allied troops, defeated the mercenaries facing them, and chased them back past their camp. Meanwhile, in the centre the elephant attack had been withstood, but only a few isolated units of Roman infantry managed to get past them to attempt to attack the Carthaginian phalanx, and those were quickly defeated. Finally, the Carthaginian cavalry charged the already shaken Romans from both sides, destroying what cohesion was left. Only the 2,000 troops successful earlier in the battle escaped to be rescued by the Roman fleet. Regulus himself was taken prisoner. Some later Roman writers claim that his eyelids were cut off and he was trampled to death by an enraged elephant [Kistler, John M. "War Elephants". Westport, CT: Praeger, 2006. p.100.] . However Polybius does not mention it and
Diodorus, ( a writer hostile to the Carthaginians) implies he died from natural causes [Carthage and the Carthaginians, R Bosworth Smith.] The defeat, and serious disasters in storms at sea, ended any chance that Rome would defeat Carthage in Africa, and ensured that the rest of the war was fought in Sicily and at sea.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Battle of the Bagradas River (239 BC) — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of the Bagradas River caption= partof= Carthage s Mercenary War date=239 BC place=Mouth of the Bagradas River coord|34|00|00|N|32|00|00|E| result=Carthaginian victory combatant1=Carthage combatant2=Rebel… … Wikipedia
Battle of Panormus — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Battle of Panormus caption= partof=the First Punic War date=251 BC place=Panormus (modern Palermo) result=Roman victory combatant1=Roman Republic combatant2=Carthage commander1=Lucius Caecilius Metellus… … Wikipedia
TUNIS, TUNISIA — TUNIS, TUNISIA, country in N. Africa between libya and algeria . After their conquest of the country, the Romans named it Provincia Africa, Africa Propria, or, more generally, Africa. Roman Africa included, in addition to the territories of… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Battle of Carthage (c. 149 BC) — Battle of Carthage Part of the Third Punic War … Wikipedia
Battle of Karameh — Part of the War of Attrition Israeli soldiers deployed during the Battle of Karameh … Wikipedia
Battle of Jenin — Part of Operation Defensive Shield … Wikipedia
Battle of Mobile Bay — Part of the American Civil War … Wikipedia
Battle of Misrata — Part of the 2011 Libyan civil war Changes in frontlines during the Battle of Misrata … Wikipedia
Battle of Medenine — Part of North Africa campaign Date 6 March 1943 Location Me … Wikipedia
Battle of Maritsa — Part of the Ottoman wars in Europe Serbian Ottoman Wars The Ottoman advance after the battle of Chernomen … Wikipedia