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Battle of the Crimissus
Part of The Sicilian Wars
Date340 BCE
Locationthe river Crimissus
Result Carthage is pushed to the south-west corner of Sicily
Belligerents
Syracuse Carthage
Commanders and leaders
Timoleon Asdrubal
Hamilcar
Strength
6,000 or 12,000 70,000[citation needed]
Casualties and losses
450 to 1600 8,000[citation needed]


The Battle of the Crimissus was probably fought in 340 BCE between a large Carthaginian army under Asdrubal and Hamilcar sent against Syracuse. The forces of Syracuse led by Timoleon were victorious.

Background[edit | edit source]

Carthaginian hoplite (Sacred Band)

Soon after Timoleon had ejected Dionysius II from Syracuse a large Carthaginian army landed in Sicily. Timoleon decided to respond by advancing into Carthaginian territory to avoid Greek territory being plundered by the Carthaginian forces.[1]

The battle[edit | edit source]

According to Plutarch, the Carthaginian force numbered 70,000[citation needed] and included many four horsed war chariots and Timoleon commanded only 5000 foot and a 1000 cavalry against them. Others put his forces somewhat larger at 12,000. Timoleon was able to catch the Carthaginians as they were crossing the river Crimissus, first sending his cavalry against them to disorder them and to prevent the Carthaginians forming a proper line. When the Greek infantry attacked a storm broke out and as the wind was blowing into the faces of the Carthaginians it became even more difficult for them to fight. The crack Carthaginian citizen Sacred Band fought bravely and, according to accounts, to the last man. The Carthaginians were defeated and Timolean captured their baggage camp.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lost Battles, Philip Sabin p163

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