Battle of Metaurus, 22 June 207 BC

Battle of the Second Punic War which defeated a second Carthaginian invasion of Italy from Spain, led by Hannibal's brother Hasdrubal. Despite initial panic in Rome, this second invasion failed to live up to Hannibals, and the brothers never managed to meet. The armies sent north to deal with Hasdrubal, led by the consul Marcus Livius Salinator, soon managed to catch his army, and the two forces encamped close to each other. Meanwhile, the second consul, Caius Claudius Nero, originally sent south to deal with Hannibal, marched his troops to aid Salinator, reaching his camp without alerting Hasdrubal. However, the next day, when Hasdrubal formed up to offer battle, he guessed that the second consul had arrived, and refused battle, deciding instead to withdraw overnight. The Romans gave chase, and caught up with Hasdrubal just as he was forming up a camp near the River Metaurus. The battle was fiercly fought, and remained even until Nero took a force from his wing and marched it around the Carthaginian flank before rejoining the battle from the rear, triggering a Carthaginian collapse. Hasdrubal himself was killed in the fighting, along with perhaps 10,000 of his men. This defeat ended any realistic chance that Hannibal would be reinforced.
cover The Punic Wars, Adrian Goldsworthy. An excellent work which covers all three Punic wars. Strong on both the land and naval elements of the wars.
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J. (14 December 2001), Battle of Metaurus, 22 June 207 BC, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_metaurus.html

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