Hasdrubal the Fair

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Hasdrubal the Fair
Hasdrubal bust in Cartagena, Spain
Born Circa 270 BC
place unknown
Died Qart Hadasht
Occupation Military leader and politician
Predecessor Hamilcar Barca
Successor Hannibal
Religion Punic mythology

Hasdrubal the Fair (ca. 270 BC – 221 BC) was a Carthaginian military leader [1] and politician, governor in Iberia after Hamilcar Barca's death, and founder of Cartagena.


Livy's History of Rome records he was the brother-in-law of the Carthaginian leader Hannibal and son-in-law of Hamilcar Barca.[2]


Hasdrubal followed Hamilcar in his campaign against the governing aristocracy at Carthage at the close of the First Punic War, and in his subsequent career of conquest in Hispania.In 237 BC, they parted towards the Peninsula, but circa 231-230 BC, he allegedly interceded in Hamilcar's name making the Numid tribes from Northern Africa to submit to the Barcid family; from there, Numidia fell into Carthage influence sphere.[3]

After Hamilcar's death (228 BC, while sieging Heliké),[4] Hasdrubal succeeded him in the command, following Carthage's instructions, being Hamilcar's sons too young -Hannibal, the elder, was nineteen-. He largely preferred diplomacy to war campaigns.[5] According to diplomatic customs at that time, Hasdrubal demanded the handing over of hostages to make himself sure of the submission of their places of origin.

Thus, he extended the newly acquired empire by skillful diplomacy, consolidating it by founding the important city and naval base of Qart Hadasht, which would later be called by the Romans Carthago Nova (Cartagena) as the capital of the new province, and by establishing a treaty with the Roman Republic which fixed the River Ebro, Iberus in those times, as the boundary between the two powers.[6] This treaty was caused by the fear of two important Greek colonies, Ampurias and Sagunto, before the continuous growth of Punic power in Iberia, who asked for help to Rome. Hasdrubal accepted reluctantly, as Punic dominion was still not fully established as to jeopardy a future expansion in a premature conflict.


Seven years after Hamilcar's death, Hasdrubal the Fair was assassinated in 221 BC, by a slave of the Celtic king Tago, who thus avenged the previous death of his own lord.

Hasdrubal's successor would be his brother-in-law and son of Hamilcar, Hannibal Barca.


  1. ^ "Hasdrubal - MSN Encarta". Archived from the original on 2009-10-31. 
  2. ^ Livy's History of Rome: Book 21.2
  3. ^ Polybius 3.7-16, Livy 21.22.1-4, Livy 23.26.2, Diodorus of Sicily 25.2 :Hasdrubal, son of Hamilcar, was sent by his father-in-law to Carthage against the Numid, who had rebelled against Carthaginians, killing eight thousand in combat and taking two thousand prisoners. The rest were submitted to tribute.
  4. ^ Diodorus, 25. 2. Hamilcar, attracting to himself the prosecutors, fastly riding through a river over his horse, which reared up and threw him to the water, where he drowned. Nevertheless, Hannibal and Hasdrubal, their son, who accompanied him, arrived safe and sound to Akra Leuke.
  5. ^ Livy 21.2.7 He augmented Carthaginian dominion promoting hospitality bonds with lesser kings and leaders, attracting new nations by noblemen friendships, and not by war and weapons.
  6. ^ Polybius 2.13, 2.22


  • Diodorus of Sicilia: History [1]
  • Appian: Roman History. Biblioteca Clásica Gredos 84 (in Spanish).
  • Polybius: Histories. Biblioteca Clásica Gredos 38 y 43 (in Spanish).
  • Titus Livius: History of Rome. Libro de Bolsillo Alianza Editorial 1595 1-2 (in Spanish).

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