Indibilis and Mandonius
Indibilis and Mandonius (fl. 3rd century BC) were chieftains of the Ilergetes, an ancient Iberian (pre-Roman) people of the Iberian Peninsula. Polybius speaks of the brothers as the most influential and powerful of the Spanish chieftains in that time period. Livy calls one of the chieftains of the Ilergetes "Indibilis", while Polybius gives "Andobales" for the same person. They agree the brother chieftain is Mandonius.
Indibilis fought against the Romans and sided with the Carthaginians at the Battle of Cissa in 218 BC when Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus fought them. Indibilis was defeated at this battle and became a prisoner, along with the Carthaginian general Hanno. In 217 BC Indibilis had regained his freedom and with his younger brother Mandonius decided to harass neighboring Spanish tribes that were friendly and in alliance with Rome. This harassment was fended off by Calvus by counter measures which involved killing off some of Indibilis's tribesmen, taking some prisoners, and disarming the others. When Hasdrubal Barca, who was in northwestern Spain, heard of this he came back to help out his Spanish allies south of the Ebro River. At this time the tide of war took a turn because of unexpected intelligence received by Calvus from the Celtiberians. The Celtiberi were induced to collaborate with Calvus and invade New Carthage. On the way there their combined armies took three fortified towns and fought two successful battles with Hasdrubal and Indibilis with Mandonius. Calvus with the combined armies killed 15,000 of the enemy and took 4,000 prisoners.
This pretty well kept Indibilis and Mandonius and their remaining tribesmen out of the picture until 211 BC. At that time they gathered 7500 Suessetani and joined forces with Hasdrubal. Publius Cornelius Scipio, father to Scipio Africanus and younger brother of Calvus, decided to attack the Iberian chieftain brothers since they were moving across his line of retreat where he was camped. Scipio didn't want to be trapped and surrounded by Carthaginians. He marched at midnight to meet them and skirmished with them about daybreak. Scipio was speared with a lance and killed here at the Battle of Castulo, one of the battles of the Upper Baetis. Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus, Scipio’s older brother was killed at the Battle of Llorca, the other battle in Upper Baetis, a few days later.
Even though the chieftains were generally pro-Carthaginian, for which they were rewarded by being given back their tribal territories after the death of the two Scipios in 211 BC, they soon changed their minds after the conduct of the Carthaginian general Hasdrubal Gisco. He demanded much money from them on his own whimsy and for his own benefit. He also required that the wife of Mandonius and the daughters of Indibilis be held at New Carthage in pledge for their fathers' fidelity. The hostages were part of the booty when Scipio Africanus captured New Carthage in 209 BC. Africanus treated them with much dignity and returned them to their rightful places, which impressed the Spaniards. This added to Africanus's already excellent reputation of his personal character.
The two brothers soon abandoned the Carthaginians and sided with the Romans. In 209 BC they concluded a treaty of alliance with the Romans with most of the tribal territories of Spain, since basically they were their overall leader chieftains. They then collaborated in a campaign against Hasdrubal Gisco which ended in a victory at the Battle of Baecula in 208 BC.
Because of the presence of the reputable Roman general Africanus, Indibilis and Mandonius with their influence over all the territories of Spain was in friendly association with the Romans. However on the rumor of the serious illness of Africanus and his possible death in 206 BC, they started a rebellion for the Romans to leave Spain. A mutiny at the military camp at the Sucro River was started also because of this rumor which involved some 8,000 soldiers. Indibilis and Mandonius sided with them. Africanus became better and returned to good health and ultimately squelched the mutiny with the 35 main instigator ringleaders beheaded. He then went after the armies of Indibilis and Mandonius and slaugthered their army. Indibilis in person surrendered to Africanus asking for mercy. Indibilis and Mandonius were released to their territories with favorable terms. This special kindness on the part of Africanus did not however have the effect he was hoping for. The next year Africanus left Spain in the hands of his generals L. Lentulus and L. Manlius and returned to Rome for preparation on an attack on Carthage. Since Africanus was now gone, the only general Indibilis and Mandonius were deathly afraid of, they aroused the Spanish tribes and assembled an army of 30,000 foot soldiers and 4,000 cavalry and decided to rebel again. They soon realized their mistake. In a battle with the Romans the Spaniards were all but totally destroyed. Indibilis was killed in this battle and Mandonius escaped with the remnants of the army. He was soon given up by his own tribesmen and then killed by the Roman generals.
- Smith, p. 572
- Livy 27.17
- Livy 22.21
- Polybius 3.76
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- Ihne, p. 356
- Williams, p. 280
- Polybius 9.11
- Livy 26.49
- Dio 16.8 (42)
- Liddel, p. 53
- Livy 28.24
- Acciaiuoli, p. 406
- A history of Rome from the earliest times to the establishment of the empire, Volume 1, p. 406
- To His Mutinous Troops
- Appian vi.37
- Raleigh, p. 469
- Appian, The Spanish Wars vi.38
- Livy 29.1-3
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