210s BC

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Millennium: 1st millennium BC
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This article concerns the period 219 BC – 210 BC.

Events[edit]

219 BC

By place[edit]

Egypt[edit]
Roman Republic[edit]
  • The Romans extend their area of domination around the head of the Adriatic Sea as far as the peninsula of Histria by the conquest of peoples who dwell to the east of the Veneti. Thus, with the exception of Liguria and the upper valley of the Po River, all Italy south of the Alps is brought within the Roman sphere.
Carthage[edit]
  • Hannibal lays siege to Saguntum[1] thus initiating the Second Punic War between Carthage and Rome. Saguntum is an independent Iberian Peninsula city south of the Ebro River. In the treaty between Rome and Carthage concluded in 226 BC, the Ebro had been set as the northern limit of Carthaginian influence in the Iberian Peninsula. Saguntum is south of the Ebro, but the Romans have "friendship" with the city and regard the Carthaginian attack on it as an act of war. The siege of Saguntum lasts eight months, and in it Hannibal is severely wounded. The Romans, who send envoys to Carthage in protest, demand the surrender of Hannibal.
Greece[edit]
  • The Roman Senate sends the consul Lucius Aemilius Paullus to Illyria with an army. On discovering Rome's intent, the Illyrian leader Demetrius of Pharos puts to death those Illyrians who oppose his rule, fortifies Dimale and goes to Pharos. After a seven-day siege by the Roman fleet under Lucius Aemilius Paulus, Dimale is taken by direct assault. From Dimale, the Roman navy heads to Pharos, where the Roman forces rout the Illyrians. Demetrius flees to Macedonia, where he becomes a trusted councilor at the court of King Philip V.
  • The Cretan city of Kydonia joins the Aetolian alliance.[2]
China[edit]

218 BC[edit]

By place[edit]

Carthage[edit]
  • A Carthaginian army under Hannibal attacks Rome's Spanish allies. Roman inactivity encourages Hannibal to embark on a daring campaign: the conquest of Spain as far north as the Pyrenees, a clear violation of the Ebro River treaty of the First Punic War. Hasdrubal, the second son of Hamilcar Barca, is left in command of Spain when his brother Hannibal begins his campaign.
  • Hannibal sets out with around 40,000 men and 50 elephants from New Carthage (Cartagena) to northern Spain and then into the Pyrenees where his army meets with stiff resistance from the Pyrenean tribes. This opposition and the desertion of some of his Spanish troops greatly diminishes his numbers, but he reaches the Rhône River facing little resistance from the tribes of southern Gaul.
  • After crossing the Rhône River and meeting with friendly Gallic leaders headed by the northern Italian Boii, whose knowledge of the Alpine passes are of assistance to Hannibal, the Carthaginians cross the Durance River. Hannibal's army approaches the Alps either by the Col de Grimone or the Col de Cabre, then through the basin of the Durance descending into the territory of the hostile Taurini, where Hannibal storms their chief town (modern Turin).
Roman Republic[edit]
  • A Roman army under the consul Publius Cornelius Scipio is transported by sea to Massilia (modern Marseille) to prevent Hannibal from advancing on Italy. As Scipio moves northward along the right bank of the Rhône, he learns that Hannibal has already crossed the river. Realizing that Hannibal probably plans to cross the Alps, Scipio returns to northern Italy to await him. However, he still sends an army into Spain under his elder brother Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus to deal with the Carthaginian forces still there.
  • A second Roman army, under the other consul, Tiberius Sempronius Longus, assembles in Sicily to embark for Northern Africa.
  • A Roman army under Scipio rushes to the Po River to protect the recently founded Roman colonies of Placentia (modern Piacenza) and Cremona. Hannibal's forces meet the army of Scipio on the plains west of the Ticino River in the Battle of Ticinus, and Hannibal's Numidian cavalry prevails over the Romans. Scipio is severely wounded, and the Romans withdraw to Placentia.
  • The Roman Senate, appalled by the early setback at Ticinus, orders Tiberius Sempronius Longus to travel from Sicily to reinforce Publius Cornelius Scipio's troops.
  • December 18 – The combined Roman armies under Tiberius Sempronius Longus and Scipio meet Hannibal on the left bank of the Trebia River south of Placentia and are soundly defeated in the Battle of the Trebia.
  • Hannibal's victory over the Romans brings both the Gauls and the Ligurians to Hannibal's side, so his army is considerably augmented by Celtic recruits.
  • Melita (Malta) is incorporated into the Roman Republic.
Seleucid Empire[edit]
  • Negotiations between the new Egyptian King Ptolemy IV and the Seleucid King Antiochus III collapse, and Antiochus III renews his advance, overrunning Ptolemy's forward defences. Antiochus III gains territory in Lebanon, Palestine and Phoenicia.


217 BC[edit]

By place[edit]

Roman Republic[edit]
  • Gaius Flaminius Nepos is re-elected consul with Gnaeus Servilius Geminus, in what is considered to be a rebuke of the Senate's prosecution of the war. Flaminius raises new legions and marches north to meet the Carthaginian general Hannibal.
  • Hannibal advances to the Arno River and then outmanoeuvres the army of Gaius Flaminius Nepos at Arretium and reaches Faesulae (modern Fiesole) and Perugia.
  • June 24 – On the northern shore of Lake Trasimene, in Umbria, Hannibal's troops all but annihilate Gaius Flaminius Nepos' army in the Battle of Trasimene, killing thousands (including Flaminius) and driving others to drown in the lake. Reinforcements of about 4,000 cavalry from Ariminum under the praetor, Gaius Centenius, are intercepted before they arrive and are also destroyed. The Carthaginian troops then march on Rome.
  • Gaius Flaminius Nepos' supporters in the Senate begin to lose power to the more aristocratic factions as the Romans fear Hannibal is about to besiege their city. The Senate appoint Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus as dictator.
  • Quintus Fabius Maximus begins his strategy of "delay". This involves avoiding a set battle with the Carthaginians and creating a "scorched earth" area around Hannibal's army. Manoeuvring among the hills, where Hannibal's cavalry is ineffective, Fabius cuts off his enemy's supplies and harasses Hannibal’s forces incessantly. Fabius gains the name Cunctator (The Delayer) for this strategy.
  • Hannibal ravages Apulia and Campania; meanwhile the delaying tactics of Quintus Fabius Maximus' army allows only skirmishes to occur between the two armies.
  • Fabius' delaying policy becomes increasingly unpopular in Rome, and Fabius is compelled to return to Rome to defend his actions under the guise of observing some religious obligations. Marcus Minucius Rufus, the master of horse, is left in command and manages to catch the Carthaginians off guard near their camp in Geronium and inflicts severe losses on them in a large skirmish. This "victory" causes the Romans, disgruntled with Fabius, to elevate Minucius to the equal rank of dictator with Fabius.
  • Minucius takes command of half the army and camps separately from Fabius near Geronium. Hannibal, informed of this development, lays an elaborate trap, which draws out Minucius and his army and then Hannibal attacks it from all sides. The timely arrival of Fabius with the other half of the army enables Minucius to escape after a severe mauling. After the battle, Minucius turns over his army to Fabius and resumes the duties of Master of Horse.
Egypt[edit]
Greece[edit]
  • Philip V of Macedon, continuing his war with the Aetolian League laid siege to Phthiotic Thebes, captured it and sold the inhabitants into slavery.
  • Learning of Hannibal's victory over the Romans at Lake Trasimene and seeing a chance to recover his Illyrian kingdom from the Romans, Demetrius of Pharos immediately advises Philip V to make peace with the Aetolians, and turn his attentions toward Illyria and Italy. Philip, at once begins negotiations with the Aetolians. At a conference on the coast near Naupactus, Philip meets the Aetolian leaders and a peace treaty is concluded, ending the three-year-long "Social War".
Spain[edit]


216 BC[edit]

By place[edit]

Roman Republic[edit]
Spain[edit]
Syracuse[edit]
Greece[edit]
  • Philip V of Macedon, still resenting Rome's interference in Illyrian politics, seizes his opportunity to invade Illyria. Ambassadors from Philip V visit Hannibal at his headquarters in Italy. These actions mark the beginning of the First Macedonian War between Rome and Macedonia.
Egypt[edit]
  • A revolt of the Egyptian peasants is put down by Ptolemy IV.


215 BC[edit]

By place[edit]

Carthage[edit]
Spain[edit]
Roman Republic[edit]
Greece[edit]
  • Philip V of Macedon and Hannibal negotiate an alliance under which they pledge mutual support and defence. Specifically, they agree to support each other against Rome, and that Hannibal shall have the right to make peace with Rome, but that any peace would include Philip and that Rome would be forced to give up control of Corcyra, Apollonia, Epidamnus, Pharos, Dimale, Parthini and Atintania and to restore to Demetrius of Pharos all his lands currently controlled by Rome.
Seleucid Empire[edit]


214 BC[edit]

By place[edit]

Carthage[edit]
Roman Republic[edit]
Greece[edit]
  • Philip V of Macedon attempts an invasion of Illyria by sea with a fleet of 120 craft. He captures Oricum and, sailing up the Aous (modern Vjosë) river, he besieges Apollonia.
  • Upon receiving word from Oricum of Philip V's actions in Illyria, Roman propraetor Marcus Valerius Laevinus crosses the Adriatic with his fleet and army. Landing at Oricum, Laevinus is able to retake the town with little fighting.
  • Laevinus sends 2,000 men under the command of Quintus Naevius Crista, to Apollonia. Catching Philip's forces by surprise, Quintus Naevius Crista attacks and routs their camp. Philip V is able to escape back to Macedonia, after burning his fleet and leaving many thousands of his men dead or as prisoners of the Romans.
Asia[edit]
  • Panyu (present-day Guangzhou, or Canton) is established as a city.
  • Qin Shi Huang orders general Ren Xiao (任囂), commanding 200,000 troops, to conquer the kingdoms in present-day northern Vietnam.
  • The Qin armies defeat an army of 300,000 Xiongnu/Hun cavalrymen and expand their territories along the north basin of the Yellow River.


213 BC[edit]

By place[edit]

Seleucid Empire[edit]
Roman Republic[edit]
Sicily[edit]
China[edit]

212 BC[edit]

By place[edit]

Greece[edit]
Thrace[edit]
Carthage[edit]
  • Syphax, king of the western Numidian tribe, the Masaesyli, concludes an alliance with the Romans and they send military advisers to help Syphax train his soldiers. He then attacks the eastern Numidians (the Massylii) ruled by Gala, who is an ally of the Carthaginians. The Carthaginian general Hasdrubal travels to northern Africa from Spain to stamp out the uprising by the Numidians.
Spain[edit]
Seleucid Empire[edit]
Roman Republic[edit]
  • Publius Licinius Crassus Dives is elected "pontifex maximus" over more distinguished candidates, despite never having held any major offices. He will hold this position until his death.
  • The Roman soldiers billeted in Tarentum so alienate the citizens of the city that conspirators admit the Carthaginian general Hannibal to the city. The conspirators then defeat the Roman contingent in it. Hannibal keeps control of his troops so that looting is limited to Roman houses. The citadel in Tarentum remains under Roman control, which denies Hannibal the use of the harbour.
  • The Roman consuls, Appius Claudius Pulcher and Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, besiege Capua with eight legions. Hanno the Elder moves to Beneventum to try to help the inhabitants of Capua, but he is defeated by the Romans.
  • The Capuans then send an appeal for help to Hannibal. In response, Hannibal sends 2,000 Numidian cavalry as reinforcements to Capua. The combined Carthaginian forces defeat the Roman force led by Flaccus and Pulcher, the latter of whom will soon die of wounds he has sustained.
  • The Battle of the Silarus is fought between Hannibal's army and a Roman force led by praetor Marcus Centenius Penula. The Carthaginians are victorious, effectively destroying Centenius Penula's army.
  • The Battle of Herdonia is fought between Hannibal's Carthaginian army and Roman forces who are laying siege to Herdonia led by praetor Gnaeus Fulvius Flaccus, brother of the consul, Quintus Fulvius Flaccus. The Roman army is destroyed, leaving Apulia free of Romans for the year.
  • After a two years' siege, Roman general, Marcus Claudius Marcellus, gradually forces his way into Syracuse and takes it in the face of strong Carthaginian reinforcements and despite the use of engines of war designed by the Greek mathematician and scientist Archimedes (such as the Claw of Archimedes).
  • Although Marcellus wishes to spare the lives of the Syracusans, he is unable to prevent the sack of the city by his soldiers, which includes the killing of Archimedes. Marcellus carries off the art treasures of Syracuse to Rome, the first recorded instance of a practice which is to become common.


211 BC[edit]

By place[edit]

Seleucid Empire[edit]
Carthage[edit]
Roman Republic[edit]
  • With the capture of Syracuse, the Romans are able to pacify all of Sicily.
  • The Romans besiege the town of Capua (which is allied with Hannibal). The town eventually falls to the Romans and its citizens are punished by them. The town's nobility are put to the sword, its territory is confiscated and its municipal organisation is dissolved.
  • Hannibal marches northwards on the city of Rome in a belated and unsuccessful effort to capture the city.
  • Rome faces the burdens of inflation and the danger of famine, caused by the disturbed conditions in Italy and Sicily and the withdrawal of so many men from farming. The situation is only relieved by an urgent appeal by the Romans to the King of Egypt, Ptolemy IV, from whom grain is purchased at three times the usual price.
Greece[edit]
  • The Roman commander Marcus Valerius Laevinus explores the possibility of an alliance with the Aetolian League as the Aetolians are once again ready to consider taking up arms against their traditional enemy, Macedonia. A treaty is signed to counter Philip V of Macedon who is allied to Hannibal. Under the treaty, the Aetolians are to conduct operations on land, the Romans at sea. Also, Rome will keep any slaves and other booty taken and Aetolia will receive control of any territory acquired.
Parthia[edit]


210 BC[edit]

By place[edit]

Roman Republic[edit]
Egypt[edit]
  • Arsinoe III, wife and sister of King Ptolemy IV gives birth to the future Ptolemy V Epiphanes. Thereafter, she is sequestered in the palace, while Ptolemy's depraved male and female favourites ruin both the king and his government of Egypt. Although Arsinoe III disapproves of the sordid state of the court, she is unable to exert any influence.
Greece[edit]
  • After allying with Hannibal, Philip V of Macedon attacks the Roman positions in Illyria, but fails to take Corcyra or Apollonia, which are protected by the Roman fleet. Rome's command of the sea prevents his lending any effective aid to his Carthaginian ally in Italy. The Aetolians, Sparta and King Attalus of Pergamum join the Romans in the war against Philip V. This coalition is so strong that Philip V has to stop attacking Roman territory.
China[edit]


Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

210 BC

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gavin De Beer, Hannibal: Challenging Rome's Supremacy, 1969, Viking Press, 319 pages
  2. ^ C. Michael Hogan, Cydonia, The Modern Antiquarian, January 23, 2008
  3. ^ Polybius, 3:107.2–3 The Histories
  4. ^ Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, 22.44–51
  5. ^ a b Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, 23.21
  6. ^ a b c Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, 22.57
  7. ^ Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, 22.61
  8. ^ Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, 23.24
  9. ^ Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, 23.27
  10. ^ Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, 23.29
  11. ^ Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, 22.56
  12. ^ Smith, William (2006). A New Classical Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography, Mythology and Geography. Whitefish, MT, USA: Kessinger Publishing, LLC. p. 423. 
  13. ^ a b Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, 22.49
  14. ^ Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, 23.30