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217 BC

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Millennium: 1st millennium BC
217 BC in various calendars
Gregorian calendar217 BC
Ab urbe condita537
Ancient Egypt eraXXXIII dynasty, 107
- PharaohPtolemy IV Philopator, 5
Ancient Greek era140th Olympiad, year 4
Assyrian calendar4534
Balinese saka calendarN/A
Bengali calendar−809
Berber calendar734
Buddhist calendar328
Burmese calendar−854
Byzantine calendar5292–5293
Chinese calendar癸未年 (Water Goat)
2481 or 2274
    — to —
甲申年 (Wood Monkey)
2482 or 2275
Coptic calendar−500 – −499
Discordian calendar950
Ethiopian calendar−224 – −223
Hebrew calendar3544–3545
Hindu calendars
 - Vikram Samvat−160 – −159
 - Shaka SamvatN/A
 - Kali Yuga2884–2885
Holocene calendar9784
Iranian calendar838 BP – 837 BP
Islamic calendar864 BH – 863 BH
Javanese calendarN/A
Julian calendarN/A
Korean calendar2117
Minguo calendar2128 before ROC
Nanakshahi calendar−1684
Seleucid era95/96 AG
Thai solar calendar326–327
Tibetan calendar阴水羊年
(female Water-Goat)
−90 or −471 or −1243
    — to —
(male Wood-Monkey)
−89 or −470 or −1242
The Battle of Lake Trasimene

Year 217 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Geminus and Flaminius/Regulus (or, less frequently, year 537 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 217 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.


By place[edit]

Roman Republic[edit]

  • Gaius Flaminius 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 at Arretium and reaches Faesulae (modern Fiesole) and Perugia.
  • June 21 – On the northern shore of Lake Trasimene, in Umbria, Hannibal's troops all but annihilate Gaius Flaminius' army in the Battle of Lake 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' 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.
  • Carthagians defeat the Romans at Lake Trasimene; at the Trebia River and at the Ticinus River[1]



  • Philip V of Macedon, continuing his war with the Aetolian League lays siege to Phthiotic Thebes, captures it and sells 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".





  1. ^ LeGlay, Marcel; Voisin, Jean-Louis; Le Bohec, Yann (2001). A History of Rome (Second ed.). Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell. p. 77. ISBN 0-631-21858-0.