Mercenary War Battles > Siege of Tunis

Siege of Tunis

Punic Wars - Punic Wars Decoration


Siege of Tunis

  • Part of the Mercenary War
  • Date: 238 BC
  • Location: Tunis, Carthage
  • Battle Victor: Rebel Mercenaries


Mercenary Rebels


Military Forces

  • Unknown
  • Unknown


  • Significant Losses
  • Unknown


The Blockade of Tunis was a naval blockade by the Carthaginians against the mercenaries who mutinied against them in the aftermath of the First Punic War. Following the victory of Hamilcar Barca in the Battle of "The Saw", he and the Carthaginian forces would march on Tunis where the main rebels were garrisoned.

The main rebel leader Mathos did not have many options left and Hamilcar initiated the blockade and siege in October of 238 BC. It is important to understand the geography of Tunis. To the east of the city was the Mediterranean Sea and to the west was a massive salt marsh. The only approaches left to the city were north and south which Hamilcar moved to block off. He did not have much patience left with the mercenaries for their killing of the Carthaginian envoys earlier in the war.

In order to demoralize the mercenaries who were in the city he crucified many captured mercenary commanders in full view of the city. However, Mathos would note that Hamilcar was disorganized and launched a surprise attack on his military camp.

Mercenary War

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Punic Wars

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First Punic War

MessanaAgrigentum SiegeAgrigentum BattleLipari IslandsMylaeSulciTyndarisCape EcnomusAspisAdisTunisPanormus1st DrepanaLilybaeum2nd DrepanaBattle of Mount ErcteBattle of Mount Eryx (1)Battle of Mount Eryx (2)Aegates IslandsTreaty of Lutatius

Mercenary War

Utica Bagradas River Hamilcar's victory with Naravas Carthage "The Saw" Tunis

Second Punic War

Saguntum Crossing of the Alps Lilybaeum Rhone Ticinus Trebia Cissa Lake Trasimene Ebro River Ager Falernus Geronium Cannae 1st Nola Dertosa 2nd Nola Cornus 3rd Nola 1st Beneventum Syracuse 1st Tarentum 1st Capua 2nd Beneventum Silarus 1st Herdonia Upper Baetis 2nd Capua 2nd Herdonia Numistro Asculum 2nd Tarentum Baecula Grumentum Metaurus New Carthage Ilipa Guadalquivir Carteia Crotona Utica Great Plains Cirta Po Valley Zama

Third Punic War

Lake Tunis 1st Nepheris Port of Carthage 2nd Nepheris Carthage


Primary Sources

Polybius 1.86.5

Secondary Sources

Dexter Hoyos, Truceless War, p220

Dexter Hoyos, Truceless War, p222

Dexter Hoyos, Truceless War, p223

J Seibert, 1993, Forschungen zu Hannibal