Carthaginian Generals > Hannibal Gisco

Hannibal Gisco

Punic Wars - Punic Wars Decoration

Hannibal Gisco (c. 300-290 BC – 258 BC) was a Carthaginian general who led the land and naval military forces of Carthage against the Roman Republic during the First Punic War. Not much about his early life and ascent to his position are known but he was defeated many times in battle and ultimately killed by his own people.

Siege of Agrigentum

See Siege of Agrigentum

The first time Hannibal Gisco is introduced is 262 BC where he is the commander of the garrison at the city of Agrigentum. When the Romans besieged the settlement due to its strategic location on Sicily, Hannibal Gisco defended it valiantly. However, even despite reinforcements led by Hanno eventually the city defenses were not enough and the Romans captured Agrigentum. Hannibal Gisco himself would flee the city during the final phases of the siege and return to Carthage.

Battle of the Lipari Islands

See Battle of the Lipari Islands

Next, during 260 BC following the defeat of the Carthaginians at Agrigentum, Hannibal would be in command of the Carthaginian fleet along with Boodes that engaged the Romans in the Battle of the Lipari Islands. The Carthaginians were determined to prevent Rome from acquiring a navy and launched a pre-emptive strike on the Romans. During this engagement the Roman consul named Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio was captured however, most of the fledgling Roman fleet was able to continue operating.

Battle of Mylae

See Battle of Mylae

Later the same year in 260 BC the Carthaginians were about to find out how dangerous it was to underestimate your enemy as while the Romans were inexperienced shipbuilders, they had an invention that was going to change the dynamics of ancient naval combat. Using a device called the corvus, the Romans build a massive device that dropped onto a Carthaginian ship, holding it in place and allowing the Romans to board and attack the Carthaginians in hand to hand combat using marines.

The Romans first tried this out with great success against Hannibal Gisco at the Battle of Mylae where Hannibal arranged his fleet in the traditional line formation and planned to ram the ships as usual. The Romans however, led by Gaius Duilius managed to soundly crush the Carthaginians and their vastly superior navy. Following this devastating loss, Hannibal would be recalled to Carthage.

However, his punishment did not last long because by 258 BC he was back headed to Sardinia. Except he would be defeated once again by Gaius Sulpicius Paterculus and when he returned back to Carthage in disgrace he was executed for incompetance along with other Carthaginian generals. Other sources suggest he was crucified by his own men. Either way this marked the end of Hannibal Gisco from the Punic Wars.

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