Carthaginian Generals > Hasdrubal the Boetharch

Hasdrubal the Boetharch

Punic Wars - Punic Wars Decoration

Background

Hasdrubal the Boetharch was a Carthaginian general during the Third Punic War. Nothing really is known about his early life and career although it is known that the term Boetharch is a Carthaginian governmental office, the function of which is unknown given the Romans destroyed all their stuff. It is not confirmed but Hasdrubal the Boetharch may be the same Hasdrubal mentioned as losing a battle near the settlement of Tunes against the Numidian king named Masinissa just prior to the Third Punic War being declared in 149 BC.

Regardless, Hasdrubal the Boetharch was responsible for commanding the Carthaginians against the Roman Republic during the Siege of Carthage in 146 BC. He was a capable commander but the momentum was not in his favor and eventually the Carthaginian defenses were not enough.

The Romans led by the consul Scipio Aemilianus managed to breach the Carthage and engaged in brutal street to street and block to block fighting with Hasdrubal's forces, who were eventually pushed back to the Byrsa citadel. There they were eventually defeated and the city was looted and set on fire, with all the inhabitants either killed or enslaved.

According to Polybius, Hadsrubal had a wife and two sons who went into a burning temple as they saw the final defeat of the Carthaginian army and the massive destruction of their city. Hasdrubal himself would surrender to the Romans prior to the death of his family members and some believe this may have helped push them to suicide. He was later taken to Rome and displayed during the triumph of Scipio. He was later released and allowed to live in Italy, probably one of the few Carthaginians to retain their freedom and life after the sack of Carthage.

Bibliography

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

Mommsen, p. 54

Smith, p.360

H. L. Havell, "Republican Rome: Her Conquests Manners and Institutions from the Earliest times to the Death of Caesar", BiblioBazaar, 2009, ISBN 1-115-39574-2, p. 321

Theodor Mommsen (trans. William Purdie Dickson) The history of Rome, Volume 3, pp. 42–54, C. Scribner & company, 1870

Book XXXVIII of Polybius' Histories, English Translation, 7-8,20

William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, Volume 2, pp. 359–360, C.C. Little and J. Brown, 1849

Polybius, Fragments of Book XXXVIII, 7

William Smith, "Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, Volume 2", C.C. Little and J. Brown, 1849 [1].