Hamilcar Barca

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Hamilcar Barca,

d. 229 or 228 B.C., Carthaginian general. He was assigned the command in Sicily in 247 in the First Punic War (see Punic WarsPunic Wars,
three distinct conflicts between Carthage and Rome. When they began, Rome had nearly completed the conquest of Italy, while Carthage controlled NW Africa and the islands and the commerce of the W Mediterranean.
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). From mountain bases near Palermo he made repeated raids on the Romans and relieved the Punic garrison in Lilybaeum. However, the Carthaginians were defeated, and Hamilcar Barca negotiated the terms of the peace that led to CarthageCarthage
, ancient city, on the northern shore of Africa, on a peninsula in the Bay of Tunis and near modern Tunis. The Latin name, Carthago or Cartago, was derived from the Phoenician name, which meant "new city.
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's withdrawal from Sicily. The Carthaginian mercenaries shortly afterward revolted and besieged Carthage, but Hamilcar defeated them in 238. After that his popularity made him virtual dictator. He then set out (237) to conquer Spain as a new base against Rome and had won considerable territory when he died. Hamilcar was probably the ablest general and statesman that Carthage had before his son HannibalHannibal
, b. 247 B.C., d. 183 or 182 B.C. Carthaginian general, an implacable and formidable enemy of Rome. Although knowledge of him is based primarily on the reports of his enemies, Hannibal appears to have been both just and merciful. He is renowned for his tactical genius.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hamilcar Barca


Year of birth unknown; died 229 B.C. Carthagenian military leader during the First Punic War (264-241 B.C.). Hannibal’s father. From 247 to 241, Hamilcar conducted military actions in Sicily, where he won several victories over the Romans; but, having been defeated near the Aegadian Islands, he concluded a peace with Rome upon his government’s instruction. In 238 he suppressed uprisings of slaves, mercenaries, and the local Libyan population. From 237 to 229 he conquered the southwestern part of Spain and died during the seige of a city.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Hamilcar Barca

died ?228 bc, Carthaginian general; father of Hannibal. He held command (247--41) during the first Punic War and established Carthaginian influence in Spain (237--?228)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005