Carthaginian Iberia


Carthaginian Iberia

The Carthaginian presence in Iberia lasted from 575BC to 206BC when the Carthaginians were defeated at the Battle of Ilipa in the Second Punic War.

Background

The Phoenicians were a people from the eastern Mediterranean who were mainly traders from the cities of Tyre, Sidon and Byblos. They colonised much of the Mediterranean and in the year 814BC they founded the city of Carthage. After the fall of Phoenicia to the Babylonians and Persians, Carthage became the most powerful Phoenician colony in the Mediterranean and the Carthaginians annexed many of the other Phoenician colonies around the coast of the western Mediterranean such as Hadramentum and Thapsus, they also annexed territory in Sicily, Africa, Sardinia and in 575BC they created colonies on the Iberian peninsula.

Expansion into Iberia

After the defeat of Carthage in the First Punic War the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca successfully crushed a mercenary revolt in Africa and trained a new army consisting of Numidians along with mercenaries and other infantry and in 236BC he led an expedition to Iberia where he hoped to gain a new empire for Carthage to compensate for the territories that had been lost in the recent conflicts with Rome and to serve as a base for vengeance against the Romans.In eight years by force of arms and diplomacy he secured an extensive territory in Hispania, but his premature death in battle (228 BC) prevented him from completing the conquest.

Fall of the Empire

The fall of Carthage's Iberian territories came in the Second Punic War in 206BC at the Battle of Ilipa after which Carthage abandoned all of Hispania to aid in their defence in Africa against Numidia and Rome.


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