1969 – 2023
Who was Hamilcar Barca?
Hamilcar Barca or Barcas was a Carthaginian general and statesman of Cyrene origin, leader of the Barcid family, and father of Hannibal, Hasdrubal and Mago. He was also father-in-law to Hasdrubal the Fair.
The name Hamilcar was a common name for Carthaginian men. The name Brq means "thunderbolt" in the Punic language and is thus equivalent to the epithet or cognomen Keraunos, common among many contemporary Greek commanders. The word remains in Arabic and Hebrew with the same meaning.
Hamilcar commanded the Carthaginian land forces in Sicily from 247 BC to 241 BC, during the latter stages of the First Punic War. He kept his army intact and led a successful guerrilla war against the Romans in Sicily. Hamilcar retired to Africa after the peace treaty in 241 BC, following the defeat of Carthage. When the Mercenary War burst out in 240 BC, Hamilcar was recalled to command and was instrumental in concluding that conflict successfully. Hamilcar commanded the Carthaginian expedition to Spain in 237 BC, and for eight years expanded the territory of Carthage in Spain before dying in battle in 228 BC. He may have been responsible for creating the strategy which his son Hannibal implemented in the Second Punic War to bring the Roman Republic close to defeat.
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