Battle of Leptis Parva

The Battle of Leptis Parva was fought in 238 BC between a Carthaginian army of over 30,000 commanded by Hamilcar Barca and Hanno and approximately 20,000 mutinous Carthaginian soldiers and North African rebels under Matho in the North African province of Byzacium (in modern Tunisia). The battle was the final major conflict of the Mercenary War and resulted in a decisive victory for the Carthaginians.

Battle of Leptis Parva
Part of the Mercenary War
Date238 BC
Byzacium, in modern Tunisia
Result Carthaginian victory
Carthage Carthage's mutinous army
Rebellious African towns
Commanders and leaders
Hanno II the Great
Hamilcar Barca
30,000 20,000
Casualties and losses
Unknown High

In 241 BC 20,000 foreign troops who had been employed by Carthage during the First Punic War (264 to 241 BC) mutinied under the leadership of Spendius and Mathos starting the Mercenary War. They were supported by an uprising of Carthage's oppressed African territories and 70,000 local recruits flocked to join them, bringing supplies and finance. War-weary Carthage fared poorly in the initial engagements of the war, especially under the leadership of Hanno. Hamilcar Barca was given supreme command in 239 BC and slowly turned the tide.

In 238 BC Mathos and the remnants of the rebel army left the area around Carthage and marched 160 km (100 mi) south to the wealthy port city of Leptis Parva. Hanno reconciled with Hamilcar and with a larger Carthaginian army they pursued the rebels, harrying their march. After three months of manoeuvres, in which the rebels consistently came off worst, battle was given and the rebels were completely defeated. The remaining rebellious cities rapidly surrendered or were captured by the Carthaginians, ending the war.