Hannibal’s Battle of Tagus Site Found

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The Ancient Battlefield That Launched the Legend of Hannibal

by Alex Fox/Smithsonianmag.com

The legend of Carthaginian general Hannibal—famed for leading some 30,000 soldiers and 37 elephants across the Alps into Italy during the Second Punic War—had to start somewhere. And now, researchers think they may know where.

As Manuel P. Villatoro reports for Spanish newspaper ABC, an interdisciplinary team says it has found the long-sought-after site of Hannibal’s first major victory: the 220 B.C. Battle of the Tagus.

Due to mismatched accounts by classical historians Polybius and Livy, as well as scant archaeological evidence, historians have debated the battle’s exact location for more than 200 years. Previously proposed sites include Toledo, Talavera de la Reina, Aranjuez, Colmenar de Oreja and Fuentidueña, reports Vicente G. Olaya for Spanish newspaper El País.

The new study arrived at its suggested location by combining battle accounts from antiquity with modern analysis of the shape and flow of the Tagus River and its surrounding landscape. Per the paper, the researchers suggest the site of the Battle of the Tagus is between the cities of Driebes and Illana in Spain’s Guadalajara province.

Hannibal mounted his infamous invasion of Italy during the Second Punic War against Rome, which spanned 218 B.C. to 201 B.C….read more:

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