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Mathos (d. c. 237 B.C.).

Libyan general in Carthaginian service. Principal wars: First Punic War (264-241); Revolt of the Mercenaries (240-237). Principal battles: Hippo Regius (Annona), Utica, Carthage (239); Utica, Tunis (238).

Born in Libya, but early career otherwise unknown; entered Carthaginian service during the First Punic War, and served in Sicily; returned to Carthage from Sicily, but was unable to secure his back pay (241); joined with other unpaid veterans in riots (winter 241-240), and was afterward sent to Sicca (El Kef) with other discharged mercenaries to await their pay (240); joined with runaway slave Spendios, of Italo-Greek origins, to lead the Libyan mercenaries in revolt (240); swiftly gained the support of the Libyan subject populace and some Numidians as well; besieged and captured the towns of Hippo Regius and Utica, massacring both Carthaginian garrisons (239); laid siege to Carthage itself at the head of 25,000 men, but was driven off by a 10,000-man sally led by Hamilcar Barca, and was defeated in a battle nearby at Utica (238); besieged in Tunis by Hamilcar, he was compelled to surrender, and he was publicly tortured until dead (237); his revolt inspired disaffection among the Carthaginian garrisons on Corsica and Sardinia, which led to the acquisition of these islands by Rome (239-238). <BL>

Lapeyre, Gabriel G., and A. Pellegrin, Carthage punique. Paris,
Warmington, Brian H., Carthage. New York, 1969.


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Publication:The Harper Encyclopedia of Military Biography
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1992
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