The Battle of the river Ticinus, November 218 BC


Cornelius Mattens - The Battle of Ticino

After Hannibal crossed the Alps he recruiting amongst the Gauls in north Italy, and soon advanced down towards Scipio's (the father of Africanus) position. Scipio sent his cavalry and light troops to probe for Hannibal. The first action between the two armies took place in November, to the north of the left bank of the Po, between the Sesia and Ticino rivers, near to Lomello. The battle was a fairly small (around 8,000 men per side) and mostly cavalry encounter.

It started as a preliminary confrontation of cavalry. Hannibal had placed his heavy cavalry in the centre, with the Numidians on the wings, charged with enveloping the Romans. Hannibal trounced the Roman army led by Scipio and Lucius Manlius, primarily due to Hannibal's Numidian cavalry. Scipio was severely wounded, and the Romans withdrew to Placentia. Manoeuvres failed to lead to a second engagement.

Action was to continue soon at the Battle of the Trebbia River.


War-gamer's view of the battle (including many interesting tactical insights)

Follow the parallel Spanish campaign

Continue... The Trebbia