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Hanno the Great


Hanno the Great

There were three leaders of ancient Carthage who were known as Hanno the Great, according to two historians (the Picards).[1] These figures they call for convenience: Hanno I the Great, Hanno II the Great, and Hanno III the Great.[2] According to another historian (Warmington), there were three ancients of Carthage called Hanno "given the same nickname", that is the Great, but he conjectures that it was a family nickname or a term not well understood by the ancient Greek or Roman writers. Warmington discusses only two of them (I and II), but he does not use the "I" or "II".[3] Another historian (Lancel) mentions only one Hanno the Great, namely Hanno "I" the Great. The one already referred to here as "Hanno II the Great" he discusses but calls him simply "Hanno".[4] Of course, it is an anomaly for multiple people to be called Hanno the Great. In all, there were many historical figures named Hanno in ancient Carthage.[5]


  • Hanno I the Great 1
  • Hanno II the Great 2
  • Hanno III the Great 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Hanno I the Great

Hanno the Great was a politician and military leader of the 4th century BC.

His title, according to Justin,[6] was princeps Cathaginiensium. It is considered more likely that the title signifies first among equals, rather than being a title of nobility or royalty.[7][8]

His rival Suniatus was called the potentissimus Poenorum, or "the most powerful of the Carthaginians", in the year 368. Several years later Suniatus was accused of high treason (for correspondence with Syracuse) and probably executed.[9][10]

In 367 Hanno the Great commanded a fleet of 200 ships which won a decisive naval victory over the Greeks of Sicily. His victory effectively blocked the plans of Dionysius I of Syracuse to attack Lilybaeum, a city allied to Carthage in western Sicily.[11]

For about twenty years Hanno the Great was the leading figure of Carthage, and perhaps the wealthiest. In the 340s he schemed to become the tyrant. After distributing food to the populace, the time for a show of force came and he utilized for that purpose the native slaves and a Berber chieftain. Although not a military threat to Carthage, Hanno the Great was captured, found to be a traitor, and tortured to death. Many members of his family were also put to death.[12]

Yet later his son Gisgo was given the command of seventy ships of Carthage manned by Greek mercenaries and sent to Lilybaeum, after which peace was negotiated by Carthage with Timoleon of Syracuse, c. 340. Thereafter, this family's prestige and influence at Carthage would tell in later generations.[13]

Hanno I the Great was probably an ancestor of Hanno II the Great.[14][15]

Hanno II announces to the mercenaries the empty Public Treasury, according to Beckett's The Comic History of Rome.

Hanno II the Great

Hanno the Great was a wealthy Carthaginian aristocrat in the 3rd century BC.

Hanno's wealth was based on the land he owned in Africa and the Iberian Peninsula, and during the First Punic War he led the faction in Carthage that was opposed to continuing the war against Roman Republic. He preferred to continue conquering territory in Africa rather than fight a naval war against Rome that would bring him no personal gain. In these efforts, he was opposed by the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca. Hanno demobilized the Carthaginian navy in 244 BC, giving Rome time to rebuild its navy and finally defeat Carthage by 241 BC.

After the war, Hanno refused to pay the Berber mercenaries who had been promised money and rewards by Hamilcar. The mercenaries revolted, and Hanno took control of the Carthaginian army to attempt to defeat them. His attempt failed and he gave control of the army back to Hamilcar. Eventually, they both cooperated to crush the rebels in 238 BC.

His nickname "the Great" was apparently earned because of his conquests among the African enemies of Carthage,[16] and he continued to oppose war with Rome, which would necessarily involve naval engagements. During the Second Punic War, he led the anti-war faction in Carthage, and is blamed for preventing reinforcements from being sent to Hamilcar's son Hannibal after his victory at the Battle of Cannae. After Carthage's defeat at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC, he was among the ambassadors to negotiate peace with the Romans.

Hanno III the Great

The third Hanno the Great was an ultra-conservative politician at Carthage during the 2nd century BC.[17][18]


  1. ^ Gilbert Charles Picard and Colette Picard. These two historians are husband and wife, yet each is an independent scholar in the field, with their own prior publications.
  2. ^ Gilbert Charles Picard and Colette Picard, Vie et mort de Carthage (Paris: Hachett); translated as Life and Death of Carthage (New York: Taplinger 1968), at 358 [index]; at 8, 129, 131-141 [Hanno I]; at 198-199, 205, 210 [Hanno II]; at 264, 286 [Hanno III].
  3. ^ B.H.Warmington, Carthage (Robert Hale 1960; Penguin 1964) at 119 [three with nickname]; at 282 [index]; at 115-123 [Hanno the Great, "I"]; at 86, 195-197, 201-206, 209 [Hanno the Great, "II"].
  4. ^ Serge Lancel, Carthage (Librairie Artheme Fayard 1992); translated as Carthage. A history (Blackwell 1995) at 470 [index]; at 115 [Hanno the Great, aka "I"]; at 259, 272-275 [Hanno, aka "Hanno II the Great"].
  5. ^ Evidently difficulties exists which cause the above historians (the Picards, Warmington, Lancel) some trouble in coordinating a coherent view of those historical personages of ancient Carthage, each called Hanno. According to the indexes of their books, there were eight or more.
  6. ^ Justin was a Roman who in the 2nd century/* Hanno I the Great */ AD condensed a work of the Roman historian Pompeius Trogus written in the 1st century BC. Picard, Life and Death of Carthage (1968) at 30-31.
  7. ^ Picard, Life and Death of Carthage (1968) at 131-132.
  8. ^ Serge Lancel, Carthage. A history (1992; Blackwell 1995) at 115.
  9. ^ Picard, Life and Death of Carthage (1968) at 132, 133.
  10. ^ Warmington, Carthage (1964) at 117.
  11. ^ Warmington, Carthage (1964) at 115-116.
  12. ^ Warmington, Carthage (1960, 1964) at 119-120.
  13. ^ Warmington, Carthage (1964) at 120, 123.
  14. ^ Picard, Life and Death of Carthage (1968) at 198.
  15. ^ Cf, Warmington, Carthage (1964) at 119.
  16. ^ Who's Who in The Roman World, Routledge retrieved 15 March 2011
  17. ^ Picard, Life and Death of Carthage (1968), at 264, 286.
  18. ^ Cf., Warmington, Carthage (1960, 1964), at 119.

External links

  • Hanno II the Great
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