Hannibal Gisco

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Hannibal Gisco (lived 3rd century BC) was a Carthaginian military commander in charge of both land armies and fleets during the First Punic War.

Gisco's early life and career is unknown. His first appearance in the sources is in 261 BC, as the general in command of the garrison besieged by the Romans in Agrigentum. Despite the tenacity shown by himself and his men for months and the arrival of reinforcements led by Hanno, the city fell to Roman hands. Gisco managed to escape to Carthage in the late stages of the battle. Apparently, this defeat, own more to Roman stubbornness to win than to his own incompetence, did not keep him away from leadership. In the following year, Gisco reappears as the admiral in charge of the Carthaginian fleet in the strait of Messina. The Romans were about to launch their first fleet and had to be stopped. Gisco defeated and captured consul Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Asina in the Lipara encounter, but this victory was meaningless since the bulk of the Roman fleet was still manoeuvring in the surrounding waters. Later in 260 BC, Gisco was to meet this fleet and to be the first Punic general to meet the corvus boarding device and its deadly effect. Confidant in Carthage's superiority at sea, Gisco deployed his ships for the battle of Mylae in the traditional long line. Inexperienced or not, the Romans led by consul Gaius Duilius heavily defeated the Carthaginian fleet, mainly due to the innovative use of land tactics in naval warfare. Having lost the confidence of his peers, Hannibal Gisco was executed for incompetence, like other Punic generals, shortly afterwards.

Hannibal Gisco should not be confused with Hannibal Barca, Carthaginian leader of the Second Punic War.de:Hannibal Gisko nl:Hannibal Gisko

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