Battle of Lake Trasimene, 217BC

Battle of Lake Trasimene




The Battle of Lake Trasimene was a brutally successful ambush, with Hannibal’s forces all but annihilating 30,000 Romans in a matter of hours. The battle caused the Romans to have a new respect for Hannibal’s strength and military prowess, and caused them to avoid direct engagements in the future, preferring instead to starve and delay Hannibal’s army.


Hannibal had reached Italy and was threatening towns throughout the countryside. In response, Roman general Gaius Flaminius marched to meet Hannibal’s army in battle.


Lake Trasimeno, Italy


30,000 men


55,000 men


Hannibal’s army had severely outmanoeuvred Flaminus’ forces, managing to station themselves between Flaminus and Rome. The Carthaginians prepared an ambush on the shore of Lake Trasimene, and succeeded in catching the Roman forces off guard as they marched. The Romans were completely unprepared for the Carthaginian assault, and had no time to assemble into battle lines. As a result, 15,000 Romans were either killed in the fighting or drowned while trying to escape through the lake.


Decisive Carthaginian Victory


A new Roman military policy of avoiding Hannibal’s forces.

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