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The Numidians
Numidians
were the Berber population of Numidia
Numidia
(present day Algeria) and in a smaller part of Tunisia. The Numidians
Numidians
were one of the earliest Berber tribes to trade with the settlers of Carthage. As Carthage
Carthage
grew, the relationship with the Numidians
Numidians
blossomed. Carthage's military used the Numidian cavalry
Numidian cavalry
as mercenaries. Numidia provided some of the highest quality cavalry of the Second Punic War, and the Numidian cavalry
Numidian cavalry
played a key role in a number of battles, both early on in support of Hannibal
Hannibal
and later in the war after switching allegiance to the Roman Republic.

Contents

1 The Punic Wars 2 See also 3 References 4 Bibliography

The Punic Wars[edit] During the Punic Wars, Syphax
Syphax
was the king of the largest Numidian kingdom, the Masaesyli. In 213 BC, Syphax
Syphax
ended his alliance with Carthage. In 208 BC, he rejoined after marrying Sophonisba, daughter of Hasdrubal Gisco. Syphax
Syphax
tried to get Hannon Barca and Publius Cornelius Scipio to bring peace between the two nations after the Romans had landed in Africa. With the help of Masinissa, Publius Scipio's troops set fire to Syphax's camp.

Western Old World in 200 BC, showing borders of the Numidian kingdoms after the Second Punic War.

The king Masinissa
Masinissa
added Syphax's former territory to his eastern kingdom Massylii as a reward gained through military victory against Carthage. After the Second Punic War, Masinissa
Masinissa
started combining Numidians. Massinissa wanted to combine the Amazigh
Amazigh
people into a united nation with an agricultural industry. The peace treaty between Carthage
Carthage
and Rome prevented Carthage
Carthage
from entering any wars without Rome's permission. Masinissa
Masinissa
exploited the treaty by taking Carthaginian land. He used various tricks to get land including stating that Carthage
Carthage
was rebuilding their Navy despite the treaty which prohibited a Navy. When Carthage
Carthage
asked for an appeal Cato the Elder was sent with a commission to mediate a settlement. The commission insisted that both sides agree to their final decision. Masinissa
Masinissa
agreed but because of how unfavorable previous Roman decisions had been Carthage
Carthage
refused. Cato had served in the Roman Legion during the Second Punic War. Carthage's refusal to accept the commission convinced him that the Third Punic War
Third Punic War
was needed. Cato made a series of speeches to the senate all of which ended with "Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam" (Moreover, I advise that Carthage
Carthage
should be destroyed).[1] A group of Carthaginian senators supported a peace treaty with the Numidians. This group was in the minority, in part because the populace of Carthage
Carthage
did not want to submit to a people they had traditionally dominated. The pro- Numidians
Numidians
were eventually exiled. Upon exile they went to Masinissa
Masinissa
for help. Masinissa
Masinissa
sent two (of his forty-four) sons to ask for the pro- Numidians
Numidians
to be let back in. Carthalo, who led a democratic group who were against the Numidian encroachment, blocked their entry. Hamilcar, another leader of the same group, sent a party to attack Masinissa's sons. Masinissa
Masinissa
sent a force to siege the Carthaginian city of Oroscopa but they were repelled by a Carthaginian army led by a Hasdrubal. Among the captured were two of Masinissa's sons. This became the final excuse for Rome to attack Carthage. In 149 BC, Masinissa
Masinissa
died of old age. His death occurred during the Third Punic War. Micipsa became the second king of Numidia. See also[edit]

List of Kings of Numidia

References[edit]

^ Plutarch, Life of Cato

Bibliography[edit]

Lazenby, J. F., Hannibal's War, London, 1978 Warmington, B. H. Carthage, A History, Barnes and Noble Books, 1993

v t e

Berber peoples

Ancient

Psylli Banioubae Gaetuli Garamantes Leuathae Libu Macae Marmaridae Mauri

Bakouatae Makanitae

Meshwesh Musulamii Nasamones Numidae

Masaesyli Massylii

Quinquegentiani

Middle-Ages

Adjissa Awerba Awregha Azdeja Bahlula Barghawata Fazaz Fendelawa Ghumara Gazoula Ghiatta Godala Guanches Haskura Houara Kutama Lamtuna Luwata Madyuna Masmuda Matmata Nafzawa Sanhaja Zanata

Banu Ifran Jarawa Maghrawa

Modern

Brabers Chaouis Chenouas Ghomaras Jerbis Kabyles Matmatas Mozabites Nafusis Riffians Sanhajas de Srayr Shilha Siwis Teknas Toshavim Tuaregs

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