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*Maa/rbas), son of Himilco, and one of the most distinguished Carthaginian officers in the Second Punic War. He is first mentioned as commanding the besieging force at the siege of Saguntum, during the absence of Hannibal, when he carried on his operations and pressed the siege with so much vigour that neither party, says Livy, felt the absence of the general-in-chief. (Liv. 21.12.) We next find him detached with a body of cavalry to ravage the plains near the Po, soon after the arrival of Hannibal in Italy, but from this service he was recalled in haste to rejoin his commander before the combat on the Ticinus. (Id. 21.45.) After the victory of Thrasymene (B. C. 217), he was sent with a strong force of cavalry and Spanish infantry to pursue abody of 6000 Romans who had escaped from the battle and occupied a strong position in one of the neighbouring villages. Finding themselves surrounded, they were induced to lay down their arms, on receiving from Maharbal a promise of safety. Hannibal refused to ratify the capitulation, alleging that Maharbal had exceeded his powers; but he dismissed, without ransom, all those men who belonged to the Italian allies, and only retained the Roman citizens as prisoners of war. (Plb. 3.84, 85; Liv. 22.6, 7; Appian, Annib. 10.) Shortly after Maharbal had an opportunity of striking a fresh blow by intercepting the praetor C. Centinius, who was on his march to join Flaminius with a detachment of 4000 men, the whole of which were either cut to pieces or fell into the hands of the Carthaginians. (Plb. 3.86; Liv. 22.8; Appian, Annib. 11.) He is again mentioned as sent with the Numidian cavalry to ravage the rich Falernian plains; and in the following year he commanded, according to Livy, the right wing of the Carthaginian army at the battle of Cannae. Appian, on the contrary, assigns him on that occasion the command of the reserve of cavalry, and Polybius does not mention his name at all. But, whatever post he held, it is certain that he did good service on that eventful day; and it was he that, immediately after the victory, urged Hannibal to push on at once with his cavalry upon Rome itself, promising him that if he did so, within five days he should sup in the Capitol. On the refusal of his commander, Maharbal is said to have observed, that Hannibal knew indeed how to gain victories, but not how to use them; a sentiment which has been confirmed by some of the best judges in the art of war. (Liv. 22.13, 46, 51; Appian, Annib. 20, 21; Florus, 2.5; Zonar. 9.1; Cato ap. Gel. 10.24; Pllltarch, Fab. 17, erroneously assigns this advice to a Carthaginian of the name of Barca.) Except an incidental notice of his presence at the siege of Casilinum (Liv. 23.18), Maharbal from this period disappears from history. A person of that name is mentioned by Frontinus (Strateg. 2.5.12) as employed by the Carthaginians against some African tribes that had rebelled, but whether this be the same as the subject of the present article, or to what period the event there related is referable, we have no means of judging.


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217 BC (1)
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