16. Son of Bomilcar, one of the most distinguished officers in the service of Hannibal during his expedition to Italy.
According to Appian (Annib.
20) he was a nephew of that great general ; but a consideration of the ages of Hannibal and Hamilcar, as well as the silence of Polybius, renders this statement improbable.
He was, however, a man of high rank, his father having been one of the kings or suffetes of Carthage. (Plb. 3.42
.) His name is first mentioned at the passage of the Rhone, on which occasion he was detached by Hannibal to cross that river higher up than the spot where the main army was to effect its passage. This Hanno successfully performed, and, descending the left bank of the river, fell upon the flank and rear of the Gauls, who were engaged in obstructing the passage of Hannibal, and utterly routed them, so that the rest of the army was enabled to cross the river without opposition. (Plb. 3.42
; Liv. 21.27
.) We meet with no farther account of his services until the battle of Cannae (B. C. 216), on which memorable day he commanded the right wing of the Carthaginian army. (Plb. 3.114
; Appian, Annib.
20, says the left.)
After that great victory, he was detached by Hannibal with a separate force into Lucania, in order to support the revolt of that province. Here he was opposed in the following year (215) by a Roman army under Ti. Sempronits Longus, who defeated him in an action at Grumentum, in consequence of which he was compelled to withdraw into Bruttium.
Before the close of the summer he was joined by Bomilcar with the reinforcements that had been sent from Carthage to Hannibal, and which he conducted in safety to that general in his camp before Nola. When Hannibal, after his unsuccessful attempts to reduce Nola, at length withdrew, to take up his winter-quarters in Apulia, he sent Hanno to resume the command in Bruttium, with the same force as before. The Bruttians themselves had all declared in favour of Carthage, but, of the Greek cities in that province, Locri alone had as yet followed their example. Hanno now added the important conquest of Crotona. Having thus effectually established his footing in this country, he was able to resume offensive operations, and was advancing (early in the summer of 214) to support Hannibal in Campania, with an army of about 18,000 men (chiefly Bruttians and Lucanians), when he was met near Beneventum by the praetor, Tib. Gracchus, and, after an obstinate combat, suffered a complete defeat. Yet we are told that he soon after gained in his turn a considerable advantage over Gracchus, notwithstanding which, he thought fit to retreat once more into Bruttium. (Liv. 23.37
; Zonar. 9.4
.) Here he was opposed the following summer (213) by an irregular force, collected together by one L. Pomponius, which he utterly routed and dispersed. (Liv. 25.1
The next year (212) he was ordered by Hannibal to advance with a convoy of stores and provisions, for the supply of Capt)pa, which the Romans were threatening to besiege.
The service was a delicate one, for both the Roman consuls were in Samnium with their respective armies, notwithstanding which Hanno conducted his lorce in safety to the neighbourhood of Beneventum, but the negligence of the Capuans, in not providing means of transport, caused so much delay, that the Romans had time to come up, and not only seized the greater part of the stores, but storied aitd plundered the camp of Hanno, who himself made his escape, with the remains of his force, into Bruttium. Not long after his return thither, he was able in some degree to compensate his late disaster by the important acquisition of Thurii. (Liv. 25.13
; Appian, Annib.
From this time we in great measure lose sight of Hanno; though it is probable that it is still the same whom we find in command at Metapontum, in 207, and who was sent by Hannibal from thence into Bruttium, to raise a fresh army. (Liv. 27.42
As we hear no more of his actions in Italy, and the Hanno who was appointed in 203 B. C., to succeed Hasdrubal Gisco in the command in Africa, is expressly called by Appian son of Bomilcar, there can be little doubt that it was the same as the subject of the present article, though we have no account of his return to Africa.
It was after the final defeat of Hasdrubal and Syphax by Scipio, that Hanno assumed the command; and, in the state of affairs which he then found, it is no reproach to him that he effected little.
He joined with Hasdrubal, although then an outlaw, in a plot for setting fire to the camp of Scipio, but the project was discovered, and thereby prevented; and he was repulsed in an attack upon the camp of Scipio before Utica.
After this he appears to have remained quiet, awaiting the return of Hannibal from Italy: on the arrival of that general he was deposed from his command, the sole direction of all military affairs being confided to Hannibal. (Appian, App. Pun. 24
; Zonar. 9.12