8. Son of Hannibal, was sent to Sicily by the Carthaginians with a large force immediately after the events just related. Alarmed at the support given to the Mamertines by the Romans, he concluded an alliance with Hieron, and they hastened to besiege Messana with their combined forces (B. C. 264). Hieron encamped on the south side of the town, while Hanno established his army on the north, and his fleet lay at Cape Pelorus. Yet he was unable to prevent the passage of the Roman army, and the consul, Appius Claudius, landed at Messana with a force of 20,000 men, with which he first attacked and defeated Hieron, and then turned his arms against the Carthaginians. Their camp was in so strong a position, that they at first repulsed the Romans, but were afterwards defeated, and compelled to retire towards the west of Sicily, leaving the open country at the mercy of the enemy. (Diod. Exc. Hoeschel.
23.2; Plb. 1.11
; Zonar. 8.9
It seems probable that this Hanno is the same as is styled by Diodorus "the elder " (ὁ πρεσβύτερος
), when he is next mentioned, in the third year of the war (Diod. Exc. Hoeschel.
23.8): of this, however, there is no proof. Hannibal, the other Carthaginian general in Sicily, was at that time shut up in Agrigentum, where he had been besieged, or rather blockaded, by the Romans more than five months, and was now beginning to suffer from want of provisions, when Hanno was ordered to raise the siege. For this purpose he assembled at Lilybaeum an army of 50,000 men, 6000 horse, and 60 elephants, with which formidable force he advanced to Heraclea; but though he made himself master of Erbessus, where the Romans had established their magazines, and thus reduced them for a time to great difficulties; and though he at first obtained some advantages by means of his Numlidian cavalry, he was eventually defeated in a great battle, and compelled to abandon Agrigentum to its fate, B. C. 262. (Plb. 1.18
; Diod. Exc. Hoeschel.
23.8, 9; Zonar. 8.10
; Oros. 4.7
.) For this ill success Hanno was recalled by the Carthaginian senate, and compelled to pay a fine of 6000 pieces of gold (Diod. Exc. Hoeschel.
23.9): he was succeeded by Hamilcar, but six years afterwards (B. C. 256), we again find him associated with that general in the command of the Carthaginian fleet at the great battle of Ecnomus. (Plb. 1.27
; Oros. 4.8
After that decisive defeat, Hanno is said to have been sent by Hamilear, who appears to have held the chief command, to enter into negotiations with the Roman generals; but failing in this, he sailed away at once, with the ships that still remained to him, to Carthage. (Dio Cass. Exc. Vat.
63; Zonar. 8.12
; V. Max. 6.6
. f. § 2.) His name is not mentioned in the subsequent operations; but as two generals of the name of Hanno are spoken of as commanding the Carthaginian army which was defeated at Clupea in 255 by the consuls Aemilius Paullus and Fulvius Nobilior (Oros. 4.9
), it is not impossible that he was one of them.