4. A Carthaginian general in the first Punic war, called by Polybius son of Hanno.
He is first mentioned as one of the two generals appointed to take the field against Regulus in B. C. 256, and who, by their injudicious management, brought Carthage to the brink of ruin. (Plb. 1.30
.) Though the virtual command of the army was soon after transferred to Xanthippus, it does not appear that the generals were ever deposed; and after the final defeat of Regulus, Hasdrubal was immediately despatched to Sicily, with a large army, and not less than 140 elephants. (Id. 38.)
The terror with which these animals at this time inspired the Romans rendered them unwilling to encounter Hasdrubal in the field, and thus gave him the command of the open country, notwithstanding which he appears to have wasted his time in unaccountable inactivity; and during a period of two years to have effected nothing beyond a few unimportant skirmishes.
At length, in the beginning of B. C. 250, he was aroused to exertion, and advanced to attack the Roman consul, L. Caccilius Metellus, under the walls of Panormus. But Metellus, by his skilful dispositions, not only repulsed his attack, but totally defeated his army; and, what was of the greatest consequence, killed or took captive all his elephants.
This defeat had more than almost any other a decisive influence on the fate of the war, as from this time the Roman superiority by land was almost undisputed. Hasdrubal escaped from the action to Lilybaeum, but was put to death on his return to Carthage. (Plb. 1.39
; Diod. Exc. Hoesch.
23.14, p. 506; Zonar. 8.14
; Oros. 4.9