8. An officer of high rank in the army of Hannibal.
He is first mentioned as being entrusted by that general with the care of transporting his army over the Po (Plb. 3.66
); and we afterwards find him employed in preparing the arrangements for the well-known stratagem by which Hannibal eluded the vigilance of Fabius, and effected his escape from Campania through the passes of the Apennines. (Id.
3.93; Liv. 22.16
He at this time held the chief direction of all military works (ὁ ἐπὶ λειτουρλιῶν τεταλμένος
); but there is little doubt that it is the same person whom we afterwards find in command of Hannibal's camp at Geronium on the occasion of his action with Minucius (Plb. 3.102
), and who also commanded the left wing of the Carthaginian army at the battle of Cannae (B. C. 216). On that memorable day, Hasdrubal rendered the most important services. The Spanish and Gaulish horse under his command, after an obstinate combat, obtained the victory over the Roman cavalry to which they were opposed, cut to pieces the greater part of them, and dispersed the rest.
As soon as he saw his victory in this quarter complete, Hasdrubal hastened to recal his troops from the pursuit, and led them to the suppoit of the Numidian cavalry of the right wing, against whom the Roman allies had hitherto maintained their ground, but took to flight on perceiving the approach of Hasdrubal.
He thereupon left it to the Numidians to pursue the enemy, and, bringing up his cavalry to the centre of the field, by a well-timed charge upon the rear of the Roman infantry, at the same time that they were engaged both in front and flank with Hannibal's African and Spanish foot, effectually decided the fortune of the day. (Plb. 3.115
; Liv. 22.46
.) Appian, whose account of the battle of Cannae (Annib.
20-24) differs very much from that of Polybius, and is far less probable, assigns the command of the left wing of the Carthaginian army to Hanno, and that of the right to Mago, and does not mention Hasdrubal at all.
It is more singular, that after this time his name does not occur again either in Polybius or Livy.