Hannibal defeated the Romans in 216 BC.
In the 2nd Punic War, Roman defeat by the Carthaginian general Hannibal 2 Aug 216 BC at the ancient city of Cannae, now a village in Puglia, Italy. A classic demonstration of encirclement tactics, Cannae was one of the most terrible defeats ever suffered by a Roman army.
Despite being heavily outnumbered (40,000 troops to the Romans' 80,000) Hannibal allowed the Roman consul C Terentius Varro to advance against his position. He allowed the Romans to push back his center then used his superior cavalry to break the Roman formations on the flanks. As the Carthaginian center gave way, Hannibal swept his heavy infantry forward and his cavalry attacked the Romans in the rear: the Carthaginians completely encircled and destroyed the Roman army. The Romans were said to have lost about 50,000 troops as against the Carthaginian casualties of fewer than 6,000.
Varro himself fled from the battle, but despite this and his failure in the battle, he was subsequently praised by the Senate for raising an army from the few survivors.
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