CTNUM-04B Numidian Light Cavalry



The Numidians were the Berber population of Numidia (present day Algeria and in a smaller part of Tunisia). The Numidians were one of the earliest Berber tribes to trade with the settlers of Carthage, and as Carthage grew, the relationship with the Numidians blossomed. Carthage’s military used the Numidian cavalry as mercenaries. Numidia provided some of the highest quality cavalry of the Second Punic war, and the Numidian cavalry played a key role in a number of battles, both early on in support of Hannibal and later in the war after switching allegiances, to the Roman Republic.

Ancient authors, such as Polybius and Livy, tend to stress Carthage’s reliance on mercenary units, which is slightly misleading when applied to the Carthaginian Army. While Carthage did employ mercenaries in the true sense of the word, Carthage’s usage of native African and Iberian recruits would not be true mercenaries as these peoples were subjects of Carthage. Also, Carthage’s army was composed of recruits from its allies fighting for Carthage in accordance with bilateral treatise. The Numidian Kingdoms are an example who provided extensive light cavalry due to the close relationship between the two states.