CTSK-01N Garamantian Light Infantry, Battle of Zama



Although initially the Carthaginian army was composed only of Citizens of Phoenician origin, it saw increased recruitment of contingents of mercenaries and allies a necessity in order to realize the policy of imperial expansion. This use of mercenaries saved the metropolitan population from heavy casualties that were not easily replaceable, and it also reflected the Carthaginian concept of war, which was considered simply as an extension of business. With the enlargement of Punic economic interests the army became more exclusively mercenary and progressively came to include almost all the peoples of the central and western Mediterranean area.
The largest single component of the Punic army usually comprised soldiers recruited or impressed from subject Libyans. These are often referred to as “Africans”, or Liby-Phoenicians. These were mercenaries or in some cases conscripts, subject to service from the tenants of the large African estates. Eventually these mercenaries were no longer simply troops hired for a single campaign and discharged after a few months service, as had originally been the case, especially during the first Punic War. They were now a professional standing army seasoned by long years of warfare, under the command of skilled generals such as Hamilcar Barca and his sons.

Among the North African allies were the subjected Libyans of the Marmarica, which formed a major part of the light infantry. These were mainly made up from several tribes, Nasamones, Macae from the Cynips river, the tribes of Barce, the Autololes, the ferocious Adyrmachidae, and the Garamantians.

Garamantian light infantry are recorded as wearing a loose tunic and had red war paint on the face and limbs. The general use of javelins by these Libyan tribes is widely recorded and was the typical weapon of the Garamantians.

The Battle of Zama in 202BC proved to be the crucial encounter of the Second Punic War. The Carthaginians led by Hannibal, met the invading Roman army under the command of Scipio, who afterwards was titled “Africanus”. The armies were equally matched, but Hannibal had a force of 80 war elephants. The Carthaginian army had been assembled in a hurry, was manned with a considerable number of recruits and the recently caught elephants had not been fully trained.