from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Indibilis († 205 BC ) was a chief of the ancient Iberian people of the Ilergeten . In the Second Punic War led by Hannibal against Rome , Indibilis fought in Spain initially on the side of the Carthaginians and played an important role in it. 209 BC BC he went over to the Romans. After the Carthaginians were driven out of Spain (206 BC), he tried to gain independence from the newly established Roman supremacy on the Iberian Peninsula , but fell the next year in a field battle against a Roman army.


The treated here leaders of Ilergetes is by the Roman historian Livy usually Indibilis called, as of Appian and Zonaras , the Greek historian Polybius , however Andobales ( Greek  Ἀνδοβάλης ). Finally, the Greek-Sicilian historian Diodor Indibilis uses the name form Indibeles ( Greek  Ἰνδιβέλης ) or the imperial historian Cassius Dio as Indibolis ( Greek  Ἰνδίβολις ). The two main sources on the life of Indibilis are Polybios (from the 6th book of his historical work onwards, however, only partially preserved in large fragments) and Livius (completely preserved in the third decade of his historical writing, which is of interest here).

At the time of the Second Punic War, Indibilis was the chief of the Ilergeten people, who lived roughly in what is now the province of Huesca , but neighboring tribes were also within his sphere of influence. His brother Mandonius also appears in the sources as an important leader. At the outbreak of hostilities between Carthage and Rome , Indibilis was under the suzerainty of the former power and was its ally. In the first year of the Hannibal War (218 BC) he and the Carthaginian commander Hanno were defeated in the battle of Cissa by the Roman general Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus, who had landed in Spain , and was taken prisoner. But soon he was set free again. Livius' report that Indibilis nevertheless together with his brother Mandonius as early as 217 BC. Chr. Again disputes with the Romans provoked by invasion of territories by their allies, but was defeated, should not be true for lack of confirmation by the parallel report of the more credible Polybius.

211 BC BC Indibilis contributed significantly to the downfall of Publius Cornelius Scipio . Worried by Massinissa's Numidian horsemen , Publius tried to leave his opponent behind in a night march and at the same time attacked the Indibilis, who was advancing towards him at the head of 7,500 Suessetanians . After the Roman general had clashed with Indibilis, the forces of Massinissa and then those of the Punic commanders Mago , Hannibal's youngest brother, and Hasdrubal , Gisgos's son, arrived on the battlefield. Between these armies the Romans were wiped out and their leader also fell. Soon afterwards Publius' brother Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus also found death in the fight against the Carthaginians.

As a reward for his loyalty and significant support, Indibilis was allowed to appear again as chief of his tribe, independent of Carthage. Due to the haughty behavior of Hasdrubal, Gisgo's son, he soon estranged himself from the Punic. Hasdrubal ordered him to pay a large sum of money and also demanded that Indibilis 'daughters and Mandonius' wife be held hostage, who were to guarantee the loyalty of the Ilergetes. The named family members of Indibilis and his brother were held captive in Carthago Nova . They fell in 210 BC When Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus , who was now in command of the Roman troops on the Iberian Peninsula , managed to conquer Carthago Nova. He treated the hostages he freed with great courtesy.

Because of this generous act, Indibilis and Mandonius fell away from the Punic, concluded in 209 BC. BC (so Livy) or 208 BC An alliance with Scipio when he set out to fight Hannibal's brother Hasbrubal , and in return received their female relatives. Then Hasdrubal suffered a defeat against Scipio in the Battle of Baecula . When the Roman military leader was then honored as "king" by the Iberian prince who was allied with him, including Indibilis, he rejected this title out of consideration for the aversion in the Roman Republic to the monarchical form of government. For his part, Indibilis received rich gifts from Scipio and was probably recognized as king.

In to 206 BC Scipio managed to drive the Carthaginians completely out of Spain. But Indibilis wanted to establish its complete independence and to free itself from the current Roman hegemony. 206 BC. Together with neighboring Celtiberians, he attempted a survey in this regard when Scipio was seriously ill and his own men mutinied in the camp near Sucro. When Scipio had regained his health and put down the revolt of his soldiers, he did not want to leave the defection of the Iberians unpunished either. He marched against Indibilis and Mandonius, won a battle over them, but also suffered greater losses himself. Mandonius went to the Roman camp and asked for a reconciliation, which Scipio granted. Indibilis was left in power and only had to pay a fine.

After Scipio the next year 205 BC. B.C. had left the Iberian Peninsula, Indibilis tried again to revolt against the Romans. He raised from his people and neighboring tribes a stately armed force, which is said to have included 30,000 infantrymen and 4,000 cavalrymen, and fought against his successors, Scipios, Lucius Cornelius Lentulus and Lucius Manlius Acidinus . The battle went badly for Indibilis again; he suffered defeat and lost his life fighting bravely. Mandonius was able to escape with the remains of his army, but was soon handed over to the Romans and executed by them. The defeated Iberian tribes now fell under Roman suzerainty.



  1. Diodorus 26, 22.
  2. ^ Cassius Dio, Fragment 56, 46.
  3. ^ Friedrich Münzer : Indibilis. In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume IX, 2, Stuttgart 1916, column 1325 f.
  4. Polybios 3, 76, 6.
  5. Livy 22, 21, 2ff .; on this Friedrich Münzer: Indibilis. In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume IX, 2, Stuttgart 1916, Sp. 1326.
  6. Livy 25:34.
  7. Polybios 9, 11, 3-4; 10, 35, 6; see. Livy 27:17, 12-13.
  8. Polybios 10, 18, 7ff .; Livy 26, 49, 11ff.
  9. Polybios 10, 35, 6ff. and 10, 37; Livy 27:17; Diodorus 26, 22.
  10. Polybios 10, 40, 2-5.
  11. Polybios 10, 40, 10; Livy 27:19, 7.
  12. Polybios 11, 29, 3ff .; 11, 31, 1ff .; Livy 28, 24, 3-4.
  13. Polybios 11, 32, 1ff .; Livius 28, 31, 5ff .; Appian, Iberica 37; Zonaras 9, 10.
  14. Livius 28, 34, 3ff .; Appian, Iberica 37.
  15. ^ Livius 29, 1ff .; Appian, Iberica 38.