Carthaginian Chariot

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In the 4th Century BC the Carthaginians made considerable use of four horse war chariots, deploying some 300 in their Sicilian Campaign of 343. At the Battle of Krimisos fought against the Syracusan Tyrant Timoleon in 341, the Greek cavalry attacked as the Carthaginian infantry forded the river under the cover of fog, and it was the Chariots that were deployed to hold the Greek horseman at bay. Some 2,000 were deployed at Tunis in 310 against Agathocles, where they made a frontal charge against Hoplites and seem to have come to a sticky end. They then seem to have dropped out of favour, probably as wealthy citizens moved more towards cavalry service and the Carthaginians became exposed to elephants via Pyrrhus, although Silius Italicus in the poem ‘Punica’ says that Hannibal rode in a chariot around the walls of the city when besieging Saguntum at the start of the 2nd Punic War.

The ancient sources claim that the Carthaginians learned the use of chariots from the Kyrenian Greeks, and Kyrenian sculpture certainly shows four horse chariots, but given the long history of chariot use in nearby Egypt and also the Near East, this seems unlikely. Kyrenian sculptures show a crew of 3 – a driver, a warrior and what may be an archer. As this seems to have been a pretty standard configuration for such a quadriga, I’ve gone with this for the crew. The Noble / Archer wears scale armour and a Hellenic style helmet, while the Warrior wears a studded leather cuirass after a Sicilian sculpture showing such equipment dating from the 5th Century BC / early 4th Century.

This kit allows you to add to an early Carthaginian force of the 1st Punic War or earlier Sicilian Campaigns, and makes a stunning central feature as a command element, or indeed a unit of several for a Kyrenian Greek or Syracuse army of the 4th Century.

The kit is composed of a laser cut MDF chariot, 4 metal horses, and 3 multi-part crewmen.

Assembly is required and a degree of modelling skill is recommended.