digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















For the Canadian mountain, see Mount Syphax. For the mythological figure, see Sufax. There is also a genus of fossil spiders Syphax (Thomisidae).
Sifaks El Madher.jpg

Syphax was a king of the ancient Numidian tribe Masaesyli of western Numidia during the last quarter of the 3rd century BC. His story is told in Livy's Ab Urbe Condita (written c. 27-25 BC).[1]


Tomb of Syphax in Batna (Algeria)

When in 218 BC, war broke out between Carthage and Rome, Syphax was initially sympathetic to the Romans. In 213 BC, he concluded an alliance with the Romans and they sent military advisers to help Syphax train his troops. He then attacked the eastern Numidians, the Massylians, ruled by King Gala; at that time allied to the Carthaginians. When Gala died in 206 BC, his sons Masinissa and Oezalces quarreled about the inheritance, and Syphax was able to conquer considerable parts of the eastern Numidian kingdom.

After the Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio (Scipio Africanus) was victorious in the Battle of Ilipa (206 BC), he sent his friend Gaius Laelius to visit Syphax to ratify the treaty with Rome. Syphax however, refused to ratify any treaty except with Scipio, so Scipio sailed with two quinqueremes to meet with Syphax, taking a considerable risk in doing so. In fact he arrived at the Numidian harbor, at exactly the same time as Hasdrubal (who had fled from Spain) anchored there on his way back to Carthage. However, Scipio's ship managed to make harbor before Hasdrubal's seven triremes could make out to intercept them, and in a neutral harbor, Hasdrubal dared not act against the Romans. Syphax invited both to dinner, where both Syphax and Hasdrubal were taken in by Scipio's charm.[1]:p77

Meanwhile, Masinissa had concluded that Rome was winning the war against Carthage and therefore decided to switch sides. Having lost the alliance with Masinissa, Hasdrubal started to look for another ally, which he found in Syphax, sealing the alliance by offering his daughter Sophonisba in marriage, although until 206 BC she had been betrothed to Masinissa.

With the reversal of alliances it looked like Carthage and Syphax were in a strong position in Africa, certainly during the early stages of Scipio's campaign in North Africa, the joined forces of Syphax and Hasdrubal Gisco were able to force Scipio to abandon the siege of Utica. However, in the Battle of Bagbrades (203 BC), Scipio overcame Hasdrubal and Syphax and while the Roman general concentrated on Carthage, Laelius and Masinissa followed Syphax to Cirta.

During the pursuit, Syphax was threatened with desertion by his army when Laelius and Massinissa's army approached the Numidian battle line. In a brave attempt to rally his troops, Syphax rode alone, straight towards the Roman cavalry, but in this desperate attempt his badly wounded horse threw him off. Syphax was pounced upon immediately by Roman soldiers and taken to the ecstatic Massinissa.[1]:p405 Syphax's troops retreated to the capital city which later fell as Massinissa claimed his kingdom. Syphax was delivered to Scipio and was taken as a prisoner, dying in Tibur (modern Tivoli) in 203 or 202 BC.

In a twist of fate, Sophonisba then married Masinissa. However, Scipio, suspicious of Sophonisba, demanded that she be taken to Rome and appear in the triumphal parade. To spare her such humiliation, Masinissa sent her poison, with which she killed herself.

The Tunisian city Sfax is said to be named after King Syphax.


  1. ^ a b c Livy: Ab urbe condita, vol. VIII, bks. xxviii-xxx Loeb Classical Edn, pp.73-99, 173-225, 405-421 at openlibrary.org

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syphax — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

11766 news items

The Interrobang

The Interrobang
Sat, 21 Nov 2015 08:30:00 -0800

Friday night, young comedian Randy Syphax had his first late night gig, and performed stand up on Fallon. Watch this guy he's moving fast. He just performed in the New York's Funniest Finals, got some attention from the New York Times, and he's getting ...

African Manager

African Manager
Wed, 25 Nov 2015 08:52:30 -0800

La Ftav, fédération tunisienne des agences de voyages, vient de publier un communiquer, annonçant un accord avec la société Syphax Airlines. On y lit que «l'IATA et la compagnie aérienne Syphax on conclu un accord sur le traitement et l'épuration des ...


Business News
Tue, 10 Nov 2015 00:48:36 -0800

La direction générale de la société Syphax Airlines S.A a indiqué, dans un communiqué publié ce mardi 10 novembre 2015, que le substitut du président du Tribunal de première instance de Sfax 2 a décidé l'ouverture des procédures de règlements ...

New York Times

New York Times
Tue, 10 Nov 2015 13:32:32 -0800

It's a maxim that stand-up comedy, like many artistic pursuits, is a marathon, not a sprint: There aren't many lightning victories, just one long slog. But after taking part in the New York's Funniest Stand-Up semifinals last month, Randy Syphax seemed ...


Thu, 05 Nov 2015 10:46:38 -0800

Syphax Airlines Alors Que Syphax annonçait il y a quelques semaines la reprise de ses activités, selon Al Masdar, la société a fermé son siège principal aux Berges du lac, hier, 4 novembre 2015 et a renvoyé tous ses employés. Cela est peut-être du au ...
Fri, 30 Oct 2015 06:52:46 -0700

En exécution de la décision du CMF n° 38 du 20 août 2015, nous vous informons que nous détenons sous nos livres et pour votre compte des actions Syphax Airlines . Dans le cas où vous souhaitez exécuter votre droit de vendre vos actions, dans le cadre ...
Business News
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 03:23:15 -0800

La Bourse a informé, dans un communiqué publié ce jeudi 5 novembre 2015, qu'à partir de demain vendredi 6 novembre 2015, la compagnie aérienne privé Syphax Airlines sera radiée du marché alternatif de la cote de la Bourse et transférée au marché ...
Wed, 25 Nov 2015 14:18:45 -0800

30. ESL placement exam English as a Second Language adult classes to be held Jan. 4-March 25, part of the Arlington schools system's REEP Program. Monday, Dec. 7 and Dec. 14 at 9 a.m. or 6 p.m. Syphax Education Center, 2110 Syphax Blvd., Arlington.

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight