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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]

Biography[edit]

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.

References[edit]

  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.

79452 news items

 
ATWOnline
Mon, 03 Aug 2015 06:52:30 -0700

Tunisia-based Syphax Airlines has temporarily suspended all flights to and from Tunisia as of July 30, following the “sudden and surprising decision” by IATA to suspend it from the IATA Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP), the carrier said in a statement.

Al-Arabiya

Al-Arabiya
Thu, 30 Jul 2015 23:00:00 -0700

Tunisia's Syphax airline grounds flights amid 'financial' hardship. In a terse statement Syphax said flights in to and out of Tunisia would be grounded from midnight, without giving a reason for the decision. (File photo: AFP) ...
 
Zonebourse.com
Mon, 03 Aug 2015 03:30:00 -0700

A son introduction en bourse, certains observateurs avaient prédit à la compagnie aérienne Syphax un avenir comparable à celui de Batam. Le sort, la mauvaise gestion et la très mauvaise connaissance du secteur du transport aérien par le fondateur, ...

ch-aviation

ch-aviation
Wed, 08 Jul 2015 03:30:13 -0700

Tunisian operator Syphax Airlines (FS, Sfax) has meanwhile cancelled an order for three A320-200s placed in mid 2013 in the face of stiff competition from local state-backed carrier Tunisair (TU, Tunis) and an uncertain tourist market hit hard by ...

Air-Journal

Le Figaro
Thu, 30 Jul 2015 14:33:17 -0700

La compagnie aérienne tunisienne privée Syphax Airlines a annoncé jeudi la cessation provisoire de ses activités et l'annulation de tous ses vols vers et depuis la Tunisie à compter de jeudi minuit, une interruption liée à des "problèmes financiers ...

Jawhara FM

Jawhara FM
Sun, 02 Aug 2015 06:41:15 -0700

Syphax Airlines a ajouté que cette décision intervient suite à la suspension provisoire de tous les vols de la compagnie, et suite aux difficultés qu'elle a rencontrées pour assurer la prise en charge de ses clients par d'autres compagnies aériennes.
 
Radio Mosaique FM
Thu, 30 Jul 2015 12:02:44 -0700

La compagnie aérienne Syphax airlines a annoncé aujourd'hui, 30 juillet 2015, dans un comuniqué que "suite à la décision brusque, surprenante et bloquante de l'IATA, la compagnie se trouve dans l'obligation de suspendre provisoirement tous ses vols ...

Espace Manager

Espace Manager
Fri, 31 Jul 2015 04:37:30 -0700

Nous venons d'apprendre que la compagnie aérienne tunisienne Syphax Airlines a récupéré hier son Airbus A319, baptisé « Al Karama » qui été affrété avec équipage depuis le 10 juillet à la compagnie marocaine Royal Air Maroc. Cet avion a été mis à la ...
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