Gaius Claudius Nero (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: After an unspectacular early military career, Nero, as consul in 207 b.c.e., led a brilliant, unexpected forced march to join forces with his fellow consul and defeat a relief force under Hasdrubal at the Metaurus River, thus preventing reinforcements from reaching Hannibal.
Gaius Claudius Nero first appears in Roman history in 216 b.c.e. as a cavalry officer serving under Marcus Claudius Marcellus at Nola, where he failed to carry out his assignment and was censured. As praetor in 212 b.c.e., he was sent to Capua to participate in its siege and remained there as propraetor until the city’s fall in 211. Reassigned to a command in Spain, he entrapped forces of the Carthaginian commander Hasdrubal, but was tricked into allowing the enemy to escape.
Elected consul for 207 b.c.e., he was given command of forces facing Hannibal in southern Italy, where he received intercepted letters from Hasdrubal to his brother Hannibal detailing an attempt to reman Hannibal’s forces. Keeping Hannibal in the dark about his whereabouts, Nero rushed his troops to the north to join with his fellow consul and meet the forces of Hasdrubal at the Metaurus River. The battle resulted in a complete Roman victory, and Nero returned south before Hannibal realized that he had been absent.
Broughton, T. R. The Magistrates of the Roman Republic. Vol. 1....
(The entire section is 273 words.)
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