Carthaginian ''Sacred'' Band

  • Ancient Greece
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

While the term ''Sacred Band'' had many different applications in The Ancient World, the term is mostly applied to ''Elite'' Soldiers. In reference to The Kingdom of Carthage, The Sacred Band related to ''Citizen Soldiers'', specially selected for their skill in combat.


Active in the 4th Century BC, The Sacred Band numbered 2,000 men (with 3,000 being their height of recruitment) – it was Carthaginian tradition that the bulk of it's Army was made up of hired Mercenaries. Citizens of Carthage usually only made up the Officer Corps. Or served as Mounted Cavalry. Those Citizens who showed great military skill of arms were recruited into specialized Units or Bands. Citizen Bands were given modest armor and trained to further their skills with The Spear. The Bands were adept in Phalanx tactics.


Noble born or wealthier Citizens were able to afford better armor and weapons (mostly swords). These Bands were chosen to be Officers of The Citizen Bands.


During The Battle of Crimissus in 310 BC (part of The Sicilian Wars), The Syracuse Army utterly decimated The Sacred Band. Reformed again with it's numbers greatly reduced, these Bandmen likewise met a similar fate at The Battle of White Tunis (later in 310 BC). It was never reformed.