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Numidian cavalry

Numidian cavalry

Numidian cavalry was a type of light cavalry developed by the Numidians, most notably used by Hannibal during the Second Punic War.

The Numidian cavalry used small horses compared to their contemporaries (namely that of Rome), ancestors of the Arabian horse, and were designed for faster movement. To conserve weight the cavalrymen did not use a saddle or bridle, did not wear armor, and carried smaller shields. Due to their expert horsemanship and agility, they were most suitable for "charge and disburse tactics," effective for harassing the enemy and breaking up their formations. Hannibal's invasion of Rome during the Second Punic War is best known for his use of slow-moving war elephants, but he also employed Numidian cavalry where faster movement was needed, such as luring the Romans into a trap at the Battle of Trebia and for fighting on his right flank.

Numidian cavalry were widely known and not only fought in the Carthaginian army, but in other armies of the time as well - the Romans even employed Numidian cavalry against Hannibal's own in the battle of Zama.

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