Siege of Pallantia, 74 BC

The siege of Pallantia (74 BC) was a rare success for Sertorius in the later stages of the Sertorian War and saw him prevent Pompey from capture the town of Pallantia, in his Celtiberian heartland.

By 74 BC the morale of Sertorius’s army was beginning to collapse. This allowed Metellus to successfully capture several of the Celtiberian towns that had been supporting him, undermining his position. Pompey appears to have been less successful. He besieged Pallantia (Palencia), in the north-west of Spain, a city that appears to have been protected by wooden walls. Appian reports that Pompey’s troops were slinging logs of wood along the foot of the walls of the city, ready to set them on fire and burn down the walls. Sertorius arrived just in time to save the city, forcing Pompey to retreat, but not before he set fire to the walls, causing some damage. Sertorius repaired the damage, and then followed Pompey to Calagurris, where he defeated him (and possibly Metellus), inflicting 3,000 casualties on them. 

Although Sertorius had saved Pallantia, he was unable to stop Metellus and Pompey from capturing many of the towns that had supported him, eroding his power base across Spain.

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (22 June 2018), Siege of Pallantia, 74 BC , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/siege_pallantia.html

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