Cannae, Battle ofa battle fought in 216 B.C. in which Hannibal of Carthage decisively defeated the Romans. It was fought near the ancient city of Cannae, about 180 miles (290 km) west-southwest of Rome near the modern city of Barletta.
The Roman army, commanded by Lucius Aemilius Paulus and Caius Terentius Varro, greatly outnumbered Hannibal's men. Hannibal formed his forces of foot soldiers and cavalry into a crescent. As Hannibal had planned, the enemy attacked the center of his line—its weakest point. The center gave in, but Hannibal's troops attacked the Romans from both sides, killing and capturing large numbers. Varro escaped, but Aemilius Paulus was killed. This battle was Hannibal's last important victory.