in this articles, we will talk about that why did Rome Attack Greece? the lone fixture in the empty amphitheater were a group of local children running around the stage with wooden swords in their hands feathers and plumes stuck in their hats all imitating their legendary hero alexander the great but their play was cut short as ground tremors could be felt throughout the town tremors soon turned into a rumble as just to the east.
the armies of philip of macedon and flamininus raced towards scotusa where they intended to do battle to end the second macedonian war roughly one century before the battle of cinecephaly macedon under the young king alexander the great conquered the entirety of the persian empire in just a few years taking revenge for their previous encounters on the greek mainland but after all of those achievements alexander died in 323 bc at just 32 years old after the macedonian empire collapsed a series of conflicts started to happen between alexander the great’s generals over.
the rule of his vast empire following the king’s death the generals established local greek dynasties in greece egypt persia and asia minor that became rivals to each other alexander achieved something no one before him did besides destroying the persian empire and going as far as india through his conquests the greek culture language architecture philosophy and morals were spread across the middle east and central asia alexander himself learned.
the values of greek philosophy from aristotle himself aristotle was a student of plato and plato in turn was a student of socrates these personalities were the base of greece culture and they will inspire rome in the next centuries greek civilization was one of the most influential in ancient times especially in the whole mediterranean basin as the greeks had many colonies on the coasts for centuries including in the italian peninsula where the greeks entered in direct contact with the early romans.
who were more and more influenced by the hellenistic culture particularly after their future endeavor into greece even though by the year 300 bc rome was still a regional power in italy after 50 years a new power emerged in europe the roman republic controlled almost all of the italian peninsula and became a rival of carthage which they defeated in the first punic war the unresolved strategic competition between rome and carthage led to the eruption of the second punic war in 218 bc the emblematic hannibal who considered alexander of macedonian.
the greatest general of all time managed to execute a tremendous campaign in italy defeating the romans in multiple battles after he crossed the alps with his north african elephants one of those battles was in caney in 216 bc after that battle the macedonian king philip v pledged his support to hannibal thus initiating the first macedonian war against rome in 215 bc four years later.
rome had contained the threat of macedonia by allying with the italian league an anti-macedonian coalition of greek states in 205 bc the first macedonian war ended with a negotiated peace one year later king ptolemy the fourth philip hatter of egypt died now philip the fifth of macedon and antiochus the great of the seleucid empire decided to work together and exploit the weakness of the ptolemaic kingdom and subsequently signed a secret pact defining spheres of interest and gaining each ruler new lands.
the Macedonian king had expansionist ideas and threatens not just the Ptolemaic realms but other territories that were part of the neighboring kingdoms in 201 bc Philip launched a campaign into Asia minor besieging the ptolemaic city of samos and capturing melitus his success at taking other cities concerned the state of Rhodes and king atlas the first of Pergamon as tensions grew in the area considering Macedon a real danger the kingdom of Pergamon and state of rhodes sent an appeal to the rising power of rome.
which had just emerged victorious from the second punic war against carthage but Philip’s recent ideas and actions in thrace and asia minor didn’t threaten any roman interests in the area the actions of the Macedonians were instead pointed directly against the southern greek states as phillips supported some raids in attica against the athenians shortly after sending the appeal king to adolesce.
the first of pergamon arrived in athens with Rhodian ambassadors and convinced the Athenians to declare war on macedon because of the embassies that the romans received from Pergamon rhodes and athens in addition to some separate reports rome began to consider throwing their hat into the ring as well and becoming directly involved.
in the region the assembly that had the legal power to make such declarations of war was called together most of the assembly members rejected the proposed war mainly because of war weariness given that rome had just finished a costly war against carthage not long before which had left southern italy in a bit of a chaotic state but at a second session due to a statement made by consul publius opius galba comparing the power of macedon to past invaders of italy such as hannibal of carthage.
the assembly was convinced to vote for a war against the macedonians as the romans readied for war yet again philip was unwavering in his mission for expansion and currently maintained a siege at the city of abidos while his ally antiochus was busy on his own campaign across parts of the middle east this absence left more room for philip’s greed and proved as further motivation for the romans to intervene before the macedonian power could become an even larger threat rome.
first aims to dissuade philip from any further aggression and marcus lepidus a roman ambassador was eventually able to catch up with the macedonian king during the siege of abidus and the two began to discuss rome’s terms and potential options for checking macedonian expansion lepidus urged the king to refrain from attacking any more territories or possessions belonging to ptolemy and further encouraged him to meet with the leaders of both rhodes and pergamon to make peace philip was agitated by this demand and insisted that he had not once violated the terms of the prior peace with the romans.
the meeting declined into a heated argument of semantics as the macedonian king became more stubborn in his stance rome’s plea for a non-violent resolution was painfully in vain and the discussion finally came to a rough end this was the start of the second macedonian war rome had two main objectives with their entrance into military conflict with macedon one they were determined to inflict enough of a crushing defeat on philip and his troops.
that the king would have no choice other than to give up his expansionist policies and would be forced to follow the command of the romans from that point forward furthermore they wanted to make an ally out of the greeks the romans were strategic in their relationship with greece and they intended to represent themselves as liberators and protectors of greek freedom for philip the start of this war.
may have been due to a drastic underestimation of roman ames many believe that the Macedonian king was unaware of the effort that rome was willing to put into stopping his expansion and he likely wasn’t expecting the reaction of Antiochus either who had also received a set of terms from Rome which he agreed to not only did this put an end to antiochus campaign against egypt but it also severed his alliance with philip and the macedonian endeavors.
upon his successful return from abidos philip was a bit surprised to find that galba and two legions of the roman army had already landed in a pirus deciding to address the newest threat later he oddly aimed his attention away from galba and his roughly twenty thousand men had instead turned to wars the peloponnese meanwhile the romans were wasting no time in their own offensive.
as galba led his men on raids through the illyrian countryside a second roman force arrived in athens at the request of the athenians themselves who had been under siege by philip under the command of claudius chanto these 1 000 men and 20 ships came to the athenians aid but were shortly distracted by a plea from the exiled citizens of calcus to assist them.
there claudius led his men there and launched an incursion into calcus which proved triumphant the romans inflicted heavy casualties and philip became aware of the attack rushing to calcus with a force of 5 000 men including 300 cavalry troops but he was too late claudius and his men had already withdrawn prompting the macedonians to make a frantic journey back to athens where they had hoped to prevent any further losses when philip and his troops arrived at the city walls.
they became locked in battle against a coalition of athenian and athlete forces which the macedonians routed before setting fire to various tombs and sanctuaries outside the gate unwilling to stay in any one place for long as he became progressively aware of the growing roman threat philip now changed course and headed for corinth and then argus here he found an assembly held by the aquian league the overconfident king attempted to win over.
the attendees through a bribe of support against nabis of sparta but he was devastatingly unsuccessful unrelenting nonetheless philip changed his course yet again and now met up with one of his generals and an additional two thousand men the macedonians decided to continue on and launched three separate assaults throughout the antica region particularly on athens pareas and ellusis but none were prosperous by this time.
the situation for the macedonians was becoming more precarious and philip decided to begin preparations for the primary clash with the romans both rome and macedon tried to form diplomatic ties with the italian league hoping that they could turn that into military support but neither side made headway and the league remains neutral for the time being but rome was not without allies.
through the previous campaigns under galba while philip was busy elsewhere the romans had gained support from other greek city-states as winter came to an end philip recalled his troops from up north and took his full force of twenty thousand men and four thousand cavalry troops to the west to a hill near the roman campsite velius to pulis who had previously replaced galba during the prior roman advancements was now replaced by a vastly intelligent and well-equipped roman.
consul flamininos was incredibly tactful and also spoke fluent greek which made him an ideal candidate for war in greece he was also a strategic negotiator and quickly demanded to meet with the king of macedon face to face the men and their negotiators now approached one another along the aous river as negotiations began philip was quick to aim for a compromise with the romans.
as he was in no form looking to back down despite the growing danger the roman general however had his own plan there was no real goal on the part of flamininus after all of creating peace contrarily he seemingly intended to anger the macedonian and so he did declining any inkling of a compromise flaminineus demanded that philip pay reparations to every greek city that he had brought harm to throughout his campaign and went even further with the requirements that the king must relinquish.
all of his hellenic possessions including thessaly which had been under macedonian authority for nearly two centuries the macedonian king was predictably disgusted by these proposed terms and abruptly ended negotiation talks both men returned to their armies and the roman general was swift to make his next move sending a portion of his men up to skirmish with the macedonian troops at their camp he then ordered the second group of roughly 4 300 to take a path around.
the mountains out of view of the macedonians philip and his men were perilously preoccupied with the first group of roman attackers it wasn’t until the second roman force was in position that the macedonians became aware of the danger they were in flaminineus now pushed forward with more aggression as the second portion of his troops did the same nearly trapping the macedonians between them philip was forced to make a hasty retreat with as many men.
as he could but 2 000 macedonians and all of their baggage was lost nonetheless the confidence of philips soldiers had been plundered the king and the surviving demoralized men fled to thessaly but the romans shortly followed by this time some of macedon’s once allies or neighboring neutral powers had now pledged their allegiance to the romans while others still refused to support either side flamininous soon reached thessaly and rapidly attacked.
meanwhile his allies of atolia and athamania launched their own assaults from the south and the west this new campaign was not a complete failure but not a victory either and flamininous soon became trapped in a conflict at a tracks which put up an unexpected fight against the roman siege the roman general was eventually forced to abandon his goals it attracts but was still able to redirect his troops toward a successful siege at alatia more to the south and went to thieves to reach.
some support from there too as a lull in the war came with the winter months macedonia’s longtime allies of the akian league now made their decision to join the clash on behalf of the romans it appeared that flaminine’s success was inspiring more support for rome and philip was forced to take up a new strategy it was either a compromised peace or a final battle.
in november of 198 bc the macedonians in a surprising twist requested peace talks with the romans desperate to save what success he had managed to create thus far the macedonian king was fully aware of the questionable position he was in the roman general agreed to negotiate once again possibly because his time.
his console was nearing its end and he wished to solidify his own success so a new meeting was held at nacia this time the romans insisted that philip give up his illyrian territories as well as those in greece and macedon would also be required to return all possessions they had seized from ptolemy flaminines was not the only adversary at this conference.
though representatives from other greek city-states rhodes the achaeans atolians and king atlas were also present and had their own demands to be met adela simply wanted reparations the achaeans wanted philip to hand over corinth and argus rhodes insisted that the macedonians cease from continuing any advances into asia and the helles point and the atolians would settle for no less than the returning of every single city that had been taken from them by the macedonians.
philip was actually open to a possible compromise or a full acceptance of all of these terms but he refused to give up his fortresses in calcus aero corinth and demetrius philip proposed that the roman senate take a vote on the fate of the undecided terms but the situation quickly deteriorated and no conclusion could be reached leaving a continuation of war.
as the only remaining option there would be no peace between the romans and macedonians it was now clear to both sides that this dispute could only end one way more conflict and bloodshed was inevitable war was the only path forward and a winner would finally be declared after a final battle in a few months the battle of synocephaly was about to begin.
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