Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Philip V of Macedon and Hannibal

Philip V of Macedon
After his defeat at Zama, Hannibal was hounded by Rome and eventually had to flee Carthage. Where better to go than to the court of a potential ally against Rome - Philip V of Macedon? Hannibal and Philip had plotted together during Hannibal's time in Italy. Now was the time to make good those plans.

What followed was a series of wars in the East - the Macedonian Wars.

The first Macedonian War arose principally because of the alliance between Philip V and Hannibal during the Second Punic War.

In 221 King Philip V had come to the throne of Macedonia and dreamed of uniting the Greek states into a Hellenic alliance. He was influenced by Demetrius, whom the Romans had expelled from Illyria in 219, and interfered in the Adriatic.

In 216 he built a small fleet in the Adriatic but abandoned the effort when a Roman fleet appeared.

In 215 the Romans intercepted a suspicious looking ship off Calabria. It turned out to have a draft treaty between Philip and Hannibal. The treaty was vague on immediate detail, but indicated that if Philip and Hannibal won, Rome was to be excluded from the eastern shore of the Adriatic.
The praetor M. Valerius Laevinus was given 50 ships to keep an eye on Philip from Apulia and to cross over if necessary.

In the spring of 214 Philip campaigned in Illyria. Laevinus crossed over, and Philip was forced to burn his small fleet to prevent its capture. In 213 Philip returned by land and won some cities. Laevinus could not oppose this with his fleet, which did prevent Philip's crossing the Adriatic.

First Macedonian War (211-205 BC)

The treaty of Phoenice, concluded by Scipio Africanus in 205 between Rome and Philip V pretty much recognized the status quo. The desultory war had served its purpose of keeping Hannibal from receiving any reinforcements from the East.
The Romans stayed in Illyria but Philip was allowed to stay also. The bitterness between these two parties would lead to a new war immediately after the defeat of Hannibal.

Second Macedonian War (200-196 BC)

Envoys from Rhodes and Pergamum's King Attalus complained that the Macedonians were harassing cities in Asia Minor; Athenians also asked for help. At first the Roman people, tired of war, voted against it but the senate and consul posed the choice as sending legions to Macedonia or suffering the invasion of Italy. They argued that allowing King Philip V to take Athens would repeat the mistake when they let Hannibal take Saguntum. The people were won over, and the fetial priests declared war on Philip's Macedonia. At the Aetolian congress Rome declared its imperialist policy that the fate of any nation would depend on its services or disservices to Rome.

The Rhodians and Pergamenes weakened Philip at Chois (201), pinning him down with the Roman fleet at sea

For several years after the defeat of Antiochus, Rome was involved in no foreign wars in the East. But the uneasiness of the populations under her power grew. Philip V of Macedon continued to plot and scheme, but dared not risk another conflict with Rome.

When King Attalus asked Rome for aid against a threatened attack by Seleucid king Antiochus III, who was an ally of Rome, the senate declared its policy that their allies should keep peace among themselves. Attalus could call his troops home, and Rome sent envoys to persuade Antiochus to keep away from Attalus' Pergamum.

The Battle of the Aous River (198 BC)

The battle of Aous was the first significant Roman victory during the Second Macedonian War. In 200 BC a Roman army had landed at Apollonia, on the eastern shores of the Adriatic, and in the following year had raided western Macedonia.

Philip could not allow a repeat of the events of 199, and so in the spring of 198 BC he took up a strong defensive position on the Aous River, defending a gorge close to Antigoneia (modern Vijose in Albania). This blocked the best route into Macedonia from the west.

The Roman commander at the start of 199, P. Villius Tappulus, decided to attack Philip, and had advanced to within five miles of his position when his replacement arrived. This was Titus Quinctius Flaminius, one of the consuls for 198 BC, a man with some experience of Greece.

His arrival was followed by direct negotiation with Philip. The Macedonian king had finally realised how dangerous the Romans could be now that the end of the Second Punic War had left them free to concentrate on the war in Macedonia, and so offered to accept the original Roman terms of 200 BC – to surrender those cities around the Aegean that he had conquered.

Unfortunately for Philip, the Romans were not interested in peace on these terms – their real war aim was to reduce the power of Philip, who had never been forgiven for his declaration of war in 215 BC, at the height of the Second Punic War. Flaminius now demanded that Philip should abandon Thessaly, an area that had been ruled by the Macedonians for a century and a half. Unsurprisingly Philip ended the conference and withdrew to his apparently impregnable position in the Aous gorge.

Philip’s bad luck continued. The Romans were provided with a local guide by Charops, a powerful Epirote. With the guide’s help 4,300 Roman soldiers marched around Philip’s position and threatened to trap him in the gorge. Philip realised his danger just in time, and managed to escape from the trap. The fighting cost him 2,000 men, all of his baggage, and left Thessaly exposed to the Romans.

In the aftermath of their victory on the Aous, the Romans advanced into Thessaly, where they captured a number of towns, before turning south to over-winter on the Corinthian Gulf. The Roman successes also convinced the Achaean League to ally with them, ending their long alliance with Macedonia.

The Romans attacked and destroyed Phaloria, causing Metropolis and Cierium to surrender. The fleets of Rome, Rhodes, and Attalus combined to capture Eretria.

The council of the Achaeans decided to join this alliance against Philip V, who had inflicted greater injuries on the Aetolians when they were his ally than as enemies. Now Philip was forcing Thessalians to leave their homes as he destroyed their cities before retreating; both Polybius and Livy contrasted this policy to that of Alexander and his successors, who tended to spare cities not only of allies but of enemies. Negotiations failed again, and Philip handed over Argos to the Spartan tyrant Nabis. Roman consul Titus Flamininus brought the Boeotians into their alliance also, though he connived at the murder of Boeotarch Brachyllas because he was pro-Macedonian.

In 198 BC Carthaginians interned in the Latin fortress at Setia and African slaves had revolted but were betrayed; 500 were put to death. Two years later slaves in Etruria rebelled and were put down.

The Battle of Cynocephalae (197 BC)

Titus Quinctius Flamininus , Consul, fought Philip V in 198 after taking command of the second Macedonian war. The Romans were unable to bring Philip to a decisive battle until battle of Cynocephalae in 197, where the rough territory gave the advantage to the more flexible Roman legions over the Macedonian phalanx. The Macedonians had 8,000 killed and 5,000 captured, while the Romans lost only 700; Philip fled to Tempe and sued for peace.
The Treaty of Tempe (195 BC) ended the Second Macedonian War between the Roman Republic and Philip V of Macedon.

All 35 tribes in Rome voted for the peace treaty in which Philip V agreed to allow all the Greek cities in Europe and Asia to be free with their own laws; his army was to be limited to 5,000, and he was not allowed to make war outside Macedonia without the senate's permission; also he had to pay 1,000 talents to Rome.

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