The Hellenic East
The work, which Alexander king of Macedonia had begun a century before the Romans acquired their first footing in the territory which he had called his own, had in the course of time—while adhering substantially to the great fundamental idea of Hellenizing the east —changed and expanded into the construction of a system of Hellene- Asiatic states. The unconquerable propensity of the Greeks for migration and colonizing, which had formerly carried their traders to Massilia and Cyrene, to the Nile and to the Black Sea, now firmly held what the king had won; and under the protection of the -sarissae-, Greek civilization peacefully domiciled itself everywhere throughout the ancient empire of the Achaemenidae. The officers, who divided the heritage of the great general, gradually settled their differences, and a system of equilibrium was established, of which the very Oscillations manifest some sort of regularity.
The Great States
Of the three states of the first rank belonging to this system —Macedonia, Asia, and Egypt—Macedonia under Philip the Fifth, who had occupied the throne since 534, was externally at least very much what it had been under Philip the Second the father of Alexander —a compact military state with its finances in good order. On its northern frontier matters had resumed their former footing, after the waves of the Gallic inundation had rolled away; the guard of the frontier kept the Illyrian barbarians in check without difficulty, at least in ordinary times. In the south, not only was Greece in general dependent on Macedonia, but a large portion of it—including all Thessaly in its widest sense from Olympus to the Spercheius and the peninsula of Magnesia, the large and important island of Euboea, the provinces of Locris, Phocis, and Doris, and lastly, a number of isolated positions in Attica and in the Peloponnesus, such as the promontory of Sunium, Corinth, Orchomenus, Heraea, the Triphylian territory—was directly subject to Macedonia and received Macedonian garrisons; more especially the three important fortresses of Demetrias in Magnesia, Chalcis in Euboea, and Corinth, "the three fetters of the Hellenes." But the strength of the state lay above all in its hereditary soil, the province of Macedonia. The population, indeed, of that extensive territory was remarkably scanty; Macedonia, putting forth all her energies, was scarcely able to bring into the field as many men as were contained in an ordinary consular army of two legions; and it was unmistakeably evident that the land had not yet recovered from the depopulation occasioned by the campaigns of Alexander and by the Gallic invasion. But while in Greece proper the moral and political energy of the people had decayed, the day of national vigour seemed to have gone by, life appeared scarce worth living for, and even of the better spirits one spent time over the wine-cup, another with the rapier, a third beside the student's lamp; while in the east and Alexandria the Greeks were able perhaps to disseminate elements of culture among the dense native population and to diffuse among that population their language and their loquacity, their science and pseudo-science, but were barely sufficient in point of number to supply the nations with officers, statesmen, and schoolmasters, and were far too few to form even in the cities middle- class of the pure Greek type; there still existed, or the other hand, in northern Greece a goodly portion of the old national vigour, which had produced the warriors of Marathon. Hence arose the confidence with which the Macedonians, Aetolians, and Acarnanians, wherever they made their appearance in the east, claimed to be, and were taken as, a better race; and hence the superior part which they played at the courts of Alexandria and Antioch. There is a characteristic story, that an Alexandrian who had lived for a considerable time in Macedonia and had adopted the manners and the dress of that country, on returning to his native city, now looked upon himself as a man and upon the Alexandrians as little better than slaves. This sturdy vigour and unimpaired national spirit were turned to peculiarly good account by the Macedonians, as the most powerful and best organized of the states of northern Greece. There, no doubt, absolutism had emerged in opposition to the old constitution, which to some extent recognized different estates; but sovereign and subject by no means stood towards each other in Macedonia as they stood in Asia and Egypt, and the people still felt itself independent and free. In steadfast resistance to the public enemy under whatever name, in unshaken fidelity towards their native country and their hereditary government, and in persevering courage amidst the severest trials, no nation in ancient history bears so close a resemblance to the Roman people as the Macedonians; and the almost miraculous regeneration of the state after the Gallic invasion redounds to the imperishable honour of its leaders and of the people whom they led.
The second of the great states, Asia, was nothing but Persia superficially remodelled and Hellenized—the empire of "the king of kings," as its master was wont to call himself in a style characteristic at once of his arrogance and of his weakness—with the same pretensions to rule from the Hellespont to the Punjab, and with the same disjointed organization; an aggregate of dependent states in various degrees of dependence, of insubordinate satrapies, and of half-free Greek cities. In Asia Minor more especially, which was nominally included in the empire of the Seleucidae, the whole north coast and the greater part of the eastern interior were practically in the hands of native dynasties or of the Celtic hordes that had penetrated thither from Europe; a considerable portion of the west was in the possession of the kings of Pergamus, and the islands and coast towns were some of them Egyptian, some of them free; so that little more was left to the great-king than the interior of Cilicia, Phrygia, and Lydia, and a great number of titular claims, not easily made good, against free cities and princes—exactly similar in character to the sovereignty of the German emperor, in his day, beyond his hereditary dominions. The strength of the empire was expended in vain endeavours to expel the Egyptians from the provinces along the coast; in frontier strife with the eastern peoples, the Parthians and Bactrians; in feuds with the Celts, who to the misfortune of Asia Minor had settled within its bounds; in constant efforts to check the attempts of the eastern satraps and of the Greek cities of Asia Minor to achieve their independence; and in family quarrels and insurrections of pretenders. None indeed of the states founded by the successors of Alexander were free from such attempts, or from the other horrors which absolute monarchy in degenerate times brings in its train; but in the kingdom of Asia these evils were more injurious than elsewhere, because, from the lax composition of the empire, they usually led to the severance of particular portions from it for longer or shorter periods.
In marked contrast to Asia, Egypt formed a consolidated and united state, in which the intelligent statecraft of the first Lagidae, skilfully availing itself of ancient national and religious precedent, had established a completely absolute cabinet government, and in which even the worst misrule failed to provoke any attempt either at emancipation or disruption. Very different from the Macedonians, whose national attachment to royalty was based upon their personal dignity and was its political expression, the rural population in Egypt was wholly passive; the capital on the other hand was everything, and that capital was a dependency of the court. The remissness and indolence of its rulers, accordingly, paralyzed the state in Egypt still more than in Macedonia and in Asia; while on the other hand when wielded by men, like the first Ptolemy and Ptolemy Euergetes, such a state machine proved itself extremely useful. It was one of the peculiar advantages of Egypt as compared with its two great rivals, that its policy did not grasp at shadows, but pursued clear and attainable objects. Macedonia, the home of Alexander, and Asia, the land where he had established his throne, never ceased to regard themselves as direct continuations of the Alexandrine monarchy and more or less loudly asserted their claim to represent it at least, if not to restore it. The Lagidae never tried to found a universal empire, and never dreamt of conquering India; but, by way of compensation, they drew the whole traffic between India and the Mediterranean from the Phoenician ports to Alexandria, and made Egypt the first commercial and maritime state of this epoch, and the mistress of the eastern Mediterranean and of its coasts and islands. It is a significant fact, that Ptolemy III. Euergetes voluntarily restored all his conquests to Seleucus Callinicus except the seaport of Antioch. Partly by this means, partly by its favourable geographical situation, Egypt attained, with reference to the two continental powers, an excellent military position either for defence or for attack. While an opponent even in the full career of success was hardly in a position seriously to threaten Egypt, which was almost inaccessible on any side to land armies, the Egyptians were able by sea to establish themselves not only in Cyrene, but also in Cyprus and the Cyclades, on the Phoenico-Syrian coast, on the whole south and west coast of Asia Minor and even in Europe on the Thracian Chersonese. By their unexampled skill in turning to account the fertile valley of the Nile for the direct benefit of the treasury, and by a financial system—equally sagacious and unscrupulous —earnestly and adroitly calculated to foster material interests, the court of Alexandria was constantly superior to its opponents even as a moneyed power. Lastly, the intelligent munificence, with which the Lagidae welcomed the tendency of the age towards earnest inquiry in all departments of enterprise and of knowledge, and knew how to confine such inquiries within the bounds, and entwine them with the interests, of absolute monarchy, was productive of direct advantage to the state, whose ship-building and machine-making showed traces of the beneficial influence of Alexandrian mathematics; and not only so, but also rendered this new intellectual power—the most important and the greatest, which the Hellenic nation after its political dismemberment put forth—subservient, so far as it would consent to be serviceable at all, to the Alexandrian court. Had the empire of Alexander continued to stand, Greek science and art would have found a state worthy and capable of containing them. Now, when the nation had fallen to pieces, a learned cosmopolitanism grew up in it luxuriantly, and was very soon attracted by the magnet of Alexandria, where scientific appliances and collections were inexhaustible, where kings composed tragedies and ministers wrote commentaries on them, and where pensions and academies flourished.
The mutual relations of the three great states are evident from what has been said. The maritime power, which ruled the coasts and monopolized the sea, could not but after the first great success —the political separation of the European from the Asiatic continent —direct its further efforts towards the weakening of the two great states on the mainland, and consequently towards the protection of the several minor states; whereas Macedonia and Asia, while regarding each other as rivals, recognized above all their common adversary in Egypt, and combined, or at any rate ought to have combined, against it.
The Kingdoms of Asia Minor
Among the states of the second rank, merely an indirect importance, so far as concerned the contact of the east with the west, attached in the first instance to that series of states which, stretching from the southern end of the Caspian Sea to the Hellespont, occupied the interior and the north coast of Asia Minor: Atropatene (in the modern Aderbijan, south-west of the Caspian), next to it Armenia, Cappadocia in the interior of Asia Minor, Pontus on the south-east, and Bithynia on the south-west, shore of the Black Sea. All of these were fragments of the great Persian Empire, and were ruled by Oriental, mostly old Persian, dynasties—the remote mountain-land of Atropatene in particular was the true asylum of the ancient Persian system, over which even the expedition of Alexander had swept without leaving a trace—and all were in the same relation of temporary and superficial dependence on the Greek dynasty, which had taken or wished to take the place of the great-kings in Asia.
The Celts of Asia Minor
Of greater importance for the general relations was the Celtic state in the interior of Asia Minor. There, intermediate between Bithynia, Paphlagonia, Cappadocia, and Phrygia, three Celtic tribes —the Tolistoagii, the Tectosages, and Trocmi—had settled, without abandoning either their native language and manners or their constitution and their trade as freebooters. The twelve tetrarchs, one of whom was appointed to preside over each of the four cantons in each of the three tribes, formed, with their council of 300 men, the supreme authority of the nation, and assembled at the "holy place" (-Drunemetum-), especially for the pronouncing of capital sentences. Singular as this cantonal constitution of the Celts appeared to the Asiatics, equally strange seemed to them the adventurous and marauding habits of the northern intruders, who on the one hand furnished their unwarlike neighbours with mercenaries for every war, and on the other plundered on their own account or levied contributions from the surrounding districts. These rude but vigorous barbarians were the general terror of the effeminate surrounding nations, and even of the great-kings of Asia themselves, who, after several Asiatic armies had been destroyed by the Celts and king Antiochus I. Soter had even lost his life in conflict with them (493), agreed at last to pay them tribute.
In consequence of bold and successful opposition to these Gallic hordes, Attalus, a wealthy citizen of Pergamus, received the royal title from his native city and bequeathed it to his posterity. This new court was in miniature what that of Alexandria was on a great scale. Here too the promotion of material interests and the fostering of art and literature formed the order of the day, and the government pursued a cautious and sober cabinet policy, the main objects of which were the weakening the power of its two dangerous continental neighbours, and the establishing an independent Greek state in the west of Asia Minor. A well-filled treasury contributed greatly to the importance of these rulers of Pergamus. They advanced considerable sums to the kings of Syria, the repayment of which afterwards formed part of the Roman conditions of peace. They succeeded even in acquiring territory in this way; Aegina, for instance, which the allied Romans and Aetolians had wrested in the last war from Philip's allies, the Achaeans, was sold by the Aetolians, to whom it fell in terms of the treaty, to Attalus for 30 talents (7300 pounds). But, notwithstanding the splendour of the court and the royal title, the commonwealth of Pergamus always retained something of the urban character; and in its policy it usually went along with the free cities. Attalus himself, the Lorenzo de' Medici of antiquity, remained throughout life a wealthy burgher; and the family life of the Attalid house, from which harmony and cordiality were not banished by the royal title, formed a striking contrast to the dissolute and scandalous behaviour of more aristocratic dynasties.
Epirots, Acarnanians, Boeotians
In European Greece—exclusive of the Roman possessions on the west coast, in the most important of which, particularly Corcyra, Roman magistrates appear to have resided,(1) and the territory directly subject to Macedonia—the powers more or less in a position to pursue a policy of their own were the Epirots, Acarnanians, and Aetolians in northern Greece, the Boeotians and Athenians in central Greece, and the Achaeans, Lacedaemonians, Messenians, and Eleans in the Peloponnesus. Among these, the republics of the Epirots, Acarnanians, and Boeotians were in various ways closely knit to Macedonia—the Acarnanians more especially, because it was only Macedonian protection that enabled them to escape the destruction with which they were threatened by the Aetolians; none of them were of any consequence. Their internal condition was very various. The state of things may to some extent be illustrated by the fact, that among the Boeotians —where, it is true, matters reached their worst—it had become customary to make over every property, which did not descend to heirs in the direct line, to the -syssitia-; and, in the case of candidates for the public magistracies, for a quarter of a century the primary condition of election was that they should bind themselves not to allow any creditor, least of all a foreign one, to sue his debtor.
The Athenians were in the habit of receiving support against Macedonia from Alexandria, and were in close league with the Aetolians. But they too were totally powerless, and hardly anything save the halo of Attic poetry and art distinguished these unworthy successors of a glorious past from a number of petty towns of the same stamp.
The power of the Aetolian confederacy manifested a greater vigour. The energy of the northern Greek character was still unbroken there, although it had degenerated into a reckless impatience of discipline and control. It was a public law in Aetolia, that an Aetolian might serve as a mercenary against any state, even against a state in alliance with his own country; and, when the other Greeks urgently besought them to redress this scandal, the Aetolian diet declared that Aetolia might sooner be removed from its place than this principle from their national code. The Aetolians might have been of great service to the Greek nation, had they not inflicted still greater injury on it by this system of organized robbery, by their thorough hostility to the Achaean confederacy, and by their unhappy antagonism to the great state of Macedonia.
In the Peloponnesus, the Achaean league had united the best elements of Greece proper in a confederacy based on civilization, national spirit, and peaceful preparation for self-defence. But the vigour and more especially the military efficiency of the league had, notwithstanding its outward enlargement, been arrested by the selfish diplomacy of Aratus. The unfortunate variances with Sparta, and the still more lamentable invocation of Macedonian interference in the Peloponnesus, had so completely subjected the Achaean league to Macedonian supremacy, that the chief fortresses of the country thenceforward received Macedonian garrisons, and the oath of fidelity to Philip was annually taken there.
Sparta, Elis, Messene
The policy of the weaker states in the Peloponnesus, Messene, and Sparta, was determined by their ancient enmity to the Achaean league —an enmity specially fostered by disputes regarding their frontiers —and their tendencies were Aetolian and anti-Macedonian, because the Achaeans took part with Philip. The only one of these states possessing any importance was the Spartan military monarchy, which after the death of Machanidas had passed into the hands of one Nabis. With ever-increasing hardihood Nabis leaned on the support of vagabonds and itinerant mercenaries, to whom he assigned not only the houses and lands, but also the wives and children, of the citizens; and he assiduously maintained connections, and even entered into an association for the joint prosecution of piracy, with the great refuge of mercenaries and pirates, the island of Crete, where he possessed some townships. His predatory expeditions by land, and the piratical vessels which he maintained at the promontory of Malea, were dreaded far and wide; he was personally hated for his baseness and cruelty; but his rule was extending, and about the time of the battle of Zama he had even succeeded in gaining possession of Messene.
League of the Greek Cities
Lastly, the most independent position among the intermediate states was held by the free Greek mercantile cities on the European shore of the Propontis as well as along the whole coast of Asia Minor, and on the islands of the Aegean Sea; they formed, at the same time, the brightest elements in the confused and multifarious picture which was presented by the Hellenic state-system. Three of them, in particular, had after Alexander's death again enjoyed their full freedom, and by the activity of their maritime commerce had attained to respectable political power and even to considerable territorial possessions; namely, Byzantium the mistress of the Bosporus, rendered wealthy and powerful by the transit dues which she levied and by the important corn trade carried on with the Black Sea; Cyzicus on the Asiatic side of the Propontis, the daughter and heiress of Miletus, maintaining the closest relations with the court of Pergamus; and lastly and above all, Rhodes. The Rhodians, who immediately after the death of Alexander had expelled the Macedonian garrison had, by their favourable position for commerce and navigation, secured the carrying trade of all the eastern Mediterranean; and their well-handled fleet, as well as the tried courage of the citizens in the famous siege of 450, enabled them in that age of promiscuous and ceaseless hostilities to become the prudent and energetic representatives and, when occasion required, champions of a neutral commercial policy. They compelled the Byzantines, for instance, by force of arms to concede to the vessels of Rhodes exemption from dues in the Bosporus; and they did not permit the dynast of Pergamus to close the Black Sea. On the other hand they kept themselves, as far as possible, aloof from land warfare, although they had acquired no inconsiderable possessions on the opposite coast of Caria; where war could not be avoided, they carried it on by means of mercenaries. With their neighbours on all sides they were in friendly relations—with Syracuse, Macedonia, Syria, but more especially with Egypt—and they enjoyed high consideration at these courts, so that their mediation was not unfrequently invoked in the wars of the great states. But they interested themselves quite specially on behalf of the Greek maritime cities, which were so numerously spread along the coasts of the kingdoms of Pontus, Bithynia, and Pergamus, as well as on the coasts and islands of Asia Minor that had been wrested by Egypt from the Seleucidae; such as Sinope, Heraclea Pontica, Cius, Lampsacus, Abydos, Mitylene, Chios, Smyrna, Samos, Halicarnassus and various others. All these were in substance free and had nothing to do with the lords of the soil except to ask for the confirmation of their privileges and, at most, to pay a moderate tribute: such encroachments, as from time to time were threatened by the dynasts, were skilfully warded off sometimes by cringing, sometimes by strong measures. In this case the Rhodians were their chief auxiliaries; they emphatically supported Sinope, for instance, against Mithradates of Pontus. How firmly amidst the quarrels, and by means of the very differences, of the monarchs the liberties of these cities of Asia Minor were established, is shown by the fact, that the dispute between Antiochus and the Romans some years after this time related not to the freedom of these cities in itself, but to the question whether they were to ask confirmation of their charters from the king or not. This league of the cities was, in this peculiar attitude towards the lords of the soil as well as in other respects, a formal Hanseatic association, headed by Rhodes, which negotiated and stipulated in treaties for itself and its allies. This league upheld the freedom of the cities against monarchical interests; and while wars raged around their walls, public spirit and civic prosperity were sheltered in comparative peace within, and art and science flourished without the risk of being crushed by a dissolute soldiery or corrupted by the atmosphere of a court.
Philip, King of Macedonia
Such was the state of things in the east, at the time when the wall of political separation between the east and the west was broken down and the eastern powers, Philip of Macedonia leading the way, were induced to interfere in the relations of the west. We have already set forth to some extent the origin of this interference and the course of the first Macedonian war (540-549); and we have pointed out what Philip might have accomplished during the second Punic war, and how little of all that Hannibal was entitled to expect and to count on was really fulfilled. A fresh illustration had been afforded of the truth, that of all haphazards none is more hazardous than an absolute hereditary monarchy. Philip was not the man whom Macedonia at that time required; yet his gifts were far from insignificant He was a genuine king, in the best and worst sense of the term. A strong desire to rule in person and unaided was the fundamental trait of his character; he was proud of his purple, but he was no less proud of other gifts, and he had reason to be so. He not only showed the valour of a soldier and the eye of a general, but he displayed a high spirit in the conduct of public affairs, whenever his Macedonian sense of honour was offended. Full of intelligence and wit, he won the hearts of all whom he wished to gain, especially of the men who were ablest and most refined, such as Flamininus and Scipio; he was a pleasant boon companion and, not by virtue of his rank alone, a dangerous wooer. But he was at the same time one of the most arrogant and flagitious characters, which that shameless age produced. He was in the habit of saying that he feared none save the gods; but it seemed almost as if his gods were those to whom his admiral Dicaearchus regularly offered sacrifice—Godlessness (-Asebeia-) and Lawlessness (-Paranomia-). The lives of his advisers and of the promoters of his schemes possessed no sacredness in his eyes, nor did he disdain to pacify his indignation against the Athenians and Attalus by the destruction of venerable monuments and illustrious works of art; it is quoted as one of his maxims of state, that "whoever causes the father to be put to death must also kill the sons." It may be that to him cruelty was not, strictly, a delight; but he was indifferent to the lives and sufferings of others, and relenting, which alone renders men tolerable, found no place in his hard and stubborn heart. So abruptly and harshly did he proclaim the principle that no promise and no moral law are binding on an absolute king, that he thereby interposed the most serious obstacles to the success of his plans. No one can deny that he possessed sagacity and resolution, but these were, in a singular manner, combined with procrastination and supineness; which is perhaps partly to be explained by the fact, that he was called in his eighteenth year to the position of an absolute sovereign, and that his ungovernable fury against every one who disturbed his autocratic course by counter-argument or counter-advice scared away from him all independent counsellors. What various causes cooperated to produce the weak and disgraceful management which he showed in the first Macedonian war, we cannot tell; it may have been due perhaps to that indolent arrogance which only puts forth its full energies against danger when it becomes imminent, or perhaps to his indifference towards a plan which was not of his own devising and his jealousy of the greatness of Hannibal which put him to shame. It is certain that his subsequent conduct betrayed no further trace of the Philip, through whose negligence the plan of Hannibal suffered shipwreck.
Macedonia and Asia Attack Egypt
When Philip concluded his treaty with the Aetolians and Romans in 548-9, he seriously intended to make a lasting peace with Rome, and to devote himself exclusively in future to the affairs of the east. It admits of no doubt that he saw with regret the rapid subjugation of Carthage; and it may be, that Hannibal hoped for a second declaration of war from Macedonia, and that Philip secretly reinforced the last Carthaginian army with mercenaries.(2) But the tedious affairs in which he had meanwhile involved himself in the east, as well as the nature of the alleged support, and especially the total silence of the Romans as to such a breach of the peace while they were searching for grounds of war, place it beyond doubt, that Philip was by no means disposed in 551 to make up for what he ought to have done ten years before. He had turned his eyes to an entirely different quarter.
Ptolemy Philopator of Egypt had died in 549. Philip and Antiochus, the kings of Macedonia and Asia, had combined against his successor Ptolemy Epiphanes, a child of five years old, in order completely to gratify the ancient grudge which the monarchies of the mainland entertained towards the maritime state. The Egyptian state was to be broken up; Egypt and Cyprus were to fall to Antiochus Cyrene, Ionia, and the Cyclades to Philip. Thoroughly after the manner of Philip, who ridiculed such considerations, the kings began the war not merely without cause but even without pretext, "just as the large fishes devour the small." The allies, moreover, had made their calculations correctly, especially Philip. Egypt had enough to do in defending herself against the nearer enemy in Syria, and was obliged to leave her possessions in Asia Minor and the Cyclades undefended when Philip threw himself upon these as his share of the spoil. In the year in which Carthage concluded peace with Rome (553), Philip ordered a fleet equipped by the towns subject to him to take on board troops, and to sail along the coast of Thrace. There Lysimachia was taken from the Aetolian garrison, and Perinthus, which stood in the relation of clientship to Byzantium, was likewise occupied. Thus the peace was broken as respected the Byzantines; and as respected the Aetolians, who had just made peace with Philip, the good understanding was at least disturbed. The crossing to Asia was attended with no difficulties, for Prusias king of Bithynia was in alliance with Macedonia. By way of recompense, Philip helped him to subdue the Greek mercantile cities in his territory. Chalcedon submitted. Cius, which resisted, was taken by storm and levelled with the ground, and its inhabitants were reduced to slavery—a meaningless barbarity, which annoyed Prusias himself who wished to get possession of the town uninjured, and which excited profound indignation throughout the Hellenic world. The Aetolians, whose -strategus- had commanded in Cius, and the Rhodians, whose attempts at mediation had been contemptuously and craftily frustrated by the king, were especially offended.
The Rhodian Hansa and Pergamus Oppose Philip
But even had this not been so, the interests of all Greek commercial cities were at stake. They could not possibly allow the mild and almost purely nominal Egyptian rule to be supplanted by the Macedonian despotism, with which urban self-government and freedom of commercial intercourse were not at all compatible; and the fearful treatment of the Cians showed that the matter at stake was not the right of confirming the charters of the towns, but the life or death of one and all. Lampsacus had already fallen, and Thasos had been treated like Cius; no time was to be lost. Theophiliscus, the vigilant -strategus- of Rhodes, exhorted his citizens to meet the common danger by common resistance, and not to suffer the towns and islands to become one by one a prey to the enemy. Rhodes resolved on its course, and declared war against Philip. Byzantium joined it; as did also the aged Attalus king of Pergamus, personally and politically the enemy of Philip. While the fleet of the allies was mustering on the Aeolian coast, Philip directed a portion of his fleet to take Chios and Samos. With the other portion he appeared in person before Pergamus, which however he invested in vain; he had to content himself with traversing the level country and leaving the traces of Macedonian valour on the temples which he destroyed far and wide. Suddenly he departed and re-embarked, to unite with his squadron which was at Samos. But the Rhodo-Pergamene fleet followed him, and forced him to accept battle in the straits of Chios. The number of the Macedonian decked vessels was smaller, but the multitude of their open boats made up for this inequality, and the soldiers of Philip fought with great courage. But he was at length defeated. Almost half of his decked vessels, 24 sail, were sunk or taken; 6000 Macedonian sailors and 3000 soldiers perished, amongst whom was the admiral Democrates; 2000 were taken prisoners. The victory cost the allies no more than 800 men and six vessels. But, of the leaders of the allies, Attalus had been cut off from his fleet and compelled to let his own vessel run aground at Erythrae; and Theophiliscus of Rhodes, whose public spirit had decided the question of war and whose valour had decided the battle, died on the day after it of his wounds. Thus while the fleet of Attalus went home and the Rhodian fleet remained temporarily at Chios, Philip, who falsely ascribed the victory to himself, was able to continue his voyage and to turn towards Samos, in order to occupy the Carian towns. On the Carian coast the Rhodians, not on this occasion supported by Attalus, gave battle for the second time to the Macedonian fleet under Heraclides, near the little island of Lade in front of the port of Miletus. The victory, claimed again by both sides, appears to have been this time gained by the Macedonians; for while the Rhodians retreated to Myndus and thence to Cos, the Macedonians occupied Miletus, and a squadron under Dicaearchus the Aetolian occupied the Cyclades. Philip meanwhile prosecuted the conquest of the Rhodian possessions on the Carian mainland, and of the Greek cities: had he been disposed to attack Ptolemy in person, and had he not preferred to confine himself to the acquisition of his own share in the spoil, he would now have been able to think even of an expedition to Egypt. In Caria no army confronted the Macedonians, and Philip traversed without hindrance the country from Magnesia to Mylasa; but every town in that country was a fortress, and the siege-warfare was protracted without yielding or promising any considerable results. Zeuxis the satrap of Lydia supported the ally of his master with the same lukewarmness as Philip had manifested in promoting the interests of the Syrian king, and the Greek cities gave their support only under the pressure of fear or force. The provisioning of the army became daily more difficult; Philip was obliged today to plunder those who but yesterday had voluntarily supplied his wants, and then he had reluctantly to submit to beg afresh. Thus the good season of the year gradually drew to an end, and in the interval the Rhodians had reinforced their fleet and had also been rejoined by that of Attalus, so that they were decidedly superior at sea. It seemed almost as if they might cut off the retreat of the king and compel him to take up winter quarters in Caria, while the state of affairs at home, particularly the threatened intervention of the Aetolians and Romans, urgently demanded his return. Philip saw the danger; he left garrisons amounting together to 3000 men, partly in Myrina to keep Pergamus in check, partly in the petty towns round Mylasa—Iassus, Bargylia, Euromus and Pedasa —to secure for him the excellent harbour and a landing place in Caria; and, owing to the negligence with which the allies guarded the sea, he succeeded in safely reaching the Thracian coast with his fleet and arriving at home before the winter of 553-4.
Diplomatic Intervention of Rome
In fact a storm was gathering against Philip in the west, which did not permit him to continue the plundering of defenceless Egypt. The Romans, who had at length in this year concluded peace on their own terms with Carthage, began to give serious attention to these complications in the east. It has often been affirmed, that after the conquest of the west they forthwith proceeded to the subjugation of the east; a serious consideration will lead to a juster judgment. It is only dull prejudice which fails to see that Rome at this period by no means grasped at the sovereignty of the Mediterranean states, but, on the contrary, desired nothing further than to have neighbours that should not be dangerous in Africa and in Greece; and Macedonia was not really dangerous to Rome. Its power certainly was far from small, and it is evident that the Roman senate only consented with reluctance to the peace of 548-9, which left it in all its integrity; but how little any serious apprehensions of Macedonia were or could be entertained in Rome, is best shown by the small number of troops—who yet were never compelled to fight against a superior force—with which Rome carried on the next war. The senate doubtless would have gladly seen Macedonia humbled; but that humiliation would be too dearly purchased at the cost of a land war carried on in Macedonia with Roman troops; and accordingly, after the withdrawal of the Aetolians, the senate voluntarily concluded peace at once on the basis of the -status quo-. It is therefore far from made out, that the Roman government concluded this peace with the definite design of beginning the war at a more convenient season; and it is very certain that, at the moment, from the thorough exhaustion of the state and the extreme unwillingness of the citizens to enter into a second transmarine struggle, the Macedonian war was in a high degree unwelcome to the Romans. But now it was inevitable. They might have acquiesced in the Macedonian state as a neighbour, such as it stood in 549; but it was impossible that they could permit it to acquire the best part of Asiatic Greece and the important Cyrene, to crush the neutral commercial states, and thereby to double its power. Further, the fall of Egypt and the humiliation, perhaps the subjugation, of Rhodes would have inflicted deep wounds on the trade of Sicily and Italy; and could Rome remain a quiet spectator, while Italian commerce with the east was made dependent on the two great continental powers? Rome had, moreover, an obligation of honour to fulfil towards Attalus her faithful ally since the first Macedonian war, and had to prevent Philip, who had already besieged him in his capital, from expelling him from his dominions. Lastly, the claim of Rome to extend her protecting arm over all the Hellenes was by no means an empty phrase: the citizens of Neapolis, Rhegium, Massilia, and Emporiae could testify that that protection was meant in earnest, and there is no question at all that at this time the Romans stood in a closer relation to the Greeks than any other nation—one little more remote than that of the Hellenized Macedonians. It is strange that any should dispute the right of the Romans to feel their human, as well as their Hellenic, sympathies revolted at the outrageous treatment of the Cians and Thasians.
Preparations and Pretexts for Second Macedonian War
Thus in reality all political, commercial, and moral motives concurred in inducing Rome to undertake the second war against Philip—one of the most righteous, which the city ever waged. It greatly redounds to the honour of the senate, that it immediately resolved on its course and did not allow itself to be deterred from making the necessary preparations either by the exhaustion of the state or by the unpopularity of such a declaration of war. The propraetor Marcus Valerius Laevinus made his appearance as early as 553 with the Sicilian fleet of 38 sail in the eastern waters. The government, however, were at a loss to discover an ostensible pretext for the war; a pretext which they needed in order to satisfy the people, even although they had not been far too sagacious to undervalue, as was the manner of Philip, the importance of assigning a legitimate ground for hostilities. The support, which Philip was alleged to have granted to the Carthaginians after the peace with Rome, manifestly could not be proved. The Roman subjects, indeed, in the province of Illyria had for a considerable time complained of the Macedonian encroachments. In 551 a Roman envoy at the head of the Illyrian levy had driven Philip's troops from the Illyrian territory; and the senate had accordingly declared to the king's envoys in 552, that if he sought war, he would find it sooner than was agreeable to him. But these encroachments were simply the ordinary outrages which Philip practised towards his neighbours; a negotiation regarding them at the present moment would have led to his humbling himself and offering satisfaction, but not to war. With all the belligerent powers in the east the Roman community was nominally in friendly relations, and might have granted them aid in repelling Philip's attack. But Rhodes and Pergamus, which naturally did not fail to request Roman aid, were formally the aggressors; and although Alexandrian ambassadors besought the Roman senate to undertake the guardianship of the boy king, Egypt appears to have been by no means eager to invoke the direct intervention of the Romans, which would put an end to her difficulties for the moment, but would at the same time open up the eastern sea to the great western power. Aid to Egypt, moreover, must have been in the first instance rendered in Syria, and would have entangled Rome simultaneously in a war with Asia and with Macedonia; which the Romans were naturally the more desirous to avoid, as they were firmly resolved not to intermeddle at least in Asiatic affairs. No course was left but to despatch in the meantime an embassy to the east for the purpose, first, of obtaining—what was not in the circumstances difficult—the sanction of Egypt to the interference of the Romans in the affairs of Greece; secondly, of pacifying king Antiochus by abandoning Syria to him; and, lastly, of accelerating as much as possible a breach with Philip and promoting a coalition of the minor Graeco-Asiatic states against him (end of 553). At Alexandria they had no difficulty in accomplishing their object; the court had no choice, and was obliged gratefully to receive Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, whom the senate had despatched as "guardian of the king" to uphold his interests, so far as that could be done without an actual intervention. Antiochus did not break off his alliance with Philip, nor did he give to the Romans the definite explanations which they desired; in other respects, however—whether from remissness, or influenced by the declarations of the Romans that they did not wish to interfere in Syria—he pursued his schemes in that direction and left things in Greece and Asia Minor to take their course.
Progress of the War
Meanwhile, the spring of 554 had arrived, and the war had recommenced. Philip first threw himself once more upon Thrace, where he occupied all the places on the coast, in particular Maronea, Aenus, Elaeus, and Sestus; he wished to have his European possessions secured against the risk of a Roman landing. He then attacked Abydus on the Asiatic coast, the acquisition of which could not but be an object of importance to him, for the possession of Sestus and Abydus would bring him into closer connection with his ally Antiochus, and he would no longer need to be apprehensive lest the fleet of the allies might intercept him in crossing to or from Asia Minor. That fleet commanded the Aegean Sea after the withdrawal of the weaker Macedonian squadron: Philip confined his operations by sea to maintaining garrisons on three of the Cyclades, Andros, Cythnos, and Paros, and fitting out privateers. The Rhodians proceeded to Chios, and thence to Tenedos, where Attalus, who had passed the winter at Aegina and had spent his time in listening to the declamations of the Athenians, joined them with his squadron. The allies might probably have arrived in time to help the Abydenes, who heroically defended themselves; but they stirred not, and so at length the city surrendered, after almost all who were capable of bearing arms had fallen in the struggle before the walls. After the capitulation a large portion of the inhabitants fell by their own hand—the mercy of the victor consisted in allowing the Abydenes a term of three days to die voluntarily. Here, in the camp before Abydus. the Roman embassy, which after the termination of its business in Syria and Egypt had visited and dealt with the minor Greek states, met with the king, and submitted the proposals which it had been charged to make by the senate, viz. that the king should wage no aggressive war against any Greek state, should restore the possessions which he had wrested from Ptolemy, and should consent to an arbitration regarding the injury inflicted on the Pergamenes and Rhodians. The object of the senate, which sought to provoke the king to a formal declaration of war, was not gained; the Roman ambassador, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, obtained from the king nothing but the polite reply that he would excuse what the envoy had said because he was young, handsome, and a Roman.
Meanwhile, however, the occasion for declaring war, which Rome desired, had been furnished from another quarter. The Athenians in their silly and cruel vanity had put to death two unfortunate Acarnanians, because these had accidentally strayed into their mysteries. When the Acarnanians, who were naturally indignant, asked Philip to procure them satisfaction, he could not refuse the just request of his most faithful allies, and he allowed them to levy men in Macedonia and, with these and their own troops, to invade Attica without a formal declaration of war. This, it is true, was no war in the proper sense of the term; and, besides, the leader of the Macedonian band, Nicanor, immediately gave orders to his troops to retreat, when the Roman envoys, who were at Athens at the time, used threatening language (in the end of 553). But it was too late. An Athenian embassy was sent to Rome to report the attack made by Philip on an ancient ally of the Romans; and, from the way in which the senate received it, Philip saw clearly what awaited him; so that he at once, in the very spring of 554, directed Philocles, his general in Greece, to lay waste the Attic territory and to reduce the city to extremities.
Declaration of War by Rome
The senate now had what they wanted; and in the summer of 554 they were able to propose to the comitia a declaration of war "on account of an attack on a state in alliance with Rome." It was rejected on the first occasion almost unanimously: foolish or evil-disposed tribunes of the people complained of the senate, which would allow the citizens no rest; but the war was necessary and, in strictness, was already begun, so that the senate could not possibly recede. The burgesses were induced to yield by representations and concessions. It is remarkable that these concessions were made mainly at the expense of the allies. The garrisons of Gaul, Lower Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia, amounting in all to 20,000 men, were exclusively taken from the allied contingents that were in active service—quite contrary to the former principles of the Romans. All the burgess troops, on the other hand, that had continued under arms from the Hannibalic war, were discharged; volunteers alone, it was alleged, were to be enrolled for the Macedonian war, but they were, as was afterwards found, for the most part forced volunteers—a fact which in the autumn of 555 called forth a dangerous military revolt in the camp of Apollonia. Six legions were formed of the men newly called out; of these two remained in Rome and two in Etruria, and only two embarked at Brundisium for Macedonia, led by the consul Publius Sulpicius Galba.
Thus it was once more clearly demonstrated, that the sovereign burgess assemblies, with their shortsighted resolutions dependent often on mere accident, were no longer at all fitted to deal with the complicated and difficult relations into which Rome was drawn by her victories; and that their mischievous intervention in the working of the state machine led to dangerous modifications of the measures which in a military point of were necessary, and to the still more dangerous course of treating the Latin allies as inferiors.
The Roman League
The position of Philip was very disadvantageous. The eastern states, which ought to have acted in unison against all interference of Rome and probably under other circumstances would have so acted, had been mainly by Philip's fault so incensed at each other, that they were not inclined to hinder, or were inclined even to promote, the Roman invasion. Asia, the natural and most important ally of Philip, had been neglected by him, and was moreover prevented at first from active interference by being entangled in the quarrel with Egypt and the Syrian war. Egypt had an urgent interest in keeping the Roman fleet out of the eastern waters; even now an Egyptian embassy intimated at Rome very plainly, that the court of Alexandria was ready to relieve the Romans from the trouble of intervention in Attica. But the treaty for the partition of Egypt concluded between Asia and Macedonia threw that important state thoroughly into the arms of Rome, and compelled the cabinet of Alexandria to declare that it would only intermeddle in the affairs of European Greece with consent of the Romans. The Greek commercial cities, with Rhodes, Pergamus, and Byzantium at their head, were in a position similar, but of still greater perplexity. They would under other circumstances have beyond doubt done what they could to close the eastern seas against the Romans; but the cruel and destructive policy of conquest pursued by Philip had driven them to an unequal struggle, in which for their self-preservation they were obliged to use every effort to implicate the great Italian power. In Greece proper also the Roman envoys, who were commissioned to organize a second league against Philip there, found the way already substantially paved for them by the enemy. Of the anti-Macedonian party—the Spartans, Eleans, Athenians, and Aetolians—Philip might perhaps have gained the latter, for the peace of 548 had made a deep, and far from healed, breach in their friendly Alliance with Rome; but apart from the old differences which subsisted between Aetolia and Macedonia regarding the Thessalian towns withdrawn by Macedonia from the Aetolian confederacy—Echinus, Larissa Cremaste, Pharsalus, and Thebes in Phthiotis—the expulsion of the Aetolian garrisons from Lysimachia and Cius had produced fresh exasperation against Philip in the minds of the Aetolians. If they delayed to join the league against him, the chief reason doubtless was the ill-feeling that continued to prevail between them and the Romans.
It was a circumstance still more ominous, that even among the Greek states firmly attached to the interests of Macedonia—the Epirots, Acarnanians, Boeotians, and Achaeans—the Acarnanians and Boeotians alone stood steadfastly by Philip. With the Epirots the Roman envoys negotiated not without success; Amynander, king of the Athamanes, in particular closely attached himself to Rome. Even among the Achaeans, Philip had offended many by the murder of Aratus; while on the other hand he had thereby paved the way for a more free development of the confederacy. Under the leadership of Philopoemen (502-571, for the first time -strategus- in 546) it had reorganized its military system, recovered confidence in itself by successful conflicts with Sparta, and no longer blindly followed, as in the time of Aratus, the policy of Macedonia. The Achaean league, which had to expect neither profit nor immediate injury from the thirst of Philip for aggrandizement, alone in all Hellas looked at this war from an impartial and national- Hellenic point of view. It perceived—what there was no difficulty in perceiving—that the Hellenic nation was thereby surrendering itself to the Romans even before these wished or desired its surrender, and attempted accordingly to mediate between Philip and the Rhodians; but it was too late. The national patriotism, which had formerly terminated the federal war and had mainly contributed to bring about the first war between Macedonia and Rome, was extinguished the Achaean mediation remained fruitless, and in vain Philip visited the cities and islands to rekindle the zeal of the nation—its apathy was the Nemesis for Cius and Abydus. The Achaeans, as they could effect no change and were not disposed to render help to either party, remained neutral.
Landing of the Romans in Macedonia
In the autumn of 554 the consul, Publius Sulpicius Galba, landed with his two legions and 1000 Numidian cavalry accompanied even by elephants derived from the spoils of Carthage, at Apollonia; on receiving accounts of which the king returned in haste from the Hellespont to Thessaly. But, owing partly to the far-advanced season, partly to the sickness of the Roman general, nothing was undertaken by land that year except a reconnaissance in force, in the course of which the townships in the vicinity, and in particular the Macedonian colony Antipatria, were occupied by the Romans. For the next year a joint attack on Macedonia was concerted with the northern barbarians, especially with Pleuratus, the then ruler of Scodra, and Bato, prince of the Dardani, who of course were eager to profit by the favourable opportunity.
More importance attached to the enterprises of the Roman fleet, which numbered 100 decked and 80 light vessels. While the rest of the ships took their station for the winter at Corcyra, a division under Gaius Claudius Cento proceeded to the Piraeeus to render assistance to the hard-pressed Athenians. But, as Cento found the Attic territory already sufficiently protected against the raids of the Corinthian garrison and the Macedonian corsairs, he sailed on and appeared suddenly before Chalcis in Euboea, the chief stronghold of Philip in Greece, where his magazines, stores of arms, and prisoners were kept, and where the commandant Sopater was far from expecting a Roman attack. The undefended walls were scaled, and the garrison was put to death; the prisoners were liberated and the stores were burnt; unfortunately, there was a want of troops to hold the important position. On receiving news of this invasion, Philip immediately in vehement indignation started from Demetrias in Thessaly for Chalcis, and when he found no trace of the enemy there save the scene of ruin, he went on to Athens to retaliate. But his attempt to surprise the city was a failure, and even the assault was in vain, greatly as the king exposed his life; the approach of Gaius Claudius from the Piraeeus, and of Attalus from Aegina, compelled him to depart. Philip still tarried for some time in Greece; but in a political and in a military point of view his successes were equally insignificant. In vain he tried to induce the Achaeans to take up arms in his behalf; and equally fruitless were his attacks on Eleusis and the Piraeeus, as well as a second attempt on Athens itself. Nothing remained for him but to gratify his natural exasperation in an unworthy manner by laying waste the country and destroying the trees of Academus, and then to return to the north.
Attempt of the Romans to Invade Macedonia
Thus the winter passed away. With the spring of 555 the proconsul Publius Sulpicius broke up from his winter camp, determined to conduct his legions from Apollonia by the shortest route into Macedonia proper. This principal attack from the west was to be supported by three subordinate attacks; on the north by an invasion of the Dardani and Illyrians; on the east by an attack on the part of the combined fleet of the Romans and allies, which assembled at Aegina; while lastly the Athamanes, and the Aetolians also, if the attempt to induce them to share in the struggle should prove successful, were to advance from the south. After Galba had crossed the mountains pierced by the Apsus (now the Beratind), and had marched through the fertile plain of Dassaretia, he reached the mountain range which separates Illyria from Macedonia, and crossing it, entered the proper Macedonian territory. Philip had marched to meet him; but in the extensive and thinly- peopled regions of Macedonia the antagonists for a time sought each other in vain; at length they met in the province of Lyncestis, a fertile but marshy plain not far from the north-western frontier, and encamped not 1000 paces apart. Philip's army, after he had been joined by the corps detached to occupy the northern passes, numbered about 20,000 infantry and 2000 cavalry; the Roman army was nearly as strong. The Macedonians however had the great advantage, that, fighting in their native land and well acquainted with its highways and byways, they had little trouble in procuring supplies of provisions, while they had encamped so close to the Romans that the latter could not venture to disperse for any extensive foraging. The consul repeatedly offered battle, but the king persisted in declining it; and the combats between the light troops, although the Romans gained some advantages in them, produced no material alteration. Galba was obliged to break up his camp and to pitch another eight miles off at Octolophus, where he conceived that he could more easily procure supplies. But here too the divisions sent out were destroyed by the light troops and cavalry of the Macedonians; the legions were obliged to come to their help, whereupon the Macedonian vanguard, which had advanced too far, were driven back to their camp with heavy loss; the king himself lost his horse in the action, and only saved his life through the magnanimous self-devotion of one of his troopers. From this perilous position the Romans were liberated through the better success of the subordinate attacks which Galba had directed the allies to make, or rather through the weakness of the Macedonian forces. Although Philip had instituted levies as large as possible in his own dominions, and had enlisted Roman deserters and other mercenaries, he had not been able to bring into the field (over and above the garrisons in Asia Minor and Thrace) more than the army, with which in person he confronted the consul; and besides, in order to form even this, he had been obliged to leave the northern passes in the Pelagonian territory undefended. For the protection of the east coast he relied partly on the orders which he had given for the laying waste of the islands of Sciathus and Peparethus, which might have furnished a station to the enemy's fleet, partly on the garrisoning of Thasos and the coast and on the fleet organized at Demetrias under Heraclides. For the south frontier be had been obliged to reckon solely upon the more than doubtful neutrality of the Aetolians. These now suddenly joined the league against Macedonia, and immediately in conjunction with the Athamanes penetrated into Thessaly, while simultaneously the Dardani and Illyrians overran the northern provinces, and the Roman fleet under Lucius Apustius, departing from Corcyra, appeared in the eastern waters, where the ships of Attalus, the Rhodians, and the Istrians joined it.
Philip, on learning this, voluntarily abandoned his position and retreated in an easterly direction: whether he did so in order to repel the probably unexpected invasion of the Aetolians, or to draw the Roman army after him with a view to its destruction, or to take either of these courses according to circumstances, cannot well be determined. He managed his retreat so dexterously that Galba, who adopted the rash resolution of following him, lost his track, and Philip was enabled to reach by a flank movement, and to occupy, the narrow pass which separates the provinces of Lyncestis and Eordaea, with the view of awaiting the Romans and giving them a warm reception there. A battle took place on the spot which he had selected; but the long Macedonian spears proved unserviceable on the wooded and uneven ground. The Macedonians were partly turned, partly broken, and lost many men.
Return of the Romans
But, although Philip's army was after this unfortunate action no longer able to prevent the advance of the Romans, the latter were themselves afraid to encounter further unknown dangers in an impassable and hostile country; and returned to Apollonia, after they had laid waste the fertile provinces of Upper Macedonia—Eordaea, Elymaea, and Orestis. Celetrum, the most considerable town of Orestis (now Kastoria, on a peninsula in the lake of the same name), had surrendered to them: it was the only Macedonian town that opened its gates to the Romans. In the Illyrian land Pelium, the city of the Dassaretae, on the upper confluents of the Apsus, was taken by storm and strongly garrisoned to serve as a future basis for a similar expedition.
Philip did not disturb the Roman main army in its retreat, but turned by forced marches against the Aetolians and Athamanians who, in the belief that the legions were occupying the attention of the king, were fearlessly and recklessly plundering the rich vale of the Peneius, defeated them completely, and compelled such as did not fall to make their escape singly through the well-known mountain paths. The effective strength of the confederacy was not a little diminished by this defeat, and not less by the numerous enlistments made in Aetolia on Egyptian account. The Dardani were chased back over the mountains by Athena-goras, the leader of Philip's light troops, without difficulty and with severe loss. The Roman fleet also did not accomplish much; it expelled the Macedonian garrison from Andros, punished Euboea and Sciathus, and then made attempts on the Chalcidian peninsula, which were, however, vigorously repulsed by the Macedonian garrison at Mende. The rest of the summer was spent in the capture of Oreus in Euboea, which was long delayed by the resolute defence of the Macedonian garrison. The weak Macedonian fleet under Heraclides remained inactive at Heraclea, and did not venture to dispute the possession of the sea with the enemy. The latter went early to winter quarters, the Romans proceeding to the Piraeeus and Corcyra, the Rhodians and Pergamenes going home.
Philip might on the whole congratulate himself upon the results of this campaign. The Roman troops, after an extremely troublesome campaign, stood in autumn precisely on the spot whence they had started in spring; and, but for the well-timed interposition of the Aetolians and the unexpected success of the battle at the pass of Eordaea, perhaps not a man of their entire force would have again seen the Roman territory. The fourfold offensive had everywhere failed in its object, and not only did Philip in autumn see his whole dominions cleared of the enemy, but he was able to make an attempt—which, however, miscarried—to wrest from the Aetolians the strong town of Thaumaci, situated on the Aetolo-Thessalian frontier and commanding the plain of the Peneius. If Antiochus, for whose coming Philip vainly supplicated the gods, should unite with him in the next campaign, he might anticipate great successes. For a moment it seemed as if Antiochus was disposed to do so; his army appeared in Asia Minor, and occupied some townships of king Attalus, who requested military protection from the Romans. The latter, however, were not anxious to urge the great-king at this time to a breach: they sent envoys, who in fact obtained an evacuation of the dominions of Attalus. From that quarter Philip had nothing to hope for.
Philip Encamps on the Aous
Philip Driven Back to Tempe
Greece in the Power of the Romans
But the fortunate issue of the last campaign had so raised the courage or the arrogance of Philip, that, after having assured himself afresh of the neutrality of the Achaeans and the fidelity of the Macedonians by the sacri fice of some strong places and of the detested admiral Heraclides, he next spring (556) assumed the offensive and advanced into the territory of the Atintanes, with a view to form a well- entrenched camp in the narrow pass, where the Aous (Viosa) winds its way between the mountains Aeropus and Asnaus. Opposite to him encamped the Roman army reinforced by new arrivals of troops, and commanded first by the consul of the previous year, Publius Villius, and then from the summer of 556 by that year's consul, Titus Quinctius Flamininus. Flamininus, a talented man just thirty years of age, belonged to the younger generation who began to lay aside the patriotism as well as the habits of their forefathers and, though not unmindful of their fatherland, were still more mindful of themselves and of Hellenism. A skilful officer and a better diplomatist, he was in many respects admirably adapted for the management of the troubled affairs of Greece. Yet it would perhaps have been better both for Rome and for Greece, if the choice had fallen on one less full of Hellenic sympathies, and if the general despatched thither had been a man, who would neither have been bribed by delicate flattery nor stung by pungent sarcasm; who would not amidst literary and artistic reminiscences have overlooked the pitiful condition of the constitutions of the Hellenic states; and who, while treating Hellas according to its deserts, would have spared the Romans the trouble of striving after unattainable ideals.
The new commander-in-chief immediately had a conference with the king, while the two armies lay face to face inactive. Philip made proposals of peace; he offered to restore all his own conquests, and to submit to an equitable arbitration regarding the damage inflicted on the Greek cities; but the negotiations broke down, when he was asked to give up ancient possessions of Macedonia and particularly Thessaly. For forty days the two armies lay in the narrow pass of the Aous; Philip would not retire, and Flamininus could not make up his mind whether he should order an assault, or leave the king alone and reattempt the expedition of the previous year. At length the Roman general was helped out of his perplexity by the treachery of some men of rank among the Epirots—who were otherwise well disposed to Macedonia—and especially of Charops. They conducted a Roman corps of 4000 infantry and 300 cavalry by mountain paths to the heights above the Macedonian camp; and, when the consul attacked the enemy's army in front, the advance of that Roman division, unexpectedly descending from the mountains commanding the position, decided the battle. Philip lost his camp and entrenchments and nearly 2000 men, and hastily retreated to the pass of Tempe, the gate of Macedonia proper. He gave up everything which he had held except the fortresses; the Thessalian towns, which he could not defend, he himself destroyed; Pherae alone closed its gates against him and thereby escaped destruction. The Epirots, induced partly by these successes of the Roman arms, partly by the judicious moderation of Flamininus, were the first to secede from the Macedonian alliance. On the first accounts of the Roman victory the Athamanes and Aetolians immediately invaded Thessaly, and the Romans soon followed; the open country was easily overrun, but the strong towns, which were friendly to Macedonia and received support from Philip, fell only after a brave resistance or withstood even the superior foe—especially Atrax on the left bank of the Peneius, where the phalanx stood in the breach as a substitute for the wall. Except these Thessalian fortresses and the territory of the faithful Acarnanians, all northern Greece was thus in the hands of the coalition.
The Achaeans Enter into Alliance with Rome
The south, on the other hand, was still in the main retained under the power of Macedonia by the fortresses of Chalcis and Corinth, which maintained communication with each other through the territory of the Boeotians who were friendly to the Macedonians, and by the Achaean neutrality; and as it was too late to advance into Macedonia this year, Flamininus resolved to direct his land army and fleet in the first place against Corinth and the Achaeans. The fleet, which had again been joined by the Rhodian and Pergamene ships, had hitherto been employed in the capture and pillage of two of the smaller towns in Euboea, Eretria and Carystus; both however, as well as Oreus, were thereafter abandoned, and reoccupied by Philocles the Macedonian commandant of Chalcis. The united fleet proceeded thence to Cenchreae, the eastern port of Corinth, to threaten that strong fortress. On the other side Flamininus advanced into Phocis and occupied the country, in which Elatea alone sustained a somewhat protracted siege: this district, and Anticyra in particular on the Corinthian gulf, were chosen as winter quarters. The Achaeans, who thus saw on the one hand the Roman legions approaching and on the other the Roman fleet already on their own coast, abandoned their morally honourable, but politically untenable, neutrality. After the deputies from the towns most closely attached to Macedonia —Dyme, Megalopolis, and Argos—had left the diet, it resolved to join the coalition against Philip. Cycliades and other leaders of the Macedonian party went into exile; the troops of the Achaeans immediately united with the Roman fleet and hastened to invest Corinth by land, which city—the stronghold of Philip against the Achaeans —had been guaranteed to them on the part of Rome in return for their joining the coalition. Not only, however, did the Macedonian garrison, which was 1300 strong and consisted chiefly of Italian deserters, defend with determination the almost impregnable city, but Philocles also arrived from Chalcis with a division of 1500 men, which not only relieved Corinth but also invaded the territory of the Achaeans and, in concert with the citizens who were favourable to Macedonia, wrested from them Argos. But the recompense of such devotedness was, that the king delivered over the faithful Argives to the reign of terror of Nabis of Sparta. Philip hoped, after the accession of the Achaeans to the Roman coalition, to gain over Nabis who had hitherto been the ally of the Romans; for his chief reason for joining the Roman alliance had been that he was opposed to the Achaeans and since 550 was even at open war with them. But the affairs of Philip were in too desperate a condition for any one to feel satisfaction in joining his side now. Nabis indeed accepted Argos from Philip, but he betrayed the traitor and remained in alliance with Flamininus, who, in his perplexity at being now allied with two powers that were at war with each other, had in the meantime arranged an armistice of four months between the Spartans and Achaeans.
Vain Attempts to Arrange a Peace
Thus winter came on; and Philip once more availed himself of it to obtain if possible an equitable peace. At a conference held at Nicaea on the Maliac gulf the king appeared in person, and endeavoured to come to an understanding with Flamininus. With haughty politeness he repelled the forward insolence of the petty chiefs, and by marked deference to the Romans, as the only antagonists on an equality with him, he sought to obtain from them tolerable terms. Flamininus was sufficiently refined to feel himself flattered by the urbanity of the vanquished prince towards himself and his arrogance towards the allies, whom the Roman as well as the king had learned to despise; but his powers were not ample enough to meet the king's wishes. He granted him a two months' armistice in return for the evacuation of Phocis and Locris, and referred him, as to the main matter, to his government. The Roman senate had long been at one in the opinion that Macedonia must give up all her possessions abroad; accordingly, when the ambassadors of Philip appeared in Rome, they were simply asked whether they had full powers to renounce all Greece and in particular Corinth, Chalcis, and Demetrias, and when they said that they had not, the negotiations were immediately broken off, and it was resolved that the war should be prosecuted with vigour. With the help of the tribunes of the people, the senate succeeded in preventing a change in the chief command—which had often proved so injurious—and in prolonging the command of Flamininus; he obtained considerable reinforcements, and the two former commanders-in-chief, Publius Galba and Publius Villius, were instructed to place themselves at his disposal. Philip resolved once more to risk a pitched battle. To secure Greece, where all the states except the Acarnanians and Boeotians were now in arms against him, the garrison of Corinth was augmented to 6000 men, while he himself, straining the last energies of exhausted Macedonia and enrolling children and old men in the ranks of the phalanx, brought into the field an army of about 26,000 men, of whom 16,000 were Macedonian -phalangitae-.
Philip Proceed to Thessaly
Battle of Cynoscephalae
Thus the fourth campaign, that of 557, began. Flamininus despatched a part of the fleet against the Acarnanians, who were besieged in Leucas; in Greece proper he became by stratagem master of Thebes, the capital of Boeotia, in consequence of which the Boeotians were compelled to join at least nominally the alliance against Macedonia. Content with having thus interrupted the communication between Corinth and Chalcis, he proceeded to the north, where alone a decisive blow could be struck. The great difficulties of provisioning the army in a hostile and for the most part desolate country, which had often hampered its operations, were now to be obviated by the fleet accompanying the army along the coast and carrying after it supplies sent from Africa, Sicily, and Sardinia. The decisive blow came, however, earlier than Flamininus had hoped. Philip, impatient and confident as he was, could not endure to await the enemy on the Macedonian frontier: after assembling his army at Dium, he advanced through the pass of Tempe into Thessaly, and encountered the army of the enemy advancing to meet him in the district of Scotussa.
The Macedonian and Roman armies—the latter of which had been reinforced by contingents of the Apolloniates and the Athamanes, by the Cretans sent by Nabis, and especially by a strong band of Aetolians—contained nearly equal numbers of combatants, each about 26,000 men; the Romans, however, had the superiority in cavalry. In front of Scotussa, on the plateau of the Karadagh, during a gloomy day of rain, the Roman vanguard unexpectedly encountered that of the enemy, which occupied a high and steep hill named Cynoscephalae, that lay between the two camps. Driven back into the plain, the Romans were reinforced from the camp by the light troops and the excellent corps of Aetolian cavalry, and now in turn forced the Macedonian vanguard back upon and over the height. But here the Macedonians again found support in their whole cavalry and the larger portion of their light infantry; the Romans, who had ventured forward imprudently, were pursued with great loss almost to their camp, and would have wholly taken to flight, had not the Aetolian horsemen prolonged the combat in the plain until Flamininus brought up his rapidly-arranged legions. The king yielded to the impetuous cry of his victorious troops demanding the continuance of the conflict, and hastily drew up his heavy-armed soldiers for the battle, which neither general nor soldiers had expected on that day. It was important to occupy the hill, which for the moment was quite denuded of troops. The right wing of the phalanx, led by the king in person, arrived early enough to form without trouble in battle order on the height; the left had not yet come up, when the light troops of the Macedonians, put to flight by the legions, rushed up the hill. Philip quickly pushed the crowd of fugitives past the phalanx into the middle division, and, without waiting till Nicanor had arrived on the left wing with the other half of the phalanx which followed more slowly, he ordered the right phalanx to couch their spears and to charge down the hill on the legions, and the rearranged light infantry simultaneously to turn them and fall upon them in flank. The attack of the phalanx, irresistible on so favourable ground, shattered the Roman infantry, and the left wing of the Romans was completely beaten. Nicanor on the other wing, when he saw the king give the attack, ordered the other half of the phalanx to advance in all haste; by this movement it was thrown into confusion, and while the first ranks were already rapidly following the victorious right wing down the hill, and were still more thrown into disorder by the inequality of the ground, the last files were just gaining the height. The right wing of the Romans under these circumstances soon overcame the enemy's left; the elephants alone, stationed upon this wing, annihilated the broken Macedonian ranks. While a fearful slaughter was taking place at this point, a resolute Roman officer collected twenty companies, and with these threw himself on the victorious Macedonian wing, which had advanced so far in pursuit of the Roman left that the Roman right came to be in its rear. Against an attack from behind the phalanx was defenceless, and this movement ended the battle. From the complete breaking up of the two phalanxes we may well believe that the Macedonian loss amounted to 13,000, partly prisoners, partly fallen—but chiefly the latter, because the Roman soldiers were not acquainted with the Macedonian sign of surrender, the raising of the -sarissae-. The loss of the victors was slight. Philip escaped to Larissa, and, after burning all his papers that nobody might be compromised, evacuated Thessaly and returned home.
Simultaneously with this great defeat, the Macedonians suffered other discomfitures at all the points which they still occupied; in Caria the Rhodian mercenaries defeated the Macedonian corps stationed there and compelled it to shut itself up in Stratonicea; the Corinthian garrison was defeated by Nicostratus and his Achaeans with severe loss, and Leucas in Acarnania was taken by assault after a heroic resistance. Philip was completely vanquished; his last allies, the Acarnanians, yielded on the news of the battle of Cynoscephalae.
Preliminaries of Peace
It was completely in the power of the Romans to dictate peace; they used their power without abusing it. The empire of Alexander might be annihilated; at a conference of the allies this desire was expressly put forward by the Aetolians. But what else would this mean, than to demolish the rampart protecting Hellenic culture from the Thracians and Celts? Already during the war just ended the flourishing Lysimachia on the Thracian Chersonese had been totally destroyed by the Thracians—a serious warning for the future. Flamininus, who had clearly perceived the bitter animosities subsisting among the Greek states, could never consent that the great Roman power should be the executioner for the grudges of the Aetolian confederacy, even if his Hellenic sympathies had not been as much won by the polished and chivalrous king as his Roman national feeling was offended by the boastings of the Aetolians, the "victors of Cynoscephalae," as they called themselves. He replied to the Aetolians that it was not the custom of Rome to annihilate the vanquished, and that, besides, they were their own masters and were at liberty to put an end to Macedonia, if they could. The king was treated with all possible deference, and, on his declaring himself ready now to entertain the demands formerly made, an armistice for a considerable term was agreed to by Flamininus in return for the payment of a sum of money and the furnishing of hostages, among whom was the king's son Demetrius,—an armistice which Philip greatly needed in order to expel the Dardani out of Macedonia.
Peace with Macedonia
The final regulation of the complicated affairs of Greece was entrusted by the senate to a commission of ten persons, the head and soul of which was Flamininus. Philip obtained from it terms similar to those laid down for Carthage. He lost all his foreign possessions in Asia Minor, Thrace, Greece, and in the islands of the Aegean Sea; while he retained Macedonia proper undiminished, with the exception of some unimportant tracts on the frontier and the province of Orestis, which was declared free—a stipulation which Philip felt very keenly, but which the Romans could not avoid prescribing, for with his character it was impossible to leave him free to dispose of subjects who had once revolted from their allegiance. Macedonia was further bound not to conclude any foreign alliances without the previous knowledge of Rome, and not to send garrisons abroad; she was bound, moreover, not to make war out of Macedonia against civilized states or against any allies of Rome at all; and she was not to maintain any army exceeding 5000 men, any elephants, or more than five decked ships—the rest were to be given up to the Romans. Lastly, Philip entered into symmachy with the Romans, which obliged him to send a contingent when requested; indeed, Macedonian troops immediately afterwards fought side by side with the legions. Moreover, he paid a contribution of 1000 talents (244,000 pounds).
After Macedonia had thus been reduced to complete political nullity and was left in possession of only as much power as was needful to guard the frontier of Hellas against the barbarians, steps were taken to dispose of the possessions ceded by the king. The Romans, who just at that time were learning by experience in Spain that transmarine provinces were a very dubious gain, and who had by no means begun the war with a view to the acquisition of territory, took none of the spoil for themselves, and thus compelled their allies also to moderation. They resolved to declare all the states of Greece, which had previously been under Phillip free: and Flamininus was commissioned to read the decree to that effect to the Greeks assembled at the Isthmian games (558). Thoughtful men doubtless might ask whether freedom was a blessing capable of being thus bestowed, and what was the value of freedom to a nation apart from union and unity; but the rejoicing was great and sincere, as the intention of the senate was sincere in conferring the freedom.(2)
The Achaean League Enlarged
The only exceptions to this general rule were, the Illyrian provinces eastward of Epidamnus, which fell to Pleuratus the ruler of Scodra, and rendered that state of robbers and pirates, which a century before had been humbled by the Romans,(3) once more one of the most powerful of the petty principalities in those regions; some townships in western Thessaly, which Amynander had occupied and was allowed to retain; and the three islands of Paros, Scyros, and Imbros, which were presented to Athens in return for her many hardships and her still more numerous addresses of thanks and courtesies of all sorts. The Rhodians, of course, retained their Carian possessions, and the Pergamenes retained Aegina. The remaining allies were only indirectly rewarded by the accession of the newly-liberated cities to the several confederacies. The Achaeans were the best treated, although they were the latest in joining the coalition against Philip; apparently for the honourable reason, that this federation was the best organized and most respectable of all the Greek states. All the possessions of Philip in the Peloponnesus and on the Isthmus, and consequently Corinth in particular, were incorporated with their league. With the Aetolians on the other hand the Romans used little ceremony; they were allowed to receive the towns of Phocis and Locris into their symmachy, but their attempts to extend it also to Acarnania and Thessaly were in part decidedly rejected, in part postponed, and the Thessalian cities were organized into four small independent confederacies. The Rhodian city-league reaped the benefit of the liberation of Thasos, Lemnos, and the towns of Thrace and Asia Minor.
War against Nabis of Sparta
The regulation of the affairs of the Greek states, as respected both their mutual relations and their internal condition, was attended with difficulty. The most urgent matter was the war which had been carried on between the Spartans and Achaeans since 550, in which the duty of mediating necessarily fell to the Romans. But after various attempts to induce Nabis to yield, and particularly to give up the city of Argos belonging to the Achaean league, which Philip had surrendered to him, no course at last was left to Flamininus but to have war declared against the obstinate petty robber-chieftain, who reckoned on the well-known grudge of the Aetolians against the Romans and on the advance of Antiochus into Europe, and pertinaciously refused to restore Argos. War was declared, accordingly, by all the Hellenes at a great diet in Corinth, and Flamininus advanced into the Peloponnesus accompanied by the fleet and the Romano-allied army, which included a contingent sent by Philip and a division of Lacedaemonian emigrants under Agesipolis, the legitimate king of Sparta (559). In order to crush his antagonist immediately by an overwhelming superiority of force, no less than 50,000 men were brought into the field, and, the other towns being disregarded, the capital itself was at once invested; but the desired result was not attained. Nabis had sent into the field a considerable army amounting to 15,000 men, of whom 5000 were mercenaries, and he had confirmed his rule afresh by a complete reign of terror—by the execution -en masse- of the officers and inhabitants of the country whom he suspected. Even when he himself after the first successes of the Roman army and fleet resolved to yield and to accept the comparatively favourable terms of peace proposed by Flamininus, "the people," that is to say the gang of robbers whom Nabis had domiciled in Sparta, not without reason apprehensive of a reckoning after the victory, and deceived by an accompaniment of lies as to the nature of the terms of peace and as to the advance of the Aetolians and Asiatics, rejected the peace offered by the Roman general, so that the struggle began anew. A battle took place in front of the walls and an assault was made upon them; they were already scaled by the Romans, when the setting on fire of the captured streets compelled the assailants to retire.
Settlement of Spartan Affairs
At last the obstinate resistance came to an end. Sparta retained its independence and was neither compelled to receive back the emigrants nor to join the Achaean league; even the existing monarchical constitution, and Nabis himself, were left intact. On the other hand Nabis had to cede his foreign possessions, Argos, Messene, the Cretan cities, and the whole coast besides; to bind himself neither to conclude foreign alliances, nor to wage war, nor to keep any other vessels than two open boats; and lastly to disgorge all his plunder, to give to the Romans hostages, and to pay to them a war-contribution. The towns on the Laconian coast were given to the Spartan emigrants, and this new community, who named themselves the "free Laconians" in contrast to the monarchically governed Spartans, were directed to enter the Achaean league. The emigrants did not receive back their property, as the district assigned to them was regarded as a compensation for it; it was stipulated, on the other hand, that their wives and children should not be detained in Sparta against their will. The Achaeans, although by this arrangement they gained the accession of the free Laconians as well as Argos, were yet far from content; they had expected that the dreaded and hated Nabis would be superseded, that the emigrants would be brought back, and that the Achaean symmachy would be extended to the whole Peloponnesus. Unprejudiced persons, however, will not fail to see that Flamininus managed these difficult affairs as fairly and justly as it was possible to manage them where two political parties, both chargeable with unfairness and injustice stood opposed to each other. With the old and deep hostility subsisting between the Spartans and Achaeans, the incorporation of Sparta into the Achaean league would have been equivalent to subjecting Sparta to the Achaeans, a course no less contrary to equity than to prudence. The restitution of the emigrants, and the complete restoration of a government that had been set aside for twenty years, would only have substituted one reign of terror for another; the expedient adopted by Flamininus was the right one, just because it failed to satisfy either of the extreme parties. At length thorough provision appeared to be made that the Spartan system of robbery by sea and land should cease, and that the government there, such as it was, should prove troublesome only to its own subjects. It is possible that Flamininus, who knew Nabis and could not but be aware how desirable it was that he should personally be superseded, omitted to take such a step from the mere desire to have done with the matter and not to mar the clear impression of his successes by complications that might be prolonged beyond all calculation; it is possible, moreover, that he sought to preserve Sparta as a counterpoise to the power of the Achaean confederacy in the Peloponnesus. But the former objection relates to a point of secondary importance; and as to the latter view, it is far from probable that the Romans condescended to fear the Achaeans.
Final Regulation of Greece
Peace was thus established, externally at least, among the petty Greek states. But the internal condition of the several communities also furnished employment to the Roman arbiter. The Boeotians openly displayed their Macedonian tendencies, even after the expulsion of the Macedonians from Greece; after Flamininus had at their request allowed their countrymen who were in the service of Philip to return home, Brachyllas, the most decided partisan of Macedonia, was elected to the presidency of the Boeotian confederacy, and Flamininus was otherwise irritated in every way. He bore it with unparalleled patience; but the Boeotians friendly to Rome, who knew what awaited them after the departure of the Romans, determined to put Brachyllas to death, and Flamininus, whose permission they deemed it necessary to ask, at least did not forbid them. Brachyllas was accordingly killed; upon which the Boeotians were not only content with prosecuting the murderers, but lay in wait for the Roman soldiers passing singly or in small parties through their territories, and killed about 500 of them. This was too much to be endured; Flamininus imposed on them a fine of a talent for every soldier; and when they did not pay it, he collected the nearest troops and besieged Coronea (558). Now they betook themselves to entreaty; Flamininus in reality desisted on the intercession of the Achaeans and Athenians, exacting but a very moderate fine from those who were guilty; and although the Macedonian party remained continuously at the helm in the petty province, the Romans met their puerile opposition simply with the forbearance of superior power. In the rest of Greece Flamininus contented himself with exerting his influence, so far as he could do so without violence, over the internal affairs especially of the newly-freed communities; with placing the council and the courts in the hands of the more wealthy and bringing the anti-Macedonian party to the helm; and with attaching as much as possible the civic commonwealths to the Roman interest, by adding everything, which in each community should have fallen by martial law to the Romans, to the common property of the city concerned. The work was finished in the spring of 560; Flamininus once more assembled the deputies of all the Greek communities at Corinth, exhorted them to a rational and moderate use of the freedom conferred on them, and requested as the only return for the kindness of the Romans, that they would within thirty days send to him the Italian captives who had been sold into Greece during the Hannibalic war. Then he evacuated the last fortresses in which Roman garrisons were still stationed, Demetrias, Chalcis along with the smaller forts dependent upon it in Euboea, and Acrocorinthus—thus practically giving the lie to the assertion of the Aetolians that Rome had inherited from Philip the "fetters" of Greece—and departed homeward with all the Roman troops and the liberated captives.
It is only contemptible disingenuousness or weakly sentimentality, which can fail to perceive that the Romans were entirely in earnest with the liberation of Greece; and the reason why the plan so nobly projected resulted in so sorry a structure, is to be sought only in the complete moral and political disorganization of the Hellenic nation. It was no small matter, that a mighty nation should have suddenly with its powerful arm brought the land, which it had been accustomed to regard as its primitive home and as the shrine of its intellectual and higher interests, into the possession of full freedom, and should have conferred on every community in it deliverance from foreign taxation and foreign garrisons and the unlimited right of self-government; it is mere paltriness that sees in this nothing save political calculation. Political calculation made the liberation of Greece a possibility for the Romans; it was converted into a reality by the Hellenic sympathies that were at that time indescribably powerful in Rome, and above all in Flamininus himself. If the Romans are liable to any reproach, it is that all of them, and in particular Flamininus who overcame the well-founded scruples of the senate, were hindered by the magic charm of the Hellenic name from perceiving in all its extent the wretched character of the Greek states of that period, and so allowed yet further freedom for the doings of communities which, owing to the impotent antipathies that prevailed alike in their internal and their mutual relations, knew neither how to act nor how to keep quiet. As things stood, it was really necessary at once to put an end to such a freedom, equally pitiful and pernicious, by means of a superior power permanently present on the spot; the feeble policy of sentiment, with all its apparent humanity, was far more cruel than the sternest occupation would have been. In Boeotia for instance Rome had, if not to instigate, at least to permit, a political murder, because the Romans had resolved to withdraw their troops from Greece and, consequently, could not prevent the Greeks friendly to Rome from seeking their remedy in the usual manner of the country. But Rome herself also suffered from the effects of this indecision. The war with Antiochus would not have arisen but for the political blunder of liberating Greece, and it would not have been dangerous but tor the military blunder of withdrawing the garrisons from the principal fortresses on the European frontier. History has a Nemesis for every sin—for an impotent craving after freedom, as well as for an injudicious generosity.
Notes for Chapter VIII
1. III. III. Acquisition of Territory in Illyria
2. III. VI. Stagnation of the War in Italy
3. There are still extant gold staters, with the head of Flamininus and the inscription "-T. Quincti(us)-," struck in Greece under the government of the liberator of the Hellenes. The use of the Latin language is a significant compliment.
4. III. III. Acquisition of Territory in Illyria