Antiochus the Great
In the kingdom of Asia the diadem of the Seleucidae had been worn since 531 by king Antiochus the Third, the great-great-grandson of the founder of the dynasty. He had, like Philip, begun to reign at nineteen years of age, and had displayed sufficient energy and enterprise, especially in his first campaigns in the east, to warrant his being without too ludicrous impropriety addressed in courtly style as "the Great." He had succeeded—more, however, through the negligence of his opponents and of the Egyptian Philopator in particular, than through any ability of his own—in restoring in some degree the integrity of the monarchy, and in reuniting with his crown first the eastern satrapies of Media and Parthyene, and then the separate state which Achaeus had founded on this side of the Taurus in Asia Minor. A first attempt to wrest from the Egyptians the coast of Syria, the loss of which he sorely felt, had, in the year of the battle of the Trasimene lake, met with a bloody repulse from Philopator at Raphia; and Antiochus had taken good care not to resume the contest with Egypt, so long as a man—even though he were but an indolent one—occupied the Egyptian throne. But, after Philopator's death (549), the right moment for crushing Egypt appeared to have arrived; with that view Antiochus entered into concert with Philip, and had thrown himself upon Coele-Syria, while Philip attacked the cities of Asia Minor. When the Romans interposed in that quarter, it seemed for a moment as if Antiochus would make common cause with Philip against them—the course suggested by the position of affairs, as well as by the treaty of alliance. But, not far-seeing enough to repel at once with all his energy any interference whatever by the Romans in the affairs of the east, Antiochus thought that his best course was to take advantage of the subjugation of Philip by the Romans (which might easily be foreseen), in order to secure the kingdom of Egypt, which he had previously been willing to share with Philip, for himself alone. Notwithstanding the close relations of Rome with the court of Alexandria and her royal ward, the senate by no means intended to be in reality, what it was in name, his "protector;" firmly resolved to give itself no concern about Asiatic affairs except in case of extreme necessity, and to limit the sphere of the Roman power by the Pillars of Hercules and the Hellespont, it allowed the great-king to take his course. He himself was not probably in earnest with the conquest of Egypt proper—which was more easily talked of than achieved—but he contemplated the subjugation of the foreign possessions of Egypt one after another, and at once attacked those in Cilicia as well as in Syria and Palestine. The great victory, which he gained in 556 over the Egyptian general Scopas at Mount Panium near the sources of the Jordan, not only gave him complete possession of that region as far as the frontier of Egypt proper, but so alarmed the Egyptian guardians of the young king that, to prevent Antiochus from invading Egypt, they submitted to a peace and sealed it by the betrothal of their ward to Cleopatra the daughter of Antiochus. When he had thus achieved his first object, he proceeded in the following year, that of the battle of Cynoscephalae, with a strong fleet of 100 decked and 100 open vessels to Asia Minor, to take possession of the districts that formerly belonged to Egypt on the south and west coasts of Asia Minor—probably the Egyptian government had ceded these districts, which were -de facto- in the hands of Philip, to Antiochus under the peace, and had renounced all their foreign possessions in his favour—and to recover the Greeks of Asia Minor generally for his empire. At the same time a strong Syrian land-army assembled in Sardes.
Difficulties with Rome
This enterprise had an indirect bearing on the Romans who from the first had laid it down as a condition for Philip that he should withdraw his garrisons from Asia Minor and should leave to the Rhodians and Pergamenes their territory and to the free cities their former constitution unimpaired, and who had now to look on while Antiochus took possession of them in Philip's place. Attalus and the Rhodians found themselves now directly threatened by Antiochus with precisely the same danger as had driven them a few years before into the war with Philip; and they naturally sought to involve the Romans in this war as well as in that which had just terminated. Already in 555-6 Attalus had requested from the Romans military aid against Antiochus, who had occupied his territory while the troops of Attalus were employed in the Roman war. The more energetic Rhodians even declared to king Antiochus, when in the spring of 557 his fleet appeared off the coast of Asia Minor, that they would regard its passing beyond the Chelidonian islands (off the Lycian coast) as a declaration of war; and, when Antiochus did not regard the threat, they, emboldened by the accounts that had just arrived of the battle at Cynoscephalae, had immediately begun the war and had actually protected from the king the most important of the Carian cities, Caunus, Halicarnassus, and Myndus, and the island of Samos. Most of the half-free cities had submitted to Antiochus, but some of them, more especially the important cities of Smyrna, Alexandria Troas, and Lampsacus, had, on learning the discomfiture of Philip, likewise taken courage to resist the Syrian; and their urgent entreaties were combined with those of the Rhodians.
It admits of no doubt, that Antiochus, so far as he was at all capable of forming a resolution and adhering to it, had already made up his mind not only to attach to his empire the Egyptian possessions in Asia, but also to make conquests on his own behalf in Europe and, if not to seek on that account a war with Rome, at any rate to risk it The Romans had thus every reason to comply with that request of their allies, and to interfere directly in Asia; but they showed little inclination to do so. They not only delayed as long as the Macedonian war lasted, and gave to Attalus nothing but the protection of diplomatic intercession, which, we may add, proved in the first instance effective; but even after the victory, while they doubtless spoke as though the cities which had been in the hands of Ptolemy and Philip ought not to be taken possession of by Antiochus, and while the freedom of the Asiatic cities, Myrina, Abydus, Lampsacus,(1) and Cius, figured in Roman documents, they took not the smallest step to give effect to it, and allowed king Antiochus to employ the favourable opportunity presented by the withdrawal of the Macedonian garrisons to introduce his own. In fact, they even went so far as to submit to his landing in Europe in the spring of 558 and invading the Thracian Chersonese, where he occupied Sestus and Madytus and spent a considerable time in the chastisement of the Thracian barbarians and the restoration of the destroyed Lysimachia, which he had selected as his chief place of arms and as the capital of the newly-instituted satrapy of Thrace. Flamininus indeed, who was entrusted with the conduct of these affairs, sent to the king at Lysimachia envoys, who talked of the integrity of the Egyptian territory and of the freedom of all the Hellenes; but nothing came out of it. The king talked in turn of his undoubted legal title to the ancient kingdom of Lysimachus conquered by his ancestor Seleucus, explained that he was employed not in making territorial acquisitions but only in preserving the integrity of his hereditary dominions, and declined the intervention of the Romans in his disputes with the cities subject to him in Asia Minor. With justice he could add that peace had already been concluded with Egypt, and that the Romans were thus far deprived of any formal pretext for interfering.(2) The sudden return of the king to Asia occasioned by a false report of the death of the young king of Egypt, and the projects which it suggested of a landing in Cyprus or even at Alexandria, led to the breaking off of the conferences without coming to any conclusion, still less producing any result. In the following year, 559, Antiochus returned to Lysimachia with his fleet and army reinforced, and employed himself in organizing the new satrapy which he destined for his son Seleucus. Hannibal, who had been obliged to flee from Carthage, came to him at Ephesus; and the singularly honourable reception accorded to the exile was virtually a declaration of war against Rome. Nevertheless Flamininus in the spring of 560 withdrew all the Roman garrisons from Greece. This was under the existing circumstances at least a mischievous error, if not a criminal acting in opposition to his own better knowledge; for we cannot dismiss the idea that Flamininus, in order to carry home with him the undiminished glory of having wholly terminated the war and liberated Hellas, contented himself with superficially covering up for the moment the smouldering embers of revolt and war. The Roman statesman might perhaps be right, when he pronounced any attempt to bring Greece directly under the dominion of the Romans, and any intervention of the Romans in Asiatic affairs, to be a political blunder; but the opposition fermenting in Greece, the feeble arrogance of the Asiatic king, the residence, at the Syrian head-quarters, of the bitter enemy of the Romans who had already raised the west in arms against Rome—all these were clear signs of the approach of a fresh rising in arms on the part of the Hellenic east, which could not but have for its aim at least to transfer Greece from the clientship of Rome to that of the states opposed to Rome, and, if this object should be attained, would immediately extend the circle of its operations. It is plain that Rome could not allow this to take place. When Flamininus, ignoring all these sure indications of war, withdrew the garrisons from Greece, and yet at the same time made demands on the king of Asia which he had no intention of employing his army to support, he overdid his part in words as much as he fell short in action, and forgot his duty as a general and as a citizen in the indulgence of his personal vanity—a vanity, which wished to confer, and imagined that it had conferred, peace on Rome and freedom on the Greeks of both continents.
Preparations of Antiochus for War with Rome
Antiochus employed the unexpected respite in strengthening his position at home and his relations with his neighbours before beginning the war, on which for his part he was resolved, and became all the more so, the more the enemy appeared to procrastinate. He now (561) gave his daughter Cleopatra, previously betrothed, in marriage to the young king of Egypt. That he at the same time promised to restore the provinces wrested from his son-in-law, was afterwards affirmed on the part of Egypt, but probably without warrant; at any rate the land remained actually attached to the Syrian kingdom.(3) He offered to restore to Eumenes, who had in 557 succeeded his father Attalus on the throne of Pergamus, the towns taken from him, and to give him also one of his daughters in marriage, if he would abandon the Roman alliance. In like manner he bestowed a daughter on Ariarathes, king of Cappadocia, and gained the Galatians by presents, while he reduced by arms the Pisidians who were constantly in revolt, and other small tribes. Extensive privileges were granted to the Byzantines; respecting the cities in Asia Minor, the king declared that he would permit the independence of the old free cities such as Rhodes and Cyzicus, and would be content in the case of the others with a mere formal recognition of his sovereignty; he even gave them to understand that he was ready to submit to the arbitration of the Rhodians. In European Greece he could safely count on the Aetolians, and he hoped to induce Philip again to take up arms. In fact, a plan of Hannibal obtained the royal approval, according to which he was to receive from Antiochus a fleet of 100 sail and a land army of 10,000 infantry and 1000 cavalry, and was to employ them in kindling first a third Punic war in Carthage, and then a second Hannibalic war in Italy; Tyrian emissaries proceeded to Carthage to pave the way for a rising in arms there(4) Finally, good results were anticipated from the Spanish insurrection, which, at the time when Hannibal left Carthage, was at its height.(5)
Aetolian Intrigues against Rome
While the storm was thus gathering from far and wide against Rome, it was on this, as on all occasions, the Hellenes implicated in the enterprise, who were of the least moment, and yet took action of the greatest importance and with the utmost impatience. The exasperated and arrogant Aetolians began by degrees to persuade themselves that Philip had been vanquished by them and not by the Romans, and could not even wait till Antiochus should advance into Greece. Their policy is characteristically expressed in the reply, which their -strategus- gave soon afterwards to Flamininus, when he requested a copy of the declaration of war against Rome: that he would deliver it to him in person, when the Aetolian army should encamp on the Tiber. The Aetolians acted as the agents of the Syrian king in Greece and deceived both parties, by representing to the king that all the Hellenes were waiting with open arms to receive him as their true deliverer, and by telling those in Greece who were disposed to listen to them that the landing of the king was nearer than it was in reality. Thus they actually succeeded in inducing the simple obstinacy of Nabis to break loose and to rekindle in Greece the flame of war two years after Flamininus's departure, in the spring of 562; but in doing so they missed their aim. Nabis attacked Gythium, one of the towns of the free Laconians that by the last treaty had been annexed to the Achaean league, and took it; but the experienced -strategus- of the Achaeans, Philopoemen, defeated him at the Barbosthenian mountains, and the tyrant brought back barely a fourth part of his army to his capital, in which Philopoemen shut him up. As such a commencement was no sufficient inducement for Antiochus to come to Europe, the Aetolians resolved to possess themselves of Sparta, Chalcis, and Demetrias, and by gaining these important towns to prevail upon the king to embark. In the first place they thought to become masters of Sparta, by arranging that the Aetolian Alexamenus should march with 1000 men into the town under pretext of bringing a contingent in terms of the alliance, and should embrace the opportunity of making away with Nabis and of occupying the town. This was done, and Nabis was killed at a review of the troops; but, when the Aetolians dispersed to plunder the town, the Lacedaemonians found time to rally and slew them to the last man. The city was then induced by Philopoemen to join the Achaean league. After this laudable project of the Aetolians had thus not only deservedly failed, but had had precisely the opposite effect of uniting almost the whole Peloponnesus in the hands of the other party, it fared little better with them at Chalcis, for the Roman party there called in the citizens of Eretria and Carystus in Euboea, who were favourable to Rome, to render seasonable aid against the Aetolians and the Chalcidian exiles. On the other hand the occupation of Demetrias was successful, for the Magnetes to whom the city had been assigned were, not without reason, apprehensive that it had been promised by the Romans to Philip as a prize in return for his aid against Antiochus; several squadrons of Aetolian horse moreover managed to steal into the town under the pretext of forming an escort for Eurylochus, the recalled head of the opposition to Rome. Thus the Magnetes passed over, partly of their own accord, partly by compulsion, to the side of the Aetolians, and the latter did not fail to make use of the fact at the court of the Seleucid.
Rupture between Antiochus and the Romans
Antiochus took his resolution. A rupture with Rome, in spite of endeavours to postpone it by the diplomatic palliative of embassies, could no longer be avoided. As early as the spring of 561 Flamininus, who continued to have the decisive voice in the senate as to eastern affairs, had expressed the Roman ultimatum to the envoys of the king, Menippus and Hegesianax; viz. that he should either evacuate Europe and dispose of Asia at his pleasure, or retain Thrace and submit to the Roman protectorate over Smyrna, Lampsacus, and Alexandria Troas. These demands had been again discussed at Ephesus, the chief place of arms and fixed quarters of the king in Asia Minor, in the spring of 562, between Antiochus and the envoys of the senate, Publius Sulpicius and Publius Villius; and they had separated with the conviction on both sides thata peaceful settlement was no longer possible. Thenceforth war was resolved on in Rome. In that very summer of 562 a Roman fleet of 30 sail, with 3000 soldiers on board, under Aulus Atilius Serranus, appeared off Gythium, where their arrival accelerated the conclusion of the treaty between the Achaeans and Spartans; the eastern coasts of Sicily and Italy were strongly garrisoned, so as to be secure against any attempts at a landing; a land army was expected in Greece in the autumn. Since the spring of 562 Flamininus, by direction of the senate, had journeyed through Greece to thwart the intrigues of the opposite party, and to counteract as far as possible the evil effects of the ill-timed evacuation of the country. The Aetolians had already gone so far as formally to declare war in their diet against Rome. But Flamininus succeeded In saving Chalcis for the Romans by throwing into it a garrison of 500 Achaeans and 500 Pergamenes. He made an attempt also to recover Demetrias; and the Magnetes wavered. Though some towns in Asia Minor, which Antiochus had proposed to subdue before beginning the great war, still held out, he could now no longer delay his landing, unless he was willing to let the Romans recover all the advantages which they had surrendered two years before by withdrawing their garrisons from Greece. He collected the vessels and troops which were at hand—he had but 40 decked vessels and 10,000 infantry, along with 500 horse and 6 elephants—and started from the Thracian Chersonese for Greece, where he landed in the autumn of 562 at Pteleum on the Pagasaean gulf, and immediately occupied the adjoining Demetrias. Nearly about the same time a Roman army of some 25,000 men under the praetor Marcus Baebius landed at Apollonia. The war was thus begun on both sides.
Attitude of the Minor Powers
Carthage and Hannibal
Everything depended on the extent to which that comprehensively- planned coalition against Rome, of which Antiochus came forward as the head, might be realized. As to the plan, first of all, of stirring up enemies to the Romans in Carthage and Italy, it was the fate of Hannibal at the court of Ephesus, as through his whole career, to have projected his noble and high-spirited plans for the behoof of people pedantic and mean. Nothing was done towards their execution, except that some Carthaginian patriots were compromised; no choice was left to the Carthaginians but to show unconditional submission to Rome. The camarilla would have nothing to do with Hannibal—such a man was too inconveniently great for court cabals; and, after having tried all sorts of absurd expedients, such as accusing the general, with whose name the Romans frightened their children, of concert with the Roman envoys, they succeeded in persuading Antiochus the Great, who like all insignificant monarchs plumed himself greatly on his independence and was influenced by nothing so easily as by the fear of being ruled, into the wise belief that he ought not to allow himself to be thrown into the shade by so celebrated a man. Accordingly it was in solemn council resolved that the Phoenician should be employed in future only for subordinate enterprises and for giving advice—with the reservation, of course, that the advice should never be followed. Hannibal revenged himself on the rabble, by accepting every commission and brilliantly executing all.
States of Asia Minor
In Asia Cappadocia adhered to the great-king; Prusias of Bithynia on the other hand took, as always, the side of the stronger. King Eumenes remained faithful to the old policy of his house, which was now at length to yield to him its true fruit. He had not only persistently refused |the offers of Antiochus, but had constantly urged the Romans to a war, from which he expected the aggrandizement of his kingdom. The Rhodians and Byzantines likewise joined their old allies. Egypt too took the side of Rome and offered support in supplies and men; which, however, the Romans did not accept.
In Europe the result mainly depended on the position which Philip of Macedonia would take up. It would have been perhaps the right policy for him, notwithstanding all the injuries or shortcomings of the past, to unite with Antiochus. But Philip was ordinarily influenced not by such considerations, but by his likings and dislikings; and his hatred was naturally directed much more against the faithless ally, who had left him to contend alone with the common enemy, had sought merely to seize his own share in the spoil, and had become a burdensome neighbour to him in Thrace, than against the conqueror, who had treated him respectfully and honourably. Antiochus had, moreover, given deep offence to the hot temper of Philip by the setting up of absurd pretenders to the Macedonian crown, and by the ostentatious burial of the Macedonian bones bleaching at Cynoscephalae. Philip therefore placed his whole force with cordial zeal at the disposal of the Romans.
The Lesser Greek States
The second power of Greece, the Achaean league, adhered no less decidedly than the first to the alliance with Rome. Of the smaller powers, the Thessalians and the Athenians held by Rome; among the latter an Achaean garrison introduced by Flamininus into the citadel brought the patriotic party, which was pretty strong, to reason. The Epirots exerted themselves to keep on good terms, if possible, with both parties. Thus, in addition to the Aetolians and the Magnetes who were joined by a portion of the neighbouring Perrhaebians, Antiochus was supported only by Amynander, the weak king of the Athamanes, who allowed himself to be dazzled by foolish designs on the Macedonian crown; by the Boeotians, among whom the party opposed to Rome was still at the helm; and in the Peloponnesus by the Eleans and Messenians, who were in the habit of taking part with the Aetolians against the Achaeans. This was indeed a hopeful beginning; and the title of commander-in-chief with absolute power, which the Aetolians decreed to the great-king, seemed insult added to injury. There had been, just as usual, deception on both sides. Instead of the countless hordes of Asia, the king brought up a force scarcely half as strong as an ordinary consular army; and instead of the open arms with which all the Hellenes were to welcome their deliverer from the Roman yoke, one or two bands of klephts and some dissolute civic communities offered to the king brotherhood in arms.
Antiochus in Greece
For the moment, indeed, Antiochus had anticipated the Romans in Greece proper. Chalcis was garrisoned by the Greek allies of the Romans, and refused the first summons but the fortress surrendered when Antiochus advanced with all his force; and a Roman division, which arrived too late to occupy it, was annihilated by Antiochus at Deliurn. Euboea was thus lost to the Romans. Antiochus still made even in winter an attempt, in concert with the Aetolians and Athamanes, to gain Thessaly; Thermopylae was occupied, Pherae and other towns were taken, but Appius Claudius came up with 2000 men from Apollonia, relieved Larisa, and took up his position there. Antiochus, tired of the winter campaign, preferred to return to his pleasant quarters at Chalcis, where the time was spent merrily, and the king even, in spite of his fifty years and his warlike schemes, wedded a fair Chalcidian. So the winter of 562-3 passed, without Antiochus doing much more than sending letters hither and thither through Greece: he waged the war —a Roman officer remarked—by means of pen and ink.
Landing of the Romans
In the beginning of spring 563 the Roman staff arrived at Apollonia. The commander-in-chief was Manius Acilius Glabrio, a man of humble origin, but an able general feared both by his soldiers and by the enemy; the admiral was Gaius Livius; and among the military tribunes were Marcus Porcius Cato, the conqueror of Spain, and Lucius Valerius Flaccus, who after the old Roman wont did not disdain, although they had been consuls, to re-enter the army as simple war-tribunes. They brought with them reinforcements in ships and men, including Numidian cavalry and Libyan elephants sent by Massinissa, and the permission of the senate to accept auxiliary troops to the number of 5000 from the extra-Italian allies, so that the whole number of the Roman forces was raised to about 40,000 men. The king, who in the beginning of spring had gone to the Aetolians and had thence made an aimless expedition to Acarnania, on the news of Glabrio's landing returned to his head-quarters to begin the campaign in earnest. But incom prehensibly, through his own negligence and that of his lieutenants in Asia, reinforcements had wholly failed to reach him, so that he had nothing but the weak army—now further decimated by sickness and desertion in its dissolute winter-quarters—with which he had landed at Pteleum in the autumn of the previous year. The Aetolians too, who had professed to send such enormous numbers into the field, now, when their support was of moment, brought to their commander-in-chief no more than 4000 men. The Roman troops had already begun operations in Thessaly, where the vanguard in concert with the Macedonian army drove the garrisons of Antiochus out of the Thessalian towns and occupied the territory of the Athamanes. The consul with the main army followed; the whole force of the Romans assembled at Larisa.
Battle at Thermopylae
Greece Occupied by the Romans
Resistance of the Aetolians
Instead of returning with all speed to Asia and evacuating the field before an enemy in every respect superior, Antiochus resolved to entrench himself at Thermopylae, which he had occupied, and there to await the arrival of the great army from Asia. He himself took up a position in the chief pass, and commanded the Aetolians to occupy the mountain-path, by which Xerxes had formerly succeeded in turning the Spartans. But only half of the Aetolian contingent was pleased to comply with this order of the commander-in-chief; the other 2000 men threw themselves into the neighbouring town of Heraclea, where they took no other part in the battle than that of attempting during its progress to surprise and plunder the Roman camp. Even the Aetolians posted on the heights discharged their duty of watching with remissness and reluctance; their post on the Callidromus allowed itself to be surprised by Cato, and the Asiatic phalanx, which the consul had meanwhile assailed in front, dispersed, when the Romans hastening down the mountain fell upon its flank. As Antiochus had made no provision for any case and had not thought of retreat, the army was destroyed partly on the field of battle, partly during its flight; with difficulty a small band reached Demetrias, and the king himself escaped to Chalcis with 500 men. He embarked in haste for Ephesus; Europe was lost to him all but his possessions in Thrace, and even the fortresses could be no longer defended Chalcis surrendered to the Romans, and Demetrias to Philip, who received permission—as a compensation for the conquest of the town of Lamia in Achaia Phthiotis, which he was on the point of accomplishing and had then abandoned by orders of the consul—to make himself master of all the communities that had gone over to Antiochus in Thessaly proper, and even of the territories bordering on Aetolia, the districts of Dolopia and Aperantia. All the Greeks that had pronounced in favour of Antiochus hastened to make their peace; the Epirots humbly besought pardon for their ambiguous conduct, the Boeotians surrendered at discretion, the Eleans and Messenians, the latter after some struggle, submitted to the Achaeans. The prediction of Hannibal to the king was fulfilled, that no dependence at all could be placed upon the Greeks, who would submit to any conqueror. Even the Aetolians, when their corps shut up in Heraclea had been compelled after obstinate resistance to capitulate, attempted to make their peace with the sorely provoked Romans; but the stringent demands of the Roman consul, and a consignment of money seasonably arriving from Antiochus, emboldened them once more to break off the negotiations and to sustain for two whole months a siege in Naupactus. The town was already reduced to extremities, and its capture or capitulation could not have been long delayed, when Flamininus, constantly striving to save every Hellenic community from the worst consequences of its own folly and from the severity of his ruder colleagues, interposed and arranged in the first instance an armistice on tolerable terms. This terminated, at least for the moment, armed resistance in Greece.
Maritime War, and Preparations for Crossing to Asia
Polyxenidas and Pausistratus
Engagement off Aspendus
Battle of Myonnesus
A more serious war was impending in Asia—a war which appeared of a very hazardous character on account not so much of the enemy as of the great distance and the insecurity of the communications with home, while yet, owing to the short-sighted obstinacy of Antiochus, the struggle could not well be terminated otherwise than by an attack on the enemy in his own country. The first object was to secure the sea. The Roman fleet, which during the campaign in Greece was charged with the task of interrupting the communication between Greece and Asia Minor, and which had been successful about the time of the battle at Thermopylae in seizing a strong Asiatic transport fleet near Andros, was thenceforth employed in making preparations for the crossing of the Romans to Asia next year and first of all in driving the enemy's fleet out of the Aegean Sea. It lay in the harbour of Cyssus on the southern shore of the tongue of land that projects from Ionia towards Chios; thither in search of it the Roman fleet proceeded, consisting of 75 Roman, 24 Pergamene, and 6 Carthaginian, decked vessels under the command of Gaius Livius. The Syrian admiral, Polyxenidas, a Rhodian emigrant, had only 70 decked vessels to oppose to it; but, as the Roman fleet still expected the ships of Rhodes, and as Polyxenidas relied on the superior seaworthiness of his vessels, those of Tyre and Sidon in particular, he immediately accepted battle. At the outset the Asiatics succeeded in sinking one of the Carthaginian vessels; but, when they came to grapple, Roman valour prevailed, and it was owing solely to the swiftness of their rowing and sailing that the enemy lost no more than 23 ships. During the pursuit the Roman fleet was joined by 25 ships from Rhodes, and the superiority of the Romans in those waters was now doubly assured. The enemy's fleet thenceforth kept the shelter of the harbour of Ephesus, and, as it could not be induced to risk a second battle, the fleet of the Romans and allies broke up for the winter; the Roman ships of war proceeded to the harbour of Cane in the neighbourhood of Pergamus. Both parties were busy during the winter in preparing for the next campaign. The Romans sought to gain over the Greeks of Asia Minor; Smyrna, which had perseveringly resisted all the attempts of the king to get possession of the city, received the Romans with open arms, and the Roman party gained the ascendency in Samos, Chios, Erythrae, Clazomenae, Phocaea, Cyme, and elsewhere. Antiochus was resolved, if possible, to prevent the Romans from crossing to Asia, and with that view he made zealous naval preparations—employing Polyxenidas to fit out and augment the fleet stationed at Ephesus, and Hannibal to equip a new fleet in Lycia, Syria, and Phoenicia; while he further collected in Asia Minor a powerful land army from all regions of his extensive empire. Early next year (564) the Roman fleet resumed its operations. Gaius Livius left the Rhodian fleet—which had appeared in good time this year, numbering 36 sail—to observe that of the enemy in the offing of Ephesus, and went with the greater portion of the Roman and Pergamene vessels to the Hellespont in accordance with his instructions, to pave the way for the passage of the land army by the capture of the fortresses there. Sestus was already occupied and Abydus reduced to extremities, when the news of the defeat of the Rhodian fleet recalled him. The Rhodian admiral Pausistratus, lulled into security by the representations of his countryman that he wished to desert from Antiochus, had allowed himself to be surprised in the harbour of Samos; he himself fell, and all his vessels were destroyed except five Rhodian and two Coan ships; Samos, Phocaea, and Cyme on hearing the news went over to Seleucus, who held the chief command by land in those provinces for his father.
But when the Roman fleet arrived partly from Cane, partly from the Hellespont, and was after some time joined by twenty new ships of the Rhodians at Samos, Polyxenidas was once more compelled to shut himself up in the harbour of Ephesus. As he declined the offered naval battle, and as, owing to the small numbers of the Roman force, an attack by land was not to be thought of, nothing remained for the Roman fleet but to take up its position in like manner at Samos. A division meanwhile proceeded to Patara on the Lycian coast, partly to relieve the Rhodians from the very troublesome attacks that were directed against them from that quarter, partly and chiefly to prevent the hostile fleet, which Hannibal was expected to bring up, from entering the Aegean Sea. When the squadron sent against Patara achieved nothing, the new admiral Lucius Aemilius Regillus, who had arrived with 20 war-vessels from Rome and had relieved Gaius Livius at Samos, was so indignant that he proceeded thither with the whole fleet; his officers with difficulty succeeded, while they were on their voyage, in making him understand that the primary object was not the conquest of Patara but the command of the Aegean Sea, and in inducing him to return to Samos. On the mainland of Asia Minor Seleucus had in the meanwhile begun the siege of Pergamus, while Antiochus with his chief army ravaged the Pergamene territory and the possessions of the Mytilenaeans on the mainland; they hoped to crush the hated Attalids, before Roman aid appeared. The Roman fleet went to Elaea and the port of Adramytium to help their ally; but, as the admiral wanted troops, he accomplished nothing. Pergamus seemed lost; but the laxity and negligence with which the siege was conducted allowed Eumenes to throw into the city Achaean auxiliaries under Diophanes, whose bold and successful sallies compelled the Gallic mercenaries, whom Antiochus had entrusted with the siege, to raise it.
In the southern waters too the projects of Antiochus were frustrated. The fleet equipped and led by Hannibal, after having been long detained by the constant westerly winds, attempted at length to reach the Aegean; but at the mouth of the Eurymedon, off Aspendus in Pamphylia, it encountered a Rhodian squadron under Eudamus; and in the battle, which ensued between the two fleets, the excellence of the Rhodian ships and naval officers carried the victory over Hannibal's tactics and his numerical superiority. It was the first naval battle, and the last battle against Rome, fought by the great Carthaginian. The victorious Rhodian fleet then took its station at Patara, and there prevented the intended junction of the two Asiatic fleets. In the Aegean Sea the Romano-Rhodian fleet at Samos, after being weakened by detaching the Pergamene ships to the Hellespont to support the land army which had arrived there, was in its turn attacked by that of Polyxenidas, who now numbered nine sail more than his opponents. On December 23 of the uncorrected calendar, according to the corrected calendar about the end of August, in 564, a battle took place at the promontory of Myonnesus between Teos and Colophon; the Romans broke through the line of the enemy, and totally surrounded the left wing, so that they took or sank 42 ships. An inscription in Saturnian verse over the temple of the Lares Permarini, which was built in the Campus Martius in memory of this victory, for many centuries thereafter proclaimed to the Romans how the fleet of the Asiatics had been defeated before the eyes of king Antiochus and of all his land army, and how the Romans thus "settled the mighty strife and subdued the kings." Thenceforth the enemy's ships no longer ventured to show themselves on the open sea, and made no further attempt to obstruct the crossing of the Roman land army.
Expedition to Asia
The conqueror of Zama had been selected at Rome to conduct the war on the Asiatic continent; he practically exercised the supreme command for the nominal commander-in-chief, his brother Lucius Scipio, whose intellect was insignificant, and who had no military capacity. The reserve hitherto stationed in Lower Italy was destined for Greece, the army of Glabrio for Asia: when it became known who was to command it, 5000 veterans from the Hannibalic war voluntarily enrolled, to fight once more under their beloved leader. In the Roman July, but according to the true time in March, the Scipios arrived at the army to commence the Asiatic campaign; but they were disagreeably surprised to find themselves instead involved, in the first instance, in an endless struggle with the desperate Aetolians. The senate, finding that Flamininus pushed his boundless consideration for the Hellenes too far, had left the Aetolians to choose between paying an utterly exorbitant war contribution and unconditional surrender, and thus had driven them anew to arms; none could tell when this warfare among mountains and strongholds would come to an end. Scipio got rid of the inconvenient obstacle by concerting a six-months' armistice, and then entered on his march to Asia. As the one fleet of the enemy was only blockaded in the Aegean Sea, and the other, which was coming up from the south, might daily arrive there in spite of the squadron charged to intercept it, it seemed advisable to take the land route through Macedonia and Thrace and to cross the Hellespont. In that direction no real obstacles were to be anticipated; for Philip of Macedonia might be entirely depended on, Prusias king of Bithynia was in alliance with the Romans, and the Roman fleet could easily establish itself in the straits. The long and weary march along the coast of Macedonia and Thrace was accomplished without material loss; Philip made provision on the one hand for supplying their wants, on the other for their friendly reception by the Thracian barbarians. They had lost so much time however, partly with the Aetolians, partly on the march, that the army only reached the Thracian Chersonese about the time of the battle of Myonnesus. But the marvellous good fortune of Scipio now in Asia, as formerly in Spain and Africa, cleared his path of all difficulties.
Passage of the Hellespont by the Romans
On the news of the battle at Myonnesus Antiochus so completely lost his judgment, that in Europe he caused the strongly-garrisoned and well-provisioned fortress of Lysimachia to be evacuated by the garrison and by the inhabitants who were faithfully devoted to the restorer of their city, and withal even forgot to withdraw in like manner the garrisons or to destroy the rich magazines at Aenus and Maronea; and on the Asiatic coast he opposed not the slightest resistance to the landing of the Romans, but on the contrary, while it was taking place, spent his time at Sardes in upbraiding destiny. It is scarcely doubtful that, had he but provided for the defence of Lysimachia down to the no longer distant close of the summer, and moved forward his great army to the Hellespont, Scipio would have been compelled to take up winter quarters on the European shore, in a position far from being, in a military or political point of view, secure.
While the Romans, after disembarking on the Asiatic shore, paused for some days to refresh themselves and to await their leader who was detained behind by religious duties, ambassadors from the great-king arrived in their camp to negotiate for peace. Antiochus offered half the expenses of the war, and the cession of his European possessions as well as of all the Greek cities in Asia Minor that had gone over to Rome; but Scipio demanded the whole costs of the war and the surrender of all Asia Minor. The former terms, he declared, might have been accepted, had the army still been before Lysimachia, or even on the European side of the Hellespont; but they did not suffice now, when the steed felt the bit and knew its rider. The attempts of the great- king to purchase peace from his antagonist after the Oriental manner by sums of money—he offered the half of his year's revenues!—failed as they deserved; the proud burgess, in return for the gratuitous restoration of his son who had fallen a captive, rewarded the great- king with the friendly advice to make peace on any terms. This was not in reality necessary: had the king possessed the resolution to prolong the war and to draw the enemy after him by retreating into the interior, a favourable issue was still by no means impossible. But Antiochus, irritated by the presumably intentional arrogance of his antagonist, and too indolent for any persevering and consistent warfare, hastened with the utmost eagerness to expose his unwieldy, but unequal, and undisciplined mass of an army to the shock of the Roman legions.
Battle of Magnesia
In the valley of the Hermus, near Magnesia at the foot of Mount Sipylus not far from Smyrna, the Roman troops fell in with the enemy late in the autumn of 564. The force of Antiochus numbered close on 80,000 men, of whom 12,000 were cavalry; the Romans—who had along with them about 5000 Achaeans, Pergamenes, and Macedonian volunteers —had not nearly half that number, but they were so sure of victory, that they did not even wait for the recovery of their general who had remained behind sick at Elaea; Gnaeus Domitius took the command in his stead. Antiochus, in order to be able even to place his immense mass of troops, formed two divisions. In the first were placed the mass of the light troops, the peltasts, bowmen, slingers, the mounted archers of Mysians, Dahae, and Elymaeans, the Arabs on their dromedaries, and the scythe-chariots. In the second division the heavy cavalry (the Cataphractae, a sort of cuirassiers) were stationed on the flanks; next to these, in the intermediate division, the Gallic and Cappadocian infantry; and in the very centre the phalanx armed after the Macedonian fashion, 16,000 strong, the flower of the army, which, however, had not room in the narrow space and had to be drawn up in double files 32 deep. In the space between the two divisions were placed 54 elephants, distributed between the bands of the phalanx and of the heavy cavalry. The Romans stationed but a few squadrons on the left wing, where the river gave protection; the mass of the cavalry and all the light armed were placed on the right, which was led by Eumenes; the legions stood in the centre. Eumenes began the battle by despatching his archers and slingers against the scythe-chariots with orders to shoot at the teams; in a short time not only were these thrown into disorder, but the camel-riders stationed next to them were also carried away, and even in the second division the left wing of heavy cavalry placed behind fell into confusion. Eumenes now threw himself with all the Roman cavalry, numbering 3000 horse, on the mercenary infantry, which was placed in the second division between the phalanx and the left wing of heavy cavalry, and, when these gave way, the cuirassiers who had already fallen into disorder also fled. The phalanx, which had just allowed the light troops to pass through and was preparing to advance against the Roman legions, was hampered by the attack of the cavalry in flank, and compelled to stand still and to form front on both sides—a movement which the depth of its disposition favoured. Had the heavy Asiatic cavalry been at hand, the battle might have been restored; but the left wing was shattered, and the right, led by Antiochus in person, had driven before it the little division of Roman cavalry opposed to it, and had reached the Roman camp, which was with great difficulty defended from its attack. In this way the cavalry were at the decisive moment absent from the scene of action. The Romans were careful not to assail the phalanx with their legions, but sent against it the archers and slingers, not one of whose missiles failed to take effect on the densely-crowded mass. The phalanx nevertheless retired slowly and in good order, till the elephants stationed in the interstices became frightened and broke the ranks. Then the whole army dispersed in tumultuous flight; an attempt to hold the camp failed, and only increased the number of the dead and the prisoners. The estimate of the loss of Antiochus at 50,000 men is, considering the infinite confusion, not incredible; the legions of the Romans had never been engaged, and the victory, which gave them a third continent, cost them 24 horsemen and 300 foot soldiers. Asia Minor submitted; including even Ephesus, whence the admiral had hastily to withdraw his fleet, and Sardes the residence of the court.
Conclusion of Peace
Expedition against the Celts of Asia Minor
Regulation of the Affairs of Asia Minor
The king sued for peace and consented to the terms proposed by the Romans, which, as usual, were just the same as those offered before the battle and consequently included the cession of Asia Minor. Till they were ratified, the army remained in Asia Minor at the expense of the king; which came to cost him not less than 3000 talents (730,000 pounds). Antiochus himself in his careless fashion soon consoled himself for the loss of half his kingdom; it was in keeping with his character, that he declared himself grateful to the Romans for saving him the trouble of governing too large an empire. But with the day of Magnesia Asia was erased from the list of great states; and never perhaps did a great power fall so rapidly, so thoroughly, and so ignominiously as the kingdom of the Seleucidae under this Antiochus the Great. He himself was soon afterwards (567) slain by the indignant inhabitants of Elymais at the head of the Persian gulf, on occasion of pillaging the temple of Bel, with the treasures of which he had sought to replenish his empty coffers.
The Roman government, after having achieved the victory, had to arrange the affairs of Asia Minor and of Greece. If the Roman rule was here to be erected on a firm foundation, it was by no means enough that Antiochus should have renounced the supremacy in the west of Asia Minor. The circumstances of the political situation there have been set forth above.(6) The Greek free cities on the Ionian and Aeolian coast, as well as the kingdom of Pergamus of a substantially similar nature, were certainly the natural pillars of the new Roman supreme power, which here too came forward essentially as protector of the Hellenes kindred in race. But the dynasts in the interior of Asia Minor and on the north coast of the Black Sea had hardly yielded for long any serious obedience to the kings of Asia, and the treaty with Antiochus alone gave to the Romans no power over the interior. It was indispensable to draw a certain line within which the Roman influence was henceforth to exercise control. Here the element of chief importance was the relation of the Asiatic Hellenes to the Celts who had been for a century settled there. These had formally apportioned among them the regions of Asia Minor, and each one of the three cantons raised its fixed tribute from the territory laid under contribution. Doubtless the burgesses of Pergamus, under the vigorous guidance of their presidents who had thereby become hereditary princes, had rid themselves of the unworthy yoke; and the fair afterbloom of Hellenic art, which had recently emerged afresh from the soil, had grown out of these last Hellenic wars sustained by a national public spirit. But it was a vigorous counterblow, not a decisive success; again and again the Pergamenes had to defend with arms their urban peace against the raids of the wild hordes from the eastern mountains, and the great majority of the other Greek cities probably remained in their old state of dependence.(7)
If the protectorate of Rome over the Hellenes was to be in Asia more than a name, an end had to be put to this tributary obligation of their new clients; and, as the Roman policy at this time declined, much more even in Asia than on the Graeco-Macedonian peninsula, the possession of the country on its own behalf and the permanent occupation therewith connected, there was no course in fact left but to carry the arms of Rome up to the limit which was to be staked off for the domain of Rome's power, and effectively to inaugurate the new supremacy among the inhabitants of Asia Minor generally, and above all in the Celtic cantons.
This was done by the new Roman commander-in-chief, Gnaeus Manlius Volso, who relieved Lucius Scipio in Asia Minor. He was subjected to severe reproach on this score; the men in the senate who were averse to the new turn of policy failed to see either the aim, or the pretext, for such a war. There is no warrant for the former objection, as directed against this movement in particular; it was on the contrary, after the Roman state had once interfered in Hellenic affairs as it had done, a necessary consequence of this policy. Whether it was the right course for Rome to undertake the protectorate over the Hellenes collectively, may certainly be called in question; but regarded from the point of view which Flamininus and the majority led by him had now taken up, the overthrow of the Galatians was in fact a duty of prudence as well as of honour. Better founded was the objection that there was not at the time a proper ground of war against them; for they had not been, strictly speaking, in alliance with Antiochus, but had only according to their wont allowed him to levy hired troops in their country. But on the other side there fell the decisive consideration, that the sending of a Roman military force to Asia could only be demanded of the Roman burgesses under circumstances altogether extraordinary, and, if once such an expedition was necessary, everything told in favour of carrying it out at once and with the victorious army that was now stationed in Asia. So, doubtless under the influence of Flamininus and of those who shared his views in the senate, the campaign into the interior of Asia Minor was undertaken in the spring of 565. The consul started from Ephesus, levied contributions from the towns and princes on the upper Maeander and in Pamphylia without measure, and then turned northwards against the Celts. Their western canton, the Tolistoagii, had retired with their belongings to Mount Olympus, and the middle canton, the Tectosages, to Mount Magaba, in the hope that they would be able there to defend themselves till the winter should compel the strangers to withdraw. But the missiles of the Roman slingers and archers—which so often turned the scale against the Celts unacquainted with such weapons, almost as in more recent times firearms have turned the scale against savage tribes—forced the heights, and the Celts succumbed in a battle, such as had often its parallels before and after on the Po and on the Seine, but here appears as singular as the whole phenomenon of this northern race emerging amidst the Greek and Phrygian nations. The number of the slain was at both places enormous, and still greater that of the captives. The survivors escaped over the Halys to the third Celtic canton of the Trocmi, which the consul did not attack. That river was the limit at which the leaders of Roman policy at that time had resolved to halt. Phrygia, Bithynia, and Paphlagonia were to become dependent on Rome; the regions lying farther to the east were left to themselves.
The affairs of Asia Minor were regulated partly by the peace with Antiochus (565), partly by the ordinances of a Roman commission presided over by the consul Volso. Antiochus had to furnish hostages, one of whom was his younger son of the same name, and to pay a war- contribution—proportional in amount to the treasures of Asia—of 15,000 Euboic talents (3,600,000 pounds), a fifth of which was to be paid at once, and the remainder in twelve yearly instalments. He was called, moreover, to cede all the lands which he possessed in Europe and, in Asia Minor, all his possessions and claims of right to the north of the range of the Taurus and to the west of the mouth of the Cestrus between Aspendus and Perga in Pamphylia, so that he retained nothing in Asia Minor but eastern Pamphylia and Cilicia. His protectorate over its kingdoms and principalities of course ceased. Asia, or, as the kingdom of the Seleucids was thenceforth usually and more appropriately named, Syria, lost the right of waging aggressive wars against the western states, and in the event of a defensive war, of acquiring territory from them on the conclusion of peace; lost, moreover, the right of navigating the sea to the west of the mouth of the Calycadnus in Cilicia with vessels of war, except for the conveyance of envoys, hostages, or tribute; was further prevented from keeping more than ten decked vessels in all, except in the case of a defensive war, from taming war-elephants, and lastly from the levying of mercenaries in the western states, or receiving political refugees and deserters from them at court. The war vessels which he possessed beyond the prescribed number, the elephants, and the political refugees who had sought shelter with him, he delivered up. By way of compensation the great-king received the title of a friend of the Roman commonwealth. The state of Syria was thus by land and sea completely and for ever dislodged from the west; it is a significant indication of the feeble and loose organization of the kingdom of the Seleucidae, that it alone, of all the great states conquered by Rome never after the first conquest desired a second appeal to the decision of arms.
The two Armenias, hitherto at least nominally Asiatic satrapies, became transformed, if not exactly in pursuance with the Roman treaty of peace, yet under its influence into independent kingdoms; and their holders, Artaxias and Zariadris, became founders of new dynasties.
Ariarathes, king of Cappadocia, whose land lay beyond the boundary laid down by the Romans for their protectorate, escaped with a money- fine of 600 talents (146,000 pounds); which was afterwards, on the intercession of his son-in-law Eumenes, abated to half that sum.
Prusias, king of Bithynia, retained his territory as it stood, and so did the Celts; but they were obliged to promise that they would no longer send armed bands beyond their bounds, and the disgraceful payments of tribute by the cities of Asia Minor came to an end. The Asiatic Greeks did not fail to repay the benefit—which was certainly felt as a general and permanent one—with golden chaplets and transcendental panegyrics.
The Free Greek Cities
In the western portion of Asia Minor the regulation of the territorial arrangements was not without difficulty, especially as the dynastic policy of Eumenes there came into collision with that of the Greek Hansa. At last an understanding was arrived at to the following effect. All the Greek cities, which were free and had joined the Romans on the day of the battle of Magnesia, had their liberties confirmed, and all of them, excepting those previously tributary to Eumenes, were relieved from the payment of tribute to the different dynasts for the future. In this way the towns of Dardanus and Ilium, whose ancient affinity with the Romans was traced to the times of Aeneas, became free, along with Cyme, Smyrna, Clazomenae, Erythrae, Chios, Colophon, Miletus, and other names of old renown. Phocaea also, which in spite of its capitulation had been plundered by the soldiers of the Roman fleet—although it did not fall under the category designated in the treaty—received back by way of compensation its territory and its freedom. Most of the cities of the Graeco-Asiatic Hansa acquired additions of territory and other advantages. Rhodes of course received most consideration; it obtained Lycia exclusive of Telmissus, and the greater part of Caria south of the Maeander; besides, Antiochus guaranteed the property and the claims of the Rhodians within his kingdom, as well as the exemption from customs-dues which they had hitherto enjoyed.
Extension of the Kingdom of Pergamus
All the rest, forming by far the largest share of the spoil, fell to the Attalids, whose ancient fidelity to Rome, as well as the hardships endured by Eumenes in the war and his personal merit in connection with the issue of the decisive battle, were rewarded by Rome as no king ever rewarded his ally. Eumenes received, in Europe, the Chersonese with Lysimachia; in Asia—in addition to Mysia which he already possessed—the provinces of Phrygia on the Hellespont, Lydia with Ephesus and Sardes, the northern district of Caria as far as the Maeander with Tralles and Magnesia, Great Phrygia and Lycaonia along with a portion of Cilicia, the district of Milyas between Phrygia and Lycia, and, as a port on the southern sea, the Lycian town Telmissus. There was a dispute afterwards between Eumenes and Antiochus regarding Pamphylia, as to how far it lay on this side of or beyond the prescribed boundary, and accordingly belonged to the former or to the latter. He further acquired the protectorate over, and the right of receiving tribute from, those Greek cities which did not receive absolute freedom; but it was stipulated in this case that the cities should retain their charters, and that the tribute should not be heightened. Moreover, Antiochus had to bind himself to pay to Eumenes the 350 talents (85,000 pounds) which he owed to his father Attalus, and likewise to pay a compensation of 127 talents (31,000 pounds) for arrears in the supplies of corn. Lastly, Eumenes obtained the royal forests and the elephants delivered up by Antiochus, but not the ships of war, which were burnt: the Romans tolerated no naval power by the side of their own. By these means the kingdom of the Attalids became in the east of Europe and Asia what Numidia was in Africa, a powerful state with an absolute constitution dependent on Rome, destined and able to keep in check both Macedonia and Syria without needing, except in extraordinary cases, Roman support. With this creation dictated by policy the Romans had as far as possible combined the liberation of the Asiatic Greeks, which was dictated by republican and national sympathy and by vanity. About the affairs of the more remote east beyond the Taurus and Halys they were firmly resolved to give themselves no concern. This is clearly shown by the terms of the peace with Antiochus, and still more decidedly by the peremptory refusal of the senate to guarantee to the town of Soli in Cilicia the freedom which the Rhodians requested for it. With equal fidelity they adhered to the fixed principle of acquiring no direct transmarine possessions. After the Roman fleet had made an expedition to Crete and had accomplished the release of the Romans sold thither into slavery, the fleet and land army left Asia towards the end of the summer of 566; on which occasion the land army, which again marched through Thrace, in consequence of the negligence of the general suffered greatly on the route from the attacks of the barbarians. The Romans brought nothing home from the east but honour and gold, both of which were already at this period usually conjoined in the practical shape assumed by the address of thanks—the golden chaplet.
Settlement of Greece
Conflicts and Peace with the Aetolians
European Greece also had been agitated by this Asiatic war, and needed reorganization. The Aetolians, who had not yet learned to reconcile themselves to their insignificance, had, after the armistice concluded with Scipio in the spring of 564, rendered intercourse between Greece and Italy difficult and unsafe by means of their Cephallenian corsairs; and not only so, but even perhaps while the armistice yet lasted, they, deceived by false reports as to the state of things in Asia, had the folly to place Amynander once more on his Athamanian throne, and to carry on a desultory warfare with Philip in the districts occupied by him on the borders of Aetolia and Thessaly, in the course of which Philip suffered several discomfitures. After this, as a matter of course, Rome replied to their request for peace by the landing of the consul Marcus Fulvius Nobilior. He arrived among the legions in the spring of 565, and after fifteen days' siege gained possession of Ambracia by a capitulation honourable for the garrison; while simultaneously the Macedonians, Illyrians, Epirots, Acarnanians, and Achaeans fell upon the Aetolians. There was no such thing as resistance in the strict sense; after repeated entreaties of the Aetolians for peace the Romans at length desisted from the war, and granted conditions which must be termed reasonable when viewed with reference to such pitiful and malicious opponents. The Aetolians lost all cities and territories which were in the hands of their adversaries, more especially Ambracia which afterwards became free and independent in consequence of an intrigue concocted in Rome against Marcus Fulvius, and Oenia which was given to the Acarnanians: they likewise ceded Cephallenia. They lost the right of making peace and war, and were in that respect dependent on the foreign relations of Rome. Lastly, they paid a large sum of money. Cephallenia opposed this treaty on its own account, and only submitted when Marcus Fulvius landed on the island. In fact, the inhabitants of Same, who feared that they would be dispossessed from their well-situated town by a Roman colony, revolted after their first submission and sustained a four months' siege; the town, however, was finally taken and the whole inhabitants were sold into slavery.
In this case also Rome adhered to the principle of confining herself to Italy and the Italian islands. She took no portion of the spoil for herself, except the two islands of Cephallenia and Zacynthus, which formed a desirable supplement to the possession of Corcyra and other naval stations in the Adriatic. The rest of the territorial gain went to the allies of Rome. But the two most important of these, Philip and the Achaeans, were by no means content with the share of the spoil granted to them. Philip felt himself aggrieved, and not without reason. He might safely say that the chief difficulties in the last war—difficulties which arose not from the character of the enemy, but from the distance and the uncertainty of the communications—had been overcome mainly by his loyal aid. The senate recognized this by remitting his arrears of tribute and sending back his hostages; but he did not receive those additions to his territory which he expected. He got the territory of the Magnetes, with Demetrias which he had taken from the Aetolians; besides, there practically remained in his hands the districts of Dolopia and Athamania and a part of Thessaly, from which also the Aetolians had been expelled by him. In Thrace the interior remained under Macedonian protection, but nothing was fixed as to the coast towns and the islands of Thasos and Lemnos which were -de facto- in Philip's hands, while the Chersonese was even expressly given to Eumenes; and it was not difficult to see that Eumenes received possessions in Europe, simply that he might in case of need keep not only Asia but Macedonia in check. The exasperation of the proud and in many respects chivalrous king was natural; it was not chicane, however, but an unavoidable political necessity that induced the Romans to take this course. Macedonia suffered for having once been a power of the first rank, and for having waged war on equal terms with Rome; there was much better reason in her case than in that of Carthage for guarding against the revival of her old powerful position.
It was otherwise with the Achaeans. They had, in the course of the war with Antiochus, gratified their long-cherished wish to bring the whole Peloponnesus into their confederacy; for first Sparta, and then, after the expulsion of the Asiatics from Greece, Elis and Messene had more or less reluctantly joined it. The Romans had allowed this to take place, and had even tolerated the intentional disregard of Rome which marked their proceedings. When Messene declared that she wished to submit to the Romans but not to enter the confederacy, and the latter thereupon employed force, Flamininus had not failed to remind the Achaeans that such separate arrangements as to the disposal of a part of the spoil were in themselves unjust, and were, in the relation in which the Achaeans stood to the Romans, more than unseemly; and yet in his very impolitic complaisance towards the Hellenes he had substantially done what the Achaeans willed. But the matter did not end there. The Achaeans, tormented by their dwarfish thirst for aggrandizement, would not relax their hold on the town of Pleuron in Aetolia which they had occupied during the war, but on the contrary made it an involuntary member of their confederacy; they bought Zacynthus from Amynander the lieutenant of the last possessor, and would gladly have acquired Aegina also. It was with reluctance that they gave up the former island to Rome, and they heard with great displeasure the good advice of Flamininus that they should content themselves with their Peloponnesus.
The Achaean Patriots
The Achaeans believed it their duty to display the independence of their state all the more, the less they really had; they talked of the rights of war, and of the faithful aid of the Achaeans in the wars of the Romans; they asked the Roman envoys at the Achaean diet why Rome should concern herself about Messene when Achaia put no questions as to Capua; and the spirited patriot, who had thus spoken, was applauded and was sure of votes at the elections. All this would have been very right and very dignified, had it not been much more ridiculous. There was a profound justice and a still more profound melancholy in the fact, that Rome, however earnestly she endeavoured to establish the freedom and to earn the thanks of the Hellenes, yet gave them nothing but anarchy and reaped nothing but ingratitude. Undoubtedly very generous sentiments lay at the bottom of the Hellenic antipathies to the protecting power, and the personal bravery of some of the men who took the lead in the movement was unquestionable; but this Achaean patriotism remained not the less a folly and a genuine historical caricature. With all that ambition and all that national susceptibility the whole nation was, from the highest to the lowest, pervaded by the most thorough sense of impotence. Every one was constantly listening to learn the sentiments of Rome, the liberal man no less than the servile; they thanked heaven, when the dreaded decree was not issued; they were sulky, when the senate gave them to understand that they would do well to yield voluntarily in order that they might not need to be compelled; they did what they were obliged to do, if possible, in a way offensive to the Romans, "to save forms"; they reported, explained, postponed, evaded, and, when all this would no longer avail, yielded with a patriotic sigh. Their proceedings might have claimed indulgence at any rate, if not approval, had their leaders been resolved to fight, and had they preferred the destruction of the nation to its bondage; but neither Philopoemen nor Lycortas thought of any such political suicide—they wished, if possible, to be free, but they wished above all to live. Besides all this, the dreaded intervention of Rome in the internal affairs of Greece was not the arbitrary act of the Romans, but was always invoked by the Greeks themselves, who, like boys, brought down on their own heads the rod which they feared. The reproach repeated -ad nauseam- by the erudite rabble in Hellenic and post-Hellenic times—that the Romans had been at pains to stir up internal discord in Greece—is one of the most foolish absurdities which philologues dealing in politics have ever invented. It was not the Romans that carried strife to Greece—which in truth would have been "carrying owls to Athens"—but the Greeks that carried their dissensions to Rome.
Quarrels between Achaeans and Spartans
The Achaeans in particular, who, in their eagerness to round their territory, wholly failed to see how much it would have been for their own good that Flamininus had not incorporated the towns of Aetolian sympathies with their league, acquired in Lacedaemon and Messene a very hydra of intestine strife. Members of these communities were incessantly at Rome, entreating and beseeching to be released from the odious connection; and amongst them, characteristically enough, were even those who were indebted to the Achaeans for their return to their native land. The Achaean league was incessantly occupied in the work of reformation and restoration at Sparta and Messene; the wildest refugees from these quarters determined the measures of the diet. Four years after the nominal admission of Sparta to the confederacy matters came even to open war and to an insanely thorough restoration, in which all the slaves on whom Nabis had conferred citizenship were once more sold into slavery, and a colonnade was built from the proceeds in the Achaean city of Megalopolis; the old state of property in Sparta was re-established, the of Lycurgus were superseded by Achaean laws, and the walls were pulled down (566). At last the Roman senate was summoned by all parties to arbitrate on all these doings —an annoying task, which was the righteous punishment of the sentimental policy that the senate had pursued. Far from mixing itself up too much in these affairs, the senate not only bore the sarcasms of Achaean candour with exemplary composure, but even manifested a culpable indifference while the worst outrages were committed. There was cordial rejoicing in Achaia when, after that restoration, the news arrived from Rome that the senate had found fault with it, but had not annulled it. Nothing was done for the Lacedaemonians by Rome, except that the senate, shocked at the judicial murder of from sixty to eighty Spartans committed by the Achaeans, deprived the diet of criminal jurisdiction over the Spartans—truly a heinous interference with the internal affairs of an independent state! The Roman statesmen gave themselves as little concern as possible about this tempest in a nut-shell, as is best shown by the many complaints regarding the superficial, contradictory, and obscure decisions of the senate; in fact, how could its decisions be expected to be clear, when there were four parties from Sparta simultaneously speaking against each other at its bar? Add to this the personal impression, which most of these Peloponnesian statesmen produced in Rome; even Flamininus shook his head, when one of them showed him on the one day how to perform some dance, and on the next entertained him with affairs of state. Matters went so far, that the senate at last lost patience and informed the Peloponnesians that it would no longer listen to them, and that they might do what they chose (572). This was natural enough, but it was not right; situated as the Romans were, they were under a moral and political obligation earnestly and steadfastly to rectify this melancholy state of things. Callicrates the Achaean, who went to the senate in 575 to enlighten it as to the state of matters in the Peloponnesus and to demand a consistent and calm intervention, may have had somewhat less worth as a man than his countryman Philopoemen who was the main founder of that patriotic policy; but he was in the right.
Death of Hannibal
Thus the protectorate of the Roman community now embraced all the states from the eastern to the western end of the Mediterranean. There nowhere existed a state that the Romans would have deemed it worth while to fear. But there still lived a man to whom Rome accorded this rare honour—the homeless Carthaginian, who had raised in arms against Rome first all the west and then all the east, and whose schemes perhaps had been only frustrated by infamous aristocratic policy in the former case, and by stupid court policy in the latter. Antiochus had been obliged to bind himself in the treaty of peace to deliver up Hannibal; but the latter had escaped, first to Crete, then to Bithynia,(8) and now lived at the court of Prusias king of Bithynia, employed in aiding the latter in his wars with Eumenes, and victorious as ever by sea and by land. It is affirmed that he was desirous of stirring up Prusias also to make war on Rome; a folly, which, as it is told, sounds very far from credible. It is more certain that, while the Roman senate deemed it beneath its dignity to have the old man hunted out in his last asylum—for the tradition which inculpates the senate appears to deserve no credit—Flamininus, whose restless vanity sought after new opportunities for great achievements, undertook on his own part to deliver Rome from Hannibal as he had delivered the Greeks from their chains, and, if not to wield—which was not diplomatic—at any rate to whet and to point, the dagger against the greatest man of his time. Prusias, the most pitiful among the pitiful princes of Asia, was delighted to grant the little favour which the Roman envoy in ambiguous terms requested; and, when Hannibal saw his house beset by assassins, he took poison. He had long been prepared to do so, adds a Roman, for he knew the Romans and the word of kings. The year of his death is uncertain; probably he died in the latter half of the year 571, at the age of sixty-seven. When he was born, Rome was contending with doubtful success for the possession of Sicily; he had lived long enough to see the West wholly subdued, and to fight his own last battle with the Romans against the vessels of his native city which had itself become Roman; and he was constrained at last to remain a mere spectator, while Rome overpowered the East as the tempest overpowers the ship that has no one at the helm, and to feel that he alone was the pilot that could have weathered the storm. There was left to him no further hope to be disappointed, when he died; but he had honestly, through fifty years of struggle, kept the oath which he had sworn when a boy.
Death of Scipio
About the same time, probably in the same year, died also the man whom the Romans were wont to call his conqueror, Publius Scipio. On him fortune had lavished all the successes which she denied to his antagonist—successes which did belong to him, and successes which did not. He had added to the empire Spain, Africa, and Asia; and Rome, which he had found merely the first community of Italy, was at his death mistress of the civilized world. He himself had so many titles of victory, that some of them were made over to his brother and his cousin.(9) And yet he too spent his last years in bitter vexation, and died when little more than fifty years of age in voluntary banishment, leaving orders to his relatives not to bury his remains in the city for which he had lived and in which his ancestors reposed. It is not exactly known what drove him from the city. The charges of corruption and embezzlement, which were directed against him and still more against his brother Lucius, were beyond doubt empty calumnies, which do not sufficiently explain such bitterness of feeling; although it is characteristic of the man, that instead of simply vindicating himself by means of his account-books, he tore them in pieces in presence of the people and of his accusers, and summoned the Romans to accompany him to the temple of Jupiter and to celebrate the anniversary of his victory at Zama. The people left the accuser on the spot, and followed Scipio to the Capitol; but this was the last glorious day of the illustrious man. His proud spirit, his belief that he was different from, and better than, other men, his very decided family-policy, which in the person of his brother Lucius especially brought forward a clumsy man of straw as a hero, gave offence to many, and not without reason. While genuine pride protects the heart, arrogance lays it open to every blow and every sarcasm, and corrodes even an originally noble-minded spirit. It is throughout, moreover, the distinguishing characteristic of such natures as that of Scipio—strange mixtures of genuine gold and glittering tinsel—that they need the good fortune and the brilliance of youth in order to exercise their charm, and, when this charm begins to fade, it is the charmer himself that is most painfully conscious of the change.
Notes for Chapter IX
1. According to a recently discovered decree of the town of Lampsacus (-Mitth, des arch. Inst, in Athen-, vi. 95) the Lampsacenes after the defeat of Philip sent envoys to the Roman senate with the request that the town might be embraced in the treaty concluded between Rome and (Philip) the king (—opos sumperilephthomen [en tais sunthekais] tais genomenais Pomaiois pros ton [basilea]—), which the senate, at least according to the view of the petitioners, granted to them and referred them, as regarded other matters, to Flamininus and the ten envoys. From the latter they then obtain in Corinth a guarantee of their constitution and "letters to the kings." Flamininus also gives to them similar letters; of their contents we learn nothing more particular, than that in the decree the embassy is described as successful. But if the senate and Flamininus had formally and positively guaranteed the autonomy and democracy of the Lampsacenes, the decree would hardly dwell so much at length on the courteous answers, which the Roman commanders, who had been appealed to on the way for their intercession with the senate, gave to the envoys.
Other remarkable points in this document are the "brotherhood" of the Lampsacenes and the Romans, certainly going back to the Trojan legend, and the mediation, invoked by the former with success, of the allies and friends of Rome, the Massiliots, who were connected with the Lampsacenes through their common mother-city Phocaea.
2. The definite testimony of Hieronymus, who places the betrothal of the Syrian princess Cleopatra with Ptolemy Epiphanes in 556, taken in connection with the hints in Liv. xxxiii. 40 and Appian. Syr. 3, and with the actual accomplishment of the marriage in 561, puts it beyond a doubt that the interference of the Romans in the affairs of Egypt was in this case formally uncalled for.
3. For this we have the testimony of Polybius (xxviii. i), which the sequel of the history of Judaea completely confirms; Eusebius (p. 117, -Mai-) is mistaken in making Philometor ruler of Syria. We certainly find that about 567 farmers of the Syrian taxes made their payments at Alexandria (Joseph, xii. 4, 7); but this doubtless took place without detriment to the rights of sovereignty, simply because the dowry of Cleopatra constituted a charge on those revenues; and from this very circumstance presumably arose the subsequent dispute.
4. II. VII. Submission of Lower Italy
5. III. VII. The Romans Maintain a Standing Army in Spain
6. III. VIII. The Celts of Asia Minor ff.
7. From the decree of Lampsacus mentioned at III. IX. Difficulties with Rome, it appears pretty certain that the Lampsacenes requested from the Massiliots not merely intercession at Rome, but also intercession with the Tolistoagii (so the Celts, elsewhere named Tolistobogi, are designated in this document and in the Pergamene inscription, C. J. Gr. 3536,—the oldest monuments which mention them). Accordingly the Lampsacenes were probably still about the time of the wax with Philip tributary to this canton (comp. Liv. xxxviii. 16).
8. The story that he went to Armenia and at the request of king Artaxias built the town of Artaxata on the Araxes (Strabo, xi. p. 528; Plutarch, Luc. 31), is certainly a fiction; but it is a striking circumstance that Hannibal should have become mixed up, almost like Alexander, with Oriental fables.
9. Africanus, Asiagenus, Hispallus.