Third Macedonian War

Third Macedonian War

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Third Macedonian War
partof=the Macedonian Wars

date=171 BC - 168 BC
place=Macedon, Greece and Illyria
casus=Macedonian expansionism, threat to balance of power in the area
territory=Macedon divided into 4 client republics
result=Roman victory
combatant1=Roman Republic, with the Eumenes II (Pergamum)
commander1=Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus
commander2=Perseus of Macedon
The Third Macedonian War (171 BC - 168 BC) was a war fought between Rome and King Perseus of Macedon. In 179 BC King Philip V of Macedon died and his talented and ambitious son, Perseus, took his throne. Perseus married Laodike, daughter of King Seleucus IV Keraunos of Asia, and increased the size of his army. He also made alliance treaties with Epirus and several tribes of Illyria and Thrace, as well as enemies of Thracian tribes allied to Rome, such as the Sapaei under Abrupolis. He renewed former connections with some Greek city-states ("poleis"). The king announced that he could carry out reforms in Greece and restore its previous strength and prosperity.

The Roman leadership began to worry that Perseus would destroy Roman political control in Greece and restore former Macedonian sovereignty over Greek states. King Eumenes II of Pergamon, who hated Macedonia, accused Perseus of trying to violate laws of other states and conditions of peace between Macedonia and Rome. The Romans were afraid for the balance of power in Greece and declared a new war with Macedonia. Perseus won the first struggle: the Battle of Callicinus, where he faced the army of Publius Licinius Crassus. The king offered a peace treaty to the Romans, which was refused. The Romans had problems with discipline in their army, and Roman commanders could not find a way to successfully invade the territory of Macedonia.

There was a stalemate near Phalanna involving Perseus and Crassus. In 169 BC, consul Quintus Marcius Phillipus crossed the Olympus Range and entered Macedonia. However, his army ran out of provisions and retired on a narrow strip of coast near Tempe. Perseus tried to win Eumenes of Pergamon and King Antiochus IV of the Seleucid Empire over to his side but failed. He did, however, succeed in buying the support of the Illyrian king Genthius in the autumn of 169 BC.

Perseus was defeated by the legions of the Roman consul Lucius Aemlius Paullus at the Battle of Pydna in 168 BC. 44 0000 Macedonian troops were defeated because of non-flexible Macedonian phalanx tactics against Roman manipulative phalanx tactics, King Perseus was deposed and, along with his dignitaries, taken to Rome. Around 300 000 Macedonian citizen were taken into slavery, lots of Macedonian cities and villages were destroyed and land was given to Roman settlers ( ex-legionnaires) and Thracian allies. Macedonia was divided into four Roman client republics. These republics had to pay duty to Rome, but it was less than previously, thanks to Perseus. Economical and political contacts between Macedonian and Greek states were reduced. Additionally, the Romans took hundreds of prisoners from the leading families of Macedon, including the historian Polybius. That was the end of Hellenistic Macedonia and the monarchy of the Antigonid dynasty, although Rome later returned to symbolically destroy Corinth in 146 BC (see the Fourth Macedonian War), similar to their destruction of the defanged Carthage in the Third Punic War.

ee also

*Military history of Greece

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