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172-163 B.C.

been exiled. From these and other causes the whole of Greece was once more in a state of ferment. Rome saw that she could delay no longer; and the advent of Eumenes in person, with a long list of grievances and a true account of the state of affairs in Greece, caused the senate to resolve on war in the autumn of 172 B.c.

Perseus, instead of acting at once and occupying Greece by the aid of the Macedonian party in each state, frittered away his time in discussions with Quintus Marcius Philippus, whose aim was to cause Perseus to delay active operation until the Roman legions arrived. This foolish delay on the part of Perseus ruined his chance of support from the Greek states and confederacies. The Aetolian League chose Lyciscus as its new strategus, a thorough partisan of Rome; and the Boeotian confederacy suddenly collapsed completely on the complaint of a Roman envoy touching two of their cities, Haliartus and Coronea, which had entered into engagements with Perseus.

In June, 171 B.c., the Roman legions landed, and Perseus, owing to his utter remissness, found himself alone. Fortunately for him, the Roman consul, Publius Licinius Crassus, was grossly incompetent, and, had Perseus followed up his first success, gained near Larissa, by assuming the offensive, no doubt all Greece would have at once followed the example of the Epirots and revolted. Crassus signalized his shameful command by forcing the small Boeotian town of Coronea to capitulate, and by selling its inhabitants into slavery. His successor, Aulus Hostilius, was equally unsuccessful, and was twice easily repulsed in attempting to enter Macedonia; while his colleague, Appius Claudius, commanding the western army, met with nothing but reverses. Moreover, the Roman name, hitherto distinguished in the East by the honorable probity of its political transactions, was now stained by treacherous and underhand dealing with various Greek states. Two campaigns had served to show the completely demoralized and disorganized condition of the Roman army, which was only saved from destruction by the inability of Perseus to change his plan of defensive warfare to one of a vigorous offensive.

A third campaign was scarcely more successful, but in 168 B.C. a very different Roman general appeared on the scene, in the person of Lucius Aemilius Paulus, son of the consul who fell at Cannae—a man full of vigor despite his sixty years, and utterly incorruptible. He soon turned the position of the enemy and forced Hist. Nat. in 11

168 B.C.

them to retreat to Pydna. Here the decisive battle was fought, and the Macedonian phalanx, after dispersing the Roman vanguard and endangering the whole army, lost its formation on the uneven ground, and was cut down to a man; twenty thousand Macedonians fell, and eleven thousand were made prisoners. Perseus fled with his cavalry and treasure to Samothrace, and soon after surrendered, weeping, to the Romans; he died a few years later, at Alba on the Fucine Lake.

Thus perished the empire of Alexander the Great, 144 years after his death. Macedonia was henceforth abolished, and the united kingdom was broken up into four republican leagues, which paid to Rome half the former land-tax; right of intermarriage between the members of different leagues was forbidden, and every measure was taken to prevent a revival of the ancient monarchy. The Romans gained their object, and from that day to this Macedonia has possessed no history.

Illyria, whose king Genthius was taken prisoner, and whose capital Scodra was captured by the pretor Lucius Anicius, was treated in the same way as Macedonia had been. It was split up into three free states; its piratical fleet was confiscated, and an end was thus put to the depredations of Illyrian corsairs.

In the treatment of the rest of the Greek world, Rome now discarded the sentimental policy of Flamininus, and determined to reduce all Greek states to the same humble level of dependence. It was clear that with the abolition of Macedonia the kingdom of Pergamus, as exercising a check on that power, ceased to be a necessity. The Romans therefore proceeded to circulate strange, though utterly unfounded, reports as to the loyalty of Eumenes; they attempted to set his brother Attalus against him by granting Attalus favors and inciting him to establish a rival throne; they declared Pamphylia independent, and, when the Galatians overran Pergamus, they, after a pretense of mediation, declared them independent also. Eumenes set sail for Italy to remonstrate; but the senate suddenly decreed that no kings in future were to come to Rome, and sent a questor to meet Eumenes at Brundisium. Eumenes, taking the hint, declared that he was satisfied, and returned home; he clearly saw that all equality of alliance was at an end, and that the time of impotent subjection to Rome had now come for himself as for all other free states.

The high-spirited Rhodians were the next to suffer. Deluded by the consul Quintus Marcius, who had pretended to wish for their 168 B.C.

mediation in the war with Perseus, they just before the battle of Pydna sent envoys to the Roman camp and the Roman senate, saying that the Macedonian war was injurious to their commercial interests, and that they would declare war against the side which refused at once to make peace. This miserable republican vanity soon changed to humble entreaty, when the Romans, after the battle of Pydna, threatened the Rhodians with war. The senate, glad of an excuse to humiliate the haughty merchant city, deprived Rhodes of all her possessions on the mainland, and, by the erection of a free port at Delos, so damaged Rhodian commerce that the yearly receipts from customs sank at once from $205,000 to $30,000.

In Greece itself severe measures were taken. Seventy towns in Epirus were plundered, and the inhabitants, to the number of 150,000, were sold into slavery. Trials for high treason took place in all parts of Greece, owing to the existence of a Macedonian party in every city. A very large number of suspects from Achaia, Aetolia, Acarnania, and Lesbos were deported to Italy, partly, perhaps, to escape the bloodthirsty zeal of such men as the Aetolian strategus Lyciscus.

An opportunity had, moreover, been given Rome to interfere once more in the East. During the third Macedonian war Antiochus Epiphanes, king of Asia, or, as it was now called, Syria, seized the occasion to carry out the traditional policy of the Seleucidae and to conquer Egypt. When he was on the eve of success, and was lying encamped before Alexandria, a Roman envoy arrived shortly after the battle of Pydna, and drawing a circle round the king, warned him at once to restore all that he had conquered and to evacuate Egypt. With this warning Antiochus was forced to comply; and Egypt at once submitted to the Roman protectorate.

Every state in the world now did homage to Rome, and the most obsequious flattery met the ears of the Roman senate. Nor was the moment ill-chosen; from the battle of Pydna Polybius dates the full establishment of Rome's universal empire. All subsequent struggles were rebellions, or wars with nations beyond the pale of Graeco-Roman civilization. The whole civilized world recognized in the Roman senate the supreme tribunal for kings and nations; to acquire its language and manners foreign princes and noble youths resided in Rome. Only once was a real attempt made to get rid of Roman dominion—by Mithradates, king of Pontus.

The battle of Pydna marks the last occasion on which the senate still adhered to the state maxim that Rome should, if possible, hold 168 B.C.

no possessions and maintain no garrisons beyond the Italian seas, but should keep in check the numerous dependent states by a mere political supremacy. The treatment of Macedonia and other states after the battle of Pydna shows that Rome had at last recognized the impracticable nature of this protectorate; the necessity of her constant intervention had proved to Rome that the effort to preserve vanquished states, even at the cost of faithful allies, was a failure. Signs were now forthcoming that by gradual steps these clientstates would be reduced to the position of subjects. When we review the extension of Rome's power from the conquest of Sicily to the battle of Pydna, it becomes clear that the universal empire of Rome was a result forced upon the Roman government, without, and even in opposition to its wish—certainly it was not a gigantic plan contrived and carried out by a thirst for territorial aggrandizement. All that the Roman government wished for was the sovereignty of Italy; and they earnestly opposed the extension of this sovereignty to Africa, Greece, and Asia, from the sound view that they ought not to suffer the kernel of their empire to be crushed by the shell. Their blind hatred of Carthage led them into the error of retaining Spain, and of assuming in some measure the guardianship of Africa; their still blinder enthusiasm for Greek freedom made them commit the equal blunder of conferring liberty everywhere on the Greeks.

The policy of Rome was not projected by a single mighty intellect and bequeathed by tradition from generation to generation; it was the policy of a very able but somewhat narrow-minded deliberative assembly, which had far too little power of grand combination, and far too much of an instinctive desire for the preservation of its own commonwealth, to devise projects in the spirit of a Caesar or a Napoleon. The universal empire of Rome was, in fact, based on the political development of antiquity in general. In the ancient world balance of power was unknown, and every nation's aim was to subdue his neighbor or to render him harmless. Though we may sentimentally mourn the extinction of so many richly gifted and highly developed nations by the supremacy of Rome, we must bear in mind that that supremacy was not due to a mere superiority of arms, but was a necessary consequence of the international relations of antiquity generally; and therefore the issue was not one of mere chance, but the fulfillment of an unchangeable and therefore endurable destiny.

Chapter XVI


AMID the din of arms and constant succession of victories, I \ it is difficult to trace the secret and silent growth of those JL A. changes which were fraught with such momentous consequences to the Roman constitution. The new aristocracy, consisting of the old patrician families and of those plebeians who had • become united with the old patricians, gradually gathered in its grasp the reins of government. The leaders of the plebeian element of the aristocracy were most zealous in maintaining the barrier of caste, and in assigning a political significance to those outward badges, such as the ius imaginum, the laticlave, the gold rings, and the bulla, which had originally merely distinguished the higher from the lower patrician families. The senate and the equestrian order1 were no longer organs of the whole state, but organs of the aristocracy. In each case this change was due to the power of the censorship. Everyone who had held a curule magistracy 2 had a legal claim to a vote and seat in the senate; but the censor had the power of summoning men to become members of that body, and of striking off the names of such as were unworthy of so high a position. Inasmuch as the election to a curule office and the choice of censor really lay in the hands of the senate, it was but natural that curule magistrates and censors were chosen out of the ranks of the nobility, and thus practically gave a strong aristocratic character to the composition of the senate. So, too, the censors selected the members of the equestrian centuries, and no doubt, as a rule, had regard to the birth and position of the members they selected, rather than to their military capacity. Thus the equestrian order

1 The equestrian order was originally made up of those citizens who served as the cavalry contingent of the legions. As this service presupposed considerable wealth, and as in the comitia centuriata they voted by themselves in the eighteen equestrian centuries into which they were divided, they came to be looked upon as a wealthy, privileged class of nobles, a little inferior to the senators, but far superior in rank to the ordinary plebeians.

2 The curule officers were the dictator consuls, pretors, censors, and ediles.

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