CHAPTER XVIII. CONQUEST OF MACEDONIA AND GREECE. (I71-146.)
Although Philip had aided the Romans in their campaign against Antiochus, he did not receive from them the expected reward in additions to his territory. Immediate resistance would be futile; but he labored patiently and quietly to increase his resources, and to stir up among the neighboring Greeks hostile feeling towards Rome. He placed his army on the best footing possible, and soon began to enlarge his boundaries. Complaints were made to Rome, and the king was compelled to give up his conquests, and confine himself to the limits of Macedonia. In 179 Philip died, and was succeeded by his son PERSEUS.
The new king was as able as his father, and more impatient of subjection. He made friends with the surrounding princes, formed a marriage connection with Antiochus IV. of Syria, and strove to arouse among the Greeks memories of their former greatness.
The Senate, hearing of his numerous intrigues, determined to check him. War was declared in 171; but the forces sent by Rome were at first led by incompetent men, and nothing was accomplished until LICIUS AEMILIUS PAULLUS was made Consul, and took charge of the war in 168.
Paullus (229-160) was the son of the Consul of the same name who was killed at Cannae. His integrity was first shown when, as CURULE AEDILE, [Footnote: See page 225] in 192, he prosecuted persons who had made an illegal use of the public pastures. He was sent to Ulterior Spain in 191 as governor, where, after some reverses, he put down all insurrections. He was Consul in 182, and did good work in conquering a tribe of marauders in Liguria. For this he was allowed a triumph.
He was elected Consul a second time in 168, and sent against Perseus. The war was brought to a speedy end by the battle of PYDNA, on the Thermáic Gulf, June 22. The king fled to Samothráce with his treasures and family. He was shortly afterwards captured, but was treated with kindness by the Consul.
Paullus now travelled through Greece. Later, assisted by commissioners, he arranged the affairs of Macedonia. The country was divided into four small republics, independent of each other, but prohibited from intermarriage and commerce with one another.
On his return to Rome in 167, he enjoyed a triumph, which was graced by Perseus and his three children. He was Censor in 164, and died four years later.
Paullus had two sons by his first wife. The elder of these was adopted by Fabius Maximus Cunctátor, the younger by the son of Africánus the elder, his brother-in-law. He was of the "blue" blood of Rome, of perfect honesty, and very popular, a good general, but somewhat superstitious. A patron of learning and the fine arts, he gave his sons the best training under Greek masters. A strong proof of his popularity is the fact that his body was carried to its last resting place by volunteers from the various peoples he had conquered.
Perseus spent his last days in confinement near Rome, enduring, it is alleged, base and cruel treatment. He was the last king of Macedonia.
After the victory at Pydna, the sympathy shown in Greece for the conquered monarch made the Romans more watchful of her interests there. All suspected to be enemies were removed as hostages to Italy, and among these was the historian POLYBIUS. He lived in Rome for more than twenty years, and became a great friend of the younger Africánus, whom he accompanied to the siege of Carthage.
Like Macedonia, Greece was separated into parts, independent of each other, with no rights of connubium or commercium. Utter demoralization soon ensued, which proved a sure preventive to all alliances liable to shake the authority of Rome.
Trouble again arose in Macedonia twenty years after Pydna, culminating in what is sometimes called the FOURTH MACEDONIAN WAR (149-146). Under the leadership of ANDRISCUS, who claimed to be a son of Perseus, the people rebelled against the protection of Rome. They were twice defeated in 148 by the praetor QUINTUS CAECILIUS METELLUS, who gained the agnomen of MACEDONICUS. The country was made a Roman province, with a Roman magistrate at its head.
At this time the Achaeans were quarrelling with Sparta. Metellus warned them to desist, and when the Achaeans advanced against him, he easily defeated them near SCARPHEIA.
Metellus was a moderate reformer and a model man. He belonged to an illustrious plebeian gens, the Caecilian. Before his death in 115 three of his sons had been consuls, one censor, and the fourth was a candidate for the consulship.
Metellus was succeeded in Greece by LUCIUS MUMMIUS, a cruel and harsh leader. The remnant of the Achaean army had taken refuge in CORINTH. The Senate directed Mummius to attack the city. Its capture in 146 was marked by special cruelties. The city was burned to the ground; beautiful pictures and costly statuary were ruthlessly destroyed. Gold in abundance was carried to Rome. The last vestige of Greek liberty vanished. The country became a Roman province under the name of ACHAIA.
Corinth, the "eye of all Greece," remained in ruins for a century, when it was rebuilt in 46 by Julius Caesar, who planted on its site a colony of veterans and freedmen.